Explore the different swimming equipment and accessories as well as their purposes

Explore the different swimming equipment and accessories as well as their purposes

Helix Odhiambo
April 19, 2024 at 2:52 AM

Swimming is a recreational activity enjoyed by people of different ages and cultures. It is also a sport where athletes compete in numerous competitions, including the Olympics. People use different swimming equipment for safety and comfort.

Swimming equipment
Gregorio Paltrinieri (L) of Italy swims in May 2020. A scuba diver (R) next to an Orange Elephant Ear Sponge in December 2007. Photo: Reinhard, Andrea Staccioli (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

Swimming is a great way to stay fit and healthy. Proper training and technique are required to navigate through water. The right swimming equipment and gear maximise your performance and comfort as a swimmer. Tools like swim goggles, fins, and hand paddles contribute significantly to swimming techniques, strength, length, and fun.

List of swimming equipment and facilities

Whether a beginner or expert, you must understand the swimming equipment and its uses before deciding which one to buy. This article lists swimming equipment names and pictures from Justswim, Swim Tech, and other reliable sources.

Swimming equipment and gear


Pull buoys


Safety rings

Swim vest

Swim belt

Armbands or water wings

Hand paddles

Swim fins

Swim goggles

10. Snorkels

Rihanna snorkelling in Italy
Rihanna snorkels on 8 July 2012 in Portofino, Italy. Photo: Jacopo Raule
Source: Getty Images

Swim snorkels are essential swimming equipment that reduce water resistance. They allow swimmers to focus on their strokes without lifting their heads. Popular models include the FINIS Swimmer's Snorkel, FINIS Stability Snorkel, Speedo Bullethead Snorkel, and Arena Pro III Swim Snorkel.

9. Pull buoys

A pull buoy
A pull buoy pictured on 10 July 2019. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette
Source: Getty Images

Pull buoys are swimming aids that help isolate the upper body by eliminating the kick. This allows athletes to focus on using only their upper body for propulsion. The gear improves technique, increases endurance, and adds variety to swim workouts.

Proper use of a pull buoy involves placing it between the upper thighs to promote a better body position by keeping the hips and body flat in the water.

8. Kickboards

Wild swimming equipment
Kickboards are among the most essential swimming equipment. Photo: @Arena New Zealand, @Leswim Kickboard (modified by author)
Source: Facebook

Kickboards help swimmers to improve their training and skills. They focus on leg movements, build leg, hip, and stomach strength, and enhance kick endurance and speed. Kickboards also help with body alignment and ankle strength.

7. Safety rings

Swimming equipment and gears
Swimmers carrying giant rubber rings in Scarborough, England. Photo: In Pictures Ltd
Source: Getty Images

Safety rings are one of the best open water swimming equipment popularly used by families with young kids who are going swimming. They allow children to float and keep water from their faces, reducing the risk of water getting into their mouths or nose.

6. Swimming vest

What items do you need for swimming?
Two female swimmers wearing protective all-over hoods and safety vests on the beach on 5 July 2016 in Shangdong Province, China. Photo: Feature China
Source: Getty Images

Swimming vests help people float on water and move around. They allow children more movement on water than safety rings. Wearing swim vests gives people confidence in water. They are also one of the easiest swimming equipment to use.

5. Swimming belt

Importance of swimming equipment
Swimming belts help build strength and improve endurance. Photo: @Women'swimwear (modified by author)
Source: Facebook

Swim belts are often used to teach swimming lessons in deeper water. They are not the easiest gear to use. People adjust the belt around their waist before diving into the water. There are different types of swim belts, which are adjustable and adaptable to all bodies.

4. Armbands or water wings

A Bavarian boy with arm bands
A Bavarian boy with arm bands participates in a swimming course during the kick-off event for the "Bavaria swims" campaign on 11 July 2022, Bavaria, Geretsried. Photo: Sven Hoppe
Source: Getty Images

Arm bands or water wings are one of the most commonly used swimming aids by children. They are relatively cheap and easy to use. The equipment helps to keep children afloat in the water whilst allowing them to kick and move about the pool independently.

3. Hand paddles

Open water swimming equipment
Alessio Proietti Colonna of Italy swims with hand paddles during his second training session on 9 May 2020. Photo: Andrea Staccioli/LightRocke
Source: Getty Images

Hand paddles, known as swim paddles, are popular swimming equipment that enhance performance, technique, and strength. They increase water resistance, making arm muscles work harder, leading to improved stroke efficiency and a more powerful pull through the water.

2. Swim fins

Swimming equipment and gears
A German Underwater Club Cologne (DUC Köln) member in Westphalia, Cologne, adjusting her fins on 26 May 2022. Photo: Thomas Banneyer
Source: Getty Images

The equipment helps people learn to swim faster and more robustly. Swim fins increase field swim times and body position, but they can also be used to swim faster without them. They boost speed, efficiency, leg strength, and body position.

1. Swim goggles

James Hickman of Great Britain
James Hickman of Great Britain with black goggles during the Men's 200 metre butterfly event at the European Swimming Championships on 30 July 1999 in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Alex Livesey
Source: Getty Images

Swim goggles are essential sea swimming equipment. They provide eye protection, clear vision, a water barrier, and comfort. The correct goggles depend on the lens type, peripheral vision, antifog properties, and comfortability.


Wild swimming gear for outdoor water adventures includes tempo trainers, swimsuits, drag suits, wetsuits, and earplugs. These tools offer a fulfilling water experience while ensuring safety and maintaining focus. Here are other facts about the swim gear.

What items do you need for swimming?

Before diving into the water, you must bring several items for the best possible experience at the pool. According to the Swimming website, the items needed include swimwear, towels, a robe, a swim cap, and goggles. You would also need toiletries, hair clips, poolside shoes, a water bottle, and snacks.

What is cold water swimming equipment?

According to the Expansive Adventure, some recommended gear for cold water experience include wetsuits, changing robes and coats, swimming socks and shoes, hats, gloves, and boot warmers.

What is the importance of swimming equipment?

Swimming gear helps people have a wonderful experience in the water. It ensures safety and comfort and enhances excellent techniques.

What is the best swimming equipment for beginners?

Beginners should use essential tools to help them learn to swim without struggling. Some of the best tools for them, as suggested by Sports advice, include goggles, caps, earplugs, arm floats, and a kickboard.


Having learnt about some of the best swimming equipment and its uses, it is crucial to take your time to identify what you need to help you achieve your aquatic aspirations. The tools serve various purposes, including strengthening muscles and enhancing technique.

READ ALSO: How to do a backstroke: A detailed guide on how to perfect this swimming technique

Sports Brief discussed how to do a backstroke, including the best techniques to perfect the style. Backstroke is one of the most taught swimming techniques. The style tests one's speed, endurance, strength, and skills. Some learn backstroke to prepare for a competition, exercise, or safety. Follow the above link to learn more about the technique.

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.