Ready to make a splash? Here's where to find quality swim gear

December 29, 2014

Sports shops catering specifically to swimmers are increasingly rare, so where do you find the best selection of quality gear and accessories?

Ready to make a splash? Here's where to find quality swim gear

Recreational swimming vs. competitive swimming

Before searching for swimsuits, caps and gear, be realistic about your motivation to swim. Do you go a few times a week to stay in shape? Do you just want to have family fun with the kids in the backyard pool? Are you taking a beginner’s class? Or do you already swim at a competitive level and need to make a more serious investment?

Recreational swimming

If you’re looking for floatation devices or for water and pool games, a big-box store is a great place to find discount prices on everything you need. Superstores offer the best value on general accessories like swimsuits, swimming belts, nose clips, goggles, kickboards and toys.

Competitive swimming

Sporting goods shops

For higher quality products, you’ll need to branch out. The first place to start looking is at a general sporting goods store. Although they aren’t specialized in swimming accessories, they still offer better quality products and a wider selection than superstores.

The downside of buying swim gear at a generalized sports store is that you’re unlikely to find a swimming expert on staff to advise you, and they may not carry all the top brands you’re looking for.

Ultra-specialized shops

You’ll definitely find what you’re looking for at a swimming and water sports pro shop. Though aquatic sports supply stores are harder to come by, you can locate one by doing a little research or by asking training partners. Usually specialty stores are found in malls and shopping centres, so if you live outside the city it may be more difficult to find one.

Online boutiques

There’s a myriad of online sports shops with everything you could possibly need. They are a one-stop-shop where serious swimmers can find a range of ultra-specialized equipment from the best manufacturers.

Online stores have a huge selection of gear. Since location is a non-issue, you can have the latest state-of-art equipment used by athletes and Olympians delivered right to your door.

While on the subject of Internet shopping, don’t forget to check out the online classifieds for deals. They are a terrific place to find the gear you’re looking at an affordable price.

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