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View Full Version : Shoulder to Knee ? That is just plain stupid !



ehoch
September 22nd, 2009, 02:01 PM
"The short version is men and women get the same suits, shoulder to knee in textile."

So this proposal makes every single full body suit and legskin suit illegal. What exactly is the difference to allowing the suit to go to the ankle ???

Keep it textile, but PLEASE use some common sense and allow the 1000s of pre LZR / Blue 70 suits to still be used.

The proposal is already different from USS / FINA with the zipper - I would like just ONE good reason to "cut us off at the knees" and make us get new suits.

The Fortress
September 22nd, 2009, 02:11 PM
I agree; it's just plain stupid.

They have given a reason though (not opining on whether it's "good"). Less material = less performance enhancement.

gull
September 22nd, 2009, 02:24 PM
The proposal is already different from USS / FINA with the zipper - I would like just ONE good reason to "cut us off at the knees" and make us get new suits.

Two comments:

1). We don't know if FINA will approve this (assuming, of course, that they even care what Masters swimming does).

2). We don't know if anyone will still be manufacturing kneeskins, as there has been significant shrinkage (sorry, Geek) in the market.

ehoch
September 22nd, 2009, 07:15 PM
We don't know if anyone will still be manufacturing kneeskins, as there has been significant shrinkage (sorry, Geek) in the market.


Exactly - why submit a recommendation for suits few people own and nobody will be able to buy ?????

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2009, 08:03 PM
Is the person who started this thread REALLY the same as the person who started another one a few months ago exhorting every masters swimmer to give up the tech suits voluntarily?

The market for zippered kneeskins under the USMS proposal and zippered full-bodies under your proposal is the exact same size: ie, restricted to masters only. What makes you think the full body suits will be manufactured more readily? Higher profit margins?

gull
September 22nd, 2009, 10:03 PM
The market for zippered kneeskins under the USMS proposal and zippered full-bodies under your proposal is the exact same size: ie, restricted to masters only. What makes you think the full body suits will be manufactured more readily? Higher profit margins?

The point is that many of us already own legskins and/or full body suits (FSI, FSII, FS Pro) that we will not be able wear.

Jazz Hands
September 22nd, 2009, 10:22 PM
Calf coverage is ruining our sport!

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2009, 10:38 PM
The point is that many of us already own legskins and/or full body suits (FSI, FSII, FS Pro) that we will not be able wear.

Yes, I do realize that. I am in the same boat, currently owning legskins that may soon be illegal and a body suit that is already illegal (an Xterra that I wore for exactly two races). A complete ban would not have left you better off.

Pro-suits gave up rubber and calves. Anti-tech gave up torso and zippers. No one got exactly what they want. Life sucks and then you die.

Or maybe you can just shrug your shoulders and enjoy the sport for what it is. In your avatar, you look dashing in your jammers; I bet you swim pretty fast in them too without needing to cover your calves.

Spock
September 22nd, 2009, 11:20 PM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees.

elise526
September 23rd, 2009, 12:25 AM
Exactly - why submit a recommendation for suits few people own and nobody will be able to buy ?????

I have to admit that I have been wondering the same thing. So, will B-70 or Speedo make these suits just for masters?

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 10:23 AM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees.

As a comic book fan, have to say -- Love it! :applaud:

As for the "pro-suits gave up calves and rubber and anti-suits gave up zippers and torso" point, the latter seems highly skewed to help men. (It's not really a "give up" for many women as many have worn the recordbreaker kneeskin for years.) I prefer calves and "rubber." I'd love to know the gender breakdown of those voting ...

The suit manufacturers must be going nuts not knowing what to manufacture ... I have no idea what suit I will be wear for my meet the end of October ... Of course, this is SOP this year for me.

hornHead
September 23rd, 2009, 11:12 AM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees.

Mickey Mouse wears jammers, although the two buttons will have to go!

ehoch
September 23rd, 2009, 01:35 PM
Is the person who started this thread REALLY the same as the person who started another one a few months ago exhorting every masters swimmer to give up the tech suits voluntarily?


Fair point - but there is a difference. For a real comparison between my times over the years, I would have to use the same suits (or no suit). I beat my Masters best time (2004) in the 100 Free by 3/10 this summer, BUT I am not sure how that really compares to the 2004 time.


As for the "pro-suits gave up calves and rubber and anti-suits gave up zippers and torso" point, the latter seems highly skewed to help men.

As long as the suits are textile, calf or no calf makes no difference. Covering the calf vs shaving is the same. I would have no problem if we had no "suit history" and this was a brand new thing. BUT, my guess is that there are about 5-10 times as many competition full body suits / legskins out there already compared to jammers (for meets - not practice suits) and knee skins. The best textile suit is the Speedo Fastskin Pro - they don't even make a kneeskin for Men and they won't design one for Masters.

If you want to deviate from the Olympic swimmers, just go without the rubber and move on.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 04:21 PM
As long as the suits are textile, calf or no calf makes no difference. Covering the calf vs shaving is the same. I would have no problem if we had no "suit history" and this was a brand new thing. BUT, my guess is that there are about 5-10 times as many competition full body suits / legskins out there already compared to jammers (for meets - not practice suits) and knee skins. The best textile suit is the Speedo Fastskin Pro - they don't even make a kneeskin for Men and they won't design one for Masters.


I think calf vs. no calf makes a slight difference, especially for chicks as we don't get the shaving boost that guys get. And I think most would agree that zippers aid compression. (I guess you edited out the zipper comment.)

I have no "suit history" whatsoever in either the FINA elite suits or the USMS compromise suits, so literally will have to start over on times if either rule is adopted for masters. Lately, I've come to think that FINA should have just stuck with it's first decision, which banned B70s but kept LZRs legal. I didn't agree with it -- because I think LZRs are more performance enhancing than B70s -- but at least it was an attempt to regulate and would have avoided the huge flip flopping mess that ensued.

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2009, 04:46 PM
As long as the suits are textile, calf or no calf makes no difference. Covering the calf vs shaving is the same.

This is the same as saying that there is no difference between textile jammers and legskins. I think that many would disagree. Personally, I think the difference is probably small or nonexistent. (I actually wore kneeskins for most of my full-body suits partly for this reason, since they were cheaper than the ones that went down to the ankles.)

However, I bet the coverage adopted for women by FINA is what basically was driving the whole thing. I wasn't privvy to the reasoning of the Rules Committee, but I suppose it went like this:

1. Start with FINA rules.
2. Allow equal coverage for men and women.
3. Allow zippers for "full-figured" and/or inflexible masters.

One can agree or disagree on each step or one can argue (as you and others are doing here) that USMS should have gone still further.

Regardless, it is out of USMS' hands now so this thread, while perhaps therapeutic, won't help your cause. Who knows what FINA will do or if they pay attention to anyone, but possibly you can argue your point with them.

Because I think that once FINA makes a decision, USMS will probably follow...ESPECIALLY if FINA adopts USMS' suggestion.

(By the way, I just saw your comment about FS-Pros and their lack of kneeskins. True...but I think the Tracer Light is just as good as the FS-Pro -- actually, I like the fit better -- and they DO make a kneeskin.)

jim thornton
September 23rd, 2009, 04:53 PM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees.


You forgot Prince Namor, the fastest swimmer of them all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namor

Plus didn't Thor wear a kind of skirt?

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 05:11 PM
2. Allow equal coverage for men and women.
3. Allow zippers for "full-figured" and/or inflexible masters.


If this is true, then torso coverage and zippers are in no way a sop or give to the pro-suit crowd. They were implemented for totally different policy reasons. Indeed, #3 is just another reason why masters differ from Michael Phelps.

gull
September 23rd, 2009, 05:28 PM
If this is true, then torso coverage and zippers are in no way a sop or give to the pro-suit crowd. They were implemented for totally different policy reasons. Indeed, #3 is just another reason why masters differ from Michael Phelps.

Which is why I took issue with the "compromise" to begin with. A more rational approach would have been to do what FINA originally proposed--allow only tech suits released prior to 9/07, thus eliminating the rubber suits. Given a choice between the current proposal (textile kneeskins but no legskins or full body suits) and a complete tech suit ban, I would have voted for the latter.

oldmanmiler
September 23rd, 2009, 06:11 PM
so where are we with this suit thing?
anyplace I can go read about USMS position?
I like(no,LOVE) full body fastskins(wrist to ankle)
and really never want to shave my arms and legs again-EVER!
at my age it just don't grow back like it used to...
I say screw FINA+USA swimming and let Masters wear what they want.my kids quit coming to Masters meets years back because of the "old people in Speedos" and personally-I agree!

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2009, 06:40 PM
If this is true, then torso coverage and zippers are in no way a sop or give to the pro-suit crowd. They were implemented for totally different policy reasons. Indeed, #3 is just another reason why masters differ from Michael Phelps.

Remember that I'm just guessing about the reasoning. But both things make the suits faster. How is this not a concession?

All I hear from pro-techies is that they would give up on rubber but nothing else. But not because they want the suits faster (God forbid) but just to hang onto dwindling inventory.

Honestly, it is like getting crack-addicts to agree to regulate cocaine. (I'm sure that comment will go over well...) Were you all really so unhappy swimming before the invention of the blessed B70? I just don't get it.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 06:55 PM
Remember that I'm just guessing about the reasoning. But both things make the suits faster. How is this not a concession?

All I hear from pro-techies is that they would give up on rubber but nothing else. But not because they want the suits faster (God forbid) but just to hang onto dwindling inventory.

Honestly, it is like getting crack-addicts to agree to regulate cocaine. (I'm sure that comment will go over well...) Were you all really so unhappy swimming before the invention of the blessed B70? I just don't get it.

I don't want to give up "rubber". I like the durability and feel of the swim skins. We're only "crack addicts" if one accepts your underlying assumption that the suits are undesirable or, as some think, evil and impure.

As I think about it, moreover, I don't buy the USMS gender equality rationale. In reality, the gender equality is in the USA-S proposal. Many years ago, men competed in briefs and women wore tanks. The USA-S proposal extends coverage for both sexes to the knees and is thus more equitable. I fear the real rational for torso coverage, which again only benefits men, is the desire to avoid chest shaving and/or desire to contain stomachs. Michael Phelps isn't worried about these items ...

Midas
September 23rd, 2009, 07:55 PM
I don't want to give up "rubber". I like the durability and feel of the swim skins. We're only "crack addicts" if one accepts your underlying assumption that the suits are undesirable or, as some think, evil and impure.

As I think about it, moreover, I don't buy the USMS gender equality rationale. In reality, the gender equality is in the USA-S proposal. Many years ago, men competed in briefs and women wore tanks. The USA-S proposal extends coverage for both sexes to the knees and is thus more equitable. I fear the real rational for torso coverage, which again only benefits men, is the desire to avoid chest shaving and/or desire to contain stomachs. Michael Phelps isn't worried about these items ...

