Beach volleyball essentials: visor, hat, bag, and glasses. What to wear explained

Beach volleyball is a lot of fun to play but what gear do you need to get started? Let’s dive in. In both indoor and in beach volleyball not a lot of gear is needed so it is quite easy to get started. 

The basics: equipment and gear

You will need the same standard gear as indoor volleyball: underwear, shorts, and a t-shirt. The t-shirts are often tanktops, whereas indoor volleyball players often wear longer shirts. Some players wear arm sleeves as well. You don’t need sport shoes or socks to play beach volleyball. These would be uncomfortable as sand gets everywhere. Furthermore, players don’t wear knee pads as it is quite soft to land in the sand. 

The shorts are often more skimpy if you compare them with indoor volleyball. Ladies often wear tops instead of shirts as well. This makes sure that sand doesn’t get in them. You have to get up quickly and move around in beach volleyball and sand in your shorts could hinder you. For this reason, people wear shorter shorts. Granted, men wear longer shorts than women. The shorts also attract a bigger audience and are also a part of the explanation. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) doesn’t have a lot of rules around this, some female players also wear long sleeves in beach volleyball as they prefer this. 

Beach volleyball is played outside so rain or shine, you have to keep going. This is why players need gear that is able to withstand water and sand. They can switch outfits during a timeout but there are no substitutions in beach volleyball. Therefore it is essential that they bring backup outfits so that they can wear this if something breaks. Teams have to wear contrasting outfits so that they stand out from the other team. 

Players also have a backpack that can hold all their gear. These are similar to the ones that are used by indoor volleyball players as both need to transport a lot of gear back and forth. It is important that these are durable and big enough.

Volleyball players with longer hair have a system to keep it together. In most instances, these are simple bands. The goal is to keep the hair out of the eyes so that they can see the ball at all times. A visor or hairband can help as well.

So far there was a lot of overlap with what players wear for indoor volleyball. Let’s take a look at the specific gear that is required to play beach volleyball.

What do you wear for beach volleyball specifically?

If it is cold, you can consider wearing sand socks to protect your feet. These can also provide some additional traction. Given that most matches are played during summer, not a lot of players wear this during matches as it is hot and sand can get in them, which is annoying. You don’t get a lot of time to adjust your outfit during beach volleyball so there is no time to take them on or off. 

The sun can make it hard to see where the ball is. For this reason, a lot of beach volleyball players wear sunglasses during a match. A string is keeping the sunglasses in place so that they don’t fall off when a player is jumping or diving to keep the ball in the air. We have discussed the best sunglasses for beach volleyball here before. These have to be comfortable as you sweat a lot during beach volleyball. 

A lot of players also wear a cap or a visor. This allows them to see where the ball is when the sun is in their eyes or there is some wind that dusts up some sand. Being able to see the ball at all times is essential in beach volleyball and a visor can help with this. The following visors are popular amongst women as they make it easy to keep your hair together. 

That is it, beach volleyball players typically don’t wear a lot of other gear as they need to be able to jump and run very fast. If you are wearing gear, it can distract you and fall off during the match. Sometimes players will throw away their sunglasses during a match. They have to make sure that this happens in a safe way and that they don’t distract the other team by doing this. Mostly this is done during a timeout to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the match. The FIVB (which organizes most beach volleyball competitions), states the following:

It is forbidden to wear objects which may cause injury or give an artificial advantage to the player.

FIVB rule book

A specific net is needed for beach volleyball, this net is at a similar height as indoor volleyball but it is less wide. You also need fabric or rope to outline the field. Fabric is a better option as it stretches when people trip over it. We discussed how you can build your own beach volleyball court here. If you want to build a professional court, it requires a lot of money as you need a great foundation. You can get easy to assemble temporary nets as well. These are easy to set up but often not that stable. 

To conclude, we can state that beach volleyball players wear a lot of the same gear as indoor volleyball players. They even wear fewer things as no knee pads or shoes are needed to play in the sand. However, they might wear sunglasses or a visor to be able to see the ball at all times. Everything that they wear has to be tied down well as they jump around a lot and there is no time to adjust the equipment that they are wearing. Beach volleyball is very fast-paced and it is essential that you can count on your gear to function.