Swimsuit, Check.  Swim Cap, Check.  Goggles, Check?

Swimsuit, Check. Swim Cap, Check. Goggles, Check?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

When we came across this information, “The all-new Arena Cobra Ultra Mirror Goggle is a Fina-approved racing goggle,” we were curious as to how and why goggles needs to be approved for FINA competitions.

We understand why swimsuits for competition are reviewed, tested and approved by FINA.  In order to level the field of competition, the type of materials, compression panels and coverage should be standardized so no swimmer has a distinct advantage over other swimmers.  Years ago, high tech swimsuits used to be customized for certain Olympic swimmers in order to enhance their speed and buoyancy.

Note #1: Fina Rule SW 10.8 “No swimmer shall be permitted to use or wear any device or swimsuit that may aid his/her speed, buoyancy or endurance during a competition (such as webbed gloves, flippers, fins, power bands, or adhesive substances, etc.). Goggles may be worn. Any kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by FINA Sport Medicine Committee.”

We also understand why swim caps are reviewed, tested and approved by FINA for the same reason.

Note #2: We do not exactly understand why pool swimmers can wear two swim caps in competition and open water swimmers can wear only one swim cap in FINA competitions, especially when FINA allows wetsuits in the open water when the water temperature falls below 20°C (68°F).

But we wonder how FINA reviews, tests, judges and approves goggles so that they do not aid speed, buoyancy or endurance.  If there were some goggles that did improve speed, buoyancy or endurance, it would be our guess that those goggles – outside of FINA competitions and sanctioned channel swims – would be quite popular.

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Steven Munatones