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Choose Your Kit for Swimming Lessons

When it comes to advanced swimming lessons, sportswear is the way to go because it is robust, designed to get wet and can withstand the rigors of lifesaving activities.

For pool lessons you want quick drying clothes that feel good both wet or dry and fit well in the water. This means you can get in and out of the pool quickly and follow the lesson without distraction. You may want to try them on in your bathtub or shower first to ensure a good fit.

The point is to make your training as realistic as possible. It is important to note that some clothing can be difficult to put on or take off when wet, which can be frustrating during the lesson. We recommend you keep your clothes on throughout the lesson.

Put aside some sports clothes as part of your swimming kit. Always keep them in your swim bag when dry. Wet kit should be hung up to dry as soon as possible, otherwise it starts to rot and smell.

A good choice are three unlined clothing layers. Start swimming in the base layer, then add middle and outer layer over time. This will help you get used to the feeling of multiple clothing layers in the water. You could wear all the clothes you would normally wear for your watersports, including socks and shoes where applicable. The shoes should be made of manmade fabric, not leather.

Below you find a detailed list of kit for each stage of the swimming lessons.

Beginners: T-shirt and Shorts

Tee-shirt and shorts are best for beginners, very easy to swim in. This is the basic swimwear you will need for all lessons. More will be worn on top later in the course.

You can wear your usual T-shirt and shorts in the pool. Nylon shorts and a swim shirt are easy to swim in and look great. They come in many colours and styles to make up stylish outfits.

Sportswear is best as it can cope with frequent immersions and is robust enough. Made from nylon or polyester it doesn't soak up much water and dries quickly. Any sports or footy kit will do as long as it is comfy and doesn't chafe. No need to buy special swimwear.

Intermediate: Long-Sleeve Top and Long Pants

This additional clothing layer is deliberately used to slow you down and make swimming harder. It can be worn on top of the shirt and shorts from the beginner lessons, or on its own.

Long trousers, jeans or tracksuit bottoms can be combined with a sweatshirt or hoodie for more varied resistance training. You'll be best prepared for emergencies if you swim in the kind of clothes you normally wear.

Cottom sportswear or tracksuits are often thicker and take more swimming effort because they soak up much more water and get heavy, hence they take longer to dry out.

Intermediate: Long-Sleeve Top and Long Pants

Sportswear or tracksuits are often thicker and take more swimming effort. This additional clothing layer is deliberately used to slow you down and make swimming harder. It is worn on top of the shirt and shorts from the beginner lessons.

Long trousers, jeans or tracksuit bottoms are combined with a sweatshirt or hoodie for more the demanding lessons. Cotton soaks up much more water and gets heavy, but it takes longer to dry out.

For resistance swim training, you will learn to conserve your energy by optimizing your swim strokes, and continue swimming for longer to meet your goal.

While you swim in swim briefs or such, you can get away with very bad swimming strokes. Almost anything works to some degree. Just look at a busy pool to notice this.

When you swim fully clothed for the first time you may not move much at all. This is where you can now tweak your swimming strokes to get faster. Rapid progress can be made in reasonable time.

Advanced: Waterproof Clothes

Unlined anoraks and rain pants are best for water safety training and splash sports. Waterproof clothes are worn on top of the beginner or intermediate outfits for survival swim training or adventure swimming preparation.

These clothes cause some considerable drag when swimming and are thus useful for strength and endurance training. They are also ideal for any fun splash sports in the pool, like canoe and kayak lessons, or wild water games with frequent immersion.

Although they don't soak up much water, they hold pockets of air and water that swimmers should learn how to handle. Special techniques can quickly vent any air and drain water away.

Finally, students will learn how to make a buoyancy aid using their pants. It is important to get the right pants for it to easily inflate like a balloon. Some pants just do not inflate as the air escapes from the tiny pores in the fabric. Waterproof pants work best.

Now that you're properly dressed for your swimming experience, choose a safe and shallow area to begin with, maybe chest deep. This can be a beach, lake, or swimming pool. As you gain strength and fitness, increase your training level.

Clothing Tips for Survival Swimming and Lifesaving Lessons

anorak swimming fully clothed
Long pants and anorak are good pool training clothes and easy to swim in. The nylon fabric doesn't clog up the pool filters with fluff.
anorak swimming fully clothed
A fleece pullover soaks up water and gets heavy when wet. Good for strength training.
anorak swimming fully clothed
An anorak is lightweight but causes a fair bit of drag.
anorak swimming fully clothed
Get used to the way clothes feel in the water. They slow you down, but don't pull you down.
anorak swimming fully clothed
Shallow water wading shows the drag resistance of your clothes. This awareness is important for safe water sports.
anorak swimming fully clothed
Wading helps to build up leg muscles and lower body strength.
anorak swimming fully clothed
Swimming a few lengths lets you see how well your clothes fit. They should feel good in the water.
anorak swimming fully clothed
A comfy swimsuit makes a good base layer so you can change into different clothes on poolside.
anorak swimming fully clothed
As you climb out you'll notice how much waterlogged clothes weigh.

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