View Full Version : Wet suits

February 7th, 2003, 04:25 PM
Help-I am trying to figure out which wet suit would be the best choice for an open water swim. I have looked at Orcas, Ironman suits and finally the QR's. They all look about the same but what am I missing. What are your experiences with these suits?

Rob Copeland
February 10th, 2003, 09:37 AM
While not an expert on wetsuits, I have raced a few times in a full body Ironman VO2 Stealth. It provides a good range of motion for my arms and I donít get the feeling that it is squeezing the breath out of me.

However, to your question what am I missing? Each brand and type of suit has a variety of differences to market within this narrow niche in the swimming/triathlon community. The most obvious difference is in the arms (long sleeves, short sleeves, sleeveless) and legs (long and short). However the real difference comes in, with the various thickness of material in the body, arms and legs (each will be different on the high end models) thicker on the body, thinner on the arms and legs. The thicker the suit the more buoyancy, the warmer and usually the more restrictive they are for arms rotation. Swimmers with poor body position are helped more by the buoyancy factor of a thicker suit. Better swimmers typically find the thinner suits more flexible and less constrictive.

Another factor is how the suit is stitched together. Based on how the interior stitching is aligned, some rubber is one-directional, meaning the rubber stretches in just one direction, usually lengthwise, while two-directional rubber stretches equally in length and width, allowing for better range of motion

Each manufacture uses a slightly different sizing in their suits so you need to find one that fits.

But the two most important factors are how much are you willing to spend and why do you want a wetsuit. If you want the fastest suit, regardless of cost, look at the top 20 swimmers out water at a world Ironman and go with what they use. If you are looking for warmth, go full body and get a thicker material.

In addition to at Orcas, Ironman and QR's, you may also want to look into ProMotion and O'Neill.

Happy hunting!

February 12th, 2003, 08:02 AM
I have never swum in a wet suit but my friends who do have recently been saying good things about the de soto two piece. Apparently it moves more freely and is more comfortable. I would try it before committing to a one piece model.