14 Gifts That Swimmers of Any Level Will Actually Use

Written By: Chevron

Looking for gifts that swimmers will actually use this year? The good news is that it’s somewhat easy to shop for a swimmer. Avoid the hassle of getting the wrong gift with these 14 ideas for gifts that your swimmer will actually use. Tried, tested, and approved by yours truly! 😉

Want more gift guides or ideas for swimmers (along with coaches and parents)?  Be sure to check out our other articles: 6 Last-Minute Gifts for Swimmers, Best Pride Gifts for LGBTQ+ Swimmers, 8 Awesome Gift Ideas for Swim Coaches, and, 9 Amazing Gift Ideas for Swim Parents

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Pin image w/ text that reads: 14 gifts that swimmers will actually use.

1. Gift Cards

It may seem lame and like the easy way out to give a gift card but it’s honestly the best gift you can give a swimmer. With hundreds of brands, styles, colors, sizes, and equipment to choose from, it’s hard to get exactly what your swimmer wants. A gift card to their favorite swim shop (such as SwimOutlet, Amazon, or a local swim shop) allows them to get what they need and ensures that it’s right brand, style, color, size, etc.

2. Fitness Trackers

Keeping count of laps is boring and sometimes can be difficult. Using waterproof fitness trackers is a way to help the swimmer in your life not just count laps while swimming but also monitor heartrate, speed, and distance swam. Just make sure they’re rated for waterproof and not water resistant!

A few good options are:

  • Swimmo is a waterproof fitness tracker that is designed specifically for swimmers
  • Garmin Forerunner 935
  • Fitbit Versa 2
  • Apple Watch: My teammates prefer Apple Watches, but more for the ability to check text messages, emails, etc., during practice compared to tracking laps or heartrate 🙂

Related article: 8 Best Waterproof Fitness Trackers for Swimming

3. Waterproof MP3 Players

While I wouldn’t recommend them for competitive swimmers, as the focus should be on training, waterproof MP3 players can be great for lap and leisure swimmers. Keep in mind that MP3 players that connect to headphones via Bluetooth will more than likely cut out or not work well. Radio waves don’t reach well under water, so the sound may cut out during flip turns or further away from the device. Some options to consider are:

  • XTrainerz by Aftershokz and FINIS DUO: Both these products are bone conducting headphones that can be used while you swim. And because they use bone conduction, you can hear your music without the use of earbuds. These work great if you swim with earplugs and can’t wear earbuds.
  • Syryn MP3: This product comes with headphones and the MP3 device, and hook up neatly behind the head. The headphone cable is short enough that it doesn’t tangle when you swim and the MP3 can hold up to 8GB of music. Plenty to get through practice!
  • H2O Audio Surge S: H2O Audio offers a waterproof case for your iPod Shuffle (4th Gen) that also sits behind the head. Pair them with H2O waterproof headphones and listen to music as you swim. They’ve also recently come out with a Bluetooth version that allows you to stream your playlists.
  • Delphin Micro-Tablet: The Delphin tablet is a touchscreen super mini-tablet that lets you listen to music the way you want. Download your favorite music or podcast apps and listen away as you swim.

Related article: 7 Best Waterproof MP3 Players for Swimmers

4. Swim Shampoo

It’s no lie that chlorine and the chemicals in the pool are hard on the hair. Especially if you’re not wearing a swim cap. Swimmers can always use the gift of swim shampoo and other chlorine removing hair products. I’ve used pretty much every brand out there and can say that they work miracles at keeping a swimmer’s hair healthy. You can’t go wrong with:

  • UltraSwim: Tried and true 20 years ago and still working today! Comes in both shampoo and conditioner
  • L’Oreal Swim Shampoo: I used this when I first started swimming. Great for younger swimmers
  • TRISWIM: Love the smell of TRISWIM products and they’re my go to product to use at swim meets because it doesn’t make my hair slippery. Comes in both shampoo and conditioner and small sample packs.
  • TRIHard: My newest find and obsession! Comes in both shampoo and conditioner, and usually comes with small sample packs of their other chlorine removal products.
  • Malibu C: I’ve only used their shampoo before but I liked the smell and would still recommend it to other swimmers

5. Chlorine Removal Body Wash

The chemicals in the pool can also be hard on the skin and not only leaves a lingering odor but also leaves the skin dry. In addition to swim shampoos, consider after swim body wash and/or lotion to help the skin recover. I never thought I would use a chlorine removal body wash but ever since I started using them, it’s hard not to appreciate the lack of (or reduced) chlorine smell after a workout! Some of my favorites are:

  • TRIHard Body Wash: I’m particular to their Extra Boost line, which has menthol to help my muscles cool off and recover better. The body wash contains small scrubbing salts to help cleanse the skin. It’s hands down my favorite body wash to use after a swim!
  • TRISWIM Body Wash: TRISWIM also has a body wash that I’ve found is a bit gentler on the skin but still helps lessen the chlorine smell. It may be a good option for those who swim frequently but aren’t in the water daily
  • Newton Bay Swimmers Soap: I’m not a bar soap type of girl, but I have a teammate who finds that this soap works for them.
Image of a bottle of TRIHard Body Wash with two sample packets of face wash and shampoo sitting on a shower ledge

6. Shammy/Micro-fiber Towel

While shammy’s are typically used by divers, more swimmers should take advantage of them and microfiber towels. I’ve actually gone through 2-3 shammy’s in my swim career because I use them that much!

