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View Full Version : Poll: No Tech Suits and Desire to Compete



jim thornton
July 25th, 2009, 12:35 PM
I am curious to see if the banning of tech suits will affect the motivation to compete in masters swimmers who are currently used to wearing these suits.

Obviously, much is in flux right now, but let us stipulate, for the sake of argument, that men are allowed briefs or jammers, and women are allowed leg-less tank suits of the yesteryear variety. Moreover, these must be made out of "normal" textiles--nothing all that fancy. Think spandex, nylon, or polyester. Think Speedo catalogs from the 1970s.

I have gotten used to my tech-suit aided times and am pretty sure that going 2 seconds slower per 100 is going to be psychologically, well, obnoxious. I am not yet sure if it will affect my meet participation, but I gotta say that it might. It's one thing to pay a ton of money to go to a national or even regional meet in the hopes of doing somewhere close to a lifetime best. It's another thing to attend such meets when you will be most likely swimming times more in keeping with your perceived sense of decrepitude and senescence! I know it was always psychological, a small white lie I was telling myself that I was still almost as fast at 56 as I was at 19.

But once the white lie is irrevocably gone, will I want to demonstrate its absence to myself over and over again?

For the truly top elite swimmers, who are racing against each other for bragging rights at the mountaintop of their respective age group, it may make less of a difference. But for some, like me, who were competing more against our own memories of our younger selves, the change might be harder to accept.

By the way, I am one of those who freely admit that tech suits have helped my times significantly.

aztimm
July 25th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Maybe USMS will give us an option:

Use a Tech suit, or advance one age group?

For some of us, advancing one age group would be worse. I'd rather go back one age group.

CreamPuff
July 25th, 2009, 02:57 PM
I'll have even more money to spend on travel meets rather than spending the money on tech suits.

gull
July 25th, 2009, 03:02 PM
As long as we are leveling the playing field, I want better genes. And do something about the damn aging process.

Aside from the faster times, I really enjoy the racing experience more in my Blue Seventy (just as I enjoy tennis more with my K Factor racket). And didn't Mr. Negative tell us Masters swimming is all about having fun?

meldyck
July 25th, 2009, 03:10 PM
I definitely won't compete again if we can't wear long suits. I'm fed up with shaving down (about equal to my best swims in the tech suits, by the way) and will find another sport or two to enjoy. That said, giving up competition will also result in not rejoining USMS since, as I've said a number of times on this forum, competition is the only thing that USMS provides to me that is unique enough for me to pay the fees.

Midas
July 25th, 2009, 04:02 PM
While I really enjoy racing in my B70 and not having to shave, I got back into competing before owning one and definitely intend to go on competing. The suit might have made me a little faster, but I still swam meets even this year without it and I'm happy enough with my times to keep going. It would be a shame to lose anybody over this. Mel, you could always just not shave down...

ddunbar
July 25th, 2009, 04:15 PM
The Fat Man was not going to buy a high tech full body suit - too many blivet comments. If & when the Fat Man gets up on the blocks, it will be most likely in jammers. He really wants to protect the general public and avoid swimming in suit similar to his 1975 issue Arena that had side panels less that 2 inches.

meldyck
July 25th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Mel, you could always just not shave down...

I tried this a couple of years ago at a meet as an experiment and am just not competitive with myself 1) in a fast suit or 2) shaved and tapered. What made competition really fun for me over the last 10 years was the ability to turn in high-quality times year around and not just have to wait for one meet.

But, hey, it's been an enjoyable run and I've got lots of other things to explore if USMS does away with the body suits. I've been doing a lot of indoor rowing in the last couple of years and might try single sculls next summer here in Denver to see if I can get ready for my next age-group change and do nationals in that sport.

Couroboros
July 25th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I am equally likely to compete. I really don't see the allowance or not of techsuits being any reason for me to change my mind about competing.

Although, I'm not exactly looking forward to shaving down for the first time, which now that tech suits are banned, I am even far more likely to end up doing. *looks at self and sighs* I am one hairy sonuva'gun.

JimRude
July 25th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Racing is racing, and that's what the meets are about. The times will be slower, but it's all relative. I would never have approached my LT bests in the new suits anyway.

But the hypocrisy of Speedo, and Schubert in particular, really piss me off.:bitching:

jim thornton
July 25th, 2009, 09:20 PM
So far, this looks reasonably reassuring for USMS. However, I do think that there are likely to be consequences if and when we are back to the 1970s era, and these consequences may be hard to predict.

I wouldn't be surprised to find, for instance, that OW increases more in popularity relative to pool swimming. I also think that more people will swim for fitness and health as their prime motivator.

Those who say they will be more likely to compete may be fellows like Muppet, who has never worn tech suits (to my knowledge) and hence is likely to see his standings ascend.

But those who have been early adopters of the fastest suits, and have been using these pretty much nonstop since the Aquablade days--I fear that they may say they'll continue competing at the same levels. But a season or two of times much slower than they are used to doing may prove either actively discouraging or, perhaps more likely, absent of the motivation that good times had been providing (perhaps without the full extent being acknowledged.)

In my own case, for instance, I have managed to just squeak into the upper 52's in the 100 yard freestyle, and the 1:56's in the 200.

If I find it really hard to break 55 in the 100, and impossible to break 2:00 in the 200, even if everyone else in my peer group undergoes similar time adjustments, I am virtually positive it will prove a major, major bummer!