I don't think that "gender equality" should be equated with coverage. I don't think that the non-rubberized suits offer much, if any, speed advantage over shaved skin (at least I hope they don't). In terms of coverage (the prime benefit of which I believe is elimination of the need to shave down), the advantage goes to the men since, as you say, we traditionally have had even less of our body covered.

The zipper and compression, on the other hand, should be a real benefit to masters swimmers of both genders. It is in this regard that the USMS proposal promotes "gender equality", no?

Edit, of course for somebody in as fantastic shape as you (at least based on your avatar pics, you sure look like you're in great shape), I suspect compression will not be much of a benefit to you either. It looks like you're out of luck with the compromise (though you can always take solace in being so physically fit).

gull
September 23rd, 2009, 08:11 PM
Honestly, it is like getting crack-addicts to agree to regulate cocaine. (I'm sure that comment will go over well...) Were you all really so unhappy swimming before the invention of the blessed B70? I just don't get it.

Poor analogy, Professor. Try this: a tennis player giving up his graphite racket. Or this: a cyclist giving up his carbon frame bike. The suits make us faster, and we enjoy competing in them. What don't you get? Say, why don't you trade in your flat panel HDTV for an old projection model? Were you really so unhappy watching TV before?

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 08:26 PM
I don't think that "gender equality" should be equated with coverage. I don't think that the non-rubberized suits offer much, if any, speed advantage over shaved skin (at least I hope they don't). In terms of coverage (the prime benefit of which I believe is elimination of the need to shave down), the advantage goes to the men since, as you say, we traditionally have had even less of our body covered.

The zipper and compression, on the other hand, should be a real benefit to masters swimmers of both genders. It is in this regard that the USMS proposal promotes "gender equality", no?



From the female perspective, I think coverage is a big benefit. I'm faster in my bodysuit than a poly tank, for sure! The first time I put on a bodysuit I thought I was flying through the water; I loved the sensation.

I think the so-called "gender equality" issue was all about coverage -- men wanted their chests and stomach covered to avoid shaving and get compression. They could have eliminated the zipper for both sexes like USA-S did. I'd much rather give up a zipper than my "rubber." Rubber is long lasting and, as Gull also observes, I enjoy competing in my B70.

Bottom line, the USMS proposal is much more about us being saggy, lazy, inflexible masters than about a compromise between purists and techies-purists.

Midas
September 23rd, 2009, 08:35 PM
From the female perspective, I think coverage is a big benefit. I'm faster in my bodysuit than a poly tank, for sure! The first time I put on a bodysuit I thought I was flying through the water; I loved the sensation.

I think the so-called "gender equality" issue was all about coverage -- men wanted their chests and stomach covered to avoid shaving and get compression. They could have eliminated the zipper for both sexes like USA-S did. I'd much rather give up a zipper than my "rubber." Rubber is long lasting and, as Gull also observes, I enjoy competing in my B70.

Bottom line, the USMS proposal is much more about us being saggy, lazy, inflexible masters than about a compromise between purists and techies-purists.

Right, but are you faster in a non-rubberized body suit as compared to a one-piece racing suit? What about compared to a one-piece paper suit? I'm guessing the big speed benefit only came from the rubber.

You'd rather give up the zipper because you're in great shape. But if we were all in great shape my bet is there would have been no compromise at all. I agree with you that the USMS proposal has everything to do with older swimmers mostly being saggy and lazy (with respect to shaving, not with respect to training). And on that front, the proposal is equitable as between the genders, no?

My guess is the thought process went like this: Older women will not be able to get into body suits without zippers. Same is true for women not cut like Olympians. So they need zippers. But zippers allow you to get compression, as you can make the suits extra tight. So it's only fair that if we are going to allow compression for women we should allow it for men. Boom--proposal!

SolarEnergy
September 23rd, 2009, 08:45 PM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees. Hulk maybe? When he gets pissed?

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 08:52 PM
Right, but are you faster in a non-rubberized body suit as compared to a one-piece racing suit? What about compared to a one-piece paper suit? I'm guessing the big speed benefit only came from the rubber.

No, I'm faster in a non-rubberized bodysuit than a tank racing suit like the FS II. Definitely. And, for me, the FS Pro bodyskin is slightly faster than the FS I or II bodyskin. The time benefit is not just from the rubber. (No idea about paper suits.)

I see what you're saying about gender equality on zippers. However, that just makes my point that the entire compromise was about us being fat, saggy and lazy. It had little, if anything, to do with making tech suit fans happy with a "compromise" solution. If we have to compromise on FINA "elite" standard because we're fat, lazy, saggy and inflexible ... maybe there's no point in waxing poetically about following those standards and being pure? And I'm not saying there shouldn't be accommodations for us geezers ... We aren't Michael Phelps, after all. I want everyone to compete and feel comfortable competing. I'm sure I'll need a special suit when I get old and start butterfrogging.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 08:54 PM
Hulk maybe? When he gets pissed?

Our Hulk, Paul Wolf, has a full body B70!

psyncw
September 23rd, 2009, 08:56 PM
Fort said: "I fear the real rational for torso coverage, which again only benefits men, is the desire to avoid chest shaving and/or desire to contain stomachs."

I agree 100%!! It's the easy way out to avoid shaving and dieting by having torso coverage and compression.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM
Fort said: "I fear the real rational for torso coverage, which again only benefits men, is the desire to avoid chest shaving and/or desire to contain stomachs."

I agree 100%!! It's the easy way out to avoid shaving and dieting by having torso coverage and compression.

Of course!

You don't need a diet ... yet! :)

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2009, 09:15 PM
I don't want to give up "rubber". I like the durability and feel of the swim skins. We're only "crack addicts" if one accepts your underlying assumption that the suits are undesirable or, as some think, evil and impure.

As I think about it, moreover, I don't buy the USMS gender equality rationale. In reality, the gender equality is in the USA-S proposal. Many years ago, men competed in briefs and women wore tanks. The USA-S proposal extends coverage for both sexes to the knees and is thus more equitable. I fear the real rational for torso coverage, which again only benefits men, is the desire to avoid chest shaving and/or desire to contain stomachs. Michael Phelps isn't worried about these items ...

Benign or not, an addiction is a compulsive (over)dependence. I don't see how that doesn't describe yours and others relationship with the suits but the only way to prove me wrong is to give them up voluntarily. I don't see that happening.

Torso coverage certainly benefits women as much -- I would actually say MORE, given certain anatomical realities -- than men. The difference is that there is no option to forego the coverage.

But I definitely agree with you that there is no need for equal coverage. That's why I was perfectly fine with jammers for men.


Poor analogy, Professor. Try this: a tennis player giving up his graphite racket. Or this: a cyclist giving up his carbon frame bike. The suits make us faster, and we enjoy competing in them. What don't you get? Say, why don't you trade in your flat panel HDTV for an old projection model? Were you really so unhappy watching TV before?

It is a question ("didn't you enjoy swimming without the suits?") not an analogy. We all grew up competing without the suits. But now it seems to define your experience, despite the fact that most of your swimming (ie in practice) is presumably done in old-style suits. And yes, I think that is unhealthy for the sport.

Why do you talk about tennis or TV? Why not swimming? The relevant fact is that I have used many tech suits, including several rubberized ones, and went back to jammers just fine. I'm not going to let some piece of polyurethane define my swimming experience.

Fort and others often talk about the pro-suit people as "not standing in the way of progress." So I have to ask: what are you progressing toward, exactly? Ever-faster suits, I suppose? In 20 years, would a hypothetical swimmer look like this (http://marvel.com/universe3zx/images/f/f5/IronMan_Head.jpg)?

In my opinion, progress in the sport is driven by exercise physiology and biomechanical analysis, not materials science. More efficient stroke techniques, better training and nutrition, that sort of thing. Technologies to aid these -- underwater video, real-time analysis of stroke technique, etc -- are great things. Progression is toward better DPS, smoother and faster strokes, more efficient training methods.

I like that vision better. And so, apparently, do the fastest swimmers and best coaches in the world.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 09:50 PM
Benign or not, an addiction is a compulsive (over)dependence. I don't see how that doesn't describe yours and others relationship with the suits but the only way to prove me wrong is to give them up voluntarily. I don't see that happening.

Torso coverage certainly benefits women as much -- I would actually say MORE, given certain anatomical realities -- than men. The difference is that there is no option to forego the coverage.

But I definitely agree with you that there is no need for equal coverage. That's why I was perfectly fine with jammers for men.

In my opinion, progress in the sport is driven by exercise physiology and biomechanical analysis, not materials science. More efficient stroke techniques, better training and nutrition, that sort of thing. Technologies to aid these -- underwater video, real-time analysis of stroke technique, etc -- are great things. Progression is toward better DPS, smoother and faster strokes, more efficient training methods.



I guess I'm an obsessive person and like my "addictions." I'm strangely fine with that, and don't care to be plain vanilla. And, in fact, I have competed without my B70 on several occasions in the last year.

I don't think torso coverage is helping me much ... lol

I agree with your analysis of progress in the sport. But I contend gear is part of progress too and shouldn't be arbitrarily excluded (as it is not in other sports). And, frankly, I don't have much access to real time stroke analysis, underwater videotaping, biomechanical analysis or even basic coaching. Do most masters? So I'm not begrudging myself a suit -- especially if other countries are swimming in them. I don't think anyone would accuse me of not focusing on training and technique anyway. It's obvious from my blog that that is paramount to me, as I'm sure it is to the vast majority of masters competing in B70s.

Part of me thinks these "best coaches in the world" have come to view the suits as a hassle. They don't want to worry about budgeting for suits for high school and college swimmers, ever-evolving suit technology, FINA flip flops and brain farts, suit rips, kids without the suits, etc. If the different suits had been introduced more gradually and FINA had actually regulated, I wonder if any of this would even have emerged as a big concern?

And, as someone mentioned earlier, Bowman's own flip flop was a huge turnoff to me. One minute, he's touting the LZR and "progress" when Michael is promoting it (and others don't have access to it). Next minute, he's up in arms that there is a better suit. I guess he's the only one allowed access to crack.

gull
September 23rd, 2009, 10:11 PM
It is a question ("didn't you enjoy swimming without the suits?") not an analogy. We all grew up competing without the suits. But now it seems to define your experience, despite the fact that most of your swimming (ie in practice) is presumably done in old-style suits. And yes, I think that is unhealthy for the sport.

Why do you talk about tennis or TV? Why not swimming? The relevant fact is that I have used many tech suits, including several rubberized ones, and went back to jammers just fine. I'm not going to let some piece of polyurethane define my swimming experience.

I was taking issue with your cocaine addict analogy. And the suits don't define my swimming experience (of which the actual competition is a small part), they enhance it.

Chris Stevenson
September 23rd, 2009, 10:27 PM
Part of me thinks these "best coaches in the world" have come to view the suits as a hassle.

