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Choosing Your Swimming Equipment, Gear and Accessories

Let’s face it, the market for swimming equipment, gear and accessories is vast, and as a beginner, you may need some help to separate the wheat from the chaff.

There are the basics that everyone needs, like a swimsuit, swim goggles and probably also a swim cap.

Then there is the equipment that you need as a beginner and then don’t need anymore when you are more experienced, for example, swim fins.

Some swimming gear: a blue swim cap and swim goggles
Choose the right swimming equipment to avoid frustration

Equally, there is the swimming equipment that an experienced swimmer may make good use of, and that would be inadequate for a beginner.

A tempo trainer, for example, will let the advanced swimmer practice his stroke regularity and speed while the beginner is most likely better off working on his swimming technique.

Then there’s the gear which can be categorized as nice-to-have, for example, waterproof MP3 players.

The articles below give you an overview of the swimming gear most commonly used and should help you decide which gear meets your particular needs.


Some swimming gear

Swimming Equipment For Beginners – Which Gear Do You Really Need? Describes the swimming equipment you need when you want to learn how to swim.

There are a few essentials and then some additional gear that can really help you progress faster. Find out what you need in this article!

Swim Caps

Swim Cap Buying Guide

Swim Cap Buying Guide: Choosing the right swim cap can be difficult when you stand in front of them at the sports store.

Swim caps seem to come in a multitude of colors, sizes, shapes, and materials. This article will help you to pick the swim cap that best suits your needs.

Silicone Swim Caps

Silicone Swim Cap Characteristics, Strengths, and Weaknesses: This article discusses the characteristics of a silicone swim cap as well as its strengths and weaknesses.

Latex Swim Caps

A basic latex swim cap

Latex Swim Cap Characteristics, Strengths, and Weaknesses: Explains the pros and cons of a latex swim cap.

Also highlights some of the differences with other kinds of swim caps, namely silicone and lycra swim caps.

Knowing this can be especially helpful if you are a beginner and wonder which kind of cap you should get.

Lycra Swim Caps

A basic lycra swim cap

Lycra Swim Cap Characteristics, Strengths, and Weaknesses: This article discusses the characteristics of a Lycra swim cap to help you decide if this is the right kind of swim cap for you.

Long Hair Swim Caps

Choosing a Long Hair Swim Cap: This article gives some advice about choosing a long hair swim cap. Discusses swim cap uses, materials and shapes that suit long hair.

Swimming Goggles

Choosing Swimming Goggles

Swimming goggles

How to Choose the Best Swimming Goggles: If you are a novice, choosing the best swimming goggles for your needs can be a frustrating experience if you don’t know what to look for.

This article gives you some tips so that you can make an informed decision the next time you are out to buy new swimming goggles.

Speedo Futura Ice Plus Review

Best Speedo Swim Goggles – Futura Ice Plus Review: A review of my favorite Speedo swim goggles, the Futura Ice Plus. Discusses design, eyecups, nose bridge, gaskets, strap, colors and what I like and dislike about these goggles.

Speedo Vanquisher 2.0

Speedo Vanquisher Swim Goggle: Version 2.0 Plus Review: The Speedo Vanquisher Swim Goggle is one of the most recommended pairs of swimming goggles on the Internet.

So I wanted to find out if it lives up to its reputation and got myself a pair and tested it for a few weeks. This article gives you the results.

Nose Clips / Nose Plugs

Nose Clips Pros & Cons

Swimming Nose Clips: Strengths and Weaknesses: Nose clips are those little pieces of bent wire padded with rubber that you can stick on your nose. They squeeze the nose so that the nostrils are kept shut and water is kept out.

Using them has pros and cons, which are discussed in this article.

How To Wear a Nose Clip

How To Wear Swimming Nose Plugs: Swimming nose plugs (nose clips) are small devices designed to be worn on the nose and that keep the water out.

If you have never used them before, you might be wondering how nose clips should be worn. This depends on the type of nose clip you bought.

More in the article.

Miscellaneous Gear

Audioflood Waterproof iPod

How Music got me to Stay in the Pool (with a waterproof Audioflood iPod): Our reader Barney describes how a waterproof iPod made by Audioflood keeps him motivated during his swims.

Swimming Noodles

A few colorful swimming noodles floating on the water surface

Using Swimming Noodles To Learn How To Swim: Swimming noodles are long supple cylinders made of foam that can be used as flotation devices.

They can be great swimming aids if you want to learn how to swim, as they float extremely well.

This article describes some of their uses in swimming exercises.

Swim Paddles

When and How to Use Swim Paddles: You’ve certainly seen swim paddles at the pool before, as many seasoned swimmers use them. And now that you’ve been swimming for a while, you wonder if you should get a pair too?

You think that they will strengthen your shoulders and make you swim faster. But are they really such a good idea?

Pull Buoys

One-piece pull buoys

Pull Buoys: Designs, Shapes, How To Use Them: Explains under which circumstances pull buoys help you to learn how to swim and under which circumstances they can hinder your progress.

Swim Fins

A pair of swimming fins

Swimming With Fins – Using Swim Fins To Learn How To Swim: Swimming with fins can help you to learn a new swim stroke or to improve your swimming technique.

This article helps you choose the correct ones and describes a few uses of fins.


Best Kick Boards Uses to Learn Swimming or Improve Your Technique: Explains how to best use kick boards to learn or improve in breaststroke, front crawl, butterfly stroke, and backstroke.

Swim Snorkels

Finis Swimmer’s Snorkel Review: A review of the Finis’ swimmer’s snorkel. Snorkel design, how to put on the snorkel, breathing, swimming with the snorkel, uses, etc.

Related Pages


Monday 17th of July 2017

Any suggestions for gear that will keep water out of the ears?

When I'm doing front crawl I keep getting water that sloshes in my ears, right into the inner ear.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Monday 24th of July 2017

Hi Julie,

I still haven't tested ear plugs, so I can't recommend any for now. Maybe another site visitor will chime in?

Anna Kramer

Tuesday 20th of May 2014

Thank you for this informative website!

Could you add an article on ear plugs/ear coverings? Which are most effective, what you recommend for getting rid of water in the ear, etc.

The last time I tried to take up swimming, I got water in my ear. It took weeks to clear, which deterred me from continuing.

I'd love to return to swimming, but want to protect my ears!

Thank you.


Monday 26th of May 2014


This is a good suggestion. I'll add to our list of upcoming articles. Thanks! :)

Susu Tamer

Friday 26th of October 2012

I am going to start high school swim team in a few weeks. This article solved all of my problems and answered all of my questions.

The only thing that I have a question about is what brand of swimming suits are the best for girls and what is the price range?

If you could answer that question that would be very beneficial to me and my swim team friends. :)


Friday 26th of October 2012

I'm located in Belgium so I can't recommend specific swimming suits for girls in the US.

However, over the years I've had good success with Speedo Endurance, and I know they also have swimsuits for women.

Hopefully, fellow US swimmers will be able to share their experience here.

Comments are closed.