View Full Version : Choosing a suit

Karen Duggan
January 19th, 2005, 11:38 PM
OK. I've been a little out of the loop and could use some help. Could someone please tell me what kind of suit to buy for something like Nationals? I've been told long leg, short leg, arms, no arms, and even an improper suggestion!
I was told that breaststrokers should do short leg or no leg, backstroke long leg as well as free, and I don't worry about fly! My dilemma is I swim mid-distance back, breast, IM and the occasional distance event. I'm thinking a short leg and long leg suit would be ideal, however until I start breaking some records (not happening anytime soon!) and getting free suits, I can afford only one. Which one? And I'm not even bringing up the whole 'which material' dilemma...
Any input would be helpful.
Thanks :p

January 20th, 2005, 09:21 AM
If your goal is speed, my suggestion is to buy a nice regular suit and take the couple hundred dollars you save and pay a really good coach to give you some individualized coaching.

Damage Inc
January 20th, 2005, 10:58 AM
Its not the suit that makes a difference; its the athlete in the suit.

January 20th, 2005, 01:11 PM
Although, if you want to try a one of the longer suits, I would recommend a Nike lycra suit. They are "only" $70 and have a similar feel in the water to the other more expensive suits. I got a short leg one and I really like it. They also come in more regular sizes which is nice for someone like me who is tall.

Karen Duggan
January 20th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Lindsay, thanks for your response, although it wasn't helpful.
(1) I have a nice regular suit that I call a practice suit.
(2) I already have one of the best coaches in Kerry O'Brien.
(3) Of course the goal is speed. Swim suits do play a part in performance, albeit they don't take the place of hard work.
Speed is a relevant term anyway, isn't it?
I was just looking for some input on current suits, what people have tried, like, feel comfortable in, etc. Sorry for the confusion.

January 20th, 2005, 08:16 PM
I agree with a couple of the other posts.....if you're really looking for a great suit, save a couple hundred dollars and get a nice regular racing suit.....Speedo makes a great Endurance suit, which is made of Polyester instead of regular Lycra, so it stretches out less, and stays nicer longer, etc.

Of course, if you really have your heart set on something with legs, or a more high-performance item (and you can afford it), then go with Nike. They're great. The full-leg ones can be a little frustrating to put on and once they're wet, to take off, but the short legs are great.....if you do backstroke, you might want to consider one with wide cut-out shoulders, to give you better motion (also, if you do butterfly)....I believe they're called hi-cut.

jim clemmons
January 20th, 2005, 11:15 PM
I've got the TYR short john (down to knees with shoulder straps), it's comfortable and I swim quite a few 100/200 breasts and 200/400 IM's.

I'm aware of the concern that while drawing up the legs to catch during the early kick phase, that excess water may collect in the seat (crotch) area, but, oh well.

Doesn't seem to be that big of a deal and I can get into and out of it easily.


January 20th, 2005, 11:37 PM
Hi Karen, I didn't mean anything personal, I'm just one of those crotchety guys that:
a) isn't convinced the suits actually make one faster (except for giving one a possible mental edge)
b) doesn't believe that a suit that does make one faster should be allowed in competition.
Sorry if it came across as a personal comment.
Good luck at Nationals!

Karen Duggan
January 21st, 2005, 01:01 AM
No offense taken. It's been my experience that these highly developed "tech suits" really do make a difference. Now whether that's an unfair advantage, etc. that's a whole different topic. I think that was another thread awhile ago. (By the way, what suit do you prefer? Will you be at our Nationals?)
But as long as these suits are out there and not illegal, I'd like to know what's been successful for people.
I've heard that about the crotch filling up with water. When one swims as fast as you do, the effect's probably not so bad!

I've also heard that there's a suit out there that is "seamless"? How does that compare to the zipper or snap? I had a really bad experience with a snap suit at our Pacific Championships a couple of years ago: take your mark for the 400 IM and my suit unsnapped. I believe I uttered a vulgarity, dove in and swam rather poorly- go figure. I did learn something though. I asked a friend, who's a referee: Could I have stood up and asked someone to "fix" my suit? He said I could. That surprised me. But now I know, if I ever have an "equipment malfunction" I can alert the starter. I guess if baseball players can do it, so can we!

jean sterling
January 21st, 2005, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
I'm one of those crotchety guys that:
a) isn't convinced the suits actually make one faster (except for giving one a possible mental edge)
b) doesn't believe that a suit that does make one faster should be allowed in competition.

I'm with you Lindsay!! It shouldn't be a matter of who has the most high-tech (expensive) bathing suit. That is one of the problems with triathlon - he with the most high-tech (expensive) bike has an advantage. Of course another problem with triathlons imho is that the swim leg is too short, but that's another matter.