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View Full Version : The Wriiting is On the Wall for Tech Suits



JimRude
June 4th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Read the article "What's Up with the Suits?" by John Leonard at the following site:

http://www.swimmingcoach.org/

Now note that he sat on the FINA "Commission for Swimwear Approval" that produced the current fiasco:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21315.asp?q=FINA%20Process%20for%20Approving%20Swi msuits%20Explained

My prediction, FWIW, is that post 01-01-2010, men will be back into FS Pro Jammers (read" paper suits), and women into traditional tanks. Isn't that the only way to be "pure" and eliminate compression, buoyancy, air-trapping, drag reduction, etc?

Perhaps we should also get rid of goggles and silicone caps, since they also represent technological breaks with the past.

While I am happy to race in any type of suit, as long as it is a level playing field (and I consider LZR, B70, Jaked, AquaZone, Tracer Rise, Powerskin, etc to be level enough), I am nauseated by the "purist" argument that swimming has become all about the suits. It has not. Everyone has access to a LZR, or a B70, or ... So it is still racing, only in different equipment. Yes, a less-fit swimmer with poor technique may be aided more by the suits than a fit swimmer with good technique. But certainly not enough to beat the latter.

The purist argument is based on the dramatic drops in times achieved with the new suits. So what? Does the fact that Bousquet and cohorts are setting records minimize Biondi's accmplishments; or Popov's/Jager's/Thorpe's/Salinkov's/Spitz's? Of course not.:bitching:

Somebody find a way to get rid of FINA, please. And mute Craig Lord, while you're at it...:bitching:

The Fortress
June 4th, 2009, 04:34 PM
No, it's not all about the suits. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21308.asp?q=Record%20Evolution:%20It%20May%20Not%2 0All%20Be%20In%20the%20Suit

Here's a good quote:

"Times are supposed to get faster, but apparently, only at some preconceived rate established through the sport's own brief history. Whatever that gradual rate is supposed to be, according to whomever it is who gets to decide, the improvements over the past year exceeded it. But is this kind of evolutionary acceleration really unprecedented? Or is it just our misperception of our own history? "

And I've repeatedly made this comment, and people tell me I'm deluded every time:

"Another revealing statistic is the sustained rate of improvement by the same swimmers one year after the latest generation of suits was introduced. Many elite swimmers are smashing their own personal records set a year ago wearing the same suits. How do the suit critics account for this widespread, sustained improvement?"

If we're going back to tanks and jammers, that's pre-2000. Ridiculous. A different century.

That article also makes it sound like the B70 will not be on the FINA list to be issued on June 19 despite re-testing.

JimRude
June 4th, 2009, 04:40 PM
No, it's not all about the suits. http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21308.asp?q=Record%20Evolution:%20It%20May%20Not%2 0All%20Be%20In%20the%20Suit

Here's a good quote:

"Times are supposed to get faster, but apparently, only at some preconceived rate established through the sport's own brief history. Whatever that gradual rate is supposed to be, according to whomever it is who gets to decide, the improvements over the past year exceeded it. But is this kind of evolutionary acceleration really unprecedented? Or is it just our misperception of our own history? "

And I've repeatedly made this comment, and people tell me I'm deluded every time:

"Another revealing statistic is the sustained rate of improvement by the same swimmers one year after the latest generation of suits was introduced. Many elite swimmers are smashing their own person records set a year ago wearing the same suits. How do the suit critics account for this widespread, sustained improvement?"

If we're going back to tanks and jammers, that's pre-2000. Ridiculous.

That article also makes it sound like the B70 will not be on the FINA list to be issued on June 19 despite re-testing.

I agree 100%, and I thought Mr. Guthrie's article was well-written and quite convincing. My beef is with bureaucrats and journalists (and Speedo-compensated coaches) who are hell-bent on trying to stop the advancement of technology.

