For competitive swimwear, it is essential to consult the latest list of FINA approved swimwear (click here). Bear in mind though, that the list is mind-boggling, long and gets updated regularly, so you need to check it from time to time.
(Orders placed here create funds for the club!)
Helpful tips for parents when choosing a swimming costume - provided by Nick Paddon, whose daughter Ella swam at KKSC for 7 years.
Training swimwear is where swimmers can express their personality with many manufacturers producing suits with fantastic designs. The main thing to remember is to look for suits which are made from endurance materials which are chlorine resistant. You will be surprised how quickly a suit will deteriorate when worn regularly so always make sure you rinse it as soon as possible after training in fresh water and let it dry naturally. Don’t be shy, have some fun by wearing something funky for training!
Competition swimwear has become a minefield since FINA (the world swimming governing body) decided that all competition swimwear should be approved by them and satisfy the new ruling that suits should be made from less water resistant materials.
Approved suits will often have a FINA badge usually placed on the back of the suit where it is visible to all the officials. Racing suits can range in price from about £20 to as much as £300, but remember that expensive suits will only give a very small time advantage to young swimmers. REPUTABLE websites/swimshops will always state if a suit is FINA approved.
At what level your child should start wearing an approved suit is still unclear. In my experience I still haven’t seen any swimmer disqualified for wearing an illegal suit as high as the county championships, but at any higher level I would not take any chances! If you are in any doubt at all please ask for advice from the head coach.
Getting the correct size racing suit is also tricky. Racing suits should be really tight so expect to order 2 sizes smaller than a training suit. Don’t be afraid to order 2 or 3 different sizes at a time to make sure you get a good fit, good swim shops will take back any suits you don’t want without question. Just to confuse you even more, different makes of suits of the same size may fit differently!
Like the girls, when male swimmers become more involved in competitive swimming, it is advisable to have separate swimming trunks (skimpies) or jammers (to knee level) for training and competitive swimming. Training swimwear should be of endurance / chlorine-resistant material and be rinsed out well after each training session. This will help to prolong the life of the product.
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to go at least one size smaller than what would normally be worn for training. It is also worth noting that different makes and sizes can vary in terms of fit, so check the returns policy of the supplier you are ordering from.
At galas, it is recommended that training swimwear be worn during warm-up sessions and racing swimwear worn only for the actual race(s).
Only wear ONE swimsuit during a race. Doubling up will get you disqualified!