Water polo swim suits are different from fashion swim suits, basic swim suits, or other competitions swim suits. Men’s suits are always very brief and very tight. Women’s suits are high-necked, and provide complete coverage of the back.
Men’s suits are always briefs. “Brief” is the correct term for the kind of swim suit also known as the infamous “speedo.” This is incorrect, though, because Speedo is not just a suit style, but is also a major brand that carries dozens of styles. Briefs are preferred because the less fabric that is on a water polo player’s body, the less fabric can be grabbed by an opponent and used as a weapon. In water polo whatever happens under the water, stays under the water. Refs do not care. So often, players grab each other’s skin, hair and swim suits in an attempt to grab the ball, keep an opponent away from the ball, or escape or keep ahold of an opponent.
Men’s water polo suits also do not have as much elasticity as other swim suits. Water polo briefs and regular briefs are actually different. The water polo brief has very little elastic give. This way, there is less chance a suit being torn during a game.
It is optimal to wear the suit as tight as possible, so there is no loose or extra fabric anywhere.
Men’s suits average about $35 or $40 a pair no matter where you purchase them or what brand you choose.
Women’s suits, like men’s, are designed to provide as little to grab on to as possible. The fabric design is similar, making it difficult to stretch a suit. Wearing a water polo suit is similar to wearing a competition suit for competitive swimming. Tighter is better, and it is not supposed to be comfortable. In fact, it is better if it is uncomfortably tight.
Women’s suits have a solid back because suits with regular straps are a hazard. Opponents can grab, twist, and even break straps during a game. The picture above shows a girl about to make a pass or shot. The back of her suit is solid. The two girls in the lower, right-hand corner show the importance of this suit style. When two players do not have the ball, but one is playing offense and one is playing defense, the underwater play will often become violent. The solid back of the swim suit helps ensure that the suit will not be torn.
Women’s suits are slightly more pricy than men’s, largely because women’s suits contain more fabric. Depending on the brand and the fabric quality, the prices of the suits can range from $30 (a low-end practice suit) to at least $70. The following graph shows some basic suit styles and brands, and how much the suits cost.