Wetsuit Selection



C

Chris Hache

Guest
I'm new to triathlons, having completed my first one last Sunday. I noticed that many people there
had wetsuits made by either Ironman or Orca; I assume that these are triathlon-specific brands. I've
seen a used wetsuit for sale at 40% of the cost of a new triathlon wetsuit, but it is made for
surfing (Ripcurl). My question is - is this wetsuit (or any surfing wetsuit) suitable for triathlon?
After all, surfers do seem to paddle in a stroke similar to freestyle. My follow-on question is - if
this suit is merely acceptable for triathlon, how much more effort must be expended in the course of
the strokes and is it truly worth it? Thanks in advance for any replies.

Chris
 
T

Tom Henderson

Guest
"Chris Hache" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> I'm new to triathlons, having completed my first one last Sunday. I noticed that many people there
> had wetsuits made by either Ironman or Orca; I assume that these are triathlon-specific brands.
> I've seen a used wetsuit for sale at 40% of the cost of a new triathlon wetsuit, but it is made
> for surfing (Ripcurl). My question is - is this wetsuit (or any surfing wetsuit) suitable for
> triathlon? After all, surfers do seem to paddle in a stroke similar to freestyle. My follow-on
> question is - if this suit is merely acceptable for triathlon, how much more effort must be
> expended in the course of the strokes and is it truly worth it? Thanks in advance for any replies.
>
> Chris
>
>
>

I think the big differences are the flexibility of the wetsuit around the shoulders, bouancy, and
the hydrodynamics (slickness). Surfer's needs are quite different from a swimmers. They need a much
tougher suit. The fit can be more relaxed, since they aren't swimming for speed or efficiency. If
you used a tri suit for a few hours of surfing, it would likely be torn to pieces. The surf suit
would fare much better in a tri, but you'd be working a lot harder gainst the water.

Tom
 
N

Nicolette Verdu

Guest
Hello,

There is a rule that a wetsuit with a thichness of more than 5 mm is not allowed. Surfing wetsuits
are ofthen thicker.

Bye, Nicolette

"Chris Hache" <[email protected]> schreef in bericht news:[email protected]
server.bigpond.net.au...
> I'm new to triathlons, having completed my first one last Sunday. I
noticed
> that many people there had wetsuits made by either Ironman or Orca; I
assume
> that these are triathlon-specific brands. I've seen a used wetsuit for
sale
> at 40% of the cost of a new triathlon wetsuit, but it is made for surfing (Ripcurl). My question
> is - is this wetsuit (or any surfing wetsuit) suitable for triathlon? After all, surfers do seem
> to paddle in a stroke similar to freestyle. My follow-on question is - if this suit is merely
> acceptable for triathlon, how much more effort must be expended in the course of the strokes and
> is it truly worth it? Thanks in advance for any replies.
>
> Chris
 
I

Imken

Guest
Well, there has been much discussion on this subject.

I decided to do a little testing. What I found of course only applies to me and the suits I tried. I
recently purchased three different wet suits. I have various needs for these so the expense was not
really an issue.

I have a DeSoto Two piece full suit made specifically for triathlons. It is a T1 top mated to a
Desoto Bib John. Second suit is a Quantum Deep See Full one piece suit designed for diving. It is 4
MM thick all over and a little big for me so that it is loose. This suit has a semi smooth surface,
back zipper, knee pads and nylon inside. Third suit is a Camero 4MM one piece suit designed for
windsurfing/watersports with back zipper. It has a sort of textured outside surface and has knee
pads for durability It also is a loose fit and slightly on the large size. It is quite large in the
upper body area allowing very free movement. I use it for diving and working in the surf.

OK, the real truth. The deSoto is a near perfect fit, looks really cool with nice graphics. Has
very little leakage of water so is warm in cool water and a bit hot on long swims if the water is
over 71 degrees.

Both general purpose full suits made for light diving or surfing/ wind surfing are colder than the
DeSoto, both are on the large size and leak quite a lot of water with movement.

Swim time over a two mile measured course on at least 5 trips in each suit have clearly proved to me
that there is only slight difference in speed.

The Camero suit is fastest of the three being consistently about 1 minute faster over the distance
of two miles. The DeSoto is second quickest lagging consistently one minute behind. The Quantum is a
close second only about 30 seconds slower than my DeSoto.

The Quantum is easiest to remove, the Camero just slightly slower and the DeSoto looses here as it
is difficult to get out of unless able to do it in the water. In the water the Desoto is easy to get
out of but still slower as there are two parts to remove.

The Camero and Quantum take a great deal of abuse. I use then for diving and underwater recovery
of lost items, ( my business) I use them for swim practice/workouts. The DeSoto is somewhat
fragile with its stretchy, soft and smooth outer skin so I only intend to use it for racing in
cold water Tri's.

The DeSoto is by far the most comfortable, the coolest looking and warmest. It does cost me a little
time over the two mile distance. I have no idea why as it is the near perfect fit, most flexible,
sleekest of the suits. It looks fast and feels the same but my watch keeps telling me otherwise.
Perhaps I work harder in the others but do try to maintain the same effort level in all. The two one
piece full suits have a little more over all thickness so some added buoyancy.

DeSoto's people are great folks to do business with. Lots of help and certainly take the extra step
in customer service.

Ken

"Chris Hache" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
server.bigpond.net.au...
> I'm new to triathlons, having completed my first one last Sunday. I
noticed
> that many people there had wetsuits made by either Ironman or Orca; I
assume
> that these are triathlon-specific brands. I've seen a used wetsuit for
sale
> at 40% of the cost of a new triathlon wetsuit, but it is made for surfing (Ripcurl). My question
> is - is this wetsuit (or any surfing wetsuit) suitable for triathlon? After all, surfers do seem
> to paddle in a stroke similar to freestyle. My follow-on question is - if this suit is merely
> acceptable for triathlon, how much more effort must be expended in the course of the strokes and
> is it truly worth it? Thanks in advance for any replies.
>
> Chris