The popularity of ocean swimming has been rapidly increasing in Australia over the past several years.
The current COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed ocean swimming numbers when people were forced to look outside their comfort zone to find ways to be active with gyms and pools closed.
With this, many new swimmers found themselves in a local community ocean swimming group or even starting their own group with their friends.
Just simply having a group to swim with wasn’t enough for some creative swimmers, with groups going on to brand themselves with swimsuits, caps, clothing and coffee cups!
Whilst groups all over the country have had their own swimsuits for years, there’s been an explosion in Sydney, with Bondi leading the way. Here’s how some of those groups came about their swimsuits and why they love wearing them.
Babewatch is an ocean swimming group out of Manly and Coogee that aims to bring people together to be active, have fun and be social in the ocean.
When designing their togs Babewatch wanted a colour that was loud and would stand out on the beach and in the ocean. That’s where they came up with PINK!
They also wanted a design that was fun and had something to do with the ocean and thought why not a beach ball, it’s simple and effective.
Overall Babewatch love their togs because they are so recognisable.
“We find that because our togs are so recognisable, crew members that don’t know each other but see swimmers in their Babewatch togs feel confidentially able to introduce themselves and feel a part of the group,” said Babewatch.
The Bondi Swimblers are a local swim group out of the Iconic Bondi Beach. Swimming at different locations across the Eastern Beaches throughout the week.
When designing their custom Swimblers togs they used their Bondi Swimblers logo as the basis of the design.
“We actually got one of our very talented Swimblers in the group to design the logo for our cap first and then along came the swimmers,” said Bondi Swimblers.
The Bondi Swimblers love their togs because it shows off their amazing logo design.
The Bondi Wombats were born out of the embers of BondiFit, run by the Bondi legend Spot Anderson.
They like to describe themselves as the least aquatic but some of the most enthusiastic members of the group so they termed themselves the Wombats.
When Mr Anderson departed in December 2020, the Wombats continues to swim together and grow the Wombats.
“We continued swimming together and building on the great Sydney swimming community with a free, all ability, all ages squad of like-minded enthusiasts, who just wanted to give it a good ‘Ozzie’ go,” said Bondi Wombats member Jen.
In 2021 the Bondi Wombats grew the wisdom and thought what better way to distinguish themselves than with a pair of outrageously bright togs covered in Wombats.
The Bondi Wombats love their togs because of their outrageously bright design and because they make their swimmers never regret a swim.
Bold & Beautiful
The Bold & Beautiful is one of the largest informal ocean swimming groups in the world, swimming out of Manly Beach, Sydney.
The group is full of passionate open water swimmers and believe comfy cozzies are key to good ocean swims.
The Bold & Beautiful have a couple of different designs made by Budgie Smuggler.
All are bright and stand out on the beach, so everyone knows a Bold & Beautiful swimmer when they see them in their custom togs.
The Spicy Squad started as a group of friends who shared a love for the ocean and morning dips followed by a much-loved coffee.
Ocean swimming has become a social activity that members of the Spicy Squad can all do together and has allowed them to make strong friendships within the group.
After a few months of swimming together, the Spicy Squad started thinking about creating branded swimsuits.
“Spicy Squad togs came up and we thought nothing says ‘we are a real swim group then matching merch and togs’,” said a Spicy Squad member.
“We thought it was a bit of a novelty at first but when placing orders, a lot of people were keen to buy swimsuits within the group, which we were stoked about because it meant that they were all committing to the squad.”
“Handing out the togs was like Christmas morning, and it has been great since swimming along with other people in the same togs and being able to recognise your own squad members by spotting the Chilli peppered togs swimming beside you.”
The creation of the Spicy Squad togs was a collaborative effort from Spicy members and a fun design of bright blue and red, so you can spot the togs a mile away.
The Spicy Squad love their togs because they are loud, proud and spicy. They also love that every member wears the merch with pride everywhere they go with members even rocking the togs in Cape Town South Africa.
Other swim groups with custom togs
The Bondi Penguins swimsuits feature a bright blue and black colour with their custom penguin logo.
The Bondi Salties swimsuits are a bright blue and yellow colour with their crab logo adorned across them.