PDA

View Full Version : Rowdy's take on tech suits



LMH
August 27th, 2009, 11:48 AM
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthelimucompany.com%2FBlog%2Ft abid%2F574%2FDefault.aspx&h=b5023eed6e24ea5f30c6f99f91142e01

Tim L
August 27th, 2009, 12:13 PM
At least Rowdy didn't have loose body part tucking, skin cancer prevention, and knee support in his reasons. Good for him. Rowdy didn't really address whether USMS should break from FINA on tech suits. It would be interesting to hear his thoughts on that matter.

Tim

knelson
August 27th, 2009, 12:17 PM
This is interesting because you would have thought Rowdy was against the suits based on his comments from Rome. He kept saying things like "Phelps got beat by the suit."

Midas
August 27th, 2009, 12:43 PM
Does B70 sponsor him? I can't read the posting, can somebody copy it here?

pwb
August 27th, 2009, 12:51 PM
Does B70 sponsor him?
Yes


This is interesting because you would have thought Rowdy was against the suits based on his comments from Rome. He kept saying things like "Phelps got beat by the suit."

I agree, though maybe he was going out of his way to try to not be seen as being biased by his connection with B70.


I can't read the posting, can somebody copy it here?

The suit controversy continues... (http://thelimucompany.com/Default.aspx?tabid=574&EntryID=27)


Aug 27 Written by: Rowdy Gaines
8/27/2009
The new suit technology and the controversy behind it does not seem to want to go away. Now there is quite a bit of attention in the Masters World. The Washington Post recently had an article on the suit through the eyes of Masters Swimming: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082503048.html?referrer=emailarticle (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082503048.html?referrer=emailarticle)
My thought has always been that the suit has been good for the sport. If you had asked me two years ago and I knew then what I know now, I would have agreed that the suit would NOT be good for the sport. But the suit arrived and it changed our sport more dramatically than anything in history. We can’t just pretend it didn’t happen.
There are several reasons why I think the suit should stay on all levels, but certainly now in Masters. The first 8 reasons are for all of swimming and the last 5 are for Masters specifically. This is just one man’s opinion, but I did a recent informal survey on Twitter and Facebook asking if the suit should stay or go away in Masters. I received about 100 votes, and the most responses were for it to stay. 55% wanted the suit to stay, 30% wanted it to go away and about 15% didn’t care either way.
General swimming reasons…


Wait about 10 to 15 years when they are still going 21 plus in the 50 and women are going 4:02 in the 400….BORING…the casual fan wants to see a 10-8 game in baseball and they want to see records broken in swimming.
Wait until next year when that little 14-year-old girl that went a minute at juniors this summer can’t break 1:02, and her body changes and she decides to quit and go out for water polo, or worse…soccer.
Don’t tell me it was more of an advantage for one body type over another. The suit companies would have fixed that problem eventually.
What other sport is actually going in reverse when it comes to technology? Do they still play with a wooden racquet in tennis? What about golf clubs and race cars?
Does it really take away from the legend of swimmers like Evans, Spitz and even Popov? Of course not…they will always be legends.
Wait until the Berens and the Vollmers of the world can’t make ends meet because the suit companies had to cut back because they sell $50 suits vs. $500 suits…only the Phelpses and Coughlins will survive financially. I’ve talked to the presidents of most swimsuit companies and they all say the same thing. It will hurt them financially and they will have to pass it along to the sport.
And don’t tell me that it’s not fair for that 12-year-old because he/she can’t afford it. Life’s not fair, so get over it. Or better yet, ban it for ALL 12 and unders…it’s not rocket science.
The only way this sport will ever grow is more exposure. I was on the Today Show twice during Worlds talking about the SUITS!! N even a mention of Phelps, who btw will be gone in three years, so kiss that gravy train good bye…


And for Masters specifically…


At our age, we need all the help we can get!
At the very least, let’s keep it around through 2010. A lot of people HAVE spent a lot of money and it would be nice to have some time to “wear them out.”
I love this one from John Beatty…“No one is forcing a master’s swimmer to wear the suit. It’s not like we are swimming to make a national team. We swim for our own reasons. Why should we care what someone else is wearing if we are supposedly swimming for our individual selves?”
The prices of the suits will go down, way down, now that the manufacturers have a glut of these that they are trying to get rid of.
It’s Masters! At the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter (or at least it shouldn’t) and we can all go out afterwards for a beer and a laugh. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear whispers that some Masters swimmers are taking performance enhancing drugs and to even think about comparing the suits to PEDs is ludicrous.

psyncw
August 27th, 2009, 01:00 PM
It's going to be hard for me not to see biases from rowdy or usms officers if they are getting money from the suit manufacturers. If usms decided to allow the body suits, I feel that money may have influenced the decision.

knelson
August 27th, 2009, 01:24 PM
And for Masters specifically…
At our age, we need all the help we can get!

Rubbish. What, are we going to drown if we don't have a fancy suit? So we'll swim slower without one. Big deal.