Hopefully, I will get used to it and keep going to meets. But I can definitely see cutting back on competition per se. Again, time will tell. It's kind of like the stock market. My pitiful portfolio has shrunk to even more pitiful status. It doesn't help that everybody else's has shrunk similarly (with the exception, perhaps, of the Goldman Sachs and Private Health Insurance CEO world.)

Bobinator
July 25th, 2009, 09:27 PM
Will we be able to wear them at nationals?:confused:

fastback
July 25th, 2009, 09:54 PM
The playing field will be level so the time factor will be relative. Returning to shaving down and growing new crops seems is not something to look forward to. And seeing if anyone can break those asterisked records before we all die will be interesting.

Lump
July 25th, 2009, 11:00 PM
Something about a RAT'S ASS comes to mind. If you are in it for the suits go pose somewhere else.

3strokes
July 25th, 2009, 11:54 PM
I am curious to see if the banning of tech suits will affect the motivation to compete in masters swimmers who are currently used to wearing these suits.



Oops. Sorry, I answered the poll before reading the sentence above.
Never even felt the desire to wear one. The only change I made in these last seven years was to go from two-months-and-you-could-be-arrested-for-indecent-exposure Lycra (et al.) suits to Polyester (briefs, which, BTW, can trap air.)

chaos
July 26th, 2009, 07:33 AM
i voted more likely.... i have all but lost interest in pool meets where the big discussion is "what are you wearing?"

geochuck
July 26th, 2009, 08:30 AM
I am posting this video because you may not have seen it. http://www.thestar.com/videozone/671047

geochuck
July 26th, 2009, 08:34 AM
You forgot this poll question.

I will wear a tech suit if I could afford it so I will have to compete without one

Ripple
July 26th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Numerous people have mentioned how long it takes to put one of these suits on - so where is there room for air to be trapped? I should think it gets squeezed out as one wriggles into the thing.
As for modesty, wasn't there a female swimmer from some conservative Muslim country who got to compete in Bejing precisely because of the extra coverage of the tech suits? In that sense, the suits did level the playing field.

hofffam
July 26th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Numerous people have mentioned how long it takes to put one of these suits on - so where is there room for air to be trapped? I should think it gets squeezed out as one wriggles into the thing.
As for modesty, wasn't there a female swimmer from some conservative Muslim country who got to compete in Bejing precisely because of the extra coverage of the tech suits? In that sense, the suits did level the playing field.

The air is trapped in the fabric between the skin and the rubber coating. It is very apparent to me in the B70. If the suits were entirely rubber - I think they would not trap much air - just in odd body pockets (which might also end up filled with water).

swimcat
July 26th, 2009, 10:39 AM
the highest tech suit i own is a fs pro and tracer lite, which will make the cut as let's face it, are the old paper suits. think early 90's. it is just the rubberized suits,- lzr, jaked, blue 70. i was just getting used to longer suits. i hate tanks on the starting block. if they ride up, there's not a lot you can do:)

geochuck
July 26th, 2009, 11:04 AM
I have heard that Rocket Science suits have water and air escape vents on their suits. Jaked and B70 do not.

swimshark
July 27th, 2009, 10:03 AM
I wear an old-school tech suit (TYR Aquapel) so I think it will be approved. I enjoy it and will continue to enjoy it and never really thought about going for something more.

aquageek
July 27th, 2009, 10:32 AM
While I will not compete less, I will say that it will be less enjoyable. I like gear and gizmos and this ruling will impact my overall enjoyment of the sport, but only at the margins.

pwolf66
July 27th, 2009, 11:12 AM
I will also still compete but I'm sure it will feel like something is missing.

For me, there was something about the 'getting it on' feeling of getting myself into my racing suit. Sure it took a while but I could feel a physiological response to just walking into the locker room with my suit in my hand, I could feel my heart beating a little faster, my breathing a little deeper, etc.

Allen Stark
July 27th, 2009, 11:51 AM
It will make no difference to me.I love big meets and to compete.The up to 30 min putting on the suit I won't miss,but the 60 min shaving more than offsets that.Both are part of the psych up however.

Dolphin 2
July 27th, 2009, 11:51 AM
Frankly, I'd rather use paddles and flippers.

They're a lot more comfortable (and cheaper) than the hassle of wearing and buying a tech suit. :)

Dolphin 2

scyfreestyler
July 27th, 2009, 11:55 AM
Frankly, I'd rather use paddles and flippers.



Dolphin 2

And I encourage you to do so. See you at Pacific Short Course Champs next year?

lonecow
July 27th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I love my Blue Seventy, times have come down a little, but having had kidney surgery and other friends who have had surgeries, at 59 years old, it sure felt good to have the suit hold in those scar/muscle incisions. Its not like us older guys are going to set any Olympic Records, we are mostly out there for fun. Also many overweight people, it sure helps their confidence as I have had many tell me they may not get in the water if it all has to hang out. Hopefully on this one, USMS will not obey the FINA ruling.

jim clemmons
July 27th, 2009, 08:01 PM
And I encourage you to do so. See you at Pacific Short Course Champs next year?

And why not this year in October? (sc meters)

geochuck
July 27th, 2009, 09:08 PM
I was just talking to the Rocket Science swimwear company. Kelvin said the benefit of the compression suit is that if you use them as a training suit it relieves muscle strain. They also help you to learn streamlining. So there is a use after FINA.