The FINA logo on a piece of swimwear shows that it has been approved by the governing body of swimming and is legal for any FINA-affiliated competition.
You may recognise the logo, but do you know exactly what requirements FINA put in place for FINA-approved swimwear and why? Essentially, the rules are in place to make sure human performance and athletic ability is not overshadowed by developments in swimsuit technology.
A lot of you will remember the 2009 World Championships in Italy when full body suits were allowed which led to a phenomenal amount of world records being broken.
The records were allowed to stand but soon after the championships, FINA outlawed the full body suits, and have been constantly reviewing and refining their regulations since to ensure as level a playing field as possible.
FINA look for 3 basic key areas in a race suit - design, material and construction.
The rules below relate to swimsuits for the pool and open water swimming competitions where the water temperature is above 18°C.
Design of a race suit
FINA-approved racing swimsuits must not extend below the knee. A men's suit must not extend above the navel, while a women's suit should not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders.
These rules apply to swimming pool competitions. Open water swimming suits must not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder or extend below the ankle.
Before approving a competition swimsuit, FINA will also judge it on decency. Rules state that the wearing of a swimsuit "shall not offend morality and good taste" and specifically reference the cut of the suit and the exposure of body parts.
Men's swimsuits must be in one piece, however women's suits are permitted as one or two-piece providing the decency criteria above is met. There are no regulations on colours.
Material rules for FINA approved swimwear
FINA regulations state that only 'textile fabrics' can be used for racing swimsuits.
Certain materials can to be added to the surface of the race suit (such as a durable water repellent coating) providing they don't close the overall open mesh structure of the fabric.
Any treated materials must also comply with all requirements in regard to thickness, permeability and flexibility. Surface treatment rules do not apply to permitted seams, markings or labels.
Construction of racing swimwear
Zips or any other type of fastening systems are forbidden. Seams are limited to functional systems and must not create outside shapes.
Maru's ethos of bright, colourful swimwear extends to our FINA range so not only can you train in colour, you can compete in colour too.