I love this one from John Beatty…“No one is forcing a master’s swimmer to wear the suit. It’s not like we are swimming to make a national team. We swim for our own reasons. Why should we care what someone else is wearing if we are supposedly swimming for our individual selves?”

I disagree. Maybe some people wouldn't care, but I can tell you I wouldn't be happy that the guy swimming next to me showed up on the blocks wearing fins and paddles, for example. Swim meets are COMPETITIONS. In a competition I think you should care what your competitors are doing.

thewookiee
August 27th, 2009, 01:54 PM
. In a competition I think you should care what your competitors are doing.

I disagree here. I don't care what you or anyone else does that is in my heat. I can only control how I swim and I only care about how I swim.

pwb
August 27th, 2009, 02:08 PM
I disagree here. I don't care what you or anyone else does that is in my heat. I can only control how I swim and I only care about how I swim.

I disagree here mostly. You're right that I can only control how I swim, but I care both about how I swim ... and how I place. If I didn't care about how I placed or what others were doing, I could do my own races at my home pool without traveling to meets. The competition / racing is a primary goal, but it also helps me swim faster.

tjrpatt
August 27th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Rubbish. What, are we going to drown if we don't have a fancy suit? So we'll swim slower without one. Big deal.



I disagree. Maybe some people wouldn't care, but I can tell you I wouldn't be happy that the guy swimming next to me showed up on the blocks wearing fins and paddles, for example. Swim meets are COMPETITIONS. In a competition I think you should care what your competitors are doing.


Right on, Kirk. If you are swimming slower, finds ways to swim faster(or tech suits times) without a fancy suit as a crutch. Go to an extra practice or two, have a day devoted to a stroke or sprinting or technique, step up the weights, yoga, etc.

I really don't think that Gaines can be that objective since he has an endorsement deal with b70.

I totally care about what my competitors are doing. How could you not care? It is the nature of sports to care.

Thrashing Slug
August 27th, 2009, 02:31 PM
It's all well and good to say you don't care what competitors are doing, but it is a competition, and the competition should be fair. There are already rules prohibiting performance enhancing devices, flotation, etc. The controversy was caused by those rules not being enforced, plain and simple.

It all started with Thorpe and his full-length bodysuits. Then we had the Lazers in Beijing. Now it's polyurethane. Next year it will probably be suits with little ridges and dorsal fins on them. Hell, why not just go to full-on wetsuits? The whole controversy is pretty stupid if you ask me. Obviously the suits are a form of cheating. It should be no surprise to anyone that we have arrived at this point.

I agree with Rowdy and others who say that now Pandora's box is open and there is no good solution. It's a mess.

Chris Stevenson
August 27th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Rowdy's 8 general swimming reasons are irrelevant, that ship has sailed. FINA banned the suits and USS, NCAA and high school followed very quickly.

I've hear a lot of FINA-bashing now from pro-tech people. I grant that they have been a bumbling organization WRT the suits, but there is no way anyone can convince me that FINA had the spine to act unilaterally on this matter. They banned the suits because of pressure from others; the USA-S sent them a proposal to that effect. The anti-tech backlash had been building for awhile, and the Jaked/Arena suits just pushed them over the edge. FINA was only responding to that; I'm sure if no one protested, every suit would still be legal.

You can blame them for capitulating too quickly to a vocal minority. Or you can say they were just giving the majority of coaches and swimmers what they want. I do not know which is the truth, but I suspect it is the latter.

So Rowdy gives more reasons why masters should resist the tide. I find them to be pretty unconvincing.

"At our age, we need all the help we can get!"

I assume this is a joke?

"At the very least, let’s keep it around through 2010. A lot of people HAVE spent a lot of money and it would be nice to have some time to “wear them out.”

No one forced anyone to buy the suits. I know many people who bought them after the FINA edict, knowing full well that masters might possibly follow and the suits would be banned Jan 1. Caveat emptor.

“No one is forcing a master’s swimmer to wear the suit. It’s not like we are swimming to make a national team. We swim for our own reasons. Why should we care what someone else is wearing if we are supposedly swimming for our individual selves?”

Because swimming is a competitive sport. Because I want to follow the same rules as the rest of the swimming universe. Why not allow one-handed turns? Or SDKs past the 15m mark? (I'd sure be in favor of that one.)

"The prices of the suits will go down, way down, now that the manufacturers have a glut of these that they are trying to get rid of."

So? Price isn't the main issue here.

"It’s Masters! At the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter (or at least it shouldn’t) and we can all go out afterwards for a beer and a laugh."

I honestly don't get this. Who takes the sport (too) seriously, the person who buys a Jaked that might be banned in 4 months in order to get in a few last fast swims? Or the person who doesn't?

Masters is fun, but clearly a lot of people care about their performance or the suits would never have caught on. Rules are necessary in any competition, deciding which ones to follow doesn't make you more fun-loving than the next guy.

pwolf66
August 27th, 2009, 02:51 PM
I disagree. Maybe some people wouldn't care, but I can tell you I wouldn't be happy that the guy swimming next to me showed up on the blocks wearing fins and paddles, for example. Swim meets are COMPETITIONS. In a competition I think you should care what your competitors are doing.
Actually, in a swimming competition (or any other individual competition) you can only worry about what you are doing. If you worry about what others are doing, then you have already given them an advantage over you, whether you realize it or not.

Except that fins and paddles are currently ILLEGAL. At least until FINA changes that ruling too.

As for competing. Why do we compete in Masters? What extrinsic reward is there for finishing first in a race? Cash? Nope. Free stuff? None that posseses a very high monetary value at best. Fame? Huh-uh, pull the other one. Adoration from other Masters swimmers? Please see Exhibit: Paul Smith.

With all that, what exactly is being taken away from a Masters swimmer who finishes 2nd versus one who finishes 1st? Assuming of course that 2nd place chose to swim in a brief and 1st place chose to swim in a body suit?

aquageek
August 27th, 2009, 03:11 PM
I will say in a pool meet for shorter distances, I don't conern myself with others. But, in OW especially, knowing what your comeptitors are doing and where they are is pretty important, for me anyway. What they are wearing is mostly irrelevent to me in all race situations.

JMiller
August 27th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Rowdy's 8 general swimming reasons are irrelevant, that ship has sailed. FINA banned the suits and USS, NCAA and high school followed very quickly.

The political winds will shift when we discover there is way less financial support given to the next generation of athletes because the swim suit manufacturers are broke.

thewookiee
August 27th, 2009, 03:20 PM
I totally care about what my competitors are doing. How could you not care? It is the nature of sports to care.

I use to care what the people I raced against did in the events. I don't care anymore. Not caring about anyone else in the race has made swimming tons better because I am the only person that I have to worry about in the event.

Going to meets allows me to 1) Get the out of town for the weekend, since there are no meets in my town for masters. 2) Spend time with friends and watch them race 3) Get to swim in a lot better pools than I practice 4) Put my practice/training to a test to see how it is going and what I can do better. I go to meets to see how I am doing. That is what gets me pumped to swim, to compete against myself, not others. I don't get excited to race others, just me.

justforfun
August 27th, 2009, 03:31 PM
I second everything Chris says above.

As to the argument about FINA's edict putting swimming behind other sports in term of disallowing technological advances, I think swimming is different than other sports commonly cited (tennis, golf, NASCAR, etc.). Swimming has always been about the swimmer's interaction with the water. We don't NEED suits to compete, only for modesty. In tennis, golf, and NASCAR, there is no sport without the racket, club, or car. Therefore, technological advances in the equipment one needs to compete are natural. In swimming, technological advances in the equipment we do need to compete (like pool construction and lane ropes) are a natural part of the sport in the same way they are for the other sports mentioned. But, the suit is a different story in my mind. We don't need any more suit than is necessary for modesty and when we do add more, it changes the way we interact with the water.

Chris Stevenson
August 27th, 2009, 03:32 PM
The political winds will shift when we discover there is way less financial support given to the next generation of athletes because the swim suit manufacturers are broke.

Maybe, maybe not. But in the meantime we have to deal with the here and now, not speculate about what FINA will do in the future.

Personally, I think the swimsuit manufacturers will do just fine. I'm not going to support tech suits because I am worried that they'll go out of business.


I use to care what the people I raced against did in the events. I don't care anymore. Not caring about anyone else in the race has made swimming tons better because I am the only person that I have to worry about in the event.

The more I think about it, I realize that both your reason and Rowdy's "it's just masters" reason are basically the same: the stakes are so low, why should anyone care what someone else is wearing?

But this is disingenuous. As far as I can see, the only reason an individual wears these suits is to go faster; the other reasons are unconvincing, to say the least. But if the stakes are really so low, why should you care enough to spend $$$ to buy a high-tech suit to go faster?

knelson
August 27th, 2009, 03:34 PM
Actually, in a swimming competition (or any other individual competition) you can only worry about what you are doing. If you worry about what others are doing, then you have already given them an advantage over you, whether you realize it or not.

Who said anything about worrying about your competition? My point is that you need to be cognizant of your competitors. Do you think Lezak was paying attention to Bernard in the next lane last year in the 400 relay in Beijing? I think he was and if he truly blocked Bernard's presence out entirely he probably wouldn't have won.


Personally, I think the swimsuit manufacturers will do just fine. I'm not going to support tech suits because I am worried that they'll go out of business.

In fact, people have speculated on this forum that the LZR was a loss leader for Speedo and that they are making all their money selling more traditional suits.

scyfreestyler
August 27th, 2009, 03:36 PM
But if the stakes are really so low, why should you care enough to spend $$$ to buy a high-tech suit to go faster?

For skin cancer protection and knee stability, duh!

thewookiee
August 27th, 2009, 04:05 PM
But this is disingenuous. As far as I can see, the only reason an individual wears these suits is to go faster; the other reasons are unconvincing, to say the least. But if the stakes are really so low, why should you care enough to spend $$$ to buy a high-tech suit to go faster?

I have never said I don't want to go faster. I want to go as fast as I can and do it using the most legal means possible. I just don't care what the people next to me are doing in heat.

If the suits remain legal for masters, then they are part of the equation to going as fast as I can. If FINA or USMS does ban them, then they won't be part of the equation to going faster, which won't necessarily be a bad thing. But I do hope we at least keep the textile ones legal. Another reason I would spend money on a bodysuit is that I really don't want to shave. Yea, I know there people who don't like that argument but unless you are somewhat hairy to really hairy, you have no idea how bad it is to shave. Someone said that even if you do wear a suit, you still have to shave. No, you really don't. Yea, some hair will stick through the suit but a bodysuit will still cut down on drastically on the drag created by the body hair.

I like Rob's suggestion of keeping the bodysuits made of textile material approved by FINA and getting rid of the rubbersuits. Yea, I have tried a rubberstyle suit...don't like how it feels...really itchy. The textile suits are much more comfortable, with less irriation, less controversy

JMiller
August 27th, 2009, 04:16 PM
Maybe, maybe not. But in the meantime we have to deal with the here and now, not speculate about what FINA will do in the future.

Right, and all the speculation up until now that precipitated this irrational decision was inherently justified? For the purity of the sport?

You should know, this isn't about what's good for the sport. This is about the first time in history there has been a political challenger to the throne, and nepotism cut the heir off at the knees!

Chris Stevenson
August 27th, 2009, 04:49 PM
If the suits remain legal for masters, then they are part of the equation to going as fast as I can. If FINA or USMS does ban them, then they won't be part of the equation to going faster, which won't necessarily be a bad thing. But I do hope we at least keep the textile ones legal. Another reason I would spend money on a bodysuit is that I really don't want to shave. Yea, I know there people who don't like that argument but unless you are somewhat hairy to really hairy, you have no idea how bad it is to shave. Someone said that even if you do wear a suit, you still have to shave. No, you really don't. Yea, some hair will stick through the suit but a bodysuit will still cut down on drastically on the drag created by the body hair.

Actually the shaving thing is one reason other than speed that sounds reasonably legit. But I don't see why masters swimmers are any different than other swimmers in this regard. "It's only masters," if you don't like shaving, don't do it.


Right, and all the speculation up until now that precipitated this irrational decision was inherently justified? For the purity of the sport?

You should know, this isn't about what's good for the sport. This is about the first time in history there has been a political challenger to the throne, and nepotism cut the heir off at the knees!

FINA originally adopted the suits because they were pressured to do so (by the manufacturers). Banning them was no different, they just went with the prevailing winds (this time blowing from coaches and swimmers).

Bottom line: FINA and many other bodies have made a decision. When FINA allowed dolphin kicks in breaststroke, should USMS alone refuse the new rules if they deem it a "wrong" decision? Same with any other rule change. I think there is a burden is on the pro-tech people to say why USMS shouldn't follow the same rules as other swimming orgnizations.

I readily admit that there are some ways that masters are unique. Allowing in-water starts or butterfrog are examples of "special" rules.

So: are there other reasons why should the suits be treated as a special case?

This is an honest question. If the suit thing comes up at Convention I want to represent my LMSC, not just my own personal preference, so I'd like to hear all the possible arguments. I'll definitely vote against my preference if I think it serves my LMSC better. I voted for a wetsuit category at national OW champs last year even thogh I would never wear one myself.

If other international masters organizations keep the suits, then that is another good argument for USMS to do so. Then the question is, should USMS advocate for an international suit ban, as USS did? Personally I would say yes b/c I like masters to be as similar as possible to "regular" swimming but I'll vote for what serves my LMSC best.

geochuck
August 27th, 2009, 05:19 PM
Olympic swimmers will be swimming in $50.00 to $100.00 suits and master swimmers in $500.00 to $600.00 suits. What a good deal for master swimmers.

TRYM_Swimmer
August 27th, 2009, 08:21 PM
What other sport is actually going in reverse when it comes to technology?

Actually, golf has just banned square groves, on a sliding rotation, depending on the level of competition.

Allen Stark
August 28th, 2009, 01:55 PM
Some people swim to win,some to go faster,some for fitness,etc.I don't say any of those reasons are better than the other,but winning is important to me.I do want to compare myself to the best in my age group.I was a little disappointed at LCM Nats when I got there and found that Hubie Kerns had broken his leg and wouldn't be there.After his performance at Fresno I was really looking forward to racing him.Pretty much my rivals are among my best friends in swimming.I know they make me faster and I hope I make them faster. Jon Blank posted on another thread that David Guthrie had recruited him to go to Indy so they could race.That is an important part of Masters for some people,if it is not for you that doesn't make it irrelevant.Every time I feel like blowing of a set in work out or skipping a round in the weight room I think 2 words"Bob Strand".

Rich Abrahams
August 28th, 2009, 04:32 PM
Some people swim to win,some to go faster,some for fitness,etc.I don't say any of those reasons are better than the other,but winning is important to me.I do want to compare myself to the best in my age group.I was a little disappointed at LCM Nats when I got there and found that Hubie Kerns had broken his leg and wouldn't be there.After his performance at Fresno I was really looking forward to racing him.Pretty much my rivals are among my best friends in swimming.I know they make me faster and I hope I make them faster. Jon Blank posted on another thread that David Guthrie had recruited him to go to Indy so they could race.That is an important part of Masters for some people,if it is not for you that doesn't make it irrelevant.Every time I feel like blowing of a set in work out or skipping a round in the weight room I think 2 words"Bob Strand".

Alan,
A great rivalry with Andy McPherson in the mid-90's kept me motivated and now Mr. Strand forces me to train for the 100 IM every now and then, but in a pinch I think TASNICWHTY ("There's always some nut in California working harder than you.") for self-talk to keep me from loafing.

Rich

That Guy
August 28th, 2009, 05:24 PM
This morning I was feeling reaaaalllllly crappy in the pool. I've been fighting a cold and this morning during warmup it seemed like the cold was winning. I was going to more or less pack it in with a short main set, but after the first couple 75 flys I decided that if I want to hit my time goals in the fall, I'd better suck it up. Extending the main set to 600 total fly felt like a victory, under the circumstances. And my stroke count never exceeded 8, that was good too.

Time goals, SDK's, and stroke counts are something I can control. I can't control who enters meets and events, who scratches or DQ's, who gets hurt, and so on. If I focus on rivalries, it's a very weird empty feeling when I look at the psych sheet and find that a rival entered different events than I expected. Or isn't there at all! If I focus on placement (e.g. "I want to earn a medal in this event") then it might work out great or the event may turn out to be stacked with ringers. I do like to shoot for Top Tens but if I hit my time goal and don't make Top Ten, the most you'll hear from me is :badday:

Chris Stevenson
August 28th, 2009, 05:31 PM
TASNICWHTY ("There's always some nut in California working harder than you.")

:D I like that.

selkie
August 29th, 2009, 12:32 AM
The 'people won't watch if they don't see world records' argument is totally bogus. Look at women's track and field. They've got a ton of world records from as far back as the 1980s dope fests that no modern runner or relays comes close to approaching. And the women of the Golden League circuits like Sanya Richards, Allyson Felix and Blanka Vlasic are huge sporting start over in Europe, world records or not.

The one record on that side that's under constant assault is the pole vault and that's because Yelena Isinbayeva is doing the same thing that Sergei Bubka did back in the day and constantly upping her competition clearance height by a centimeter or half centimeter in order to max out on the world record bonus money. And consensus is that by taking that kind of strategy, she makes setting a world record less special because she'll do it 5-6 times a year.

geochuck
August 29th, 2009, 09:09 AM
When I drove through California last time I bought some nuts from an Almond farm.

chaos
August 29th, 2009, 09:51 AM
I readily admit that there are some ways that masters are unique. Allowing in-water starts or butterfrog are examples of "special" rules.

So: are there other reasons why should the suits be treated as a special case?


these are "comfort" rules, and though there may be some individual advantage they are certainly not techniques designed to add speed. i would like to see the ban go further, and extend to open water (approval of the point zero for OW may be seen as the start of the whole tech suit arms race)

Redbird Alum
August 29th, 2009, 11:46 AM
Rowdy does an "informal" poll using Twitter and mail and gets 55% voting for the suits, not surprising since most of his contacts will be elites. Chris suggests that he would like to represent the whole of Masters and solicits on these boards, where most of the outspoken people have already used or adopted the suits.

The fact is, that in any "vote" the people that tend to vote are those that have the most to gain or lose by the change, and the winner is whomever gets the most of their supporters motivated to get off their backsides and vote by whatever means is provided.

When FINA and USA Swimming line up on one side of the rule, it seems to me USMS should follow suit. These are regulatory rules, not a popularity contest. Ban the suits and let's get back to swimming.

Chris Stevenson
August 29th, 2009, 12:11 PM
Chris suggests that he would like to represent the whole of Masters and solicits on these boards, where most of the outspoken people have already used or adopted the suits.
...

These are regulatory rules, not a popularity contest. Ban the suits and let's get back to swimming.

You are right that "majority rules" is not the only consideration.

What I said (or meant to say, I can't remember and I'm too lazy to check) is that I will vote for what is in the best interests of the LMSC I represent, not just my own preference. I believe that is, in fact, the charge given to all delegates at convention.

In this case I think "best interests" are defined as (a) what is going to get most people to compete, and increase their satisfaction in it and (b) what is good for the sport (for want of a better phrase). There is a popularity component in the first but not the second.

I do think uniformity with FINA and (especially) USS is good and I've said as much. But uniformity also applies to other masters federations...

Rob Copeland
August 29th, 2009, 03:41 PM
It's going to be hard for me not to see biases from rowdy or usms officers if they are getting money from the suit manufacturers. NO USMS officer is getting money from the suit manufacturers!

VC22
August 30th, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'm a master swimmer (and as a disclaimer also a swim shop (http://www.aqualoja.net/index.php/en/) owner), besides swimming pool competition i go to a lot of open water events.

As an open water swimmer and aficionado I vote for swimsuits in OW (possibly the textile only, or maybe more). Water can be cold in some countries, regions and days.
For the average OW swimmer some cold water swims (the longer ones) just can’t' be made without a suit
·Suits are more effective than Vaseline alone (and surely less messy and better for the skin breath)
·surely cold water tolerance can be trained but how many do have time and patience for this, do we want more or less people doing OW?
·Ending and OW race in hypothermia is no fun and it's not safe (I've experienced this and I’ve seen it once to many)
·Suits won't prevent all hypothermia cases but they will do away with most, they make colder water swims more accessible comfortable and safe (not to mention fun)
·Also in some seas there are jelly fish and other things for which suits offer some protection


As a master swimmer i would prefer the suits (possibly the textile only) are maintained. I do see a lot of diference in time betwen being shaved and not and i would prefer not to shave.
·There's a lot of difference in body hair for older swimmers. Some naturally have almost full body hair coverage other almost none
·If they're not both shaved or wearing full suits I would say it's not a level playing field (unlike other physical characteristics i think it's pretty much accepted to change/go around this one)
·There are good and cheap full swimsuits, wearing this will end up being cheaper (and surely easier and less time consuming) than shaving

regards

Gdavis
August 31st, 2009, 10:56 AM
I just looked at the men's 4x100 free relay final Sydney 2000. Old model textile suits of every style/description were everywhere. I don't recall there being a huge suit brouhaha at the time. (As far as I know few suggest that Ian Thorpe's records should have asterisks beside them.) This suggests to me that it is primarily the LZR and post-LZR innovations that have caused the problem. I thus don't understand why FINA didn't try to simply adopt rules to set the clock back a bit. This is where I would prefer masters to go (suits ok but approved textiles only) because like wookie and others I find the suit is the "shave alternative". If I had to shave to try to swim fast - and I would without the suit - it would significantly reduce my enjoyment of competition.

orca1946
August 31st, 2009, 12:56 PM
I love my tech suits & will miss not swimming in them this year !

art_z
August 31st, 2009, 02:12 PM
What other sport is actually going in reverse when it comes to technology?

Actually, golf has just banned square groves, on a sliding rotation, depending on the level of competition.



And the car racing analogy is bogus as well. If you look at the history of formula 1 and Indy Car (and probably NASCAR too) there have been many occassions where technological advances were made that were within the current rules and were subsequently banned, here is a list of just 2008. Most relate to technologic advances.

http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/6844/default.html

JMiller
September 1st, 2009, 05:52 PM
In this case I think "best interests" are defined as (a) what is going to get most people to compete, and increase their satisfaction in it and (b) what is good for the sport (for want of a better phrase). There is a popularity component in the first but not the second.

The suits were good for the sport, in terms of popular culture. Rowdy is right about the correlation between the suit controversy and the increased media exposure for the sport of swimming. If we collectively tried to buy that kind of media exposure the total cost would be significantly larger then the entire niche swimsuit market!

Thrashing Slug
September 1st, 2009, 06:02 PM
That's like saying drug doping scandals are good for cycling, because they increase media coverage.

JMiller
September 1st, 2009, 06:08 PM
That's like saying drug doping scandals are good for cycling, because they increase media coverage.

Except swimsuits is what we're actually discussing! That's good for the sport.

Chris Stevenson
September 1st, 2009, 06:14 PM
Except swimsuits is what we're actually discussing! That's good for the sport.

Why? Much of the swimsuit coverage was not complimentary. And even the ones that were neutral just focused on the technology, not the sport of swimming. (I guess I'm not at the point where I equate the two.)

But fear not, I'm sure there will be continued coverage about how the absence of the suits has resulted in a dearth of new WRs. Any exposure is good, right?

But all that doesn't help us decide what to do about masters. The suits are already banned in "mainstream" swimming so Rowdy's argument for why they were a good thing is interesting but moot.

JMiller
September 1st, 2009, 06:29 PM
(I guess I'm not at the point where I equate the two.)

Is it easier for you to equate a swimsuit with PED use?



So Rowdy's argument for why they were a good thing is interesting but moot.

How's that? The media exposure that did occur is irrevocable. The idea that swimming "can't" flourish in mainstream media has dissolved!

Chris Stevenson
September 1st, 2009, 10:23 PM
Is it easier for you to equate a swimsuit with PED use?

I don't understand this comment. When did I say that?


The idea that swimming "can't" flourish in mainstream media has dissolved!

I'll believe that when swimming displaces -- or even comes close to competing with -- NASCAR in my local paper. But whatever popularity swimming DOES have in the US has much more to do with Mr. Phelps than Speedo. (In some other countries, swimming has greater popularity than here, and this happened well before any suit controversies.)

The idea that the suits caused swimming to be a mainstream sport is just ludicrous.

