How Swimwear Can Improve your Performance

Performance swimwearSwimming performance is measured to the nearest 0.01 second, with competitive swimmers in the top 15 in the world separated by only 0.10 second. So, it’s no surprise that swimmers are always looking for any way they can to improve performance and that includes finding the right swimwear.

Body Drag

When you swim one thing that slows you down is the drag of your body and what material you're wearing. This means that when you are in the water, the kind of swimwear you are wearing can slow you down by creating more drag, or speed you up by reducing drag. One reason swimmers tend to be slender is to reduce drag.

Reducing the drag of your body not only makes you faster, it also makes it easier to swim at faster speeds. Consequently, if you’re wearing the correct swimsuit, you may be able to swim faster and farther. This has huge implications for relay team events as well as maximal sprint events.

Swimwear and Technology

NASA and the swimwear manufacturer Speedo have carried out research that has led to the development of faster swimsuits. The scientists studied some of the fastest swimming marine animals and tried to mimic their abilities with technology. Studies in test pools showed that sharks can slip though the water with about 10 per cent less energy expenditure than a fish with a perfectly smooth skin.

The resultant product was made out of polyurethane, known as Shark skins, which reduces drag significantly and allows the swimmer to be faster. Traditional swimsuits are typically made from lycra, which absorbs air and water, consequently slowing you down in the water.

These tests have allowed Speedo to design swimsuits made of artificial sharkskin called a ‘Fastskin’.


Performance swimwearOne of the leading brands of swimwear development is Finis who have a reputation for technical innovation and high-quality products. Based on feedback from female swimmer, Finis has launched a brand new open back, knee skin swimsuit in white.  Traditionally these suits came only in black (which didn’t appeal to the ladies) and so the white suit is literally flying off the shelves.

Sharks Swim Shop is one of the stockists of the new white Finis knee skin which can also be ordered via our website



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