We can agree that the suits make you faster than a Lycra or paper jammer/tank. However, it is fair to assume they make EVERYONE faster (albeit the unfit fatties relatively more so). Therefore, training and talent still matter.

orca1946
June 4th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Maybe for world records, but the rest of us will never be that fast to make a record difference with them:chug:

knelson
June 4th, 2009, 05:10 PM
The thing is with the rash of new suits--that haven't necessarily been available to everyone--over the past year or two, we really have no idea how much is due to the suits and how much is due to other factors. When someone breaks a world record I'd rather the first thought that crosses most peoples' minds is "wow, what a great swim!" rather than "what suit were they wearing?" I think ideally we should eliminate tech suits, but I'm happy with clearly defined rules for suits.

BillS
June 4th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Read the article "What's Up with the Suits?" by John Leonard at the following site:

http://www.swimmingcoach.org/

Now note that he sat on the FINA "Commission for Swimwear Approval" that produced the current fiasco:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21315.asp?q=FINA%20Process%20for%20Approving%20Swi msuits%20Explained

My prediction, FWIW, is that post 01-01-2010, men will be back into FS Pro Jammers (read" paper suits), and women into traditional tanks. Isn't that the only way to be "pure" and eliminate compression, buoyancy, air-trapping, drag reduction, etc?

Perhaps we should also get rid of goggles and silicone caps, since they also represent technological breaks with the past.

While I am happy to race in any type of suit, as long as it is a level playing field (and I consider LZR, B70, Jaked, AquaZone, Tracer Rise, Powerskin, etc to be level enough), I am nauseated by the "purist" argument that swimming has become all about the suits. It has not. Everyone has access to a LZR, or a B70, or ... So it is still racing, only in different equipment. Yes, a less-fit swimmer with poor technique may be aided more by the suits than a fit swimmer with good technique. But certainly not enough to beat the latter.

The purist argument is based on the dramatic drops in times achieved with the new suits. So what? Does the fact that Bousquet and cohorts are setting records minimize Biondi's accmplishments; or Popov's/Jager's/Thorpe's/Salinkov's/Spitz's? Of course not.:bitching:

Somebody find a way to get rid of FINA, please. And mute Craig Lord, while you're at it...:bitching:

Wow, what a potential opportunity for USMS . . . while FINA takes swimming back to the (relatively) dark ages, USMS opens its arms and embraces tech suits of all fabrics, stripes, and permeability (or lack thereof) . . . manufacturers use masters swimmers as unpaid test mules, developing ever faster suits . . . slowly, but inexorably, the fast crowd drifts over to USMS events for the sheer thrill of seeing times faster than Olympic standards on the boards . . . eventually, the Olympics are perceived by the public as a quaint anachronism, roughly on a level with the vintage motocross nuts racing 70's Maicos and CZs . . . USMS SCY Nats become the new Olympics, with 24/7 coverage and bong hit/stripper scandals by the bucketload . . .

scyfreestyler
June 4th, 2009, 10:51 PM
Wow, what a potential opportunity for USMS . . . while FINA takes swimming back to the (relatively) dark ages, USMS opens its arms and embraces tech suits of all fabrics, stripes, and permeability (or lack thereof) . . . manufacturers use masters swimmers as unpaid test mules, developing ever faster suits . . . slowly, but inexorably, the fast crowd drifts over to USMS events for the sheer thrill of seeing times faster than Olympic standards on the boards . . . eventually, the Olympics are perceived by the public as a quaint anachronism, roughly on a level with the vintage motocross nuts racing 70's Maicos and CZs . . . USMS SCY Nats become the new Olympics, with 24/7 coverage and bong hit/stripper scandals by the bucketload . . .

I was a little skeptical, until the last sentence. :cool:

thewookiee
June 5th, 2009, 11:01 AM
If we're going back to tanks and jammers, that's pre-2000. Ridiculous. A different century.

That article also makes it sound like the B70 will not be on the FINA list to be issued on June 19 despite re-testing.

Maybe I am wrong, but in the end, I don't think we will go back to jammers and tanks. The swimsuit companies have spent too much money developing better racing suits between 2000-2007 that are shoulders to ankles and anywhere in between.

I do think the fabric will be more like suits between 2000-2007. With that fabric, I bet the swimsuit companies will try to develop to be a slick as possible too, while still being permeable.

