The must have list of Swimming Equipment
Updated: Jun 3
Although swimming may seem like a sport that requires little to no gear or equipment other than a swimsuit and a pair of googles, there's a list of things that most good swimmers have. All of the things on this list are not crucial for swimmers that are new to the sport, but are highly recommended. As you progress in your swimming career you'll discover new items and gear that will help you along the way.
This might seem like an obvious thing to bring to the water however there is a wide range of suits for men and women. For training purposes you don't want baggy or loose swimwear because that will make it harder to swim and only slow you down. For men I'd recommend a Swim Brief or Speedo as they are cheap and allow for the most mobility. We've made a list of our favorite briefs' at The best speedos for 2021. However if you're a guy and don't feel comfortable wearing a brief, a Jammer is also a good option. If you want more info on Jammers check out The Best Jammers for 2021.
Women usually want a tighter fitting one piece suit over the shoulder suit as it stays together the easiest during practices. A good place to find women's suits is Swim Outlet.
For now I'd suggest any new swimmer to stay away from techsuits or racing suits until they are fully committed to the sport. These are expensive and don't add much to racing performance until you are swimming at an elite level.
In my 10 year long swimming career I met only 1 elite swimmer than swam without goggles. The only reason for this was because he was blind. That being said if you can see, it is highly recommend that you use googles when you swim. If you can see underwater it makes it much easier to see the wall of the pool, the bottom of the pool, other people, and most importantly where you are going. Most swimmers are picky when it comes to what kind of goggles they wear. Different brands and models of goggles fit differently. Many people will often discover that they have differently shaped eyes or nose than other people and need different googles. Most googles come with different nose pieces to accommodate different faces. I could spend quite sometime talking about goggles but the most important thing is that they are comfortable, easy to look through, and don't leak. For more information on goggles try looking at Picking the right goggles for you. For a large list of googles to choose from checkout Swimoutlet.com.
3. Swim Cap
When I swam in highschool there was always one or two guys on the team that would swim without a cap and it was noticeable outside of the pool. Long-term exposer to chlorine damages hair and gives it the classic shiny swimmer look. This look fitted some people but looked concerning on others. The main purpose of a swim cap is to protect hair and reduce drag. If you have shorter hair or no hair then the drag reduction by a cap won't be noticeable. Swim caps offer a variety of benefits but in the end it all comes down to the preference of the swimmer. The two main types of practice caps are silicone and latex. Latex Caps stick better to your head while Silicone Caps are thicker (usually more durable) and more comfortable than latex, but can slip off if you have a lot of hair.
4. Water Bottle
To anyone unfamiliar with swimming the idea of bringing a bottle of water to a pool full of water might seem ridiculous. However working out and burning calories in the pool makes you sweat similarly to how you'd sweat on land. Having a water bottle with you keeps you hydrated and is nice to wash the taste of pool water out of your mouth occasionally. For a wide variety of good bottles checkout Swim Outlet.
Some various things that aren't needed but might be nice can include towels, deck shoes, or bags to hold your stuff. For those just getting started this list of items should be good. As you progress and get better most swimmers invest in various gear such as snorkels, fins, pull buoys, and paddles. To find our guide on more advanced swimming gear checkout our Mesh Bag Essentials.