Essential Swimming Equipment for Triathlon

If you’re new to triathlon and/or swimming, this list will help you get the right gear to participate in a swim squad or complete triathlon specific swim sessions.

  • Swimming cap: Silicon is best due to durability & comfort. Keeps the hair out of your eyes & your head warm.
  • Goggles: Look for something that fits your eyes/face and will stay on your head even in rough conditions. Also consider the environment you will be swimming in & whether you need a tinted lens.
  • Water bottle: include some electrolyte if you are doing >2 big sessions in the day or if swimming >90mins with intensity.
  • Kit bag: a bag that is made of mesh to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Fins/Flippers: Look for something that fits well, short in length to reduce chance of ankle/knee injury & promote a strong kick.
  • Pull Buoy: That floatation device between your legs. Designed to replicate a wetsuit swimming position & isolate upper body for strength sets. The shape of this is personal preference, but you should aim for something that will support your body weight in the water without providing too much resistance/drag force.
  • Paddles: These come in various sizes & shapes. Aim for something that suits your swimming experience, strength & risk of injury. A general rule is the smaller the paddle, the less force you will require to push it through the water & therefore the less strength you will build. If you are a weaker or injury prone swimmer, stick to a small paddle, roughly the size of your hand or slightly larger.
  • Band: This is usually a piece of rubber (or we use bike tyres) tied into a circle to place around your ankles. The aim is to prevent you kicking therefore increasing the resistance/drag making swimming harder.
  • Snorkel: A great piece of gear to use to perfect your swim stroke without having to worry about breathing. Get one that is positioned in front of your head (not the tourist one to the side). Some people prefer to use a nosepiece as well.


  • Forearm Fulcrum: a device to place on your arm to maintain a “high elbow” position in the pull & recovery phase of your stroke. To purchase check here.
  • Spare goggles & caps: Always handy if you or one of your swim mates has a “blow out”.
  • Sun Protection: Apply at least 10-15mins before entering the water.
  • Wetsuit: A must if swimming for longer that 10mins in cool water conditions & a helpful tool if you are a weaker swimmer. Make sure the wetsuit fits snugly to avoid filling with extra water. Apply lube on neck & underarms to avoid chafing. GPC’s recommended wetsuit supplied is Volare Sports.