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How much of a benefit is a wetsuit(4 posts)

How much of a benefit is a wetsuitchskin
Sep 10, 2002 6:44 AM
Just finished my first season of triathlons and had a blast. One thing I noticed is that a lot of folks are using wetsuits. Even on small Sprint courses or when the water temp was in the mid 70's.

I understand that a wetsuit keeps you warm and adds buoyancy (lass drag and a faster swim). Question, how much faster will a wetsuit make you? I am a slow swimmer at 2:20 / KM and am planning to take some stroke improvement classes at the Y this winter. What could I expect if I took the plunge and conformed the tri masses?


re: How much of a benefit is a wetsuitbrider
Sep 10, 2002 7:50 AM
The benefit isn't really quantifiable, as the effects vary from person to person. A person with more defficiencies in ther stroke as far as body position is concerned will get more benefit out of a wetsuit. Also, the thickness of the neoprene will have an effect, as will the construction (full suit vs. shortie). Thicker neoprene will provide more bouyancy, and full-length will have a greater effect on some one who tends to let their legs drop. But all this has to be balanced against the time lost to doffing the suit in transition. My guess is that there will be more benefit to your swim times in some small improvements to your stroke than you would get in a wetsuit. And it doesn't take any time away. If you've got the $$ for the suit, I'd go with a mid-calf sleeveless -- most freedom of movement and easier to take off.

Don't forget to practice your transitions, though.
Depends on how cold the water is....Steve_0
Sep 10, 2002 12:05 PM
I wouldnt want to do a long swim in <65 degree water w/out a suit.

Assuming water is fairly warm, Brider prettymuch covered it. Thin people and weaker swimmers will benefit more than people more naturally boyant (hows that for PC?) or stronger swimmers.

If water temp isnt an issue, and you really need the bouyancy, go for a spring suit... muuuuuch easier and quicker to get off.

My rule of thumb...if its not going to make my race more comfortable, or if it wont be a critical factor in my placing, then i dont need it.
Its all about enjoying the event.
re: How much of a benefit is a wetsuit74
Sep 12, 2002 7:45 AM
I recently bought a wetsuit and decided to do some testing. Said wetsuit is a full length Aquaman Pulsar. I am a poor swimmer (last Olympic tri: I swam 1500m in 28:49 thats 1:56/100m)

The test:- repeat the same 1500m open water swim within the same day with and without wetsuit, swimming first wetsuitless. Repeat for day 2 swimming first with wetsuit.
The results:- Day 1:- 32 minuites wetsuitless (1st swim @9am), 26 minuites with wetsuit (2nd swim @3pm).
Day 2:- 26 minuites with wetsuit (1st swim @9:30am), 33 minuites wetsuitless (2nd swim @5pm).

I know there arer lots of inconsistencys in my test but no test is perfect... the wetsuit makes me around 20% faster.

Go for a full length suit they are faster for most people.