Wetsuit Selection

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Chris Hache, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. Chris Hache

    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
     
    Tags:


  2. "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
     
  3. 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
     
  4. Imken

    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
     
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