Swim for Beginners: Things to Know

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If you or your child are new to swimming, it can be overwhelming to learn everything you need to know at once. Here you can find a helpful basic guide of important items you need before hitting the pool!


1) Swimwear
Choosing the right swimwear can be difficult at first, but don't worry - we have some pointers! Suits grow in the water, so when you first try on the suit, you want it to fit tight. You should put it on similarly to pantyhose - don't just pull on the suit but peel it on. It may not feel like it is the "right" fit at first, but this is the smallest the suit will ever be. It will not only grow in the water, but also stretch over time. If a suit is wrinkley or baggy, it is too big. However the suit should not be too tight that it restricts range of motion, cuts off circulation, or just really hurts.


2) Swim cap
Swim caps serve more than one purpose in the pool. Caps protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine, keep your hair out of you eyes, and reduce the amount of drag by creating a smooth profile. They can be found in different materials , the top three being silicone, latex, or lycra. Silicone caps are the most popular today because they are considered the most durable, secure, and comfortable. While they are a bit pricier, most swimmers find it worth the extra cost because they last longer than a latex swim cap. Those with longer hair also prefer silicone because it pulls less on their hair. Latex caps protect your hair well against chlorine, however can be more difficult to put on and remove, and may also rip easily in comparison to other swim cap options. And finally, lycra caps are generally found to be the most comfortable, breathable, and durable, but don't help to reduce drag and don't protect hair from chlorine as latex and silicone do.


3) Goggles
Owning a good pair of goggles is important to keep the chemicals out of your eyes, and to see where you're going! To test the fit of goggles, you should slip the eyepieces over your eyes and press gently to form a seal. Even without the straps on, the goggles should remain in place for several seconds, preferably longer. Goggles that fall and slip (or feel too small!) are a poor fit. Make sure that the lenses are comfortable and that the nose piece doesn't cut into your skin. Mirrored lenses are available if you swim outside to prevent glare from the sun.


4) Practice Gear
Nose clips, ear plugs, and other training aids such as kickboards, swim paddles, snorkels etc. are also something that can help build leg strength, create bouancy, and help a swimmer focus on body alignment, stroke, and kick technique without other distractions. 


5) Towels, Swim Bags, Water Bottles
If you swim frequently, you will need many towels to keep up! They often get dirty, forgotten about, or just simply don't dry in time for practice the next day. You will also need to stay hydrated before, during, and after you swim - and a durable, waterproof bag to keep all your swim gear in. 


At Pedigree, we have years of experience helping swimmers of all ages and abilities to be best prepared for their time in the pool. Stop by for help with your swim gear, and check out the latest suits and equipment for your swimming needs.

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