I agree that's part of it; for swimmers, too. (The suits complicate pre-race preparation, for example.) But I think another part is just that the coaches like to be in control, and the suits might potentially inject a random component through last-minute changes or late innovations. Also, the spectre of spectacular suit failure looms; we can laugh at the Ricky Berens incident, but it could potentially have cost the US a gold medal in the relay (eg if they had gotten DQ'd in the prelims for "indecent exposure," like that woman swimmer did.)


I was taking issue with your cocaine addict analogy. And the suits don't define my swimming experience (of which the actual competition is a small part), they enhance it.

If people get so worked up about losing calf coverage, and cannot compete without the suits, I stand by my claim of addiction.

Actually, my main point in that analogy was that -- unlike the case in FINA, where the regulation is largely by non-participants who have never used the suits -- in USMS the people who are proposing the regulations are the suit users themselves.

The Fortress
September 23rd, 2009, 10:42 PM
Actually, my main point in that analogy was that -- unlike the case in FINA, where the regulation is largely by non-participants who have never used the suits -- in USMS the people who are proposing the regulations are the suit users themselves.

So we're proposing suits that cover guts, accommodate age, dispense with dieting and zipper us in, yet we somehow claim to be as pure as Michael Phelps and the "elites"? Nope, not buying it, as noted above. The "compromise" -- which is, in reality, intended for and achieves a different goal than for which it is touted -- is a just as much on the so-called slippery slope as the B70s ...

Midas
September 24th, 2009, 12:06 AM
So we're proposing suits that cover guts, accommodate age, dispense with dieting and zipper us in, yet we somehow claim to be as pure as Michael Phelps and the "elites"? Nope, not buying it, as noted above. The "compromise" -- which is, in reality, intended for and achieves a different goal than for which it is touted -- is a just as much on the so-called slippery slope as the B70s ...

I think I can agree with that, though it's certainly not as far along the slope as rubberized suits....

I don't think the purists think the compromise is as "pure" as the elites. At least I don't. That's why it's a compromise! I prefer it to your solution, but I prefer mine even more. That's the beauty of a compromise--nobody wins!

gull
September 24th, 2009, 09:26 AM
If people get so worked up about losing calf coverage, and cannot compete without the suits, I stand by my claim of addiction.

You know, you're right, I am addicted. It's like having a rubber monkey on my back.

Hi, my name is Gull, and I have a tech suit addiction. Today is the first (slower) day of the rest of my life.

There, I said it. But Chris, I have to admit that I am a bit scared. Will you be my sponsor?

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2009, 09:37 AM
I don't have much access to real time stroke analysis, underwater videotaping, biomechanical analysis or even basic coaching.

The last two nationals I was very tempted to pay to get the stroke analysis stuff done. I think it is great that they set that up, but I have a psychological problem with doing it at nationals. The last thing I want to hear before season-culminating races: suggestions on how to fix inefficient/horrible strokes... :)

Anyway, I think it would be nice to have at least one annual clinic in the state where things like underwater stroke analysis and lactate measurements are available. I'll bring it up at our annual LMSC meeting in a month.

pwolf66
September 24th, 2009, 10:08 AM
Our Hulk, Paul Wolf, has a full body B70!

Well, I _used_ to have a kneeskin B70 but it gave up the ghost in Indy. I still do have a PointZero3 fullleg with a rip in the right leg that I will probably wear at the Fall Ball. Especially since we're in the same heat for the 200 IM and I just can't get beat by a grrrrrrrl :banana:

pwolf66
September 24th, 2009, 10:18 AM
The last two nationals I was very tempted to pay to get the stroke analysis stuff done. I think it is great that they set that up, but I have a psychological problem with doing it at nationals. The last thing I want to hear before season-culminating races: suggestions on how to fix inefficient/horrible strokes... :)


You should have done it. You can delay the followup discussion about the results until after all your races are done. It's a 2 part process, filming (which takes about 5 minutes per stroke) and then the next day (or later if you want) you schedule a follow up where Dr G goes over it with you.

I was the exact same as you so I waited until I was done until I went and did my review.

JimRude
September 24th, 2009, 10:24 AM
The last two nationals I was very tempted to pay to get the stroke analysis stuff done. I think it is great that they set that up, but I have a psychological problem with doing it at nationals. The last thing I want to hear before season-culminating races: suggestions on how to fix inefficient/horrible strokes... :)

Anyway, I think it would be nice to have at least one annual clinic in the state where things like underwater stroke analysis and lactate measurements are available. I'll bring it up at our annual LMSC meeting in a month.

That's why I did it after my last swim. And you're right, it would have messed with my head had I done it during the meet. Not that my swims were stellar to begin with...

Tim L
September 24th, 2009, 10:36 AM
It sure seems like there are elements of addiction with the suits. Lots of denial, inability to compromise or belief that there is a reasonable compromise, hanging on to that last little chance for another fix (USMS won't adopt the same rules as USA-S and FINA), paranoid feelings that someone (FINA and other swim organizations) is out to get you, paying for a perceived enhanced state of being, etc. Sure, it starts out innocent enough, but before you know it you are pimping yourself for a rubber suit or dealing rubber suits to fuel your addiction.

Tim

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 11:21 AM
It sure seems like there are elements of addiction with the suits. Lots of denial, inability to compromise or belief that there is a reasonable compromise, hanging on to that last little chance for another fix (USMS won't adopt the same rules as USA-S and FINA), paranoid feelings that someone (FINA and other swim organizations) is out to get you, paying for a perceived enhanced state of being, etc. Sure, it starts out innocent enough, but before you know it you are pimping yourself for a rubber suit or dealing rubber suits to fuel your addiction.

Tim

LMAO!! Too funny, Tim. Very good.

But are we really in "denial?" Give one example. Gull is entering 12 steps and I've copped to obsessive behavior. :angel: The fact that some don't like this particular USMS compromise, doesn't mean I don't think a compromise can't (or shouldn't) be reached. Both Gull and I (and others) have, in fact, suggested different compromises. And, really, I was just lambasting the purported rationale/hypocrisy of the USMS proposal -- it's not about a compromise sop to techies despite wanting to stay "elite"; it's about the fact that we're geezers and might need/want different suits than Michael Phelps. So who needs to be honest? Paranoid feelings? No, everyone agrees FINA has acted abominably and recklessly the last year. Paying for an enhanced feeling? Maybe so. We all work pretty hard in life ... nothing wrong with a little enhancement or excitement. And perhaps this is just another point of departure between purists and techie-purists: we have different perceptions of an enhanced aquatic experience. Purists apparently get their own little high from being pure/moral and mostly naked in the H2O. We get ours from zipping through the water like a comic book hero. To each his own.

Tim L
September 24th, 2009, 11:41 AM
LMAO!! Too funny, Tim. Very good.

But are we really in "denial?" Give one example. Gull is entering 12 steps and I've copped to obsessive behavior. :angel: The fact that some don't like this particular USMS compromise, doesn't mean I don't think a compromise can't (or shouldn't) be reached. Both Gull and I (and others) have, in fact, suggested different compromises. And, really, I was just lambasting the purported rationale/hypocrisy of the USMS proposal -- it's not about a compromise sop to techies despite wanting to stay "elite"; it's about the fact that we're geezers and might need/want different suits than Michael Phelps. So who needs to be honest? Paranoid feelings? No, everyone agrees FINA has acted abominably and recklessly the last year. Paying for an enhanced feeling? Maybe so. We all work pretty hard in life ... nothing wrong with a little enhancement or excitement. I will, however, save my glass of chard for this evening.

Sure, I admit, I enhanced some of the elements a bit. Compared to others that post here they seemed like minor transgressions. The addicts are in denial because most won't admit to the addiction in the first place. Isn't that step 1?

I can go either way on the tech suits. I don't use them, but I enjoy watching people swim fast times. I just got a laugh out of these postings this morning because we have gone down the "addiction" path before on these threads.

Tim

letsrace
September 24th, 2009, 12:00 PM
Fort touched on this, but I think it needs to be reiterated for clarity. The durability to price ration of the B70 was a very good reason to love the suit. I wore my B70 suits at least twice as long as I was able to wear the FS Pro suits and I paid several hundred dollars less for it than the LZR.

Claiming that this is an addiction doesn't ring true for me. Sure I like wearing the suit. I also like shaving. In fact, I would shave for every meet if it was easier and it did not seem to reduce the effect. And this gets to one of the things that I really liked about the B70. I could wear the suit frequently and thereby remove one variable from my competition equation.

By wearing the suit at just about every meet, I could "hold constant" the suit which would allow me to look at the effects of pace and conditioning without wondering about the effects of a less effective suit on my races.

Frankly, my addiction to the B70 is not significantly greater than my addiction to the polyester training suits in my training. I love those for their durability too. If I was told that I must return to nylon for training or worse, lycra, I would probably revolt.

This past summer, after trying the Jaked, I took a long pause trying to decide what I would compete in going forward. The Jaked was clearly fast and quite possibly faster than the B70. But when I looked at the durability of the suit and comparing prices, I just couldn't justify it.

Mswimming
September 24th, 2009, 12:09 PM
We aren't Michael Phelps, after all. I want everyone to compete and feel comfortable competing. I'm sure I'll need a special suit when I get old and start butterfrogging.


I have never been comfortable with the idea that I needed a special suit to compete and it really has prevented me for showing up at more meets. As a parent of 2 age groupers I just can't justify spending that kind of money on a suit. And at the same time I don't see the point in competing if I am handicapping myself by not wearing one (I feel the same way about competing if I am a little bit out of shape).

The meets I have gone to were only to support my club's hosted events. Even then I felt out of place with all the rubberized suits and did not enjoy swimming/competing at all.

To me the suits created a bigger divide between those who do compete and and those who are more interested in swimming for fitness. I would guess that while USMS membership grew over that last year, the percentage of those who compete did not. Perhaps someone could provide the hard numbers here.

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 12:10 PM
Fort touched on this, but I think it needs to be reiterated for clarity. The durability to price ration of the B70 was a very good reason to love the suit. I wore my B70 suits at least twice as long as I was able to wear the FS Pro suits and I paid several hundred dollars less for it than the LZR.

Claiming that this is an addiction doesn't ring true for me. And this gets to one of the things that I really liked about the B70. I could wear the suit frequently and thereby remove one variable from my competition equation.

By wearing the suit at just about every meet, I could "hold constant" the suit which would allow me to look at the effects of pace and conditioning without wondering about the effects of a less effective suit on my races.



Precisely! This is what I've been saying all along and this is my SOP as well. I'm not looking forward to starting over with a complete reevaluation of all my times.

