View Full Version : open water gear

June 24th, 2002, 04:58 PM
I'm doing the Alcatraz 1.5 mile swim in August for the first time. I'm a 140 lb. pretty lean female. Does anyone have any gear recommendations for me? For example, wetsuit styles/ thicknesses? Favorite open water goggles (I use swedish goggles in the pool)? Anything else that will make this easy?

FYI, I'm an experienced open water swimmer. I just haven't done it in the Bay before with such currents and cold. (I've never swam in a wetsuit before; usually I just grit it out.)

Thanks for any help you can provide.


Rob Copeland
June 25th, 2002, 05:55 PM

There are hundreds of wetsuit styles our there in a broad price
range. And it is hard to say what is right for any one person. However, a couple of years ago I got a full body IronMan VO2 Stealth Full Sleeve wetsuit and I am very pleased with the results. I love cold water swimming, so I bought the suit primarily so I could cheat and go fast in races that allowed wetsuits and for triathlon relays. The suit is fast and warm and a bit pricey, so if you are looking for a onetime use suit, Iíd suggest looking for more low-end full body triathlon wetsuits. And make sure to get a tri-suit and not a surf , ski, or dive wetsuit. Triathlon wetsuits allow more range of motion for the shoulders. As for thickness anything 3mm to 7mm for the torso should be fine and 1.5mm to 3mm is good for arms and legs.

As for goggles, if the Swedish goggles work for you in the pool, then stick with them for the open water. Iím a bit (OK maybe a lot) nearsighted, so I have been using View and Speedo prescription goggles to help with open water spotting and navigation.

My other suggestions for open cold water would be to use ear plugs (they do help in keeping your head warm) and a silicone or neoprene cap (both are warmer than latex).

Other Wetsuits approved by the International Triathlon Union (as per their website) include:
1. Aquaman Pulsar 2000
2. Art Sports Pro model Full-suits
3. Bunnís: Super-Performance
4. Camara: Wetsuits, Austria
5. Full Marks Full-suits / Long-john
6. Green Turtle - Steamer
7. Ironman VO2, Stealth
8. JTU original Full-suits:Rino Chaser Full-suits
9. Lightfoot Wetsuits: Model Steamer Pro, Model MR 7000 Breakaway
10. Orca Predator