Wet Suits

For all you serious triathletes and open water swimmers, wet suits are a must.  Not all races allow them, and it is not always beneficial to use them.  But, when used on the right person in the right event, they can be a huge help.  We will not get into the nitty-gritty of the wet suits--we'll let the wet-suit people help you there.  We just want to tell you what is good and bad about them, and what things you should consider when thinking about using one.

Why Use.  Not only do these things keep you warm, but they increase your buoyancy.  This keeps you at the surface of the water with less effort.  This means that all you have to put energy towards is forward propulsion.  Normally, energy is used for lift and for forward propulsion.  With a good wet suit, less effort is spent on lift.  We have seen weaker swimmers with wetsuits toast much better swimmers without them.

They reduce the penalty for poor technique.  Lift is a key for good swimming and is usually the hardest part of swimming to master.  The wetsuit takes care of that as mentioned above.  So, for most weaker swimmers, we suggest you buy one that fits your needs.

When to use.  Long races (1 mile+).  If a race is long, we don't care how good you are, you need to use one.  The benefits will far outweigh the costs.  If you are a very good swimmer, you will not need one for sprint triathlons.  For those swimmers, the time they save will be lost in the time used to take it off.  Plus, many find them a bit constricting.  Your skill level may dictate the type of suit you want to use for those longer and warmer races.

Type.  There are a bunch of different kinds--armless, legless, thick, thin, etc.  The type you pick depends on your skill level, the event, the temperature, your preferences.