MSwimming, isn't failing to compete except under ideal conditions sort of an internal issue? This was touched on a bit in the "elitism in masters" thread. If you can only swim meets when you're in ideal shape or with the perfect suit, you'll definitely limit yourself. Most people I see at meets are NOT swimming under ideal conditions ... I certainly understand wanting to be competitive, but sometimes you just have to "do it." I hopped into the OW last weekend when I did not know WTH I was doing at all, being perfectly willing to be embarrassed by real OW swimmers.

aquageek
September 24th, 2009, 01:02 PM
To me the suits created a bigger divide between those who do compete and and those who are more interested in swimming for fitness. I would guess that while USMS membership grew over that last year, the percentage of those who compete did not. Perhaps someone could provide the hard numbers here.

If you are just there for fitness in the first place, why do you even care what those who compete wear? I've gone to plenty of meets where the majority don't wear tech suits. To be honest, no one really cares what anyone else wears. I might find it interesting or a point of discussion but I'm not at a swim meet to swim for them, I'm there for me, and a Fort sighting.

gull
September 24th, 2009, 01:09 PM
I have been clean and free of rubber suits for three hours and forty one minutes. I can't say it's been easy. I find myself looking longingly at the tires on my car.

Allen Stark
September 24th, 2009, 01:11 PM
It has been some years since I was really involved with addiction medicine,but I think it is overly pathologizing behavior to call wanting to wear rubber to go faster at meets an addiction(wearing rubber elsewhere could be a fetish though.)

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2009, 01:34 PM
I think it is very healthy that the whole addiction thing is out in the open. I am proud of Gull; those who deny it is an addiction just haven't reached stage 1 yet.

But I didn't think about the connetion to fetishwear, like Allen did. Always nice to have a psychiatrist in the mix... :)


The durability to price ratio of the B70 was a very good reason to love the suit. I wore my B70 suits at least twice as long as I was able to wear the FS Pro suits and I paid several hundred dollars less for it than the LZR.

While I grant that the B70 is more durable than the FS-Pro, it is a little strange to hear pro-tech people invoke a cost-effectiveness argument for their cause.


I'm not looking forward to starting over with a complete reevaluation of all my times.

MSwimming, isn't failing to compete except under ideal conditions sort of an internal issue? If you can only swim meets when you're in ideal shape or with the perfect suit, you'll definitely limit yourself. Most people I see at meets are NOT swimming under ideal conditions ... I certainly understand wanting to be competitive, but sometimes you just have to "do it."

Isn't adjusting to post-rubber times sort of an "internal issue?" :)

Just like Fort and others tire of gloating expressions of moral superiority, I tire of the argument that wearing the suit is a personal choice, and if you choose not to do so, then suck it up. Those who don't like them have to choose between two somewhat displeasing alternatives: competing at a disadvantage, or forking out money and wearing a suit you don't like. For me it is only mildly unpleasant, but I have heard from too many other swimmers with sentiments that echo MSwimming's. Dismissing them is too facile.

Speaking of the "elitism" thread...I wonder if all the fancy suits are a barrier to entry for newbies to competition. They are alrready intimidated by the whole thing; adding superhero suits to the mix might make it worse.

My single biggest complaint about the suits is how their variability skews the results. You lost by a little to someone with a better suit: who would have won in equal suits? Pro-suit people are quick to dismiss this argument with "buy a better suit," but I can't think of anyone who was happy with the Phelps situation in the summer.

Of course there are always other facts that affect performance: unequal training, sleep, illness, injuries, etc. But unlike those factors, variability in suits is one that is amenable to legislation. Many sports have standard uniforms/equipment; swimming should too. And the less the coverage and less advanced the material, the lower the variance between suits.

stillwater
September 24th, 2009, 01:39 PM
To be honest, no one really cares what anyone else wears.

Speak for yourself, not others.

I care.

Allen Stark
September 24th, 2009, 01:46 PM
One question I have,if a man is so concerned about his gut etc. that he wears a fullbody suit to meets for cosmetic purposes,what does he wear to workouts?

Midas
September 24th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Fort touched on this, but I think it needs to be reiterated for clarity. The durability to price ration of the B70 was a very good reason to love the suit. I wore my B70 suits at least twice as long as I was able to wear the FS Pro suits and I paid several hundred dollars less for it than the LZR.

Claiming that this is an addiction doesn't ring true for me. Sure I like wearing the suit. I also like shaving. In fact, I would shave for every meet if it was easier and it did not seem to reduce the effect. And this gets to one of the things that I really liked about the B70. I could wear the suit frequently and thereby remove one variable from my competition equation.

By wearing the suit at just about every meet, I could "hold constant" the suit which would allow me to look at the effects of pace and conditioning without wondering about the effects of a less effective suit on my races.



Of course, just wearing a plain old Speedo jammer will give you just as much durability and an equally constant swim suit. You could even wear a Speedo Endurance suit to your meets for the utmost in durability...

I've heard it said on this forum that the true benefit of shaving isn't, in fact, the added "feel" for the water but the hydrodynamics of not having the hair. If that's true, then shaving for every meet shouldn't reduce the effect (though it might reduce the perception of effectiveness due to the lack of "feel")...

Midas
September 24th, 2009, 01:55 PM
One question I have,if a man is so concerned about his gut etc. that he wears a fullbody suit to meets for cosmetic purposes,what does he wear to workouts?

I think the full-body suit can help flatten out that gut and make him more hydrodynamic for racing. That's why he cares. He doesn't really care about the cosmetics, I think... It goes to Fort's theory of laziness, if I understand her (though she might just mean "too lazy to shave").

knelson
September 24th, 2009, 02:15 PM
My single biggest complaint about the suits is how their variability skews the results.

...Many sports have standard uniforms/equipment; swimming should too. And the less the coverage and less advanced the material, the lower the variance between suits.

I totally agree and this shows the flaw in gull's earlier quip about "why not get rid of your HDTV...?" Watching TV isn't a competitive sport (for most). Swimming is. Sports require rules to give them some modicum of fairness. I know some people object to discussing the 'purity' of the sport, but I think this is what many of us mean by purity: having an established set of rules to keep the sport as fair as possible. Swimming should be about who is the faster swimmer, not about who bought the fastest suit. Bottom line.

Spock
September 24th, 2009, 02:31 PM
You forgot Prince Namor, the fastest swimmer of them all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namor

Plus didn't Thor wear a kind of skirt?

True, Namor wore the winged Speedo brief. Of course, he wasn't human (much more akin to my avatar name, actually)

As for THOR (http://reporter.blogs.com/.a/6a00d83451d69069e201127963b88e28a4-320wi) ...

aquageek
September 24th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Just like Fort and others tire of gloating expressions of moral superiority, I tire of the argument that wearing the suit is a personal choice, and if you choose not to do so, then suck it up. Those who don't like them have to choose between two somewhat displeasing alternatives: competing at a disadvantage, or forking out money and wearing a suit you don't like. For me it is only mildly unpleasant, but I have heard from too many other swimmers with sentiments that echo MSwimming's. Dismissing them is too facile.


Against all better judgment I wade into discussing this with you. I don't see this as being any different in swimming versus golf, tennis, biking, running, etc. You buy what you want and compete how you wish.

For me it's pretty simple (cause I'm pretty simple), I train hard and want to maximize my training, I don't need someone else whining about what they can't or won't buy and I like gizmos. Do I drool over a $5K TT bike at a tri, damn right I do, but more power to the owner as he/she bust by me and mocks my swimmingness.

I'm certain there are flaws in my argument which you may wish to point out, or, you can take pity on a fellow 'Heel.

Midas
September 24th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Against all better judgment I wade into discussing this with you. I don't see this as being any different in swimming versus golf, tennis, biking, running, etc. You buy what you want and compete how you wish.

For me it's pretty simple (cause I'm pretty simple), I train hard and want to maximize my training, I don't need someone else whining about what they can't or won't buy and I like gizmos. Do I drool over a $5K TT bike at a tri, damn right I do, but more power to the owner as he/she bust by me and mocks my swimmingness.

I'm certain there are flaws in my argument which you may wish to point out, or, you can take pity on a fellow 'Heel.

Don't know if it's a flaw but you can wear a wetsuit in a triathalon too, you know... Why shouldn't we be allowed to wear them in the pool? It's just gear. Same with fins and hand paddles. They're just gear too...

Actually, there really is no flaw with your argument. You prefer gear, others prefer gear not be such a major factor in the equation of the sport of swimming (or at least, this type of gear).

gull
September 24th, 2009, 03:29 PM
Do I drool over a $5K TT bike at a tri, damn right I do...

You are such a techie. I was once much like you. Do yourself a favor and get some help.

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 03:32 PM
While I grant that the B70 is more durable than the FS-Pro, it is a little strange to hear pro-tech people invoke a cost-effectiveness argument for their cause.

Isn't adjusting to post-rubber times sort of an "internal issue?" :)

Of course there are always other facts that affect performance: unequal training, sleep, illness, injuries, etc. But unlike those factors, variability in suits is one that is amenable to legislation. Many sports have standard uniforms/equipment; swimming should too. And the less the coverage and less advanced the material, the lower the variance between suits.

1. Since I wear tech suits at every meet, cost is definitely an issue. And "rubber" is more cost effective than racing textile because it's durable and doesn't rip easily. I wear my tech suit at local or in season meets for the reasons Mike stated and because I don't go to scads of meets or even attend nationals often. B70s are also much easier to get on than Pros, so your pre-race prep is easier. B70s are just flat out an all around better meet suit. So us techies really aren't as shallow as most deem us to be, despite preferring to be Superman to Spitz.

2. Nah, it's not really an "internal" issue for me to overcome or struggle with mentally. It's more of a hassle or simply irritating to have to start all over; I literally don't have any comparative times like you and others do. I'm not giving up competing because suit rules have changed or may. (Though I won't be swimming in any USA-S meets in the near future, as I don't have the appropriate "uniform.") And I perfectly well realize my times will be slower. I'm not in denial on that score.

3. Do individual adult sports really have uniforms? I hadn't noticed. I guess if you're on an adult league soccer team, you might need the same tee shirt ... The uniform thing seems like a real red herring.

Just to take a Smithian libertarian stance, and just for the sake of argument, why should suits be regulated when nothing else is? Just because they're an easy target or the low hanging fruit? So we'll arbitrarily attempt to isolate that factor instead of others? (I notice some high school and colleges put express limits on the amount of hours you can train for sports, don't they?) I admit to sometimes wishing I could compete without my usual dose of insomnia and three kid stress like some of my competitors. But, as everyone says, and most recently Stillwater (albeit sarcastically), "life's not fair" and it's never a "level playing field."

JimRude
September 24th, 2009, 03:34 PM
Speak for yourself, not others.

I care.

That explains a lot...

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 03:35 PM
You are such a techie. I was once much like you. Do yourself a favor and get some help.

I drooled over those same bikes last weekend at a triathlon and I don't even cycle!

gull
September 24th, 2009, 03:44 PM
I drooled over those same bikes last weekend at a triathlon and I don't even cycle!

You are a cautionary tale, an example I will use in my workshops.

