If you’re new to swimming you might be unsure about what swim equipment and accessories your kids need. What’s it for? Which kind to buy? What’s the best way to use it? Each team or coach has different requirements, so check with your team about what your kids need—but here are some swim equipment basics.
Swim Equipment Basics:
What they’re for: keeping water out of the eyes (this you could have guessed).
How to use them: The straps should go directly around the head in line with the eye area. Don’t pull the straps down around the base of the scull, have them too high, or put them over the ears.
How to choose them: Every decent pair of goggles easily come out of the packaging, always try them on BEFORE buying! They need to fit the swimmer’s face. Ensure they feel suction around the eyes when the goggles are pressed to the eye sockets. Leave them on for a minute and turn from side to side, make sure there is no air moving into the goggles, in the pool this will be water coming in! Goggles that have an adjustable nosepiece are helpful for correct fit. Mirrored lenses block the sun’s glare, helpful for outdoor swimming.
Other tips: Goggles should not need to be super tight to keep the water out. They should be worn as loosely as possible for comfort. If goggles are leaking and you have tried tightening them and adjusting the nosepiece to no effect, throw them away and try another pair! They will not magically start fitting better!
What it’s for: to keep hair out of the eyes and face and to make the swimmer more streamlined.
How to use it: hold the center fold of the cap in the middle of the forehead and pull the cap from the front of the head to the back (the fold is not meant to go ear-to-ear, but little kids sure look cute with it that way!). Swimmers with long hair should put it in a low pony tail first then wind their hair into a bun and tuck it into the cap, keeping the bulk of their hair closer to the base of the head rather than the top.
How to choose it: We have team caps in both silicone and latex. Silicone caps generally last longer and are more comfortable (they don’t pull the hair). They are also warmer. If it gets too hot try a latex cap. Latex are perfectly good, and are cheaper. Dry them out after use and keep them flat to make them last longer.
What it’s for: when doing laps swim shirts can be heavy and restrictive. Sun protection is essential, but for 30 minutes to 1 hour of lap swimming sunscreen is the best choice. Swim shirts are for before and after practice and anytime kids are poolside playing.
How to use it: liberally! Apply 30 mins before getting in so it doesn’t immediately wash off.