Ask David: When Should My Child Wear Board Shorts and Rash Guards?

Jack and DallinSigning up your child for Gilbert swimming lessons unleashes a wave of excitement, questions, and maybe even a few concerns. When should I start teaching them how to swim? How many lessons do they need? Should I buy any gear or equipment?

At EVO Swim School, our goal is to offer the very best aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, and adults. Part of that instruction includes helping people be knowledgeable and confident swimmers, so over the next few months, EVO’s owner, David Tait, will be answering some of the common questions he receives from parents and students at our school.

This month, David shares his advice about two pieces of swim apparel that kids love: board shorts and rash guards.

1. When should children wear board shorts?

David: Most boys like to wear board shorts because they’re comfortable and are the farthest thing from a “speedo” that you can find. However, there are actually a few drawbacks that may hinder them during swimming lessons.

Board shorts are baggy, produce lots of drag, and make it harder for any swimmer to move through the water efficiently. It’s fine if children want to wear board shorts during swimming lessons as long as they fit tightly, but they should never be worn during swim team activities. Would you put 10-pound shoes on your feet and go running? Then don’t wear big, baggy shorts when you swim!

2. How about rash guards? When is it appropriate for children to wear them?

David: Rash guards are less of a problem since they’re normally skin-tight. They can help keep younger children warm in the water, but much like board shorts, we recommend making sure they fit tightly and only wearing them during swimming lessons, not swim team practice.

3. Are there any specific features parents should look for in the board shorts and rash guards they buy for their children?

David: The smaller and tighter they fit, the better. Otherwise, the child will have a harder time swimming, are less buoyant and will fatigue faster.

4. Are there any brands that EVO recommends?

EVO doesn’t have one preferred brand for board shorts or rash guards because, much like any type of clothes, it’s a personal choice based on style and fit. As long as they’re form-fitting and comfortable, that’s all that matters.

If you’re interested in more advice from David about children’s swim products or Gilbert swim lessons, stay tuned for future blog posts, or contact EVO Swim School at 480-539-2660.

Long Time EVO Student Making Waves Since 2010


Karson Leavitt, Age 9, has been swimming at EVO Swim School since 2010. He began in our Otter class (first level of swimming lessons) and is now a member of our Competitive Swim Squad with RIO Salado Swim Club (EVO’s competitive swimming component).

Karson is a great example of what the EVO/RIO system of instruction is designed to do. Karson learned how to swim with us, learned the competitive strokes with us, experienced our Development Swim Team, and is now among the ranks of our Competitive Swim Team. We hope to see Karson swimming in college one day and at the rate he is going, he can do it!

We recently took a moment to ask Karson a few questions about his time here at EVO/RIO and what he loves about swimming:

Q: What do you like most about swimming?
A: I love the water! Swimming is calming, smooth and feels great when gliding through it. Nothing feels better in the Arizona summer than swimming.

Q: What do you like most about EVO Swim School?
A: I loved my instructors. Kelly, Jordan, Ben, Chris, Andrea and of course our man, Patrick! All of them taught me a lot along the way. You also get a certificate and small toy every time you graduate to another level. Ringing the bell is pretty cool too!

Q: If you had to describe EVO & RIO using one word, what would you say?

Q: What were or are some goals you currently have in swimming?
A: A past goal I achieved was breaking 40 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Three future goals I have are to: 1) get state times before I’m ten, 2) make the varsity high school swim team freshman year and 3) swim on a college team and make the United States Olympic team.

We also took a moment to ask Karson’s parents a couple of questions about their time at EVO Swim School:

Q: What do you like most about EVO Swim School?
A: Great Instruction!!! The instruction was comprehensive and complete. The school achieves this by providing an excellent learning environment along with a staff that understands swimming and how to help your child find success.

Q: What are you most proud of regarding your son in relation to swimming at EVO Swim School?
A: My son of 9 years old has learned that hard work, persistence and patience pays off when you are focused on goals. For the last six months Karson has been in the the “CJ” (Competitive Juniors) training group with Rio Swim team. His past and present instruction has enabled him to achieve being in the 100 yard butterfly finals at the Lost Dutchman Invite (the largest meet in AZ) and qualified for six races in this year’s Age Group Regional Championships. He would not have been able to do this without the proper form.

Q: Do you see/does Karson strive to go to the College/Olympics one day for Swimming?

A: Definitely, what a great sport swimming is! The atmosphere created by EVO and RIO has inspired my son to set and achieve goals while having the time of his life. He currently wants to swim for ASU and represent us in the Olympics. Thank you for the positive impact this organization has made in my son’s life.

We are rooting you on Karson! We hope to be a part of your continued success for years to come.