How to Choose Athletic Swimsuits


Whether you’re stand up paddle boarding, surfing or swimming laps at the pool, you’ll want a swimsuit that fits well, moves with you and stays put. Finding the right active swimwear will depend on a number of personal choices: how active you plan to be, how much support you need or how much skin you want to show.

Luckily, the range of swimsuit styles, patterns and silhouettes available makes it easy to find a suit that’s flattering and functional.

When choosing a swimsuit for your favorite water activities, consider the following four factors:

  1. Choose your swimwear style based on your activity: How you’ll move and how much sun exposure you’ll face will help guide your choices. If you spend a lot of time ducking under waves, for example, pick a one-piece suit or a top with racerback or thick crisscross straps so your suit will stay secure.   
  1. Decide how much coverage you want and where you want it: For example, if you plan to spend the day at the beach sunbathing and snorkeling, you might choose a rashguard and board shorts that you can pull over a sporty bikini when you’re ready to limit your sun exposure.
  1. Decide what fabric and design features you want: Quick-drying fabrics make it easy to go from playing in the water to lounging poolside. Zipped board-short pockets come in handy for holding essentials while you’re out on your paddle board.

  1. Find a style that’s comfortable: You want to spend more time focusing on your water activity and less time adjusting your bottoms or making sure your top stays put. Whenever you can, it’s best to try the suit on and move around in it to find a good fit and make sure it doesn’t ride up.

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