When your child starts swimming lessons for the first time, it is often tricky to know exactly what equipment they need, and with thousands of brands offering similar products, choosing items can be a challenge. To help out, we have put together a list of products and brands we think are great.
Goggles are probably the most asked about product. Whilst we do have goggles that your child can borrow for their lesson, we recommend investing in a pair that your child can get used to and use to practise outside of lessons, particularly if they are nervous about putting their face in the water.
For younger children we recommend the mask-style of goggle, such as these here. The larger surface area means vision is completely clear and these are easier to put on than the more common smaller pairs. Again due to the size, this style will fit your child for longer as they grow.
For older, more advanced swimmers we recommend these here. Once your child reaches this level they should be comfortable with goggles and be confident putting them on and altering them as necessary. The dual strap at the back helps with securing the goggles and ensuring water does not enter. Please ensure that the lenses are not too large/wide for your child’s eyes as this is what tends to cause leaks!
Whilst we do not insist on wearing swim hats below ‘Aquatic Fit and Fun’ level, it is good to get in the habit of wearing them if your child has future competition aspirations! Swim hats are also good for those who have long hair, or fringes. We recommend these hats, as they are thicker and easier to put on/take care of when not in use.
Swimming Costumes & Swim Shorts
With swimming costumes, it is best to invest in a costume that is fitted, comfortable and durable. It is also worth keeping in mind that costumes with ‘skirts’ or frills attached will become heavier when wet. Below are some examples we would recommend:
When buying loose swim shorts, please ensure the elastic waist fits your child snugly and we recommend shorts with adjustable drawstring at the waist. Unfortunately chlorine breaks down elastic over time, so drawstring can add considerable time to the shorts lifespan! See below examples of both loose swim shorts and the tight racing shorts.
Whilst it is not essential, there is additional equipment you can purchase for practise outside of lessons.
Sinkers– these are ideal for children of all ages, and perfect for practising outside of lessons or when on holiday (see blog post on what the practise outside of lessons here).
Fins– for the older, more advanced swimmers, fins are great for working on technique and more advanced strokes such as butterfly. See here.
Woggle – woggles are great for all abilities, in particular beginners. The float can be used for front and back strokes as well as fun and games. See here.
Kickboard– These are great for advanced swimmers looking to improve their kicking stamina. Perfect to practise outside of lessons. See here.
Pull buoy– Again these are for advanced swimmers, the float increases resistance and reduces kick propulsion, enabling swimmers to concentrate on arm stroke technique. See here.
Please note that this is not ‘must-buy’ list or by any means exhaustive, but simply there to help anyone unsure of what they might need. None of these products are sponsored and we are not paid to promote them, this is purely what we recommend from our own experience.