For information on ordering gear, see the Forms page.
A Few Thoughts About Swim Gear...
Goggles are a vital part of the swimming uniform, much like shoes are for walking. For practices, comfort and fit are the primary attributes for making a selection. Moderately priced goggles often use softer and more durable rubber than their cheaper counterparts, so don't be fooled by price differences. Even for practice goggles, we trust brands that outfit athletes of all ages: Speedo, Tyr, Nike, etc. -- or find a pair of goggles that you can feel prior to purchasing, to ensure that they will be soft and confortable, since this will also provide a better seal to keep water out.
Racing goggles have similar requirements, but finding the right pair for your swimming can be a daunting task with so many options available, so we are listing our recommendation to make things easier: Speedo Vanquisher Goggles – The Vanquisher goggles are well suited for racing, and fit the majority of faces. It comes with three different sized nose pieces, small, medium, and large. Though the nose piece takes some manipulation (and sometimes needle-nosed pliers) to change, once in place it will not move. The strap is easy to adjust and does not slip. The goggles last quite a long time, and if every swimmer gives their unused nose pieces to the coaches, then we will have spares in the right sizes in case the nose piece breaks. The Vanquishers come in a variety of options including:
- Color Tinted – Allows good visibility for all strokes, best all-weather selection.
- Junior – smaller eye piece for smaller faces. Every other part is the same.
- Mirrored - great for backstrokers, highly recommended for age group nine and above.
- Clear – Highest visibility, good practice goggles for older groups swimming after dusk.
- 2.0 – Extra Dark Mirrored for light-sensitive eyes
- Prescription: the highest quality, lowest cost prescription goggles on the market.
As swimmers begin to wear in their goggles it is important to purchase another pair before they are needed. A swimmer should wear a new pair of goggles for at least a few days before using them at a meet, making sure they are properly fitted and dive-tested. Older swimmers will often keep one racing pair, fitted tighter and designed for daytime racing, and one practice pair, looser with higher visibility. Younger swimmers should avoid mirrored goggles during practice, since knowing where a swimmer is looking while swimming communicates important information to the coaches.
Caps are recommended to all swimmers for meets, and for practice if the swimmer's hair is longer than their eyebrows. The purpose of caps is three-fold. First, keeping hair securely away from the swimmer's face allows for easier breathing, better head position, and therefore better body position for all strokes. Second, it allows for a sleek feeling in the water, suitable for fast practices, time trials and meets. We recommend for swimmer to wear their caps for two practices prior to meets, to get used to the change in feeling and hearing. Also, if possible, we recommend marking caps with a name or initials with permanent markers so lost-and-found caps can be more easily returned.
Latex Caps - These cheaper caps can be good for swimmers with shorter hair, who don't use them as often. They stay in place a bit better, but can sometimes pull hair as you put them on. They require more maintenance and care, but can be a blessing if you have a swimmer who often misplaces things. Swimmers usually take them off between races, or use baby powder on the inside of the cap for comfort and care.
- Silicone Caps - These quality caps last longer, fit more comfortably, and require very little maintenance. Turn them inside out and throw them in you bag to dry out. Put your name on the inside somewhere with a sharpee to make sure it doesn't get lost.
- Eichler team caps may be available for purchase from the Gator Gear Coordinator.
Caps take some getting used to, and sometimes take two people to put on. Ask the coaches or a seasoned teammate for help. If your swimmer is having trouble hearing, flip up one side to expose the ear (at a meet, the one towards the starter).
Suits come in such a large variety, and almost everything is good. Boys have options of Speedos (briefs) or Jammers (like biker shorts); avoid swim trunks because they cause excessive and unnecessary drag which can be difficult on younger swimmers. Girls can wear almost any one-piece suit; look for suits with a shoulder strap at least half an inch wide for durability. Check you child's suit occasionally to make sure it is not becoming translucent, especially in the posterior. Remember, a wet suit looks even more see-through than if it's dry.
For age group swimmers nine and older, we suggest wearing two practice suits at the same time. The under suit is usually newer, and fits more snugly. The outer suit is usually a worn and stretched suit formally used as an under suit, and it helps protect the newer suit from unnecessary wear and tear. This outer suit, called a “drag suit,” helps increase the lifespan of your swimwear, and adds the right amount of resistance for training.
Team members are not required to purchase an Eichler Gator suit, but most do and the sea of matching suits really builds team spirit and makes it much easier to identify Eichler swimmers. We suggest you only use your team suit for swim meets, and otherwise keep it in dry, clean storage. You can wear the suit to practice the day prior to the meet to make sure that it fits and feels right prior to racing. Team suits can be ordered through the Gator Gear Coordinator. Please remember to mark the swim suit tag with a name or initials with permanent markers so lost-and-found suits can be more easily returned.