How to Buy a Swimsuit for Swim Team and Competitions

How to Buy a Swimsuit for Swim Team and Competitions

August 01, 2019

If you’re not familiar with the sport, it’s a little overwhelming when your kid joins a swim team. If you’re lucky, the coach will hand you a list of required equipment. If you’re like many new swim parents, you have no idea where to start. Our family stumbled into an organized team with lists, recommendations, and lots of parents who were willing to help. Here are some tips for buying swim team swimsuits learned in my ten years as a swim mom.

Function is more important than fashion

The fashionable trunks or bikini worn to the neighborhood pool or beach won’t do the job for swim team practice. Swimming for 45-60 minutes every day requires a swimsuit with specific features.

Competition suits are made for the rigorous practice schedule of serious swimmers. Look for flat seams to limit skin irritation, an open back that allows for a full range of motion, and leg holes that provide full coverage without impinging the range of motion. Most families can find a practice swimsuit that lasts for a season for around $30.

Durability and chlorine resistance are key features

Girls need a one-piece swimsuit for daily practice. If you need an inexpensive, comfortable suit that stretches easily, choose a nylon blend. Nylon suits are lightweight, don’t absorb a lot of moisture, and fit well. Unfortunately, nylon isn’t chlorine resistant and won’t last as long as a polyester suit. To extend the life of your nylon practice suit, make sure you rinse the chlorinated pool water out of the suit and hang it up to dry after every wear. As your child advances on the swim team, you might consider switching to the more durable polyester suits that hold their color and shape even after hours of training.

Boys can choose from a swim brief or get a bit more coverage in a pair of jammers. Typically, briefs are nylon blends to give a secure fit and enough stretch to move comfortably. Jammers are just as tight, but extend down the leg almost to the knee. Both styles have a drawstring waist to keep them from moving during dives.

Choosing the right size

If you can, buy your first suit from a shop that knows how to fit them. Many urban markets have local swim shops staffed with former swimmers who can recommend a good suit. If your experience is limited to buying recreational suits, a swimsuit for swim team might look too small. After all, as parents, we’re accustomed to leaving a little room, so there’s room for a rapid growth spurt.

A suit for swim team should fit like a glove, with no visible wrinkles or excess fabric. Any gaps or extra space in the suit means it is too big. Female swimmers should only be able to fit two fingers (one on top of the other) between the shoulder strap and the shoulder. Male swimmers should be able to move freely without exposing themselves.

Swimsuits stretch over time as the fibers degrade from use, so if you buy a suit that’s too big, it will only get bigger. Baggy suits slow swimmers down (the technical term is “drag”) and make swimming harder.

Pro tip: Older swimsuits are sometimes repurposed as drag suits, worn over the regular practice suit during practice to build endurance.

Training suit sizes

Like clothes and shoes, different swimsuit brands fit all bodies differently. Much like you do with clothes and shoes, you will probably end up favoring one brand over another due to the way it fits you. The chart below is approximate, but you might need a different size to accommodate a long torso or developing curves. After you know the size and style parameters, you can venture online to find bargains.

Swimsuit Size Approx clothing equivalent Approx size by age
18 Child XS or Kids 5 5-6 years old
20 Child XS or Kids 6-6X 6-7 years old
22 Child S 7-8 years old
24 Child M 8-10 years old
26 Child M 10-11  years old
28 Child L 12-13 years old
30 Child L 14-16 years old

 

Competition swimsuit

Because swimsuit fabric tends to degrade over time, you might choose to purchase a special suit for racing, which should be worn only at meets. Although USA Swimming banned the $500 tech suits worn by Olympic athletes for 12 and under swimmers, having a dedicated racing swimsuit can give kids a mental advantage.

Approved for all athletes, racing suits look like practice suits, but are made from compression material designed to reduce drag, muscle oscillation, and skin vibration. The patterned fabric streamlines water away from the body and doesn’t stretch much.  

If your child wears a size 24 suit for practice, consider sizing down to a 22 for competition. A racing suit should fit even tighter than practice suits and can even require assistance to pull on. Racing suits generally cost between $100 to $200 and will last through one championship season.

Welcome to the club

Ten years of buying swimsuits and various other gear teaches you a few things, but each swimmer has their own definition of comfort. Find a good quality, durable suit that doesn't rub or irritate and rinse it after practice each day in clean water. Plan on dropping a few extra dollars on a competition suit at some point, but reserve it for special meets to give it a longer life. Most of all, enjoy being part of a swim team!  




Also in News

cute girl with curly hair wearing pink face mask with flowers
Smooth the Transition with Comfortable Face Masks

August 30, 2020

Children struggled with swim goggles for years before Frogglez revolutionized the design. Give your kids what they need to succeed with our easy-to-use, comfortable gear. Our new youth face mask has the same thoughtful design as our goggles - it's specifically contoured to comfortably fit kids' smaller faces. Frogglez gives kids easy-to-use, comfortable tools to help kids succeed.

Read More

Family swimming underwater in pool wearing Frogglez swim goggles
How to Buy the Best Swim Goggles for Beginning Swimmers

June 09, 2020

Unwrapping brand new goggles is almost magical. You can feel the possibility of underwater adventure. All too often, that promise of superhero-like vision slips away the first time they leak. Help keep the magic of swimming alive by choosing goggles that work. Here's what you need to know while you're in the store looking at packages.

Read More

Cute boy wearing Frogglez on backyard slide into pool
Don’t Keep Your Fish Out of Water

May 18, 2020

It’s important to keep your kids playing in the water so they’re comfortable when lessons resume. Not only will they burn off excess energy and sleep well, but they’ll keep their swimming muscles strong and be ready to put their faces in when the time comes. Even children with previous swimming experience should get into the water early and often. They all benefit from the additional confidence and water-safety skills gained during play.

Read More

Size Guide

Not sure which size to order?

Measure your head circumference!

Place soft measuring tape around your child’s head about 1/2-inch above the ear, across the mid-forehead where a hat would sit. Hold the tape firmly, but not too tightly, and write down the measurement of where the tape meets. If you don’t have a soft measuring tape, use a piece of string and measure as directed. Then, lay the string on a ruler or yardstick to determine measurement.

Head Circumference

Recommended Goggles

15-18 inches Frogglez Youth (3-6)
16-22 inches Frogglez Youth (3-10)
19-22 inches Frogglez Adult (10+)

 

In between sizes?

Frogglez universal strap adapts to almost any swim gogglesFrogglez Goggles easily adjust to fit most kids. Kids can tighten or loosen without taking them off using the Velcro straps. Use the optional black silicone rings included with every pair of Frogglez to adjust even more.

Make Frogglez smaller: Remove the silicone rings for smaller children and thread the Velcro right through the goggles.

Make Frogglez bigger: Adding an extension ring is easy! Double up the rings to extend the strap length for bigger kids.  

 

Still having trouble with the fit?

Frogglez Goggles use a soft silicone to create a leakproof seal. The gentle pressure of the seal is designed to withstand cannonballs, dives, and splashes. That said, eyes and noses are different sizes and shapes, which can affect the way goggles fit.

There isn’t one perfect goggle, only the one that best fits your face. If you find that the eyepieces don’t fit, don’t fret. Frogglez universal strap attaches to most goggles on the market.  The black silicone rings included with each pair of Frogglez makes attachment to other goggles simple.

 

We offer a fit guarantee!

Ordered the wrong size? No problem! Exchange your Frogglez Goggles within 60 days for a different size at no charge!