You probably already know there is no single-best piece of swimming equipment out there. For someone on the threshold of their swimming journey, the venture can be both intimidating and confusing. Aside from the speed and technical matters that govern swimming, one also needs to consider swimming gear. These items help ensure a safe and proper swimming experience.
Beginners or not, swimmers can’t expect to perform at their best without these pieces of equipment. They’re the bare minimum gear requirements to perform safely and well in the water.
Traditionalists might argue this on account of them faring “perfectly well” without swimming goggles. However, we can’t stress enough the need for these items.
They seal your eyes from natural or pool water, protecting them and allowing you to see clearer. Sure, there are ways to train the eyes to see better underwater, but that still won’t be as good as looking through a pair of protective opaque lenses.
Quality goggles offer swimmers the necessary field vision to navigate through or around water obstacles, including fellow swimmers. It also lets them gauge the distance between them and fixed structures in the water, such as the swimming pool wall. There’s a limit to how human eyes perform underwater that not even proper training can bridge.
Water exposure also irritates and reddens the eyes. Sure, that blotchy redness doesn’t last after getting out of the water, but the reason for that happening probably isn’t something you want to hear.
Well, we’re going to tell you anyway: chloramines. They’re substances that result from the interaction of chlorine and human waste, which could either be sweat, urine, or fecal matter. So, no, it’s not just the water making your eyes red; it’s also the whole bunch of nasty things in it.
A beginner might initially think a swimming cap is for keeping the hair dry. And after finding out that it doesn’t, you might ask why it’s necessary in the first place.
Swim caps are necessary for two main reasons: keeping hair from getting in the way of your vision and protecting hair from any corrosive chemicals in the water. Chlorine is pretty much a sure thing in swimming pools, and it can be extremely drying and corrosive. That’s why pool-dominant swimming without these caps over the course of your journey could lead to more bad hair days than good in the years to come.
Then, there’s the hydrodynamic benefits of a swim cap. It won’t significantly increase your speed or anything drastic like that, but it will improve how you move through the water.
Lastly, swim caps are necessary because they keep loose hair strands in place. Yes, choking on the water is possible, but gagging on a hairball? Of all the nasty things!
Now tell us if you still want to forego the swim cap after hearing that?
Swimsuits for women and Speedos for men. Sure, there’s a bit of comedy attached to these garments for the men, but it is what it is.
The fact is, you can’t expect a guy to move as freely or as smoothly in the water in a pair of board shorts. You’re not a lifeguard in the community pool, after all.
Wearing these suits all boil down to comfort. If you want something a little less Speedo-like, you can opt for a square-shaped training suit.
You can insist on wearing shorts, too, though don’t expect to make waves with the audience with your performance. Bulky board shorts just won’t give much in the way of hydrodynamics.
Training suits in nylon are among the best. They’re not only durable; they also belong to a relatively affordable price range. Choose a good and comfortable pair, and you should have a free range of motion on your shoulders and hips.
Should You Wear Earplugs?
Earplugs may not be a part of the bare essentials of swimming, but they are mandatory for swimmers who need them. If you’re prone to getting water inside your ear canals, these items are a must-wear.
Drowning might be the worst thing that can happen to a swimmer, but that’s highly unlikely. Getting an ear infection, though? Not as unlikely.
Get Your Gear Ready!
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned swimmer, having your swimming essentials helps you perform at your best. In particular, it helps beginners better navigate the ins and outs of their journey by allowing them to learn the ropes and keeping them as safe as possible in the water. If you have trouble figuring out your ideal gear set, at least get the bare essentials right and move forward from there.