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Swimwear for Open Water

There are 2 categories.

Category 1

  • Suits can only be made from textile materials. 
  • For men and women:
    • the swimsuit shall not cover the neck and shall not extend past the shoulder nor below the ankles. 
    • the swimsuit can not contains clasps or zippers.
  • No rashguards.  No armbands.  No tape on the body.

Category 2 (other swimwear and wetsuits)

  • All other swimwear (e.g. wetsuits, last year’s technical suits like Blue 70’s, rash guards and arm bands.) are permitted.
  • No type of tape on the body is allowed, unless approved by the event director or event referee. 
  • Once the water temperature reaches 78 degrees, wetsuits are not allowed.

Rules for both Categories  

  • Allowed:  Cap(s), neoprene caps, nose clips, ear plugs, wristwatches and grease.
  • Not Allowed:
    • Any device or substance that helps your speed, like webbed gloves, fins, snorkels.
    • The use of any kind of tape that purports to provide muscle compression; muscle, joint,  or  ligament  stabilization;  or  other  physical  benefits,  including  therapeutic elastic  tape  or  similar  products, is never permitted in USMS competition.


From: USMS Open Water/Long Distance Rules

Additional clarification on the use of tape:

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