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Wetsuits(7 posts)

Apr 30, 2003 4:55 PM
Hi all,

I'm currently looking at buying a wetsuit and need advice as to long /short sleeves and full vs. shortie?
Last year, my first year as a Tri participant I competed in races in late July and August when the water was very warm. This year I selected a Tri in Verona, Wisconsin where the swim is in a quarry and NH where the swim is in Lake Winnapausukee. Both swims would be in
under 65 degree water. Thanks for help.
my philospophySteve_0
May 1, 2003 3:57 AM
The more neoprene, the more floatation you'll have (i.e., the faster you'll swim). BUT...the more neoprene, the harder it is to get out of (i.e., longer transitions). Also, more neoprene on you arms restricts motion.

You should select the minimal suit which will keep you warm. For 65 degree water, I would recommend a sleeveless full suit. It will keep you warm enough, without the hassle of sleeves. If you go much below 65, I'd definately opt for sleeves, unless your accustomed to colder water. 68 or above, go with a shortie, no doubt.
May 3, 2003 12:13 PM
I've only done maybe 11 or 12 races - and almost all of them had wetsuits permitted - and I've never seen someone wearing a "shortie" wetsuit. I assume you mean short-legged, right? While you might save 10 sec getting it off in T1, you will lose the bouyancy benefit of the legs. In addiiton, I don't know of any triathlon wetsuit manufacturer that makes a shortie - and you DO want a triathlon-specific wetsuit. The surfer and other types are not meant for swimming, and will be much more restrictive. I use a sleeveless, but I get cold easily - and 65 degrees is definitely pretty cold - so I'd recommend a full suit. It's faster, too. If you can afford it, I'd look at the De Soto T1 or Dos. These are two piece suits, with no sipper, and are supposed to be very fast to get out of. I have no affiliation with DeSoto and have never used the suit, but that's what I've heard. Good luck.
May 5, 2003 4:04 AM
Ive been racing tri's for over a decade and I see plenty of shorties. I own a QR shorty; And im sure others make them.

I agree with you that a full-length suit will offer more floatation for the legs; but if you know how to swim downhill, thats rather insignificant. Does your full-suit gain you 10 seconds of time in the swim? Very tough to tell, especially in open water. I prefer the known transition gain over a theoretical swim gain.

As far as triathlon-specific wetsutits, I disagree that surfing suits are inherently or significantly more restrictive than a 'tri' suit with sleeves. I own both tri and surf suits; And rarely even consider the 'type' when going out the door for training or racing. Sleeves, in general, cause the majority of restriction. Have you ever been surfing? As much arm motion as swimming. The biggest advantage i see is that tri suits are generally slicker neoprene than others.
May 5, 2003 5:35 AM
Thanks for response. I think all things considered I will go with sleeveless and full legs. Supergo is offering an Ironman sprintsuit wetsuit/sleevless at $79 marked down from $195, any opinion? I'm an Ok swimmer at 29 minutes for a mile.

Thanks again for the feedback!
May 5, 2003 6:02 AM
I've never used Ironman, but you cant be 60 percent off! goforit.
Sounds like a great deal if it fits, love my IM LJ. . .js5280
May 12, 2003 12:53 PM
No matter what price, a wetsuit that doesn't fit won't be a bargin. For a Long John, make sure the neck and arms seal well or else you'll be scooping water and going nowhere. Overall it should be snug but not a wresting match to put on. I tried a bunch of suits and the Ironman fit me best, others I couldn't even get on or were hopelessly big. Just depends on your body type.