There is nothing wrong with suits with zippers, so I don't understand why they are thinking of elimanting them

ande
June 5th, 2009, 12:26 PM
I like tech suits and wear them. If they are legal, swimmers hoping to maximize their potential would be foolish not to.

We all have to remember that swim suits are for decency. We wear them to cover our private parts. Anything beyond that really is a device that increases speed via 1) compression, 2) slicker body surface & 3) floatation. If FINA wants to make swimming about the swimmer, racing suits would be worn for decency only and return to minimal fabric.

The problem was FINA didn't have language in their rules that limited how much of a swimmers body could be covered by a suit. But the problem is, less fabric means less money for suit makers and suit sellers.
Briefs tend to be cheaper than Jammers
Jammers cost less tha Legskins
Legskins cost less than full body & knee skins

Rule Book (http://www.usms.org/rules/)

Rules that Apply to Suits (http://www.usms.org/rules/part1.pdf)

102.14 Swimwear
102.14.1 Design—The swimsuits worn for competition shall be nontransparent and conform to the current concept of the appropriate. The referee shall have authority to bar offenders from competition until they comply with this
rule.

102.15 Disqualifications
102.15.9 Swimmers are not permitted to wear or use any device or substance to help their speed, pace or buoyancy during a race.

mazzy
June 5th, 2009, 12:48 PM
Going back to brief or jammer and classic women upperbody suits is the only way to be sure that the manufactures will not find a way to "cheat", just like finding a way to made a permeable lycra suit not permeable. Today if you buy a water-repellent spay and apply on a old style body suit (pre-2008) you can made it nearly non permeable well over the time needed to complete a race. The compression can stimulus your muscles.
Yes, the big sponsor will not like at all going back and lost tons of $$ from over the world from selling race suits, but the FINA risk to losing the world's respect if the WRs are perceived due only by suits, and today the Mr Smith see that or nearly.

you can look at goggle and cap like a safety aid. If a swimmer can't see underwater, he can crash at the wall, the hairs can impair his vision.
The goggle don't enhanced the performance at all, if anything it'll slow down a little bit.
A bodysuits have no reason at all but to enhance the performance, so then how about fins and snorkel for example ?, if anybody can use it it's a level playing field in the same way as today.
Let's call them racer swimmer not swimmer.

early july after the FINA congress we'll know much more, but for sure something will happens, this caos can't continue.

Chris Stevenson
June 5th, 2009, 12:52 PM
The goggle don't enhanced the performance at all, if anything it'll slow down a little bit.

It's a minor quibble, but goggles have a HUGE positive effect on performance because they allow much greater training time in the water. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the time drops due to widespread goggle use exceeded those of the tech suits.

Pretty good for a $10 piece of equipment...!

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 01:05 PM
Everyone I know in Masters has a "real life". I'm using that tongue in cheek from the other thread. But really, I think the most asked question besides the suit question, at meets, is how much has someone been training? B/c as it has been stated (too) many times, the suit cannot swim FOR you.

You often hear people say, "Jim hasn't been swimming much," or "Susie just had her appendix out." There are so many factors, obviously, that affect our performance at meets. I think we scout out this information on our competition b/c we care about them (heh-hem) but more probably b/c we know who we should/could beat and who we can't. And I think that's why people detest sandbaggers, b/c they are not honest.

So even if the writing is on the wall for tech suits, it's really the people in the suits that we should be asking about.

thewookiee
June 5th, 2009, 01:06 PM
Going back to brief or jammer and classic women upperbody suits is the only way to be sure that the manufactures will not find a way to "cheat", just like finding a way to made a permeable lycra suit not permeable. Today if you buy a water-repellent spay and apply on a old style body suit (pre-2008) you can made it nearly non permeable well over the time needed to complete a race. The compression can stimulus your muscles.
Yes, the big sponsor will not like at all going back and lost tons of $$ from over the world from selling race suits, but the FINA risk to losing the world's respect if the WRs are perceived due only by suits, and today the Mr Smith see that or nearly.

.


