Why Do Divers Wear Small Speedos for Swimsuits?

Why Are Divers’ Swimsuits So Small

If you’ve tuned into the Olympic diving events before, you might’ve noticed that, oh la la~, the male divers are wearing some really small and tight swim briefs – even skimpier than the female bathing suit. It barely leaves anything to the imagination.

What’s more, the Olympics are broadcast live on an international stage, so the whole world gets to see these divers in skimpy swimsuits. What is the reason for this? Won’t somebody think of the children!?

The reasons male Olympic divers wear such small, tight, and revealing swimsuits is because it keeps their private parts secured in place, does not restrict their movements as they twist and somersault through the air, and helps ensure their briefs don’t fly off on impact.

Depending on your perspective, there may even be the side benefit of, ahem, showing off these young athletes’ chiseled physiques and perhaps gaining more interest in the sport.

If this topic interests you, keep reading on as we cover in more detail the thought process behind why Olympic male divers wear such a skimpy bathing suit and answer other questions you might have on the swimsuits Olympic athletes wear.

Why do divers wear Speedos?

Why is it so important for divers and some swimmers to wear swim briefs such as Speedos? The answer is simple: it provides maximum performance.

There’s a reason why you won’t see a single diver wear swim trunks or board shorts. Sure, those are way more modest if that’s something they cared about, but they would be shooting themselves in the foot competitively.

Speaking from a diver’s perspective, they need to be able to do jumps, twists, and somersaults as effortlessly as possible. To that end, the high cut leg openings on swim briefs offer full range of motion for them to maneuver their legs as needed.

Furthermore, due to how little fabric there is and how tight swim briefs fit, this streamlines their body which improves their aerodynamics as they fly through the air and improves hydrodynamics when they are in the water.

Remember, performance is everything, and even a marginal improvement can be the difference between coming in first or second, or even being on the podium at all.

And for aesthetic reasons, showing off the athletes’ physiques is a great celebration of their hard work and how beautiful the human body is at peak performance.

Remember, Olympic divers train dozens of hours a week for years straight just so they can perform a handful of dives every four years. Their careers are also very short.

It would be a shame if they couldn’t show off all the effort they put in in some way, such as by showing off their world class physiques by competing in Speedos.

Do Speedos ever fall off mid-dive?

As many people who have leapt off a diving board or platform can attest to, sometimes when you surface you might find yourself feeling more bare than before you hit the water.

That’s because unless your bathing suit is secure on your body, the force of the impact can easily disrobe you, leaving you naked and scrambling to cover your private parts.

This is embarrassing enough in a public swimming pool, so you can imagine just how embarrassing this would be if it happened on a televised event where millions are watching.

So that is yet another reason why  divers wear such tight swim briefs. They have strings they can tie really tightly to ensure the briefs stay on and that nothing accidentally flops out either.

Despite their best efforts, sometimes divers have had their Speedos fall off on impact with the water’s surface.

Olympic diver and gold medalist Tom Daley tells the story of a time he had a wardrobe malfunction in a Q&A video below.

Can divers wear anything else besides Speedos?

You may have noticed that Olympic swimmers wear jammers instead of Speedos. Couldn’t divers also compete in jammers instead?

Unfortunately no, there really aren’t any other alternatives to a Speedo for divers. Most divers agree that Speedos are more comfortable, and more importantly, less restrictive than jammers.

It’s strange because you see swimmers train in Speedos, yet compete in jammers. What benefits do jammers provide swimmers that divers cannot also take advantage of?

The reason why jammers are worn instead is because they are designed to be compressive to streamline a swimmer’s body shape so that they can glide through the water more quickly compared to Speedos.

Due to the compression, it would limit a diver’s movement too much. Also again due to the compression, jammers are hard to put on and cannot be worn for long periods of time, hence why swimmers generally wear Speedos until the day of a competition.

Don’t divers have any shame wearing such a small and tight swimsuit?

No, why would they? First off, they are likely proud to show off the result of their years of hard work – a beautiful, chiseled physique that few people manage to attain in life.

Second, if all of the competitors are wearing the same thing then it just becomes a uniform. It’d only be weird if you were the odd one out.

Depending on where you live, Speedos are the norm for male swimwear that you see people wear it all the time at swimming pools and beaches. And if you have the physique to go along with it, it can be a fantastic look for guys who want the attention.

Lastly, sports apparel tends to be very revealing in other sports as well. Look at gymnasts, football players’ pants, swimmers, and track and field athletes just for a few examples.

The clothing they wear is also skin tight and it’s acceptable because they maximize performance, even if it shows off their various bulges and curves and whatnot.

So in a similar vein, divers just want to maximize their performance, win a medal and all the glory that comes with it, and stand on that podium. Nothing else matters; they’ll even wear small and skimpy swimsuits if that’s what it takes to be the best.

Photo Credit: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil, CC BY 3.0 BR