What Is Active Swimwear

With the rise of the multi athlete, we’re all doing more and expecting more from our workouts. We’re running, jumping, swimming, stretching, cycling, climbing…. And we’re apparently loving it. The continual rise and growth of workouts like F45, boot-camps and Crossfit have given validity to the idea of variety in training, and it makes sense. Variety keeps us interested in our programs, it keeps the body guessing and metabolisms firing, and it exposes us to a broader spectrum of skills and challenges.

Finding apparel solutions to keep up with our thirst for health is almost as hard as the workouts themselves. There are great activewear brands, but unfortunately their material rots in salt water and chlorine. By the same token, there are swimwear and surf brands revolutionising their sports, that stay wet and retain moisture for hours after use.

This is where active swimwear comes to the party, allowing athletes to sweat, swim and train comfortably, not matter what the workout. That’s not to suggest that we all have to participate in every single sport during your workout, but how great would it be to have that option? To have that one piece that you can reach for that can handle whatever active pursuit you wanted to tackle each day, and not only be unlimited by what you’re wearing, but to have a technical piece that can support and enhance your exercise. Every fitness enthusiasts dream.

For the uninitiated, active swimwear is a hybrid concept, bringing together fashions’ two faster growing sectors; activewear and swimwear. Drawing from technical elements from both categories, a new category has been formed, incorporating quick drying, breathable fabrics, compression, functional designs, non-rust zips and finishes, and style.

For men, this means that instead of training in your crusty board-shorts and risking rashes forming in the worst of places, you can workout in material that is lightweight, breathable, and has a four way stretch to accommodate any plane of movement. On the flip side, it also means no need to ruin footy shorts in the chlorine or salt when wanting to incorporate swims into working out or recovery, by providing a solution that can handle both.

On a broader spectrum, details such as above knee length shorts that don’t catch on the knee during a squat/surf/lunge, and compression underwear to aid performance and recovery, participants can experience enhancements in their performance thanks to often overlooked technical details.

With ladies in mind, active swimwear provides the function, support and style is derived from both activity in the gym and the pool. The compression capabilities aid muscle recovery, movement and support where it’s needed, while moisture management keep dry in workouts, and dries them quickly after a dip. In addition to performance elements, style will always continue to be a huge factor in purchasing decisions, and the hybrid allows for evolution of traditional crop top and bikini style shapes, again drawing from two exploding categories in the fashion world.

As excitement around the new category builds, it’s the brands that know their consumers and their behaviours that will continue to innovate and pioneer this new category, the ones that listen and respond to the needs of the market rather than dictate the terms.

Active swimwear is a category that isn’t dictating how the market should train, and that’s just the point. It’s facilitating athletes from all walks (or runs) of life, by providing the technology that allows for uninhibited exercise. You wanted to do it all, and now you can.

Images by Heidi Hannele for ALL I SEA.