Swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding (SUP), fishing, and more. Swimwear is a must for water sports and hot summer days. Check out our tips and suggestions for the perfect swimsuit brands for any body of water.
Originally, the swimsuit, or the bathing dress, was used to cover the body rather than to provide support.
The modern swimsuit, with its current fitted design, made an entrance in the 20th century.
In addition to covering certain parts of the body that you wish to conceal, the swimsuit serves to reduce friction and optimize underwater movement and swimming efficiency. It also provides the support needed for certain water sports such as swimming, surfing, diving, scuba diving, water skiing, and others.
The swimsuit is also useful when doing certain water sports such as fishing and kayaking, because the synthetic fibers that make up the swimsuits dry quickly and generally remain comfortable even when wet.
If you’re going for a leisurely swim or low-intensity water activity, you can choose a bikini, one-piece or tankini for women, or board shorts or boxer briefs for men. The pieces can be casual and offer just enough coverage.
If you’re going fishing or kayaking, you can put on the swimsuit of your choice under your floatation jacket if the weather permits.
If you want to surf, play volleyball, actively swim, or paddleboard (SUP), look for a rash guard or well-fitting, athletic cut swimsuit that gives you a good fit, increased freedom of movement, sufficient support, and some coverage from UV radiation.
A positive thing to consider about long-sleeved bathing suits is that they cover the skin and better protect you from the sun’s rays. This feature is ideal if you’re looking to be out on the water all day.
When it comes to a wetsuit, designed in neoprene, it is suitable for when the water temperatures are cooler (from 6 to 24 degrees celsius), as they help to protect you from the cold. Opt for this one if you could be dipping your body almost completely into the water. Note that different lengths and widths exist, as well as water shoes for keeping your feet covered.
Finally, a dry suit won’t help you conserve your body heat, but it will keep you absolutely dry. This is useful if you’re heading out kayaking, rafting, or heading down the river during the off season.
Five swimsuit brands to check out
Features and distinctive elements: Classic cuts are accessible and suit a variety of body types, the neutral and timeless colours will last through the seasons, the quality of the swimwear allows for durability, the pieces are versatile and designed for a variety of water activities, the design is done in Montreal, Quebec, the selection of swimwear is good for the whole family, and there are leggings and shorts available for women. Some models, including the Tulum, Tahiti and Offshore swimsuits, offer sun protection.
Materials: the majority of swimsuits are made of jersey knit, a mix of 82% nylon and 18% elastane, polyester and elastane.
Features and distinctive elements: This Californian brand has been popular among surfers and water sport enthusiasts with its swimsuits, rash guards, and wetsuits since its inception in 1953. In addition to being colourful, the pieces fit the body perfectly, and some aquatic garments, such as the rashguards, have UV protecting properties.
Materials: most swimsuits are made of nylon, polyamide and elastane.
Women: extra small (XS) to extra large (XL) (some styles have cup sizes that go up to DD)
Features and distinctive elements: the brand has just made its debut at SAIL, the prints are reminiscent of vacations in the sun, the pieces are exclusively for women and 75% of the styles are made of recycled fibers. The brand offers a long-sleeved rash guard shirt with a hood.
Materials: Most swimsuits are made of nylon, elastane, polyester and recycled polyester.
Features and distinctive elements: This Australian brand, established in 1969, offers swimwear for surf and water enthusiasts, with California and marine inspired designs, a majority of pieces made from recycled plastic, and the versatility to go from the sea to the beach without worry.
Materials: The board shorts are made of high-performance, recycled fabric with four-way stretch and made from recycled PET plastic bottles.
Men: small (S) to extra, extra large (XXL) and from 28 to 28, depending on the style
Boys: small (S) to extra large (XL) and from 22 to 30, depending on the style
Salty Crew swimsuits
Features and distinctive elements: The brand offers long-sleeved protective swimsuits with a hood, the patterns echo fish and marine plants, the pieces are ultra-resistant, breathable and intended for those who need tough quality, like fishing fanatics and some even offer protection against UV rays.
Materials: Rash guard shirts and shorts are made of polyester, and Repreve®, a high performance, stretchy, quick-drying recycled fabric.
Men: small (S) to extra, extra large (XXL) and from 30 to 40, depending on the style
Boys: small (S) to extra large (XL) and from 22 to 28, depending on the style
Swimsuits: Most frequently-asked questions
How should you wash a swimsuit? Once you have completed your water activity, rinse your swimsuit well under cold water. Place it in a mesh bag before putting it in the washing machine; choose a delicate cycle, use a mild soap and opt for cold water. Let it dry flat.
What size swimsuit should you pick? Don’t hesitate to consult the size guide of the brands you are interested in and go to the store to have a proper fitting. The swimsuit should be just snug enough to avoid slipping, but still give you freedom of movement.
Is it possible to wear a swimsuit under a wetsuit? Yes, the choice is yours. Wetsuits can create friction on the skin, so wearing a swimsuit can reduce the discomfort. Also, if you plan to remove your wetsuit once you reach your destination, wearing a swimsuit may be a good idea if you want to be able to remove your wetsuit without discomfort.