View Full Version : New "Skin" Swimsuits—which way to go?

February 6th, 2002, 01:55 AM
I've done a bit of research on the new wave of "skinsuits" swimmers are sporting, and now have come to a crossroads as to what I should do for myself...I want to cover my bases in deciding, so please bear with me...

1. A lot of manufacturers seem to say order your normal clothing waist size, when we traditionally have gone down in size in competition suits to avoid bagging and drag. So if I'm a 34, should i really order a 34, or still go 32. I'm kind of a big guy, so I don't know if I lost weight or gained muscle, whether this would stress the fabric too much, or cause looseness. Or are they made to handle this? Does anyone have circulation problems? Men specifically.

2. I've read that breastrokers tend to stay closer to the traditional brief or the kneelength jams. Does it really matter in terms of freedom of movement? Does the compression of the quad/hamstring area help a lot? If so, if we're a bit flabby up top, should we consider the sleeveless neck to knee? does it just hold things in place better? how do people find the leg tights?

3. Does anyone have any knowledge of nike, versus tyr, versus speedo, versus adidas, or arena opinions in performance? How do you feel in general about all this?

I hope someone can help settle these concerns. Most of the information seems to be for skinny young elite swimmers out there. some of us masters could use a little edge as well, i know a lot of it is psychological, but it's not cheap.

thanks, mister

jim thornton
February 6th, 2002, 11:57 AM
I've had experience with two suits: a "kneeskin" Speedo aquablade body suit (currently available as a woman's suit, which has worked fine for me even though I am a nontransvestite male!) and a full body suit lent to me by a teammate (not a Speedo--I'm not sure of the manufacturer.)

I love the Aquablade and have done my best adult times while swimming in it. The full body suit didn't work nearly as well for me, but I only used it to swim an IM, and I found the covered legs didn't "grab" the water right during breaststroke.

I recently purchased a Fastskin Speedo, again in the "kneeskin" format--i.e., a body suit that leaves your arms and legs (from the knees down) uncovered, but I haven't had a chance to try this in a race yet.

The Aquablades are considerably cheaper than the Fastskins, and if you've never worn a racing suit before, I recommend you give one of these a try. They are made from Lycra partly, so there's a good deal of expansion room. I wear a 34 regular brief, but my aquablade is 28L in women's sizing. Trying to translate this to a men's aquablade is extremely confusing and I haven't exactly figured out how to do it yet. Best bet: if you have a teammate with a body suit, see if you can try it on and then adjust up or down in size accordingly. Or call the vendor directly. They are pretty good at advising. Good luck.

One final note: Personally, I'd like to see all my competitors NOT wear these suits. Give some consideration to wearing a wool, three piece business suit. This would help preserve my advantage....

Bert Petersen
February 6th, 2002, 07:26 PM
Best luck I've had is with a Tyr, 2 sizes too small. I only wear it to race and in between, I peel down to my waist. So far I have had some great swims and some really lousy swims with it on........... Maybe there are other factors at work here that are more important. It has open shoulders and goes to my ankles. I think it helps reduce old-man ripple..............

February 9th, 2002, 01:06 PM
wanted to say thanks, guys, for helping me out with some first hand answers. i think i've made up my mind. i asked a couple of companies, and they did all say to order your regular size. but this is only in my inquiry into the jams/shorts. i don't think i'm quite ready to invest in a body suit. i do read that sleeveless is recommended more because of freedom, especially for breast and fly strokes. people have also told me that the suits get a little cold between events if you sit in them too long, and impossible to get back on if you slip them off all the way, so that might help others.

something to note from my coach and things i've read...swimming is very much about psyching yourself out and a mental game of wills -off versus on moments. in the end, technique and conditioning will do more for you than any suit, but if the suit helps hold things a bit more together, or helps you feel the water more smoothly, then that's a great extra edge. i guess the more comfortable and natural you feel in the water the better. thought i'd add what i've learned,and thanks for the responses. keep 'em coming, cause i suspect the fast suits aren't meant to last forever, and we'll probably have to keep researching for new ones.


February 9th, 2002, 02:54 PM
Are those Speedo Aquablade jammers actually faster than their regular lycra jammers?

February 11th, 2002, 07:51 PM
Lots of different theories. My best advice? Contact a reputable
swimshop where the people know what they are talking about, because they have taken the time to fit people (whatever brand) and can offer some valuable suggestions!

I don't believe Adidas championship suits are a viable option anymore.

Some of the newest fabric actually loses its performance value after it has been "saturated" with the water. Don't warm up in it, save it for the event.

Keep asking the questions! And I personally do believe that the psychological effect depends on the swimmer, and that it can make a difference in performance, regardless of brand and type of suit!

Happy competing, go for it,, and swim your best!

January 27th, 2009, 11:06 AM
these articles will help you
Tip 201 Which Suit Suits you? More On Racing Suits (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=128449&postcount=732)

Even More On Suits (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=137375&postcount=771)

commenting on each of your points
1. go with your size or one size smaller

2. Many breastrokers are now wearing full body suits,
jammers & leg skins are seen less and less
Cameron VAN DER BURGH broke WR's in the 50 & 100 SCM Breastroke wearing the Blue Seventy Nero Comps

3. I recommend the
Speedo PRO Hineck (http://tinyurl.com/yu2hwd) for affordablity and speed
and the
Blue Seventy Nero Comp (http://tinyurl.com/6dcwha) for speed, durability and affordability