SwimSwam Pulse: 56.2% Support Age-Based Tech Suit Ban

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers whether tech suit use should be restricted at younger ages:


Question: Should there be bans on tech suits in younger age groups?

  • Yes – 56.2%
  • No – 43.8%

Votes were very split on this issue, with just 62 more votes favoring bans than opposing them. The issue of tech suits for young swimmers seems to arise every time we report on a National Age Group record for swimmers in the 11-12 or 10 & Under age groups. The main concerns are generally money-based – having tech suits legal in younger age groups can cause parents to spend more on tech suits that kids will potentially outgrow in a short amount of time, and some caution that allowing tech suits gives an unfair advantage to swimmers from wealthier families.

Others argue, though, that there is no rule requiring tech suits, meaning families that want to buy them are able to, while swimmers who swim without tech suits can still see the progressions in their own times and make improvements up until they reach an age where they want to use tech suits. The main counterargument, of course, is that if tech suits help boost the times of enough swimmers nationwide, cut times for major meets go down, indirectly making it more difficult for non-suited swimmers to keep up.

Our next poll is sure to be just as contentious, at least based on the comment section of our Top 10 Swim of 2016 Swammy Award. Below, cast your vote for the best individual swim of 2016, excluding relay swims and relay splits.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters to pick the best individual swim of the year 2016:

What was the best swim of 2016? (excluding relay splits)

View Results

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Founded in 2004, A3 Performance has a history of developing quality, innovative products at a great price. A3 Performance is the fastest growing brand of competitive swimwear in the United States, driven to innovate the sport of swimming and motivated to help swimmers reach their goals. We are The Performance Swimwear Company.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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bobo gigi
4 years ago

Again, where is Katie Ledecky’s 400 free world record?
It should be in the list.
She has improved her own world record by 1.91s in Rio.
“Only” by 1.89s over the double distance which was at the end of a long week.
While both records are amazing, I prefer the 400 free. It seems slightly better for me. 3.56.46, that’s insane. I doubt she will break it again in the future while I think she can still gain 1 or 2 seconds in the 800 free being fresher.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

I’m positive she can break it someday

4 years ago

So, we’re getting to a point where we will let a child decide their sexual identity based on feelings but yet when it comes to a suit to swim in, they’re too young to make that decision.

Reply to  OTTalk
4 years ago

If we want swimming to be more welcoming and affordable to all, then should we encourage a world where the rich 9, 10, 11 and 12 year olds make the podium in $700 suits? Even at a recent highschool meet, the wealthy schools all had school-provided tech suits for every girl, and the poorer schools had none. Guess who won?

Reply to  OTTalk
4 years ago

The evidence is increasingly pointing to gender and sexual orientation not being a decision. Even so, I personally don’t think it’s right to conflate that particular “decision” with one regarding sports attire.

It doesn’t have to be black and white as far as regulating everything vs. regulating nothing. Let kids live their lives as long as they aren’t hurting anyone, and make a rule keeping the playing field even in swimming. I don’t see why those should be mutually exclusive.

Eddie Rowe
4 years ago

Liberty vs common sense. I think there’s a lot in the “NO” column that really also believe young kids *shoudn’t* be wearing tech suits, but believe that this is America, and we’ll buy whatever we want to buy, goshdarnit. Personally, I want to bang my head on my desk when I read the reviews sections of tech suits on swimoutlet, and half of them are written by parents who bought it for their 12-under. But, I’m not going to tell anyone they can’t, just that they shouldn’t.

Reply to  Eddie Rowe
4 years ago

Beware the naked man who offers you the shirt off his back.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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