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 03:54 PM
You are a cautionary tale, an example I will use in my workshops.

And yet Mr. Fort, our cyclist, didn't have a word of complaint or comparison when he racked up his 2005 bike sans aero bars next to the tricked out Cervelos. It didn't cross his mind, even though it was his first bike race, not to compete or to whine.

orca1946
September 24th, 2009, 03:58 PM
There goes my super swimmer hero!!!

aquageek
September 24th, 2009, 04:10 PM
And yet Mr. Fort, our cyclist, didn't have a word of complaint or comparison when he racked up his 2005 bike sans aero bars next to the tricked out Cervelos. It didn't cross his mind, even though it was his first bike race, not to compete or to whine.

That's because cycling embraces change and technology and doesn't bow to the whiners.

pwb
September 24th, 2009, 05:03 PM
Damn, I said in my blog I didn't care anymore about suits (http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=5505), but I think I'm addicted to USMS discussion threads on this topic. I've been lurking and just had to comment.


I can't think of anyone who was happy with the Phelps situation in the summer.

Sorry, the boy got beat. The margin of victory was sufficient so as not to merely be a "suit effect," Phelps swam faster times in 2009 than 2008 in some of his other events in his "old school" LZR so he was clearly in shape and just got beat.

In general, I don't want to ever bet against Phelps, but I'll put money on Biederman at their next major head-to-head when this suit thing is behind us and they are both aiming for world-class swims (e.g., in-season meets do not apply).


Of course, just wearing a plain old Speedo jammer will give you just as much durability and an equally constant swim suit. You could even wear a Speedo Endurance suit to your meets for the utmost in durability...

The Endurance jammer is more enduring than a regular lycra suit, but can't come close to the endurance of a B70 ... not even close.


For me it's pretty simple (cause I'm pretty simple), I train hard and want to maximize my training, I don't need someone else whining about what they can't or won't buy and I like gizmos. Do I drool over a $5K TT bike at a tri, damn right I do, but more power to the owner as he/she bust by me and mocks my swimmingness.

RIGHT ON!

orca1946
September 24th, 2009, 06:32 PM
The same was voiced when the NEW backstroke flip was allowed. Do we accept new changes or are we to stay as we are now?

knelson
September 24th, 2009, 06:42 PM
The same was voiced when the NEW backstroke flip was allowed. Do we accept new changes or are we to stay as we are now?

Limiting coverage and materials on suits IS the change. The status quo would be letting anything go as far as suits.

Midas
September 24th, 2009, 07:02 PM
I think you can distinguish stroke technique changes as organic innovation in the sport. They are nothing new, and a few (like standing, feet-over-the-gutters backstroke starts and unfettered ability to SDK) have even been reversed.

Man I used to love the standing backstroke starts...

BillS
September 24th, 2009, 08:44 PM
So I got to wondering whether I could wear my B70 in the hour swim next January. That got me thinking about who would enforce any rules prohibiting certain suits, but I seemed to recall that there were some rules in place, like no pull buoys or something. So I went looking for the rules. It appears that the one hour is governed by the long distance rules, and there actually is a rule on suits:


303.6 Swimwear
303.6.1 Swimwear shall be the same as defined in article 102.14.1 and 102.14.2.
Goggles, ear plugs and grease shall be allowed. The suit shall be made of
a porous material.
303.6.2 Swim cap(s), including those made of neoprene, may be permitted. Swim
caps shall be defined as head gear conforming to a traditional swim cap
design and shall not extend to protect the neck or shoulders.
303.6.3 Wetsuits may be allowed at the discretion of the event director when the
303.6
Page 60
water temperature does not exceed 78°F. If awards are given to wetsuit
competitors, they shall be awarded separately from those for non-wetsuit
competitors. Any published results or records must clearly indicate which
swimmers wore wetsuits.
303.6.4 Devices used to maintain body heat are illegal, except for those listed in
articles 303.6.1, 303.6.2 and 303.6.3.
303.6.5 Flotation or propulsive devices are not permitted, apart from those listed in
articles 303.6.2 and 303.6.3, except in designated events where all swimmers
are using similar devices.
303.6.6 A wrist watch may be worn in open water competition.

Article 102 doesn't add much to the analysis:


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.
102.14.2 Advertising—Products involving tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceuticals
containing drugs banned under IOC or FINA rules may not be advertised,
but the advertiser’s name only may be used. Offenders may be barred from
competition until they comply with this rule.

So what exactly is a "porous material"? That's a new term for me in the suit debate. It's defined as:

1. Full of or having pores.
2. Admitting the passage of gas or liquid through pores or interstices.
3. Easily crossed or penetrated.

A friend wore his new Tracer Light in 2009. Was it legal? Should I have written "wore potentially non-porous suit" on his results?

Will this change now that FINA, in its infinite wisdom, has carved out an exception for open water swimming?

SolarEnergy
September 24th, 2009, 09:04 PM
Our Hulk, Paul Wolf, has a full body B70! I don't know what that is. I haven't followed this swim suit debate all that much (yet).

Near State Chamipionship next year, I'll ask for some advises. But I am not willing to pay more than $100 for a bathing suit. I guess that rules out most of the best options.

Chris Stevenson
September 24th, 2009, 10:43 PM
Sorry, the boy got beat. The margin of victory was sufficient so as not to merely be a "suit effect,"

Really? How can you possibly know that? (Answer: you can't. At best you're making an educated guess. But if they had raced in similar suits, we wouldn't have to guess.)


The Endurance jammer is more enduring than a regular lycra suit, but can't come close to the endurance of a B70 ... not even close.

Of course not; wetsuits are pretty sturdy.:)

Actually, I have my doubts about this claim. My Endurance briefs have lasted for hundreds of practices; in my last one, the stitching gave out before the material itself did. I'm not sure that B70s can last for hundreds of 90-min swims. (Of course, I swim in a non-chlorinated pool, that might make a difference.)


Against all better judgment I wade into discussing this with you. I don't see this as being any different in swimming versus golf, tennis, biking, running, etc. You buy what you want and compete how you wish.

For me it's pretty simple (cause I'm pretty simple), I train hard and want to maximize my training, I don't need someone else whining about what they can't or won't buy and I like gizmos. Do I drool over a $5K TT bike at a tri, damn right I do, but more power to the owner as he/she bust by me and mocks my swimmingness.

I'm certain there are flaws in my argument which you may wish to point out, or, you can take pity on a fellow 'Heel.

No flaws, you can't really argue with someone else's preferences. Mine just happen to be different than yours.

I drool over fancy bikes too, and when I bought my current bike (which is much cheaper than $5K) I loved riding it. Still do. Funny thing, though: I never really got that feeling swimming in a tech suit. Did I love swimming faster? Sure. But the feeling itself was actually less pleasing to me than swimming shaved.

And the hassle of deciding which suit to wear, finding time to put it on before races, etc...that was a turnoff. Getting suits stolen at a big meet wasn't fun either (but you can't steal my mojo).

When all is said and done, though: when the suits were legal everywhere, I played along. I didn't complain, I tried out various kinds, changed my race routines, etc. But all that changed when FINA banned the suits for the elite swimmers. I don't like competing in a different sport from mainstream swimming: it is like bringing the bases closer together in baseball, lowering the hoop in basketball, or allowing fins in swimming. All because we're old farts.

I just really haven't heard a compelling reason for masters not to follow the elites, other than "I don't wanna." I get enough of that from my little one.

The Fortress
September 24th, 2009, 11:12 PM
All because we're old farts.

I just really haven't heard a compelling reason for masters not to follow the elites, other than "I don't wanna."

And yet the "old farts" rationale is, as noted above, the real reason for the USMS proposal deviating from the FINA "elite" ban ...

Chris Stevenson
September 25th, 2009, 05:08 AM
And yet the "old farts" rationale is, as noted above, the real reason for the USMS proposal deviating from the FINA "elite" ban ...

It is part of the reason, yes. And part of the motivation to deviate from elites is also driven by suit-lovers. There is no other reason for equal coverage for men and women.

I'm not completely happy with the proposal; I would rather us simply follow the elites. That's why it is a compromise.

aquageek
September 25th, 2009, 06:31 AM
I just really haven't heard a compelling reason for masters not to follow the elites, other than "I don't wanna." I get enough of that from my little one.

One thing I agree with is that USMS shouldn't be some sort of suit island. We should do the same as the rest.

"I don't wanna" has worked well for me my whole life - don't knock its effectiveness.

Oh, and there's no way a B70 has the same longevity as an Endurance suit. I'm not sure what it takes to wear out an Endurance suit. I've been rotating the same 3 for a few years now and the only wear they show is the seam stitching is bleached out.

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 08:50 AM
It is part of the reason, yes. And part of the motivation to deviate from elites is also driven by suit-lovers. There is no other reason for equal coverage for men and women.

I'm not completely happy with the proposal; I would rather us simply follow the elites. That's why it is a compromise.

I thought we decided above (even Midas) that equal coverage was likely driven by the need for zippers. Zippers were driven by the need for inflexible/older female masters to get into their suits. Since women needed zippers, men got zippers. Chest coverage for men was also highly desirable, so men can have stomach containment and be lazy and not shave. (Net effect is that men got more of a tech advantage then women, since women traditionally have had torso coverage.) None of this has anything to do with tossing a bone to suit lovers. So let's not kid ourselves.

And it seems like the purists use "I don't wanna" all the time. They don't wanna spend money on suits, they don't wanna spend time putting on suits, they don't wanna get beat if they don't buy the suits, they don't wanna worry about what suit to wear, they don't wanna be impure or immoral, they don't wanna get beat by "cheaters," they don't wanna be different than Phelps thereby undercutting their image as serious jock athletes, they don't wanna have a different rule, they don't wanna guess about time differentials, they don't wanna bother with technology in our pristine sport ... I think y'all have us beat down in the whining department! :)

Of course B70s don't last as long as speedo endurance suits. But Ande's got 100+ wears out of his. When B70s are no longer suitable for competition, you can still use them in practice to simulate race conditions. But I agree with Patrick about Phelps' beat down in Rome. No way did the Jaked give that much of an edge. Phelps was beat. And I didn't "feel sorry" for him at all. He hadn't been training that much, had taken an extended break and could have swum in a Jaked.

Chris Stevenson
September 25th, 2009, 09:05 AM
I thought we decided above (even Midas) that equal coverage was likely driven by the need for zippers. Zippers were driven by the need for inflexible/older female masters to get into their suits. Since women needed zippers, men got zippers. Chest coverage for men was also highly desirable, so men can have stomach containment and be lazy and not shave. (Net effect is that men got more of a tech advantage then women, since women traditionally have had torso coverage.) None of this has anything to do with tossing a bone to suit lovers. So let's not kid ourselves.

The "need for zippers" drove the adoption of body suits for men? I never heard of such a thing. Is this some fetish I'm unaware of? It was meant as a fairness issue, from what I could tell. But since modesty is not served by adopting body suits, the only reason to do so is performance enhancement.

What I hear you saying is that intentions are more important than results. So even though your performance benefits from zippers, since you weren't the main target it doesn't "count" as a concession. Somehow this is the same for men suit-lovers even though (in my mind) they benefited significantly in going from jammers to kneeskins with zippers.

If coverage was extended down to the ankles to help swim shops sell their inventory and stay in business (Rob Copeland made this plea), I suppose that wouldn't count as a concession either.

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 09:16 AM
If coverage was extended down to the ankles to help swim shops sell their inventory and stay in business (Rob Copeland made this plea), I suppose that wouldn't count as a concession either.

Sure it would, as many have said.

I was merely suggesting that reasons OTHER than concession drove the adoption of zippers. (See posts above for various reasons.) And I thought we agreed that "fairness"/gender equality is a bit of a red herring as the "compromise" is not gender neutral. Women traditionally wore tanks and men briefs. Extending coverage to the knees benefitted both and is, as you argue, a concession. Chest coverage for men is a concession for men, not women. I won't argue that, at bottom, a zipper probably does help speed incrementally. But I'd give up the damn zipper for better "material" in a heartbeat.

dsyphers
September 25th, 2009, 11:10 AM
And I thought we agreed that "fairness"/gender equality is a bit of a red herring as the "compromise" is not gender neutral. Women traditionally wore tanks and men briefs. Extending coverage to the knees benefitted both and is, as you argue, a concession. Chest coverage for men is a concession for men, not women.

I have to disagree with the above. Regardless of what women have traditionally worn, modesty coverage (in this culture) only requires a two-piece solution for women - briefs and minimal chest coverage. The fact that the one-piece tank also gets to compress any midsection flab (for us older masters) is not a required part of the modesty solution. In fact it has traditionally given women an extra benefit. The gender equality part gives men the same midsection compression that women get with one-piece tank suits. The issue is less about chest coverage than midsection coverage - which neither gender needs for modesty. I wouldn't care if my tank coverage stopped at my pectorals except for straps, although leaving out the extra three inches of coverage for men would seem silly. It's the streamlining of the midsection part of the torso that matters more. You only need to watch the turbulent ripples in an older person's flabby middle when they push off the wall to understand why this helps. Giving women this edge and not men is where the gender inequity would come from.

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 11:22 AM
I have to disagree with the above. Regardless of what women have traditionally worn, modesty coverage (in this culture) only requires a two-piece solution for women - briefs and minimal chest coverage. The fact that the one-piece tank also gets to compress any midsection flab (for us older masters) is not a required part of the modesty solution. In fact it has traditionally given women an extra benefit. The gender equality part gives men the same midsection compression that women get with one-piece tank suits. The issue is less about chest coverage than midsection coverage - which neither gender needs for modesty. I wouldn't care if my tank coverage stopped at my pectorals except for straps, although leaving out the extra three inches of coverage for men would seem silly. It's the streamlining of the midsection part of the torso that matters more. You only need to watch the turbulent ripples in an older person's flabby middle when they push off the wall to understand why this helps. Giving women this edge and not men is where the gender inequity would come from.

Have to disagree. Women have never worn 2 piece suits in pool competitions. Many women view bikinis as immodest and consider a tank essential for modesty, all technicalities aside.

I don't really care if men have chest/beer gut coverage or begrudge it. I'm just making a separate point that the USMS compromise deviation from USA-S primarily benefits men.

gull
September 25th, 2009, 11:45 AM
All of this talk about modesty is a bit ironic considering what's displayed on peopleofwalmart.com.

dsyphers
September 25th, 2009, 11:58 AM
Have to disagree. Women have never worn 2 piece suits in pool competitions. Many women view bikinis as immodest and consider a tank essential for modesty, all technicalities aside.

I don't really care if men have chest/beer gut coverage or begrudge it. I'm just making a separate point that the USMS compromise deviation from USA-S primarily benefits men.


And I have to disagree right back. The issue is not what women have always done. There is no gender-specific reason why women would consider exposing their stomachs a modesty issue any more than men. What makes a woman's stomach skin any different than a man's? Isn't it cultural and rooted in a (somewhat unsavory) history? Some cultures find exposing women's ankles highly immodest and also expect a woman's face behind a veil. Should men be in briefs and women in swimming burkas? I don't think so. Men can be just as modest about having their stomachs exposed as women. The compromise deviation from USA-S is an example of proper gender equity.

Chris Stevenson
September 25th, 2009, 12:07 PM
I was merely suggesting that reasons OTHER than concession drove the adoption of zippers. (See posts above for various reasons.) And I thought we agreed that "fairness"/gender equality is a bit of a red herring as the "compromise" is not gender neutral.

The USMS proposal isn't gender netural because the original FINA ruling hurt men more than women.

Just to separate fact from (my) opinion, though:

-- the reasoning for zippers was taken directly from the Rules Committee, so I am confident in it. (Whether it is the entire reason is another matter.)

-- I don't recall any reason given for the equal coverage part. I have heard many pro-suit men on this forum agitate for equal coverage, though, and I assumed that was the reason. In no way do I think "the zipper did it." That's just silly, since zippers aren't needed for jammers.

-- The Rules Committee never labelled this as a compromise; I did, because I knew neither side would be entirely happy with it. They didn't call it anything other than "the proposal to FINA."

It was clear to me from the discussions, though, that they were trying to accomodate the wide range of preferences within USMS. The committee members were instructed to gather information from their LMSCs (elsewhere too, I suppose) on opinions about the suit. I received such an inquiry myself. Kathy also spent most of nationals taking to people about the suits. The result was that opinions were all over the map.

The only official poll I heard about was from one young woman (I didn't catch her name, and I don't remember where she was from) who reported the results as decidedly anti-suit in her LMSC. Which didn't influence the Rules Committee at all since the proposal had already been crafted and submitted. People on both sides of the issue made statements at the second Rules Committee meeting. (when they were talking about SCY).

psyncw
September 25th, 2009, 12:18 PM
I find it interesting that the men are for gender equity in this situation when historically gender equity hasn't been too much of a concern to some men. It's nice to see that is important now. I fear I'm a bit cynical though :)

I was a bit put off by Chris' revelation that one of our leaders felt that suit manufacturer's unsold inventory was relevant to the decision of what suits we should use. I understand that it sucks for them if no one can wear their suits, but most people will need a new suit anyways. I feel it is more important that everyone has access to what ever suits are deemed legal, rather than that the suit manufacturers don't have unusable suits.

aquageek
September 25th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Isn't it cultural and rooted in a (somewhat unsavory) history?

No, it's rooted in speed.

dsyphers
September 25th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I find it interesting that the men are for gender equity in this situation when historically gender equity hasn't been too much of a concern to some men. It's nice to see that is important now. I fear I'm a bit cynical though :)




I don't know who the "some men" are to whom you refer, but I have always been working hard for gender equity my whole life. No joke.

In track, at all levels of competition many women wear shorts and a running bra. What is it about swimming that would make coverage of women's midsections any different than those of men, or any different from what is seen in track?

aquageek
September 25th, 2009, 12:33 PM
What is it about swimming that would make coverage of women's midsections any different than those of men, or any different from what is seen in track?

Duh, speed. C'mon man.

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 12:38 PM
I fear I'm a bit cynical though :)

Me too! Very amusing. Many are just thrilled to have gut coverage, I"m sure.

As virtually the only woman posting and arguing on this thread, I do think modesty is different for men and women. And I contend some women would feel immodest in a bikini. Men cannot feel modest about a stomach that has ALWAYS been exposed. Perhaps embarrassed or self conscious is the correct word if the tummy is a bit flabby or overly protruding.

Myself, I have rarely seen masters runners or track athletes in sport bras. Don't see women at my gym in them either with only a very occassional exception.

ehoch
September 25th, 2009, 01:45 PM
The only official poll I heard about was from one young woman (I didn't catch her name, and I don't remember where she was from) who reported the results as decidedly anti-suit in her LMSC.

I am not so sure about the polls. You can not add non-meet swimmers for example - they will just hear $400 suits and be against it.

I am pretty sure that a poll at Masters Nationals swimmers would be at least 75% pro suits. I think the anti suit discussion is being lead by people who do not actually compete (and Chris of course :bump: ).

Midas
September 25th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Fort and I continue to find common ground, of which I'm quite proud! I don't think men would want torso coverage if it didn't provide a benefit. If there were no zippers allowed, I doubt that men would care for torso coverage. The zippers aid compression and compression is a benefit. I suspect that you just can't get much compression from a suit with no zipper (or you wouldn't be able to get into it in the first place). I'm sure it was never vocally expressed, but I bet that in a lot of people's minds it was only fair to allow torso compression for men once it was allowed for women. Dale appears to be expressing this view as well, which shows that people do indeed feel that this was a matter of equality.

But here is where I depart from Fort. Fort says that torso coverage is something that men are gaining and that women have always had but here's why I don't think that's true:

Traditionally, men didn't need or want torso coverage "equality" because torso coverage was a detriment to speed. Once suits became speed neutral (or actually made you faster as was the case with rubberized suits), men wanted and enjoyed this equality. Another benefit, principally for older swimmers not in the best of shape, is flab compression. Everybody is losing the speed benefit (as a result of returning to textile suits) but the compression benefit remains. Both men and women enjoyed this benefit for the last several years. And both will retain it. Neither is gaining something they didn't have previously and both are losing something (speed) that they had previously.

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 02:11 PM
I agree with your last paragraph! :)

I really just meant that, as a technical matter, men gain more than women in the USMS proposal vis-vis the FINA elite proposal. Men get coverage and zippers; women get zippers. However, as I've said, I have no objection to men having chest/stomach coverage.

I tend to think ehoch is correct on the poll issue. You'd have to poll active competitive swimmers to glean an accurate preference. I know a few meets swimmers who dislike the suits, but I know more who do. Or at least that is my impression FWIW.

Midas
September 25th, 2009, 02:26 PM
I agree with your last paragraph! :)

I really just meant that, as a technical matter, men gain more than women in the USMS proposal vis-vis the FINA elite proposal. Men get coverage and zippers; women get zippers. However, as I've said, I have no objection to men having chest/stomach coverage.

I tend to think ehoch is correct on the poll issue. You'd have to poll active competitive swimmers to glean an accurate preference. I know a few meets swimmers who dislike the suits, but I know more who do. Or at least that is my impression FWIW.

We keep on agreeing! I agree with everything you say too. Of course, I wouldn't just poll the swimmers at Nationals--you'd want to poll everybody who has competed in the last few years or who thinks they might competei in the future. Having said that, I'm not sure ehoch is right that the majority of even the Nationals swimmers favor the rubberized suits. Yes, many wore them because they were legal and they needed to wear them to be competitive at the "highest level". But that doesn't mean everybody who wore them favors continuing to do so in light of where the rest of the swimming world is coming down on this topic. I went to Nationals this year and wore a rubberized suit too (though I wouldn't go so far as to say I was competitive) and I still favor the full ban...

By the way, I think the folks that make up the rules committee and the greater masters convention delegates tend to be serious competitive swimmers so hopefully they are representative of the views of the rest of us competitive swimmers...

knelson
September 25th, 2009, 02:44 PM
If gender equity is a concern then women should be allowed to swim in jammers or briefs if they so desire.

Allen Stark
September 25th, 2009, 03:55 PM
First,since women have been at a competitive disadvantage in swimwear from the the beginning of competitive swimming until 2000 or later ,I am fine if their suits are more advantageous than the men's.I don't like the zipper idea,as it gets us back to swimwear as performance enhancing.If the intent is that swimwear is performance enhancing ,legalize the rubber suits,if not zippers must go IMHO.

JimRude
September 25th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I am not so sure about the polls. You can not add non-meet swimmers for example - they will just hear $400 suits and be against it.

I am pretty sure that a poll at Masters Nationals swimmers would be at least 75% pro suits. I think the anti suit discussion is being lead by people who do not actually compete (and Chris of course :bump: ).

I agree 100%. If you read some of the comments, they basically run "I will never be a [fill in Top 10, Nat'l record holder, etc] but... I do not like the suits...".

I think Chris is the only superstar who is anti-suits. Except Schubert...:bitching:

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 04:21 PM
I agree 100%. If you read some of the comments, they basically run "I will never be a [fill in Top 10, Nat'l record holder, etc] but... I do not like the suits...".

I think Chris is the only superstar who is anti-suits. Except Schubert...:bitching:

Yes, I've noticed that too ...

The other common complaint is money. I'm frankly not as sympathetic to that for adults, for the reasons that Geek has stated many times. And Ande had the best of that argument in the "Other Side of the Lane Line" column.

I think there are a few other masters superstars who don't like the suits ... We haven't heard from any women, but most I know LOVE the suits. No woman wants to be cut off at the knees ...

Chris Stevenson
September 25th, 2009, 05:41 PM
Some interesting comments. I do think that there are some fast people who don't like the suits (Jeff Commings is one I can remember off the top of my head), and there may be many others who are wearing the suits simply not to be at a disadvantage. Polling at nationals might be a little skewed b/c people who are turned off by the whole suit thing might pass on the meet. Designing a poll that is unbiased and useful is not an easy thing to do; your results will depend strongly on your sampling and what questions you ask and how you ask them.

I should mention that Rob Copeland (who I thnk has done a terrific job) was not pushing his point very hard. He just wanted it heard. In his position, he was almost obligated to bring it up, IMO. Everyone talks about the manufacturers but I think they'll be fine (how many USMS swimmers had even heard of B70 two years ago?). I do think that store-owners stuck with a large inventory might be hard-pressed to swallow a loss. Yes, it was a speculative market, but still.

So the suits are really only an issue among USMS swimmers (20-30%, right?) who compete or are contemplating doing so. There aren't too many who wear the suits regularly to practice (and if you exclude Ande, the number goes down by 50%).

As far as I can see, there are really two issues:
-- do the suits increase your enjoyment of competition, or not?
-- would banning the suits cause participation in competitive events to decrease or increase?

I can think of two groups: the "hardcore" competitors who often travel to nationals and zones/state meets. IMO they would probably continue to compete regardless but the decision wrt suits would affect their satisfaction level. In what way? I don't really know (hence the poll).

The other group are the borderline cases. They might be people who are taking up swimming as adults, or they might be ex-college or ex-HS swimmers who are returning after a long break. How would the presence or absence of the suits affect their decision to participate? I don't really know, and I could argue it both ways.

As far as gender equity goes: I see no necessity to have it. As Midas said, giving women an advantage could offset the many years that more coverage was a disadvantage. It's like reparations!

I too am amused at how men now want body suits now that it is an advantage. First time I wore one, I complained to my wife about them...she told me to suck it up, she'd been dealing with those issues her whole swimming career. :)

Actually, here is what I propose: women get zippers but men don't. I always think of the body suits with straps as "girls' suits" and I'd love to see the men struggle into them...

JimRude
September 25th, 2009, 06:04 PM
... and there may be many others who are wearing the suits simply not to be at a disadvantage.

This would be me. As I've posted ad nauseam, for some (many?) the enjoyment comes from racing, and the suits that are worn are irrelevant. I look forward to racing Messrs Guthrie, Mills, Blank, Dicks, Santos etc in the best form possible, and as long as the playing field is approximately level, it's all good. We can race in old-school briefs, jammers, kneeskins, or Jakeds - as long as we're racing.

I routinely get "tuned up" by any number of swimmers during in-season meets, some wearing B70s or other tech suits, when I am wearing, at most, an FSI legskin or more likely a drag suit. But I am focused on swimming fast twice a year - once SC and once LC. That I when I pull out the "meet suit" (whatever it may be) and hope for the best.



As far as I can see, there are really two issues:
-- do the suits increase your enjoyment of competition, or not?
-- would banning the suits cause participation in competitive events to decrease or increase?


To the first question,no.
To the second, neither, IMHO. Anyone who says they're not racing because they're not in favor of the tech suits, but "everyone else is wearing them" has run out of good excuses, I think.



I can think of two groups: the "hardcore" competitors who often travel to nationals and zones/state meets. IMO they would probably continue to compete regardless but the decision wrt suits would affect their satisfaction level. In what way? I don't really know (hence the poll).


I don't think the suits will affect any hardcore competitor's satisfaction level. Am I crazy to think that their satisfaction is derived not from their absolute times (fantasizing that they're as fast as they were in their prime) but from their relative performance?



I too am amused at how men now want body suits now that it is an advantage. First time I wore one, I complained to my wife about them...she told me to suck it up, she'd been dealing with those issues her whole swimming career. :)

Actually, here is what I propose: women get zippers but men don't. I always think of the body suits with straps as "girls' suits" and I'd love to see the men struggle into them...

I think if the suit is constructed right, you can still get a measurable compression effect without a zipper. Didn't Soni race in a tech suit with straps? I'm sure you could make a textile suit with straps for men that still provided measurable compression benefits...

ehoch
September 25th, 2009, 06:19 PM
I too am amused at how men now want body suits now that it is an advantage.

If there is a choice between shaving my entire body and wearing a suit, I find it rather surprising that so many people will choose the shaving. I would rather put on 3 Jaked suits on top of each other than spend some quality time with the razor.

Here is a good poll - only poll the male Masters swimmers who will shave down for a big meet - suit or no suit.

pwb
September 25th, 2009, 07:05 PM
If there is a choice between shaving my entire body and wearing a suit, I find it rather surprising that so many people will choose the shaving. I would rather put on 3 Jaked suits on top of each other than spend some quality time with the razor.

100% in agreement.

Tim L
September 25th, 2009, 07:07 PM
After seeing everyone split hairs on this matter for a week it just seems to reinforce that USMS should follow USA-S. USMS has almost always followed USA-S rules and this is no time to deviate. Resistance is futile! Greater swimming minds than us have decided within USA-S what is best for competitive swimming in the U.S. Why should we not follow the same rules as our children? Don't tell me it is because we are fat and more concerned about our appearance or more concerned about our times than our children or because we are adults and can afford it or that we can't compare our future times to our recent past (you know when you are swimming better by what you do in practice at the very least). We should be setting the example for our children. End the addiction on October 1 and never look back.

Fort, feel free to rip me a new one because I am signing off for the weekend. Have a good one,

Tim

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 07:10 PM
After seeing everyone split hairs on this matter for a week it just seems to reinforce that USMS should follow USA-S. USMS has almost always followed USA-S rules and this is no time to deviate. Resistance is futile! Greater swimming minds than us have decided within USA-S what is best for competitive swimming in the U.S. Why should we not follow the same rules as our children? Don't tell me it is because we are fat and more concerned about our appearance or more concerned about our times than our children or because we are adults and can afford it or that we can't compare our future times to our recent past (you know when you are swimming better by what you do in practice at the very least). We should be setting the example for our children. End the addiction on October 1 and never look back.

Fort, feel free to rip me a new one because I am signing off for the weekend. Have a good one,

Tim

lmao -- again!

I too am super busy this weekend, but I'll think on it and get back to you soon with a 10 point response, Tim!

aquageek
September 25th, 2009, 07:15 PM
Right on, preacher Tim!

hornHead
September 25th, 2009, 07:40 PM
All this talk about rubber has me psyched up about buying some new buck 70 cheepo tyrs from Walmart this weekend, mounting them on my Ferrari named Jake then zipping around the local speedway for a lap record. In thierry I should be finis in under 46. Or, I could just leave the slicks on as there is rain in the forecast and the circus has left town. Decisions, decisions....good craig lord, how will I decide?

"If your not trying to find a way around the rules, your not trying hard enough"!

fatboy
September 25th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Spider-Man.
Daredevil.
Batman.
Wolverine.
Vision.
Flash.
Thor.
Captain Marvel.

Nobody cuts off at the knees.

Hulk

Chris Stevenson
September 25th, 2009, 08:20 PM
I think if the suit is constructed right, you can still get a measurable compression effect without a zipper. Didn't Soni race in a tech suit with straps? I'm sure you could make a textile suit with straps for men that still provided measurable compression benefits...

I was just joking about this.

I can't be sure, but I wonder if a lot of the women who chose suits with straps -- Soni wasn't the only one -- did so b/c they worried about zipper malfunctions (especially with the LZR).


If there is a choice between shaving my entire body and wearing a suit, I find it rather surprising that so many people will choose the shaving. I would rather put on 3 Jaked suits on top of each other than spend some quality time with the razor.

I never minded shaving, but it only took me about an hour, assuming I had a pair of clippers to get me started. I didn't sweat getting every last little spot; nowadays I don't even worry about shaving my back at all.

Heck, the cumulative time spent getting into and out of the suit over the course of a meet probably adds up to a similar amount.

But I'm no wookie, for which I am grateful. And I vastly prefer the feeling of a shaved swim compared to one in one of the suits.

ehoch
September 25th, 2009, 08:59 PM
Why should we not follow the same rules as our children?

Because they did not have a choice - nobody asked them. And it's probably a good decision for age group swimming. Age Groupers had different rules all along - by the way. I believe they have not allowed suits for a while. We will see about Olympic level swimming when Phelps is wondering why he can't break 48 or 1:45 any more ...

ehoch
September 25th, 2009, 09:01 PM
I will have to go old school / new school next weekend for a 1500 - I don't think I can wear any of my tech suits for that long ....

The Fortress
September 25th, 2009, 09:26 PM
I can't be sure, but I wonder if a lot of the women who chose suits with straps -- Soni wasn't the only one -- did so b/c they worried about zipper malfunctions (especially with the LZR).


