The role of competitive swimwear for swimmers

Competitive swimmers understand the importance of investing in specialist swimwear for enhanced performance but not all swimmers get the correct advice when purchasing these items. 

Fit and functionality rather than fashion are the key elements when it comes to choosing your competitive swimsuits.  So serious swimmers should always seek the advice of sizing and fitting experts, like the team at Sharks Swim shop in Swansea.

What to look for when buying competitive swimwear

Competitive swimwearCompetitive swimsuits can be expensive but they don’t necessarily have to cost the earth. Swimwear brand names may be more important than you think. The fact that brands such as Speedo and Adidas have stayed on the market for several decades testifies to the quality of the swimwear they produce. However, newer brands like Tyr Swimwear have made a serious entry into the market.

So, before purchasing a swimsuit it’s worth doing some research on the brands you prefer.  Check out product reviews and what customers say about the quality and performance of the swimwear; a little bit of research can go a long way toward ensuring a quality, long-lasting swimsuit.

Always keep in mind why you are buying the swimsuit. For competitive swimmers, functionality and longevity are more important than appearance, though many of the brands mentioned above can deliver on both style and substance. 

Fabric is important as you don’t want to purchase an expensive, brand-name swimsuit only to find it degrades and frays through chlorine degradation.  Well-made competitive swimwear should contain high quality materials and competitive workout swimwear should be treated for chlorine resistance.

If you are unsure of the chlorine resistance of a particular swimsuit, ask the expert team in Sharks Swim Shop.

Making sure your swimsuit fits properly

Competitive swimwearFit and comfort along with functionality are the most important factors when choosing competitive swimwear.  You’ll be spending a great deal of time in your swimsuit which will also be subject to strenuous body movements; which is why it’s so important that your swimsuit fits you well. The torso part of your swimwear should lie perfectly flat on your body without gathering at the seams or pulling from any of the straps or openings. The higher spandex content of competitive swimsuits generally allows for a flat fit, but it is important to make sure the swimsuit is not too tight. Be sure that you can move comfortably in your swimsuit without any stretching from the leg openings or neck.

To correctly size the leg openings of a competitive swimsuit, be sure that the elastic straps are not puckering or digging into your legs. If the elastic is digging into you, you may want to try a larger size.

The straps of the swimsuit should lie comfortably on your shoulders, without digging in or falling down.  Rotate your arms a couple of times to determine if the straps are comfortable and in place in all arm positions. Lap swimming requires a great deal of movement in the arms so move around a bit in the dressing room to check that the straps remain in place.

For ladies in particular, the bust of the swimsuit should provide an adequate amount of coverage and support without flattening the breasts entirely. Look for a swimsuit with adjustable straps so that you will feel contained and secure in the bust portion. Also, be sure to lift your arms in the dressing room to determine if the swimsuit provides adequate coverage in the bust. An accidental flashing at a public swimming pool would be a very unfortunate occurrence!

Full Body Swimsuits

Competitive swimwearThese days many competitive swimmers choose to wear full body swimsuits in order to enhance and facilitate their speed in the water. These swimsuits are designed to create the most aerodynamic texture possible in the water and have become the preferred choice by Olympic athletes. While fractions of a second may impact the outcome of a highly competitive race, they will likely not affect your time or conditioning at the local pool. If you do decide to purchase a bodysuit, keep the above fitting factors in mind. Be sure that the fit of the suit is not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes you any discomfort.

Sharks Swim and Tri Shop

Whether you are a swimmer or a triathlete, Sharks Swim Shop can offer a complete swimsuit or body suit fitting service to ensure you have the best chance when it comes to competitive swimming.

Check out our full range of competitive swimsuits on our website or call into our shop at Sketty Cross.

Competitive swimwear



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