View Full Version : Entry level technical suits for women

May 18th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Hi everyone

Longtime lurker here, never posted before but love to read this page for all the great ideas and advice and I'm now at the stage where I have questions!

I used to swim in college and after becoming unhealthy and overweight I've started swimming again and I am really enjoying it. I've now been swimming for 2 years and I've got to the stage where I'm doing meets and I am wearing just an old training speedo.

My question: I am now in the market for a decent swim suit to wear at meets - what would your recommendation be? I've read all the threads about the LZR, B70 etc but frankly I can not afford $200-$400 and they also do not make many of the suits in my size - 38.

A couple of options I've looked at on-line - Speedo Aquablade, Dolphin LTF, TYR Fusion/Aquashift or Aquapel. I can get most of these for between $50-$70. Any great suits I'm missing that would be under $100?

Any recommendations or tips would be most appreciated.


May 18th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I have two of the suits that you mentioned -- the Tyr Aquapel (kneeskin) and the Aquashift (full leg). They are both excellent entry-level suits. Like you, I have just started to do meets and wasn't willing to spend a lot of money on a technical suit. The Speedo Aquablade is a good suit as well, but I find that I get more compression with the Tyr suits so they tend to be faster for me. You can't beat the price -- I'm guessing you are looking at swimoutlet.com? Good luck!

May 18th, 2009, 08:56 PM
and they also do not make many of the suits in my size - 38.

Just as a quick note, depending on how comfortable you are taking some time to get into your suit, you can get a much smaller suit than you train in. For instance, most of the girls I know who train in 34 or 36 probably race in 28/30.

Of the ones you list, I think people have liked the Tyr the best -- the blue one with the diagonal lines across your chest.

May 18th, 2009, 09:02 PM
The Chinese brand Yingfa will get you into a full body suit for < $100. I don't know anyone who has compared B70/LZR to Yingfa directly. I am sure they are faster, but not $400 faster for me. They are probably faster then a tech tank, but again, I don't know anyone who has done a direct compare.

I wore Yingfa legskins at Zones, and they did feel faster then briefs.

The Fortress
May 18th, 2009, 10:33 PM
I've always loved the high neck FS I body suit I got on ebay (tags attached) for $60 or so. Not sure you can even get the FS I anymore ... But there are good deals on FS IIs as well.

Jazz Hands
May 18th, 2009, 11:38 PM
The Aquablade is good. I recommended it for a teammate at Nationals this year (all she had was a poly suit), and she liked it. Swam fast, too.

May 19th, 2009, 07:49 AM
If you have a swim shop near you, I highly recommend you go there and try on suits to see what will fit you the best. Then you can shop around for that style on the web.

I consider myself to be a more experienced swimmer and I swim in the TYR Aquapel tank. I have tried on the newer ones and the Aquapel fits me the best. It's just a great bonus that it happens to be less expensive (unfortunately discontinued). As someone else mentioned, you do want to go smaller for a racing suit, too.

May 19th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks everyone - really helpful. I was indeed looking at swim outlet and the other main online stores. I never thought of ebay so I'll check there as well. I'm not sure about a few sizes smaller, I'm already pretty snug in a 38 but I might try one size smaller at a local shop.


May 19th, 2009, 10:35 AM
Tip 201 Which Suit Suits you? More info On Racing Suits &
Even More on Racing Suits might be helpful to you

Though I suggest you click on Womens Full body (http://tinyurl.com/264te8) or Womens (http://tinyurl.com/3hyo4f)
then "SORT BY:"



May 19th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Make sure the new suit is legal b4 you buy it.. Check for the new listings first!

May 19th, 2009, 05:11 PM
The rules are confusing; however, the way I interpret them is that many of the sale suits in question (i.e., the Tyr Aquapel and Aquashift) were introduced before 9/30/07 so were not required to be submitted for testing and will remain legal for competition. I wouldn't buy one until I checked into it further, but to me it looks like they are OK. The new regulations were meant to limit the buoyancy and the air/water trapping abilities of the tech suits; all the Aquapel and the Aquashift are, are basically glorified girdles.

May 20th, 2009, 11:11 AM
I can see there is much discussion about what is legal and what is not in the other thread! I will make sure whatever I buy is OK.

I think I will wait until I go to my next meet and check out what ladies are wearing and ask their opinions.

Thanks again for the comments.

Karen Duggan
May 21st, 2009, 01:25 PM
I have directly compared the Yingfa to the B70. The B70 is a hair faster in my opinion. But the Yingfa is WAY easier to put on and infinitely more comfortable.

With the banning of the B70 I'm wearing the Yingfa til the dust settles.
Check it out at: www.swimdownhill.com
(I think that's it)

That's where I got mine ($53, 2 days shipping and tax from CAN to CA!)

May 21st, 2009, 02:39 PM
With the banning of the B70 I'm wearing the Yingfa til the dust settles.

I don't see it on the list. Is it known by a different name? Searching the FINA list for "yingfa" or "shark" turns up nothing...

May 21st, 2009, 03:05 PM
That's correct. As things stand today the Yingfa and Blue Seventy are both equally non-approved (i.e., not on the approved list). Neither is the Speedo Fastskin II and there are still lots of those being used (or were used).

Karen Duggan
May 21st, 2009, 03:47 PM
I highly doubt that the Yingfa will be banned, unless it starts outselling the LZR :bolt:

It does not have the same neoprene-like materials as the B70. It just feels like a lycra suit. But, you are correct, it has not yet met the coveted approval from FINA. :D

May 21st, 2009, 03:51 PM
YingFa suit Karen talked about approved in 2006. No neoprene made of 18% lycra 82% nylon. Sorry folks I don't think I am allowed to comment.

May 21st, 2009, 04:00 PM
FINA has already stated they aren't going to ban suits. Rather they are publishing an approved list. Yingfa is not on the approved list.

May 21st, 2009, 05:42 PM
At the heart of the controversy are some new are suits totally covered with polyurethane to aid buoyancy. The old suits only had polyurethane plates which have bouyancy. Of course a lot of suits do not have these bouyancy aids and were not tested as it was not neccessary to have them tested.

May 21st, 2009, 06:23 PM
Of course a lot of suits do not have these bouyancy aids and were not tested as it was not neccessary to have them tested.

I disagree, George. Here's the text of the Dubai Charter regarding the new suit requirements: http://www.fina.org/project/images/help/the%20dubai%20charter.pdf

There's nothing in it suggesting only certain suits need to be tested. It is pretty clear that to be approved a suit needs to be submitted to FINA. There's no provision made for older suits or suits that use 'standard' materials: "All swimsuits to be used during the period of application shall be submitted, even if previously approved."

May 21st, 2009, 07:11 PM
My information comes from the French swimming committee which may be incorrect. But you may understand that I cannot say more as I do not want to be thrown off the forum.