Swimsuits – old school racer back or skins?

Swimsuits – old school racer back or skins?

The swimsuit debate

Swimsuits – hate it or love it, when you become a swim parent you will be challenged to take part in this debate at one point or another. On our Family swim blog, as swim mom, I take a look at whether young swimmers should be allowed to swim with technologically advanced skins or should junior swimmers aged 7-12 still use race-back old school swimsuits?

Swimsuits - skins or old school
Swimsuits – when is a hi-tech swimsuit justified or should young swimmers keep using racer-back old school swimsuits?

Our young swimmer, now aged 9, more often than not lines up at the starting block against swimmers aged 11 to 12 wearing anything from basic, more affordable full body swimsuits up to the real deal, top of the range, branded skins.

Swimsuit research and technology:


Let’s face it – the swimming industry is fascinating.  Just look at the technology used today to design swimsuits.  Intense detail is given to the material and seams.  Swimming is so advanced that the material mimics shark skin!  All this effort to ensure that swimmers perform better, swim faster and ultimately wins gold at events.

The keyword is reducing drag. Leading brands invest heavily in research, finding ways to reduce the various types of drag swimmers experience.  Buoyancy and repelling water are also factors under investigation.

To top all that off, the swimsuit, according to FINA’s rules, may not give the swimmer an unfair advantage. Whether the swimsuit worn by the swimmer provides an advantage or not is hard to prove.  Therefore, the competition in the swimming industry to produce the best and technologically advanced suits, is at an all-time high.

The cost of all this research drives the price of swimsuits.  Better material comes at a higher price. A new way of sewing seams contributes to the price too.  Who bears the cost?  The swimmer’s parents.  The question I ask is this:

Does a 7-12-year-old swimmer understand the technology they wear?

Or is the swimsuit industry now similar to the mobile handset industry where it is a trend and parents just comply and keep on paying the price as they want the best for their children?

Swimsuits, parents, coaches and swimmers:

It appears as if swim parents are pro swimming with skins as a target or a reward rather than just a trend.  There are however instances where some swimmers and their parents cannot afford hi-tech swimsuits.

Does this give the swimmers with skins and advantage? Is it fair to the younger swimmers and their parents that cannot afford these expensive suits?

Read our swimsuit article as we would love to hear your comments regarding swimsuits and the ongoing debate at the appropriate age for swimmers to switch from old-school racer-back suits to hi-tech skins.

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