Shammy’s are small and quick drying towels that dry off swimmers better than towels, while taking up way less space in a swim bag. To use, dunk them in the water first and wring out the excess water before drying off. Keep wringing out the water as you dry yourself off and you’re good to go! Follow up with a microfiber towel, which is absorbent, quick drying, and extremely thin. I never go to a swim meet without both my shammy and microfiber towel.

Related article: 5 Reasons Swimmers Should Own a Shammy

7. Ear Drops

Every swimmer (in my humble opinion) should have ear drops. Ear drops help prevent swimmer’s ears, which can be painful and may require medication. Swimmers should use 1-2 drops in each ear after every workout, whether that’s at a pool or in a lake. I’m partial to Swim-EAR because it has a good cap to keep it from leaking.

Related article: 7 Things Every Swimmer Should Have

8. Swim Parka

Swim parkas are a lifesaver in the cooler months for those swimmers that train year-around. Not only do they help keep swimmers warm before and after getting in the pool, they can seriously help save the interior of your car. For competitive swimmers, they’re the only thing that keep me warm at swim meets when I have a hard time staying warm. I use Arena’s Team Line Parka, but have also tried and would recommend swim parkas from Adortex and Sporti. Opt for a fleece lined parka versus a sherpa lined one, as the sherpa lining can get matted down.

Related articles:

Alternatively, a swim robe may also be an option. AquaDash swim parkas have a terry cloth inner lining that’s similar to a towel to help you dry off faster while keeping your car dry. The only downside is that they take longer to dry.

Staying warm with my Arena Team Line Parka at the 2023 Masters World Aquatics in Fukuoka, Japan

9. Free Weights

While swimming is a great cardio and full body workout, it does lack the impact that you may get from other forms of working out, such as running or walking. To supplement this, consider giving the gift of free weights to the swimmer in your life. You don’t need a full gym or massive piece of equipment. Free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls are great starting points. They can also be used at home to make it easier to complete a quick workout.

10. Stretch Bands

If weights aren’t an option, consider stretch cords or stretch bands as a gift swimmers will use. Stretching is important before and after workout, and can also provide some light strength training. My go to stretch bands are StretchCordz, Swimming Resistance Bands. I prefer the bands with handles, but my coach would rather us use the paddle variety as it better mimics the hand position when swimming. Regardless of the type, these bands really focus arm technique while building endurance. They come in different resistance levels to best fit the swimmer and you will need a doorknob or pole to anchor it to. Using the pole for the backstroke flag works best at the pool!

11. Learn to Swim 

For the swimmer to be! Learning to swim is a life-saving activity not just for kids, but also for adults. Check with local pools and learn-to-swim programs to see what options they offer. Most offer a variety of classes based on age and swim ability. For adults, consider working with a Masters team for lessons. Masters Swimming is specific for adults and within the US, certain individuals are certified to teach adults to swim.

As a bonus, consider including a swim lesson journal, too! This swim lesson journal from H2O Society allows new swimmers to record their various memories at each lesson, track milestones and goals, and review what they learned.

Related articles:

12. Gift of Time

For adult swimmers who balance work, family, and swim life, finding time between work and family to hit the pool isn’t always the easiest. For those wanting to train but can’t due to childcare needs or even just house chores, consider the gift of time. Offer your services as a babysitter or see if there’s something else you can do to help your swimmer get more time at the pool. It’s a gift that’ll appreciate and will use for sure!

13. Gym Membership Contribution

It’s no secret that swimming costs money. Whether that’s through gym memberships, swim lesson fees, or swim team dues. If you’re looking for a gift that swimmers will actually use, see about contributing to or paying for some of their membership dues. That could be a few months of paying for a gym, covering the USA Swimming Registration fee, or sponsoring a few months of club dues. If this isn’t an option, consider paying for a swim meet or other competition they might have.

14. Healthy Snacks

It’s also no secret that swimmers are always hungry and/or eating! Chipping in for grocery bills (gift cards work great for this too!), or sending them some healthy snacks are a sure gift that swimmers will use. Some healthy snacks to consider are protein bars, fruits, and some dark chocolate.

As always, to happy swimming!


Bonus Gift Content:

Best Gifts for Swimmers in 2020: Shopping for gifts for swimmers this year? Find inspiration with our 10 gift ideas for swimmers. They’re perfect for any occasion!

6 Last-Minute Gifts for Swimmers: Need some last-minute gifts for a swimmer you know? Check out these 6 last-minute gifts that will help get you exactly what you need.

9 Amazing Gift Ideas for Swim Parents: Swim parents are one of the unsung heroes in the sport of swimming. And they deserve some wonderful gifts throughout the year as thanks for sticking with us! 

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Image of a swimmer diving into the water

Chevron is a current competitive swimmer with almost 20 years of experience at the local, national and international level. A current USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming athlete, she’s committed to providing guidance to all levels of swimmers and believes that everyone should know how to swim.

3 thoughts on “14 Gifts That Swimmers of Any Level Will Actually Use”

  1. headphones..
    You are missing the XTrainerz by Aftershokz. They are amazing for swiming. They don’t hurt my ears since they are bone conducting

    1. wanderingswimmer

      Thank you for the suggestion! I just recently discovered bone conducting headphones and they’re amazing! I’ll need to update this to reflect them 🙂

  2. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is very good.

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