What should I wear for swimming?
By Sophia Seen
Proper swimming gear is necessary to ensure a pleasant swimming experience. When deciding to purchase a set of swimming attire, you should first be asking yourself what would best suit your usage and lifestyle needs.
Do you want to engage in competitive swimming or start exercising regularly? Or would you rather just look good on your one-off trip with your friends to Adventure Cove? Are you conservative in your sense of dressing?
This should guide you in your choice of swimwear. After which, you can focus on the aesthetic appeal - the swimming attire that will look most flattering for your body type.
1. The One-Piece
For men & ladies
For females, the most popular choice is the one-piece swimwear, which as its name implies is a single piece swimming costume that covers the entire torso of the wearer.
A variation of this, the Burqini is also a one-piece swimsuit. It is often donned by the more conservative as it covers the entire body and head except for the face.
An important one-piece swimwear would be the bodyskin, which is often worn in competitions. The bodyskin hugs the body of the swimmer tightly to increase speed and reduce drag resistance in the water. Similar in design to a diveskin, the bodyskin differs in the material that it is made of; bodyskins are made of lycra-based fabrics while diveskins are often made of neoprene.
However, certain bodyskins are not allowed in FINA competitions due to a ruling that was passed in July 2009. The new ruling requires men's swimsuits to maximally cover the area from the waist to the knee, and women's swimsuits from the shoulder to the knee.
2. The Tankini
A tankini offers similar coverage to the one-piece swimsuit except that it is a two-piece set. This type of swimwear is considered by some to provide modesty closer to a one piece suit with the conveniences of a two piece suit, as the entire suit need not be removed in order to use a toilet.
3. The Bikini
The bikini is the typical choice of swimwear for Hollywood stars, the trendy and sunbathers. It is also a two-piece swim suit so in this regard it is similar to the tankini except for the fact that it exposes a lot more skin.
Two-piece swimsuits like the bikini and takini allow for greater flexibility of style as the wearer can choose to mix and match between various tops and bottoms of different sets.
4. Swim Briefs
Men commonly don swim briefs to the pool, which resembles its underwear counterpart. They are the default choice of professional athletes or those serious about using swimming as a form of exercise.
Other casual swimmers enjoy briefs because of the ease of movement it provides, quick drying time and the convenience of being able to wear them under shorts.
Jammers are similar to swim briefs and are also often worn in competitions. They provide greater leg coverage though at the cost of having more water resistance.
One advantage that briefs, jammers and other styles that do not cover the arms of the swimmer have is providing greater flexibility to the arm. This is especially important for strokes that require broad arm movement.
5. Board Shorts
Another popular choice especially among teenage boys and young adults would be board shorts. Board shorts are a lot like longer shorts that extend to the mid-thigh. They have now become a fashion of their own, especially during summer in Western countries. They are an all-purpose swim attire that can be worn casually in and out of the swimming pool but is never worn for swimming competitions.
They are designed to dry quickly and are commonly used in various water sports such as surfing.
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