Essential Equipment for Swimmers

Essential Equipment for Swimmers

When first joining a swim team, swim parents are given a list of equipment you will need. When I first saw this I had no idea what some of the items were … and I am still finding out about new things. I’m going to list equipment from early swimmers to more advanced. I know new things are developed constantly, so this will not be exhaustive, but maybe it will help you identify and understand it a little better. This is auxiliary equipment … not goggles or cap but extra stuff.


Kickboard: Every swimmer from lesson level to advanced will use a kick board. It may vary in size as the swimmer grows and changes, but a kick board will always be part of an equipment bag.




Fins: Fins can be a challenge when the kids are really little. If they are too loose, swimmers can either wear a pair of socks from their sock drawer or buy swim socks to help keep the fins on comfortably.

Fins also come in all different lengths from short (provides a much harder workout) to long (makes you go FAST!). Most early swimmers will use long fins and the short ones are reserved for more advanced swimmers. There are also fins that both feet fit into called “mono” fins. These help you develop a stronger dolphin kick for that awesome butterfly!


Pull Buoy: This little gem is held between the thighs and makes swimmers build upper body strength and perfect stroke work. Even young swimmers work with a pull buoy.




Snorkel: Swimmers’ training snorkels are different than the kind you use in a coral reef. A swimmers’ snorkel lets the swimmer seamlessly stroke through all lengths and even maneuver through flip turns. Not all beginner swim team kids will use these, but it won’t be long.





Paddles: These come in graduated sizes to fit hands as they grow. These obviously are used for strengthening stroke. Really important to get the right size for your swimmer.





Nose plugs: Backstrokers sometimes use nose plugs.





Parachute: This attaches at the waist and increases drag.





Sensory Mitts: There are some new sensory mitts that our team is using. More information can be found here: Aquavolo Sensory Mitts



Drag Socks: These also come from the place we get the sensory mitts. More information here: Aquavolo DragSox



There are a lot more equipment options even in each category. This just serves to give you a rough overview of some of the equipment and what it looks like when you are maneuvering your way through swim team. Each team is different with different equipment likes and dislikes. Having been on multiple teams, I have bought so many different sizes, lengths, types, you name it of various swim equipment. Don’t forget a handy mesh bag to put everything in so it will dry out between practices!

If you have great ideas or resources to add … please comment!

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