The above shot was taken by an old friend, Tracy Barbutes, at her Masters team’s annual Halloween practice in 2009. For more stunning shots of swimming and life, check out the MastersSwimmersBlog.com and TracyBarbutes.com
Halloween has become big business. Reports were that Halloween-themed sales nationwide were up 15% this year. While some kids like to dress up like Tinkerbells, ghosts, firemen, and any other number of traditional beings, swimmers (as we all know) are of a different breed. Swimmers like to stick to what we know, however the traditional brief “Speedo” costume (or jammer – kids these days) just isn’t creative enough to win any costume contests.
Luckily, swimmers like to go to some serious lengths to jazz-up their aquatic-themed ensembles. Check out our top 5 best Halloween costumes below, including some great reader-submitted photos.
6. Synchronized Swimmer – Put on some big flowery headgear and a swim-suit, and you’re all-set to go! For maximum effect, travel in groups and step in unison (boom box optional). Of course, there is an individual synchronized-swimming competition, but not everybody is as aquatically well-informed as readers of The Swimmers’ Circle.
5. Water Polo Player – This one is a favorite amongst college fraternities, I’ve found. Every year while I was in college, there would be some frat guy contacting the water polo team trying to raid caps as a part of their Halloween costume. Apparently, the shock-value of showing up at a party with 12 square-inches of fabric on their body is not enough, and the addition of the funny hat really complete the look.
4. Shark Bait – For the swimmer who wishes that they worked just a little bit harder on those sprint sets in practice, we offer you sharkbait! For the older kids, add some blood and guts to really get some rave reviews.
3. Michael Phelps – Not just any swimmer will do. It has to be THE swimmer. And for a list within a list, the top-5 ways to differentiate yourself as Michael Phelps rather than another, more generic swimmer:
5. Carry a blank-check from Speedo
4. Constantly flip-flop on the status of your facial hair
3. 8 matching gold medals
2. Trick-or-treat with Miss California
1. Trick-or-treat with Ashley Finestone.
2. Mutant Zombie Swimmer – This shot is of Jake, an age-group swimmer at Power for Life Aquatics in Katy, Texas. The reported inspiration is the feeling he has at the end of a tough (former Ian Crocker coach) Sharon Power practice. I think that most of our readers can probably relate to the feeling of being the “walking dead” during Christmas training! This one is more of a social commentary on the life of a swimmer than anything else.
1. Swim Coach – Perhaps the scariest of all, a swim coach! Imagine the shock when Erik Wiken, head coach of Heartland Aquatics, stepped onto deck at a meet over the weekend and thought he’d gone through the hot tub time machine. The details of the mimicry are stunning, down to the stopwatch hanging out of the pocket. What you can’t see here is that the pair walked around the deck all day carrying identical cups of Gatorade in their right hands. The younger-version (also Jake, coincidentally) shaved his and his little brothers’ head and stuck it to his face with vasoline to create the beard – now that’s dedication to the costume! Oh, and Jake swam 4 best times on Sunday to boot.