Gifts for Swimmers: From a Simple Mesh Bag to a Top-of-the Line Wetsuit

If you’ve been wondering what sort of gift a swimmer or triathlete would be excited to receive, Eric Limkemann has some terrific suggestions.  And Eric is definitely an expert when it comes to knowing what a swimmer would like.  He is a professional triathlete and swim coach with Peluso Open Water Swimming in Richmond, Va.

In the $5-$10 range, Eric suggests a mesh equipment bag.  He points out that “having a dedicated bag for wet equipment makes life easy.  It keeps all your swim gear together and dry clothes stay dry.  You don’t need anything fancy.”  Limkemann says that almost all swimmers grow up with these mesh bags to contain wet equipment.  “Mine never left the trunk of my car outside of swim practice.”  The mesh allows the equipment to air out and avoid mold and mildew.

Hoping to hear some “oohs” and “aahs” when that tough-to-buy-for-swimmer unwraps his or her gift?  Consider goggles made by Sable Optics.  They cost about $50, but as Limkemann remarks, “This may seem a bit pricey for goggles, but the clarity and fog resistance make swimming 10x more enjoyable.”  As a professional athlete, Eric receives goggles from many different equipment sponsors.  He says, “These are the only ones I’d spend my own money on.  They are worth every penny.”  Now that’s a product testimonial.

Ready to splurge?  A high-end wetsuit, the BlueSeventy Helix ($640), “is worth its weight in gold,” says Limkemann.  He adds, “The full sleeves don’t hinder shoulder rotation and the suit actually improves your swimming instead of hampering it.”  Limkemann recalls his early years as a pro and not wanting to wear sleeves initially.  But “once I tried on the Helix and raced in it, I never looked back.  Comparing this wetsuit to a budget suit is like night and day.”

Eric Limkemann is a Professional Triathlete and regularly one of the first pros out of the water in competition.  He holds coaching certifications from the American Swim Coaches Association and in Strength and Conditioning from the NCSA.  In 2013, he earned five top 5 finishes in the Rev3 Triathlon Series, including first in Williamsburg’s 70.3.  When he’s not racing or training, you can find Eric coaching for Peluso Open Water Swimming in Richmond, Va.

Karen Kovacs is a Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at the Tidewater Physical Therapy Clinic in Gloucester Point, Va.  Kovacs is Board Certified in Orthopedics, a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and amateur triathlete.