(Though Ricky Berens' suit malfunction probably did cause a large spike of interest among a certain demographic...)

JMiller
September 2nd, 2009, 01:05 PM
I don't understand this comment. When did I say that?

Hi Chris, sure we are misquoting each other, but the equivalence between the suits and PED use is being implied, and that is the moral imperative for why they are now actually banned. From this perspective, I see that as a Red Herring based on political interests that are ultimately disingenuous.



I'll believe that when swimming displaces -- or even comes close to competing with -- NASCAR in my local paper.
Wow, you are a tough sell! I'd be happy with market normalization for all sports, which in all fairness, doesn't have to be complete saturation!

Chris Stevenson
September 2nd, 2009, 05:16 PM
the equivalence between the suits and PED use is being implied, and that is the moral imperative for why they are now actually banned. From this perspective, I see that as a Red Herring based on political interests that are ultimately disingenuous.

I have no moral qualms with the suits -- well, maybe a slight one about their price, the whole "social justice" thing (and losing about $500 of suits to a thief at a meet sure didn't improve my outlook on the price issue).

My personal position has always been that masters should follow the same rules wrt suits as the elites, no more and no less.

That's why I said Rowdy's argument against banning the suit doesn't apply. The suits are banned, the question now is about what masters should do. I don't think TV coverage is really an issue in that debate.

I don't get your political interests comment at all. If you look at this:

http://reachforthewall.com/2009/09/01/fina-second-guesses-suit-restrictions/

you see that Australia and GB are pressuring FINA to allow body-suits for men, and one reason mentioned is that the sponsors aren't happy with jammers b/c there is little room to have those big logos.

So exactly which side is being more accommodating to special interests?

JMiller
September 2nd, 2009, 07:12 PM
you see that Australia and GB are pressuring FINA to allow body-suits for men, and one reason mentioned is that the sponsors aren't happy with jammers b/c there is little room to have those big logos.
So exactly which side is being more accommodating to special interests?

Thanks for sharing that link Chris. Maybe there is still hope for business interests in our sport! Or, will we cut the flow off completely? Grown adults should be able to buy and race in any swimsuit they want! Anything less is unconstitutional!

Allen Stark
September 2nd, 2009, 08:23 PM
So they want to increase suit size so the logos will be more visible.those who want swimming to be like NASCAR should be glad.

Thrashing Slug
September 3rd, 2009, 04:22 PM
Thanks for sharing that link Chris. Maybe there is still hope for business interests in our sport! Or, will we cut the flow off completely? Grown adults should be able to buy and race in any swimsuit they want! Anything less is unconstitutional!

Unconstitutional? Lets not get carried away. The rules of competition are governed by whatever body sanctions the competition. It has nothing to do with US law or politics.

In my opinion, the original FINA rules should have been interpreted to not allow most of the recent tech suits, because those suits are performance enhancing devices. Much like the Kitajima dolphin kick, the rules were bent as more and more swimmers pushed the limits with tech suits. Finally the backlash go to be too much and FINA specifically ruled against them. Right now it seems to us that the cat was out of the bag and maybe they waited too long, but only time will tell whether or not that is true. Maybe in hindsight this period will look like nothing more than a blip on the radar of swimming history. Personally I'm glad they put a stop to the ongoing slide toward wetsuits in the pool.

As for business interests and swimming popularity, I think the only reason swimming gets any press at all is because of the leftover excitement from the Olympics. Even that isn't much. This stuff seems very important to all of us, but the majority of people don't really care. I can sympathize with your desire to make swimming more popular, but I don't agree that tech suits are the best way to achieve that end. I think the rivalry between Phelps and Cavic is more the type of thing that gets people interested (close finish, trash talking, etc.), but again that could be just me since I actually follow the sport anyway.

JMiller
September 3rd, 2009, 07:51 PM
Unconstitutional? Lets not get carried away.
Some people don't want to buy the suits, and that's entirely their choice! Legislating what everyone else in the world is able to purchase, that's incredulous!

What is the real reason for the deflation of the largest market swimming has ever produced? How is that good for the sport?

scyfreestyler
September 3rd, 2009, 09:56 PM
Some people don't want to buy the suits, and that's entirely their choice! Legislating what everyone else in the world is able to purchase, that's incredulous!

What is the real reason for the deflation of the largest market swimming has ever produced? How is that good for the sport?

Nobody is saying you can't purchase the suits, wear the suits, or even swim in the suits. You just can't race in the suits in certain sanctioned competitions.

I know that you know these things, I'm just being a smart ass! :D

stillwater
September 3rd, 2009, 10:05 PM
What is the real reason

FINA has banned them.

Thrashing Slug
September 4th, 2009, 02:32 AM
Some people don't want to buy the suits, and that's entirely their choice! Legislating what everyone else in the world is able to purchase, that's incredulous!

You're right man, that is incredulous. Peace. :angel:

thewookiee
September 4th, 2009, 07:41 AM
FINA has banned them.

For masters, that hasn't been ruled on. For USA,NCAA,H/S, yes that is the case.

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2009, 08:11 AM
For masters, that hasn't been ruled on. For USA,NCAA,H/S, yes that is the case.

Most of what JMiller has been talking about -- TV coverage, politcal agendas, increased money in the sport, whatever (I can't really follow some of it) -- is dealing with FINA's decision to ban the suits for "mainstream" swimming, and (I think) originated with Rowdy's theory that the suits stimulated media interest in the sport.

I don't see much media interest in masters swimming. The reason I claimed that most of it is irrelevant is exactly what you said: those decisions made, what should masters do?

thewookiee
September 4th, 2009, 09:09 AM
, what should masters do?

At this point, I doubt if any of the masters organizations around the world really know what to do about the issue. I would guess that like USMS, other masters governing bodies are waiting on the FINA Masters Tech group to issue a statement on the suits.

Once USMS and others have some guidance from the FINA Masters, they will be able to issue a ruling.

Is the compromise for Masters to allow bodysuits that are 100% textile, like the FS Pro and Tracer Lights? Would it be better to follow everyone else? My personal opinion, to allow 100% textile bodysuits for masters but that's becasuse I really do hate shaving down. Like you said, not something I am forced to do with masters and won't do even for nationals.

But what is "best" will be argued about among "tow the line crowd" vs "forward thinking crowd" vs " the somewhere in between crowd"

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2009, 09:24 AM
I would guess that like USMS, other masters governing bodies are waiting on the FINA Masters Tech group to issue a statement on the suits.

I'm not completely sure, but I believe USMS is considering whether to be more proactive than that, and advocate a particular position to FINA (much like USS did).

Of course, then USMS would have to turn around and decide whether to pass whatever FINA decided to do. Or decide to do something else. I bet it won't happen until next year but that's just a guess.

geochuck
September 4th, 2009, 09:25 AM
Does anyone think FINA could still change their mind and allow TECH suits back to be used???

Will Fina produce rules that everyone can follow to a tee???

Are these discussions really about nothing???

I know tech suits are still being sold, some at discount prices, are they being bought by wishful thinkers???

BillS
September 4th, 2009, 11:54 AM
Does anyone think FINA could still change their mind and allow TECH suits back to be used???

Yes.


Will Fina produce rules that everyone can follow to a tee???

Not in my lifetime.


Are these discussions really about nothing???

They keep Dolphin2 happy and engaged.


I know tech suits are still being sold, some at discount prices, are they being bought by wishful thinkers???

They are legal through the end of the year, which period is evidently much longer than the lifespan of some of the suits.

JMiller
September 8th, 2009, 08:02 PM
This stuff seems very important to all of us, but the majority of people don't really care.
Do you think swimming is undervalued because human nature requires a vested interest in order to ensure direct personal involvement? Or, has the ability for business interests in our sport to produce a highly consumable product been historically denied?

So they want to increase suit size so the logos will be more visible. Those who want swimming to be like NASCAR should be glad.
Do you think the logos have anything to do with the rise of NASCAR in the last 10 years to now become the 4th largest sport consumed in the USA? Or is it the simple 3-tier betting system that engages a wider audience?

I don't see much media interest in masters swimming.
Do you think intellectual property or the value of an image have anything to do with the category of swimmer you are? Does media evolve and are we all part of that new platform?

stillwater
September 8th, 2009, 10:06 PM
Descartes was flying on a plane. The steward asked him if he would like a drink. He replied, " I think not", and disappeared.

JMiller
September 9th, 2009, 11:52 AM
"It is very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to act according to what is most probable."
~Rene Descartes, 1596-1650~

Allen Stark
September 10th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Descartes was flying on a plane. The steward asked him if he would like a drink. He replied, " I think not", and disappeared.

Rejoinder to Descartes"you think therefore you know you are,but what am I?"

Brad Horner
September 12th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Good bye and good riddance to the suits. Enough drama, and the drama will never stop if they are kept legal. I swam great at masters nationals with my suit- world record included- and think they are an amazing leap forward performance-wise. But my high school daughter made me feel guilty the whole time ("That's not real swimming, you're cheating Dad!).

Rowdy Gaines is a not a A+ representative for our sport. Great swimmer, especially in a Blue 70. But his opinions and commentary do not make me proud.. I cringe at every second sentence he comes out with during his commentary on televised swimming events. I wish there was another voice for swimming.

hornHead
September 12th, 2009, 11:55 AM
Good bye and good riddance to the suits. Enough drama, and the drama will never stop if they are kept legal. I swam great at masters nationals with my suit- world record included- and think they are an amazing leap forward performance-wise. But my high school daughter made me feel guilty the whole time ("That's not real swimming, you're cheating Dad!).

Brad

Is it your daughter you swim for, or is it yourself? Her opinion is her opinion and for you take it on gives her control. If you have done something wrong or contrary to established rules or regulations and she calls you on it, she has to back it up. IMO it appears that your reason to get rid of the suits is based solely on how your daughter perceives you.