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Posted: 11/11/2002 9:12:51 AM EDT
Info: I'll be doing a triathalon in Puerto Penasco, Mexico in April. The 1500 metre swim is in the sea of cortez, and wetsuits are allowed. Since I have never swam in the ocean, I want to wear one for extra bouyancy. What should I look for? Ideally it would be easy to remove for the transition from swim to bike. Any specific models/ brands? Are there different types for surfing/swimming/scuba?
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 9:24:44 AM EDT
My knowledge of wetsuits are from diving, not swimming, so keep that in mind. Some of the best manufacturers out there are Henderson and O'Neill. Henderson's Gold Core line are really good and have the smooth inside that make them easy and fast to get on and off - and also seal pretty good against the skin and prevent water flow. Other manufacturers also make the smooth (usually shiny) insides - like Tilos for instance, that are signiifcantly cheaper than Henderson. The thicker the wetsuit, the more boyant it'll be, but it'll also restrict your moevemnt. I can probably float indefinetely in my 2-piece 7mm suit, but I would hate to have to swim in it, since there's plenty of resistsnce to swinging my arms. Something like a one-piece 3mm suit might be what you want.
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 9:37:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2002 9:39:43 AM EDT by DriftPunch]
My wetsuit experience is with Windsurfing. Whatever you get, it had better be designed with competetive swimming in mind. Most suits are specialized. You won't be happy with a compromise. I can't tell you brands, because windsurfing suits are too different. My suits are from 2 to 4 mil (the 4mil has excellent insulation). Windsurfing suits are designed to be in and out of the water frequently. Not enough insulation to stay in for long periods of time (ah la diving), and not too much so that movement is restricted. Modern wetsuits are much better than they were even five years ago. The largest improvement is with flexibility. I even wear a wetsuit in Hawaii, but it's just a 2mil torso shorty with lycra sleeves. The extra protection from basic exposure and abrasion works wonders for your endurance. It still comes down to a compromise, even though it's not as severe as it once was. The warmer, the more inflexable. And you can indeed overheat in a wetsuit. Here's a place for you: [url]http://www.triathlete.com/link2.asp?c=4&s=16[/url]
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 10:02:33 AM EDT
Like DK Prof, my experience is from diving, not swimming. I would like to add that the neoprene is going to fight your movements - the thicker it is the warmer it is, and the more restrictive. You'll wind up adding extra effort to your usual motions, just to move in the suit. I'm not sure how you'd compensate in training, but it's something to consider. Good luck! Tango7
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 10:28:34 AM EDT
My experience is from diving too. If you go check them out now, there are a new breed of wet suits out from o'neil(I think, they could be henderson). They are strechy(sp) 3 mm wet suits. Unlike the old binding 3 mm of just last year, these are much easier to get in and out of and have very little binding. I do not know how they would fare for swimming, as I would think just bulk would be bad, but these feel as thin as a 2 mm even though they say they are 3. No matter what they say, gold core is still hard to get off when wet. They just go on easier. If you need it tight for swimming, think about spending a few bucks on getting zippers installed in the tight spots so you can shuck out of it faster. It is about 50 bucks to get zippers put into the arms, so for another 100 you could have zippers put into the legs and sides to help get out of it quicker.
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 10:51:07 AM EDT
What water temperature are you expecting? Wetsuits will keep you very, very hot when you are strenously exercising. You run the risk of over heating. As others have mentioned, they also severly restrict your movement, you are always fighting against the suit with your arms. I'm not too familiar with wetsuit made for swimming (on the surface, paddling with arms), but I would get one made specifically for crawl type swimming. If the water temp will be moderate to warm use only a nylon chafe guard type suit.
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 11:05:04 AM EDT
The best wetsuits use Rubatex G-231-N material. Look for this on the hang tag if you want a premium suit.
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 12:30:54 PM EDT
I dive. I'm not sure I'd use a suit for swimming. If you really need one maybe a shorty. Don't them cold water swimmers use grease?
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 10:01:48 PM EDT
Look for a model in white with a nice dorsal fin....you should fit right in.... BWWWWAHAHAHAHAHA
Link Posted: 11/11/2002 10:42:33 PM EDT
Like others, I'm a diver and not a swimmer. But I think you may be looking for a dive skin. A dive skin will protect you from nicks and cuts and provide a SMALL level of insulation and boyancy, but will not interfere with your movements at all.
Link Posted: 11/12/2002 2:02:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/12/2002 2:06:53 PM EDT by patchouli]
Drift Punch! That was a great site! Thanks so much. I found out that there are wetsuits for every different water activity. Swimming ones need to be flexible, and thin for the most part. This is to prevent restriction of movement for the arms and shoulders, as well as for ease of breathing. They are usually slick on the outside, rather than laminated with a nylon fabric as most diving suits. This is to reduce the friction and drag. Full suits are generally faster in water than the farmer john style (sleeveless), but the farmer john style allows for greater movement. There are really expensive suits out there for triathletes. 300-400 dollars new. Ebay got me a 41 dollar Quintana Roo Triathlon wetsuit. \/similar to this (but different brand) [img]http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/images/vort_slvls_big.gif[/img] So a big thanks goes out to you all.
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