Using goggles at Linslade Crusaders
We recommend all of our swimmers wear goggles to prevent irritation while swimming in chlorinated water. Swimmers are also trained to execute tumble turns in the water and need to be able to see where the wall is.
There is a massive range of goggles out there, at varying cost. Finding a pair to suit the swimmer can be as difficult as choosing a pair of shoes.
Choosing the right swimming goggles
There are three aspects to address when choosing swimming goggles:
- fit (they do not let water in)
- comfort (they do not chafe over the nose or apply too much pressure on the eye sockets)
- visibility (they do not fog up or scratch, and are right for the environment you are swimming in).
This is decided by the seal of the goggles (not how tight the strap is). You should always try goggles on before you buy. If you are shopping online, check whether you can return them for a full refund if they do not fit and what postage charges there are.
The most common style of goggles are oval-shaped with a silicone gasket seal. When you try them on, the seal should provide a split second of suction – if they do not hold to the skin then will leak; if they hold too long they are applying too much pressure.
Competition style goggles are a much sleeker design to keep any drag to a minimum. They are often less adjustable/comfortable than standard goggles, so it is especially important to select the best fit. Some swimmers also find they sit too close to their eyes, with an off-putting feel of their eyelashes rubbing against the goggles during use.
For open water swimming masks offer a wide range of vision because of their size, but also increase drag.
This can be harder to assess when trying them on. They may feel comfortable, but any pressure points can become very irritating over the course of a swimming session. This can be particularly problematic with pressure over or around the sides of the nose.
Standard goggles will often come with adjustable nosepieces, but you should check. Competition goggles often do not. If they are tight or rub the bridge of your nose, look elsewhere.
The strap is imperative for holding them in place, but has little to do with the seal. Most goggles have a split or two-part strap to hold them in place. These are usually better for swimming fast or tumble turns.
You should choose goggles with an anti-fog coating. If you will be swimming outdoors you should also consider UV protection.
The goggles are important for protecting the eyes in water. If you have visibility issues then the majority of manufacturers produce prescription goggles. These can be more expensive, so experimenting with fit is even more important.
Goggles can come with different coloured lenses. The most common are:
- Clear – these are designed for low light or overcast conditions where maximum visibility is required. They are suited to indoor use, but provide no protection from the bright lights around a swimming pool.
- Lilac – these are designed for contrast against a green or blue background, such as the sides and bottom of the pool. They are suited to both indoor or outdoor use.
- Smoke – these are designed to reduce light transmission and lower the overall brightness. They are best suited to outdoor swimming.
- Amber – these are designed to enhance vision in low-light levels and reduce glare in high light levels. They are suited to both indoor or outdoor use.
- Blue – these are designed to allow a moderate level of light into the eye, but maintain protection from glare in bright conditions. They are suited to indoor or outdoor use.
- Mirrored – these are designed to reduce brightness and glare, with a mirrored coating applied to a tinted lens. They are suited to outdoor use.
Once you have established a make and/or model of goggles which fit you may wish to stick with these. However, you should remember that swimmers’ faces will change and develop as they grow up.
Using the swimming goggles
Most swimmers find the seal between the goggles and the face works best wet. The swimmer should splash pool water on their face before putting the goggles on. When done before getting in the pool this also helps the body start to adjust to the water temperature.
Once the goggles are on the swimmer should gently push the goggles onto the face, expelling a small amount of air and causing a slight vacuum. This helps the goggles stay tight against the face.
Where you have a split strap it should be adjusted above and below the eyeline, to provide the best stability when swimming and turning.
Goggles worn too tightly add pressure to sensitive parts of the eye. You can usually tell a swimmer is wearing their goggles too tightly, because they leave the sessions with marks around their eyes left by their goggles.
Linslade Crusaders is a Swimming club in Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire
Our Pool Addresses
Bletchley Leisure Centre
Leon Leisure Centre
Leon Leisure Centre
Lewsey Park Swimming Pool
Swimming club in Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire