The Costly Nature of Swimming: From Suits to Food, the Dollars Add Up


The Costly Nature of Swimming: From Suits to Food, the Dollars Add Up

In the eyes of a non-swimmer, swimming is a seemingly inexpensive sport. Sure, swimming may not have all the bells and whistles as many other sports (for instance, you don’t need to own a Formula One race car, or horse.) However, looks can be deceiving and the costs begin to add up, especially during competition season. The following is a comprehensive list of where that money goes and an argument for why swimming may not be as cheap as one might assume.

Tech Suits

tyr-venzo-tech-suit-for-swimmersFirst one out of the gate. The big one. Perhaps the most important purchase of a swimmer’s career. Every swimmer who has competed in a tech suit has felt the magic, the indescribable aura woven into the fabric that makes you feel like you can conquer the world (perhaps a little excessive, but you get the point). The bottom line is, they’re pricey. And they never last quite as long as you hope they will. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent on tech suits alone (or how much money I’ll continue to spend over the years). The worst part is they’re fragile. Most swimmers have ripped a suit or know someone who has. It hurts your heart. And your wallet. Total cost: Anywhere between $99-$600 depending on the brand, technology, etc.

Practice Suits

While the cost for a single practice suit is significantly less than that of a high-quality tech suit, most swimmers have a few of these in rotation. They can easily become lost or damaged. Many brands have fun or limited-edition patterns that swimmers are dying to get their hands on. Total cost: Roughly $20-$80 depending on the brand.


This category is broad because it encompasses so much. Often, swimmers who are more serious about their careers have explored some method of recovery, including, but not limited to: Rollers, compression sleeves, massages, etc. Recovery is an essential component of athletics and, occasionally, a very expensive one. Total cost: Too broad to speculate.

Swim Camps

Participating in a swim camp or clinic can yield countless positive benefits. Swimmers who are looking to become more serious about the sport can learn from experts in the field and gain unprecedented knowledge. For younger or less experienced athletes, a swim camp can be a fun way to develop a new passion or engage in physical activity. Some camps offer room and board, which ups the price even more. Regardless of the type of camp you choose, cost certainly plays a role and contributes to the ever-growing list of swimming-related expenses. Total cost: Approximately $99-$1000+


This category is deceptive because, oftentimes, swimmers rarely consider the cost of a new cap or pair of goggles. I recall the rude awakening I received the first time I had to pay for a pair of vanquishers. While equipment may not be as costly of an expense as other aspects of the sport, it is easily misplaced or damaged. My record for caps broken in a single season was 13, and I’ve lost more than my share of goggles. Then you consider the capabilities of different goggles, ones that provide metrics in real-time such as pace, time, and distance. The technological advancements of “smart goggles” have certainly increased the overall cost of swimming.  Total cost: Roughly $5-$200


I’ve taken the liberty of saving – arguably – the best category for last: Food. Swimmers will spend copious amounts of money on food throughout their training. It’s a given at this point. Between the hours of swimming, dryland training, weightlifting, you work up a pretty big appetite (and check.) Total cost: Infinite.

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Simpson Judi
1 year ago

You have missed the biggest expense and that is fees,flights,entry fees, driving 1 to 2 times daily to pools. There are the inevitable commitments for parents in volunteering at fund raising, billeting, working meets, it can be a challenge. The reward is to watch the growth of a child fining themselves which has so many rewards and goal setting. What I have seen how it transformed them into pretty incredible adults. Priceless.

Miller Lenice
1 year ago
Reply to  Simpson Judi


1 year ago

Exactly what Judi said!