If FINA provides them with a clear set of rules that must be met for approval, then it wouldn't matter if it is a brief, jammer, legskin, etc. The suits would all follow the same guidelines.

There is nothing wrong with swimmers, including guys, wearing suits that cover the upper torso and lower legs. I don't undestand why people think we should go back to swimming in briefs or jammers.

If someone is going to cheat with a suit spray on full body, then they will do it with a brief or jammer or tank as well to get that percieved extra bit of edge...the style of suit won't matter to them.

I don't see the major suit companies going down without a fight if FINA is serious about going back to briefs/jammers for the very reason of them losing money. Arena, Speedo are major sponsors of swimming. They stand to lose a lot of money if that happens and I don't think FINA will want to upset their major sponsors to that point

knelson
June 5th, 2009, 01:40 PM
There is nothing wrong with suits with zippers, so I don't understand why they are thinking of elimanting them

This is an interesting one. My best guess is that suits with zippers make it much easier to get into a really tight suit. For one thing the entire suit then needs to be able to go past your hips. I think a suit with no zipper means much less possible compression. Would a full-body suit with no zipper even be practical? Maybe that's their goal: effectively eliminate full-body suits by making zippers on suits illegal.

aquageek
June 5th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I've wondered just how much profit there is in the tech suits for the big companies. I've often heard two things. First, tech suits are loss leaders for them due to their relatively low sales volume and higher production costs. Second, team suits (your summer teams, high schools, etc) are the bread and butter of their operations. I'll be at meets this Summer where 300 + kids will be wearing Speedo lycra suits at $50 a pop.

I wonder what the sales ratio is of traditional lycra/endurace suits to tech suit sales - 1:100, 1:500?

ande
June 5th, 2009, 01:48 PM
zippers create compression, perhaps FINA ought to add a rule that swimmers have to dress entirely by themselves with no assistance or tools

knelson
June 5th, 2009, 01:53 PM
perhaps FINA ought to add a rule that swimmers have to dress entirely by themselves with no assistance or tools

So far I haven't needed to use either a shoe horn or pliers to get into a suit. Maybe I'm not getting a small enough size! :)

BillS
June 5th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Would a full-body suit with no zipper even be practical? Maybe that's their goal: effectively eliminate full-body suits by making zippers on suits illegal.

Yes, a zipperless suit might be practical. There are some super stretchy neoprene fabrics out there. I have 2 cold water surf wetsuits with no zippers. They are not too bad to get into, but sort of vacuum bag onto you while you surf and are a righteous bear to get off.

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 02:06 PM
Kirk,
My Yingfa full body suit does not have a zipper, and I contend it is only a little bit slower than the B70. It is easy to get on, stretchy and comfortable, but tight enough (if that make sense).
With all of the busted zippers I hear about, I'm not too sure people would really miss them!

Allen Stark
June 5th, 2009, 02:10 PM
It's a minor quibble, but goggles have a HUGE positive effect on performance because they allow much greater training time in the water. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the time drops due to widespread goggle use exceeded those of the tech suits.

Pretty good for a $10 piece of equipment...!

The time drop in the 1500 M from 1972(pre-goggles) to 1976 was nearly a minute,much greater than any suit caused drop.After reading the post on Gillette holding off introducing multi-blade razors the idea that Speedo and Arena may want to go back to permeable suits makes sense.Speedo started the tech suits and probably thought the would corner the market.Along comes B-70 and Jaked and suddenly their market share is in danger so time to change the rules back.

CreamPuff
June 5th, 2009, 03:26 PM
You often hear people say, "Jim hasn't been swimming much," or "Susie just had her appendix out." There are so many factors, obviously, that affect our performance at meets.

So even if the writing is on the wall for tech suits, it's really the people in the suits that we should be asking about.

My personal experience is that we masters discuss (more privately than on public message boards) ad nauseum both the suits and the people in the suits.

orca1946
June 5th, 2009, 03:33 PM
How does the old spray we put on compare to the tech suits ?

The Fortress
June 5th, 2009, 04:05 PM
We all have to remember that swim suits are for decency.

I question this underlying assumption. It my be correct for recreational swimming or the beach. But I don't think it applies to racing. Speed suits, in various forms, have been around since I was a kid.

The Fortress
June 5th, 2009, 04:08 PM
And I think that's why people detest sandbaggers, b/c they are not honest.

I question this assumption too. In fact, I think it's reductionist absurdity. There are many reasons for "sandbagging." You may not like them, but reasonable people may differ. Are words like hate and detest really necessary in adult swimming?

knelson
June 5th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Are words like hate and detest really necessary in adult swimming?

Only when discussing events such as the 200 fly, 200 breast and 400 IM. Oh yeah, and noodlers.

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 04:20 PM
I would be curious to hear of one good reason for INTENTIONALLY MISREPRESENTING your time?

And if this becomes an issue, maybe USMS should use the same idea as USA-S and require masters to enter their best times.

The Fortress
June 5th, 2009, 04:24 PM
And if this becomes an issue,

If? Sandbagging is commonplace, even among world record holders.

There are many reasons. I'm not inclined to re-visit them here. It's been argued to death on other threads.

aquageek
June 5th, 2009, 04:37 PM
We all have to remember that swim suits are for decency.

Have you been around any collegiate or older high school swimmers lately Ande? Might make you rethink that stance.

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 04:41 PM
I thought b/c of the USA-S database, the problem of sandbagging was virtually eliminated.

I'm liking the idea of USMS following suit (no pun intended).

CreamPuff
June 5th, 2009, 04:47 PM
I thought b/c of the USA-S database, the problem of sandbagging was virtually eliminated.

I'm liking the idea of USMS following suit (no pun intended).

There is the USA-S database. But when I and others (here in GA) enter USA-S meets, we enter any time we wish. The one USA-S meet that I did enter which did pull from the database entered me as NT in all my events as it was my first USA-S meet in 18 years. VERY annoying. Had no one to race. But back to your original point, here in GA we write down any time we wish for USA-S meets. Is that not done in CA?

knelson
June 5th, 2009, 04:53 PM
I thought b/c of the USA-S database, the problem of sandbagging was virtually eliminated.

I'm liking the idea of USMS following suit (no pun intended).

I don't know. Kids tend to compete more and train more consistently. Masters swimmers' times are going to be more difficult to predict based on these two factors. Just because I swam a good time in Clovis doesn't mean I'll be able to get anywhere near that time at a meet in October.

As far as the database, the USA-S meets I've entered in Washington have all required entries be done using Team Manager. This can pull in times from the database, but you can also "override" with a custom time, too.

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 04:59 PM
It was my assumption, never a good thing! that the database was used to make sure swimmers didn't enter too fast or too slow. For example, you can't enter an A meet w/out an A time, etc.

Also, I know, even in Pac Masters, that if you enter a time significantly slower, the meet director has the option to adjust your time, at least at our championships.

Interesting.

SwimRobin
June 5th, 2009, 05:03 PM
So, have suits with zippers already been eliminated with the new rules? I have a Tyr Aquapel Short John that has a zipper back, a suit that was sold prior to 2007. Or, are we just discussing the possibility of eliminating zippers in the future?

CreamPuff
June 5th, 2009, 05:08 PM
It was my assumption, never a good thing! that the database was used to make sure swimmers didn't enter too fast or too slow. For example, you can't enter an A meet w/out an A time, etc.

Also, I know, even in Pac Masters, that if you enter a time significantly slower, the meet director has the option to adjust your time, at least at our championships.

Interesting.

Same here regarding qualifying times (QTs.) You must have the QT to swim/ enter the meet (which they check on) but then we are allowed to enter our own custom times. I've always entered custom times except for that one meet in which they pulled from the database and put me as all NT's.

SwimStud
June 5th, 2009, 05:09 PM
Only when discussing events such as the 200 fly, 200 breast and 400 IM. Oh yeah, and noodlers.
Easy there big fella! ;)


I would be curious to hear of one good reason for INTENTIONALLY MISREPRESENTING your time?

Um
PB was at 1:03.5 entered at 1:02.5 looking for a drop. Got motivated and went 1:02.12

It seemed a good reason to misrepresent my time.