Three reasons: (1) more mobility, especially it seems on short axis strokes (I think that's why Phelps doesn't wear a full body sometimes?), (2) more comfortable -- not squeezed to death or feeling like you're suffocating or crushing the girls, (3) no worry about zipper malfunctions.

To me, the Arena X-Glide that Soni wore looked like a fabulous suit.

swimmj
September 25th, 2009, 10:01 PM
I was just joking about this.

I can't be sure, but I wonder if a lot of the women who chose suits with straps -- Soni wasn't the only one -- did so b/c they worried about zipper malfunctions (especially with the LZR).

I think it really depends on body type. I fit better in a high necked suit, which is much easier to get into with a zipper. The strap suits are more likely to do chute-like thing in the booty. Every body type has a different challenge for fit. No one suit will fit everyone well. I prefer zippers, but don't tend to stress a suit anywhere where there is a zipper.



I never minded shaving, but it only took me about an hour, assuming I had a pair of clippers to get me started. I didn't sweat getting every last little spot; nowadays I don't even worry about shaving my back at all.


Speaking as a spouse of a male swimmer, I much prefer chest coverage to shaving on males. Think of Wookie's wife if he shaves - that many nubs are very painful indeed. And, yup, the DH is teddy bear like hairy. Good thing it's only once a year for him.....

gull
September 25th, 2009, 10:56 PM
As someone who does not post top ten times and rarely places at Nationals it is hard to justify shaving--but donning the rubber suit to which I was addicted is a different matter.

knelson
September 25th, 2009, 11:55 PM
Here is a good poll - only poll the male Masters swimmers who will shave down for a big meet - suit or no suit.

You can throw their wives or SO's into the poll, too!

Chris Stevenson
September 26th, 2009, 10:10 AM
After practice this morning I spoke to a friend who is much more knowledgeable about FINA than I am. He noted that the FINA masters technical committee is meeting right now, and he expected that the FINA bureau would approve whatever the committee said. In other words, we might hear within the next week or two.

While it is hard to predict what FINA will do, he guessed that they would stick with "anything goes." He said that even though they banned the suits for elite swimming, by keeping them for OW and masters swimming, they could keep all their sponsors.

If all that comes to pass, then I would expect Fort to be upset since they wouldn't be doing it for the right reasons... :)

pwb
September 26th, 2009, 11:29 AM
...
While it is hard to predict what FINA will do, he guessed that they would stick with "anything goes." He said that even though they banned the suits for elite swimming, by keeping them for OW and masters swimming, they could keep all their sponsors.

If all that comes to pass, then I would expect Fort to be upset since they wouldn't be doing it for the right reasons... :)

I think she & others who prefer tech suits (count me in) would get over the moral/ethical dilemma.

Actually, as a libertarian-leaning capitalist pig, this seems like a perfectly good reason.

Chris Stevenson
September 26th, 2009, 12:03 PM
I think she & others who prefer tech suits (count me in) would get over the moral/ethical dilemma.

Actually, as a libertarian-leaning capitalist pig, this seems like a perfectly good reason.

Since suit-lovers are morally bankrupt, I never doubted it. :)

As far as it being a good reason, I'll have to disagree. If it does happen, then FINA is effectively saying that the suits aren't good for the "real" sport but they are willing to sacrifice OW and masters swimming as lesser non-sports.I guess I also have a hard time believing that they can't make much more money on elite swimming than masters/OW swimming. That's just a lack of imagination.

I'll also call hogwash on your "libertarian-leaning capitalist" explanation. I believe you think it is a good reason b/c you agree with the result. If (for example) FINA eliminated all events over 200 meters at the swimsuit manufacturer's request -- "the commercial opportunities of those events are just not very good" -- I doubt you would be so sanguine.

But FINA surprised the heck out of me with their original ruling for elites, who knows what they will do wrt the suits.

pwb
September 26th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Since suit-lovers are morally bankrupt, I never doubted it. :)

As far as it being a good reason, I'll have to disagree. If it does happen, then FINA is effectively saying that the suits aren't good for the "real" sport but they are willing to sacrifice OW and masters swimming as lesser non-sports.I guess I also have a hard time believing that they can't make much more money on elite swimming than masters/OW swimming. That's just a lack of imagination.

I'll also call hogwash on your "libertarian-leaning capitalist" explanation. I believe you think it is a good reason b/c you agree with the result. If (for example) FINA eliminated all events over 200 meters at the swimsuit manufacturer's request -- "the commercial opportunities of those events are just not very good" -- I doubt you would be so sanguine.

But FINA surprised the heck out of me with their original ruling for elites, who knows what they will do wrt the suits.

Truth be told, I can live with any ruling. From 2000 to Oct 2008, I never competed in Masters in more than jammers and never shaved. I do like the tech suits for the speed and do like not shaving. I added the tech suit when I started training harder and felt like it was worth my investment. I'm fine with going back to jammers if that's what's decided and I'm pretty sure I'll still swim faster because I'm training harder and smarter (I think).

At the same time, I think that the notion that these tech suits have fundamentally changed the sport hogwash. I further don't buy the notion that tech suits are PED-like anymore than Lycra suits are PED-like versus polyester suits or the "Belgrade" women's suit of the 70's was PED-like versus suits with skirts. I also find the notion that this one specific equipment advantage be singled out and legislated against hogwash. The notion of a level playing field is hogwash and I think, if you begin to head down that path, you're on a slippery slope that ends with an arcane set of rules that limit achievement due to this "feel good" notion of trying to create a level playing field.

ensignada
September 26th, 2009, 09:04 PM
My sick 9 yr old just came downstairs complaining that she can't get to sleep. I offered to recount the technical suit discussion...

Her feelings are that men should wear jammers and women tank suits, both in bright colors, because it would be fair and prettier to look at than those "ugly" technical suits. :)

Syd
September 26th, 2009, 10:50 PM
My sick 9 yr old just came downstairs complaining that she can't get to sleep. I offered to recount the technical suit discussion...

Her feelings are that men should wear jammers and women tank suits, both in bright colors, because it would be fair and prettier to look at than those "ugly" technical suits. :)

She might be onto something with the bright color suggestion. Could attract a lot more spectators. Never underestimate the wisdom of a 9 year old.:)

Spock
September 26th, 2009, 11:46 PM
She might be onto something with the bright color suggestion. Could attract a lot more spectators. Never underestimate the wisdom of a 9 year old.:)

My 6-month-old laughs like a bandit at me when I put on my black Amphibian. ;)

Score: 1 to 1

Calvin S
September 27th, 2009, 11:03 AM
She might be onto something with the bright color suggestion. Could attract a lot more spectators. Never underestimate the wisdom of a 9 year old.:)

my new paper suit i just ordered:

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w122/caschildknec/calvin.png

knelson
September 27th, 2009, 01:05 PM
I will have to go old school / new school next weekend for a 1500 - I don't think I can wear any of my tech suits for that long ....

If you do wear a full body suit use body glide where the suit might chafe under your armpits and also where the straps lie on your shoulder blades.

Chris Stevenson
September 27th, 2009, 01:46 PM
I will have to go old school / new school next weekend for a 1500 - I don't think I can wear any of my tech suits for that long ....

I wore a body suit for an in-season 1000 last spring and didn't notice it after the first 200 or so. But you might "size down" more aggressively than I.

pwb
September 27th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I wore a body suit for an in-season 1000 last spring and didn't notice it after the first 200 or so. But you might "size down" more aggressively than I.

I've worn a B70 body suit in 1000, 1650 and in an OW 1500M this morning without glide and no problems. Size 30 for 6'4" & 190lbs. Admittedly, I don't size down as aggressively as the size chart implies I could/should wear a 28.

Midas
September 27th, 2009, 03:23 PM
As far as it being a good reason, I'll have to disagree. If it does happen, then FINA is effectively saying that the suits aren't good for the "real" sport but they are willing to sacrifice OW and masters swimming as lesser non-sports.I guess I also have a hard time believing that they can't make much more money on elite swimming than masters/OW swimming. That's just a lack of imagination.



Setting aside the "purity" arguments (which is the argument for the FINA elite ban), this reminds me that we have our very own issue which is do we take ourselves as seriously as the elites do or are we a "lesser" league. If the elites could continue to use the rubberized suits, I wouldn't be on here arguing against them for Masters. Given the elite/age group decision that the suits are not legit, I think it detracts from our own legitimacy if we allow them. It's a double standard with clear implications--Master swimming (or at least our records/times) don't really "count" for anything so it's OK if we wear suits that are essentially considered swim aids for purposes of elite competition.

Maybe nobody in the broader world cares about this (as I've heard people state as a reason why it's OK to deviate), but as a Masters swimmer I do. I think we compete at a very high level in Masters swimming (within the constraints of our busy lives) and I think our records are extremely impressive. It would be a shame to me on many levels if FINA decides to relegate us to this second-class status, especially if the reason has to do, as Chris suggests, with appeasing the swimsuit manufacturers.

stillwater
September 27th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Werd

Midas
September 27th, 2009, 03:35 PM
At the same time, I think that the notion that these tech suits have fundamentally changed the sport hogwash. I further don't buy the notion that tech suits are PED-like anymore than Lycra suits are PED-like versus polyester suits or the "Belgrade" women's suit of the 70's was PED-like versus suits with skirts. I also find the notion that this one specific equipment advantage be singled out and legislated against hogwash. The notion of a level playing field is hogwash and I think, if you begin to head down that path, you're on a slippery slope that ends with an arcane set of rules that limit achievement due to this "feel good" notion of trying to create a level playing field.

You may think it's hogwash but historical suits, and historical improvements to them, have only reduced the drag inherent in wearing something to cover ones body for modesty. It is only recently with these rubberized suits that the drag coefficient has become markedly better than shaved skin. I think that's a transformative moment in suit technology. I think people would say the fact that records are dropping in, well, "record" number supports my view. To me, there is a difference between "going less slow" and "going faster than humanly possible".

I hear your slippery slope argument but we were already on it. Wetsuits are an extreme of the slope that everybody continues to agree are not legit for pool competition (noting that they are legit in many OW competitions) but tech suits have inched ever closer to employing the same technology as wetsuits and before long without "legislation" the line might have completely blurred. We need to set rules for what is legit. Whether you find such rules to be arcane or not may depend on your views on technological suit progress and whether it is OK for a suit to actually MAKE you faster as opposed to NOT MAKE you slower.

gull
September 27th, 2009, 03:57 PM
Wetsuits are an extreme of the slope that everybody continues to agree are not legit for pool competition (noting that they are legit in many OW competitions) but tech suits have inched ever closer to employing the same technology as wetsuits and before long without "legislation" the line might have completely blurred.

Which is exactly why I sought help for my addiction to the rubber tech suits. I was afraid I would wake up one day under a bridge wearing a wetsuit.