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THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

Swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, nose clip... Here's the equipment you need to make the most of this highly demanding discipline!

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

Because no swimmer wants to find themselves performing a four-minute routine without a nose clip (I'll let you discover Justine's anecdote below), or in a swimsuit that doesn't stay in place... Here are our tips telling you everything you need to know about the essential accessories for artistic swimming.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL: YOUR SWIMSUIT

For artistic swimming, you will need a comfortable, light swimsuit that provides good support (especially for the bust). The two selection criteria: shape and material. Swimsuits with an “X” back and a high-cut leg are the most used in synchro because they allow greater freedom of movement.

As for the material, choose a swimsuit containing as little elastane as possible since it is not chlorine resistant. Instead, go for polyester or polybutylene (PBT), which is more difficult to put on but will last longer!

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

THE WINNING TRIO: SWIM CAP / GOGGLES / NOSE CLIP

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

SWIM CAP

Mandatory in every pool! First of all for hygienic reasons but, for synchro, also for practical reasons.

Upside down with your feet out of the water vertically or eggbeating with both arms raised, your hair must not get in your way, which is why a swim cap is essential. Choose a silicone cap so that it properly fits your head.

Our tip: If you are used to putting leave-in detangler on your hair, remember to rinse it before putting on your silicone cap, otherwise it will feel as if it is falling off the whole time… And that's speaking from experience!

GOGGLES

There are several options to choose from here!

The so-called “Swedish” goggles, which have the particularity of being self-assembled, are particularly appreciated by experienced synchro swimmers. Consisting of goggles, a nose bridge and an elastic band around your head, you can easily assemble goggles that fit the shape of your head. They do not have lens frames, so they offer the greatest field of vision, a quality much sought after if you swim in a team. Finally, another good argument: they are among the cheapest goggles on the market.

If you are a beginner and are looking for a more comfortable model but which remains watertight, we recommend using the “suction cup test”, which in a few seconds will allow you to identify the model that suits your face.

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING
THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

NOSE CLIP

Unless you have a natural ability to close your nose in the water like Virginie Dedieu (triple world champion in solo artistic swimming and Decathlon technical partner), you will undoubtedly need a nose clip. This small object is essential for practising artistic swimming, since it prevents water from entering your nostrils in all “upside down” positions underwater. It will quickly become your new best friend! To choose it, take into account several factors such as shape, size and colour.

The most common shape in synchro swimming worldwide is the 'Stainless steel Latex' nose clip It provides the most secure fit and the stainless steel lower section is also adjustable. Just as with goggles, if you are a beginner, choose a slightly more comfortable and practical model, which is the case with the floating nose clip, which young swimmers will appreciate finding on the surface if they lose it. The choice of shape is highly personal and will probably be based on experience. Borrow nose clips from your team-mates to try them all before making your choice ‌

Size S or M, it is important to try to find out your nose size and therefore your nose clip. You have to choose the right size so that it is well suited to your nose, that it closes your nostrils enough without hurting you.

‌The colour It all depends on how discreet you want this little object to be. The most common model is flesh-coloured, but they also come in transparent, grey and even blue…

HOW TO PUT ON YOUR NOSE CLIP ON SO THAT IT FITS WELL

This is Justine, a former swimmer who now works for Decathlon and shares her experience... “We had a routine to the music of the film Vidocq (which did not really make much of an impact...). Someone had the idea on the day of the competition to make up our faces silver grey, in reference to the Vidocq mask.

And it was a botch... just as we were diving, the nose clip slipped off. And we had a four-minute routine to do under the gaze of the judges... We ended up on the second step of the podium, but I cannot say I had a great time. "From this anecdote, we can easily draw two good bits of advice:

1. Always test your make-up and accessories before the day and forget those (not so) good last-minute ideas.

2. Avoid oily creams and make-up on and around the nose :)

Afterwards, you are of course free to place the accessory as you wish. You can put it on from the top, placing the widest part on top of the nose or from below, leaving the widest part under the nose… The most important thing is therefore to put the narrowest part of the nose clip on the high walls of your nose, in order to close your nostrils most effectively.

OUR TIPS FOR A NOSE CLIP THAT STAYS IN PLACE

You can also adjust the size of your nose clip by tightening or loosening the wide metal part. Don't worry about breaking it, it is designed to withstand the adjustment.



If, despite all your precautions, you are still afraid of losing it at the bottom of the pool, you have two options:

- Opt for a nose clip with a built-in strap that you can put around your neck or attach to the strap of your swimsuit. You can make a strap yourself with a string and attach it to your nose clip.

- Choose a floating nose clip. Unlike other nose clips, it floats (as its name suggests) so it is easily identifiable on the surface if you lose it...

Goodbye time spent searching the bottom of the pool for a lost nose clip



!Some swimmers put a few drops of clear nail varnish on their nose before positioning the nose clip (your dermatologist would not recommend it), others wear two at a time, as is the case for some swimmers on the French team.

But the vast majority of us manage this stress by diving with several spare nose clips: around a finger (worn as a ring) or hidden under your swimsuit. You can never have too many so long as you are reassured!

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT FOR ARTISTIC SWIMMING COMPETITIONS

In a competition, there are two types of set events that require completely different equipment.

The compulsory figures event, as its name suggests, consists of performing precise figures before a jury. For this event, only technique counts, that's why it is mandatory to wear a black swimsuit, with no visible logos, and a white swim cap so that no one visually stands out.

Our tip: also take a shammy cloth to dry off after each figure, in addition to your normal towel for the locker room.

The free routine event is much more artistic and, well, free! It is a creative performance choreographed to music, for which you will choose, as a team, a colourful, glittery swimsuit and headpiece to match the theme and music of your routine (a pleasure for creative minds).

You are now equipped and ready to put your synchro talents to the test. Remember, artistic swimming is a sport of expression, so be creative and have fun!

THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO START ARTISTIC SWIMMING

Hélène

My name is Hélène, I'm a former professional swimmer turned volunteer coach and I love artistic swimming! I earned my stripes at my home club in Lille, doing free/technical routine and solo events. During my years as a student I was lucky enough to move around and therefore to see other clubs, including in Italy (the Plebiscito club in Padua). I finally settled in Dordogne a few years ago, where artistic swimming had not made its mark... So I had the pleasure of setting up an artistic swimming club which now has a hundred members!

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