Karen Duggan
June 5th, 2009, 05:12 PM
Kirk- But if EVERYBODY had to enter these times from a database, no one could be accused of sandbagging. (If it's even that big a deal, which I don't think it is.) I do find it annoying.

There is a very fast person in Pac who should always be in the last heat, but always ends up in slower heat, annhilates those people, and surprise, went significantly faster than their entered time! Again, annoying.

KEWebb18
June 5th, 2009, 05:23 PM
There is a very fast person in Pac who should always be in the last heat, but always ends up in slower heat, annhilates those people, and surprise, went significantly faster than their entered time! Again, annoying.

Then said individual should have some sort of negative consequences for continally doing this from the LMSC.

Back to the suit issue, I am fine wearing whatever. I have swam faster times in a practice poly suit than a "tech suit" (aquablade) and it comes down to training and rest. But what do I know because I only swim to have fun, not to set world records.

aquageek
June 5th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Why is everyone so concerned about everyone else on this forum - who wears what suit, who sandbags. Good grief, just shut up and swim.

KEWebb18
June 5th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Kudos to you!

The Fortress
June 5th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Why is everyone so concerned about everyone else on this forum - who wears what suit, who sandbags. Good grief, just shut up and swim.

People apparently like to pass judgment, call people out, scold and impose their values on others.

Shut up and swim your own race.

joseferraz
June 5th, 2009, 06:19 PM
I'm 64 and, not having raced as a youngster, I have never shaved myself for a race. If FINA gets so insane to go back to medieval times in racing, I wonder what my wife will say if I tell her that now I have to start shaving my body...
For me the technical suits are also shaving devices...

CreamPuff
June 5th, 2009, 06:26 PM
People apparently like to pass judgment, call people out, scold and impose their values on others.


:)

I get more than enough of that during holidays and family gatherings. Oh yea, and at our HOA (Homeowners Association) meetings. And church. And swim practice. . .

Deano
June 5th, 2009, 07:55 PM
Read the article "What's Up with the Suits?" by John Leonard at the following site:

http://www.swimmingcoach.org/

Now note that he sat on the FINA "Commission for Swimwear Approval" that produced the current fiasco:

http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/21315.asp?q=FINA%20Process%20for%20Approving%20Swi msuits%20Explained

My prediction, FWIW, is that post 01-01-2010, men will be back into FS Pro Jammers (read" paper suits), and women into traditional tanks. Isn't that the only way to be "pure" and eliminate compression, buoyancy, air-trapping, drag reduction, etc?

Perhaps we should also get rid of goggles and silicone caps, since they also represent technological breaks with the past.

While I am happy to race in any type of suit, as long as it is a level playing field (and I consider LZR, B70, Jaked, AquaZone, Tracer Rise, Powerskin, etc to be level enough), I am nauseated by the "purist" argument that swimming has become all about the suits. It has not. Everyone has access to a LZR, or a B70, or ... So it is still racing, only in different equipment. Yes, a less-fit swimmer with poor technique may be aided more by the suits than a fit swimmer with good technique. But certainly not enough to beat the latter.

The purist argument is based on the dramatic drops in times achieved with the new suits. So what? Does the fact that Bousquet and cohorts are setting records minimize Biondi's accmplishments; or Popov's/Jager's/Thorpe's/Salinkov's/Spitz's? Of course not.:bitching:

Somebody find a way to get rid of FINA, please. And mute Craig Lord, while you're at it...:bitching:



Why would you want to ban zippers? seems very odd to me. That is regression beyond sense. But one of the suits we submitted had no zippers..it was an open back suit.....so zippers have no effect on buoyancey...maybe compression?

mmm...another twist.


Deano

stillwater
June 5th, 2009, 09:52 PM
I wonder what my wife will say if I tell her that now I have to start shaving my body...


You might be surprised.

After a week you'll be sleeping in the garage.

meldyck
June 6th, 2009, 07:43 AM
You might be surprised.

After a week you'll be sleeping in the garage.

The growback period is tough on your wife AND it feels like you have a tribe of fleas living on your body for many, many weeks.