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Thread: Water Temp v wetsuit

  1. #21
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    nothing, until one learns to swim without them..........
    So its like riding a bike with training wheels? Or is it a purist kind of thing?

    The coldest water I've swum in was probably somewhere in the mid 70's. After a couple hundered meters I ended up liking the 'coldness' of it. But I'm a very lean guy - 5% body fat or so. It seems like I'd actually NEED a wesuit in cold water.

  2. #22
    Very Active Member E=H2O's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail.dog1 View Post
    Whats so bad about wetsuits?
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wetsuits, the problem is with the people who wear them. [SARC INT]

    (I honestly have no problem with people wearing wetsuits in OW swimming, so long as they are in a separate categorie than the non-wetsuit swimmers. The more people who participate in the sport, the better. Please google SARC INT if you don't know what it means.)
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

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  3. #23
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail.dog1 View Post
    So its like riding a bike with training wheels? Or is it a purist kind of thing?
    Iíd say it is a purist kind of thing.

    We have a group that does training swims in a local lake almost year round. Most of the swimmers wear wet suits when the temp gets below 65-68 and some will wear wetsuits into the low 80ís. Some of the elitist/purist/snobs (ME) only put on the wetsuit when it gets below 50F. It all depends on what your body can handle and how much you want to push your limits.

    However, I would much prefer to see folks in the water in a wetsuit than not swimming at all or hypothermic. And I donít suggest trying to test your cold water limits without understanding the danger signs of hypothermia.

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wetsuits, OR the people who wear them.

  4. #24
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    Iíd say it is a purist kind of thing.

    We have a group that does training swims in a local lake almost year round. Most of the swimmers wear wet suits when the temp gets below 65-68 and some will wear wetsuits into the low 80ís. Some of the elitist/purist/snobs (ME) only put on the wetsuit when it gets below 50F. It all depends on what your body can handle and how much you want to push your limits.

    However, I would much prefer to see folks in the water in a wetsuit than not swimming at all or hypothermic. And I donít suggest trying to test your cold water limits without understanding the danger signs of hypothermia.
    Today I went for a swim in a new pool (new to me, it was my first time in that pool). While I was waiting for the aqua aerobics class to finish up and the lap swimming to begin I put my toes in to feel the water - warm. The guy there said they keep the pool in the mid 80's. I have to say I really didnt care for it at all! My first set was 2k yards and I was feeling smothered by the warm water every single lap! Every stroke it seemed! My next two sets were more comfortable, but I had to make myself put the temperature out of my thoughts.

    The cold water used to be kind of intimidating, and I'm sure it would take some getting used to. I think it was only yesterday I was assuming my lean body would need a wetsuit to stay warm. But after todays swim I feel much more willing to skip a wetsuit if the water is colder. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I may be feeling a bit eager to swim in colder water.


  5. #25
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Wearing a wetsuit in water that is 80 can be dangerous!!!!
    50's You will really need it
    60's good to use
    70's might be ok
    80 ---- think of a cooked sausage in a container!!!!!

  6. #26
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail.dog1 View Post
    Whats so bad about wetsuits?

    Nothing. There is just this purist holier than thou attitude among some OW swimmers (all present company excepted, of course ) who see a wetsuit as a crutch. I do tris and OW swims. Most OW swims forbid wetsuits so I don't wear one. All west coast tris allow them (and some rightly so for some, just did Oceanside 70.3 last weekend at 58 degrees). Do some triathletes suck and wear it for assisted buoyancy? Yup. Is wearing a wetsuit in too -warm wter stupid and poentially dangerous? Yup

    But OW swimemrs I guess don't really realize that OW swimming is a different sport than a triathlon, where you have to get out of the water and do something other than sit on the beach sipping water looking at the girls (OK, that's what I do in OW swims). Not only is it a buoyancy issue, and thus speed, but an energy conservation issue. Takes a lot of energy to immerse yourself in 58 degree water. Then you have to ride for 2-3 hours and run for 2 hours.

    Westuits are an allowed tool in the sport. Just as disc wheels, aero helmets, blah blah blah. Use them if you are smart. Don't use them if you want to stand on principle. And the more you beat without wearing a suit, the stronger you can thump your chest.

    Long story short, you use the tools that are available to you to gain whatever advantage you can. I bet every swimmer here would have used the now banned speedsuits if they were still allowed (and they could afford them). Funny how that works.

    ETA - All (most) of the west coast swims here take place between July and Sept, when the water temps go mid 60s or above, so no wetsuits are necessary, even though allowed. Despite my post above, I would never enter the newly added wetsuit division of our biggest 2 mile pier to pier (added after the non summer of 2010 caused lo water temps and a number of DNFs and hypothermia cases), because it's just wrong for that race.
    Last edited by ChrisM; April 2nd, 2012 at 08:12 PM.

  7. #27
    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
    I bet every swimmer here would have used the now banned speedsuits if they were still allowed (and they could afford them). Funny how that works.
    you'd lose that one.

  8. #28
    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    I guess this won't win me any popularity contests, and is possibly a little off topic, but here goes:

    The ability to withstand, and even enjoy swimming in cold water doesn't happen by accident. It's not some pill you can take or some magic ability some people have and others don't. It's nearly always the result of a lot of hard work and training, just like running a marathon or doing a triathlon (or swimming a fast pool swim!!).

    I think the "snob" label some non-wetsuit swimmers get is a little unfair. I definitely get very annoyed when I'm told I "don't feel the cold" or am just "built for it" because that trivializes a lot of my hard work! I have personally invited people who say those kinds of things to me to come to the lake with me and watch me shiver. I believe non-wetsuit "snobs" are just trying to maintain what should be a huge distinction between wetsuit and non wetsuit swims. They are just not the same animal and do not compare at all. Hence the disqualification of wetsuits from awards in some races.

    If people don't have the time or just don't want to put in the training required to swim in cold water without a wetsuit, fine. In my mind, though, it's the equivalent of showing up to Canada or Lake Placid with a motor on your bike because you didn't feel like training for the hills.
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

  9. #29
    Very Active Member Chicken of the Sea's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Also, I love water. I love swimming and the feel of water on my skin and can't imagine wanting to be removed from this feeling.
    It was quite capable in the water, perhaps a little on the slow side, but it wasn't impressed by my appearance.

  10. #30
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    What she said. Listen to the Chicken.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
    There is just this purist holier than thou attitude among some OW swimmers... who see a wetsuit as a crutch.
    Of course it's a crutch! Unless wearing a wetsuit is inherently pleasurable - which I doubt even the most enthusiastic wetsuit proponents believe - then it follows that it is a crutch.

    Why do people wear wetsuits? Why do they spend the money to buy them, or take the time to put them on, or put up with the chaffing they cause?

    Because they think the water is too cold, or because they think it will make them faster.

    Looks like a crutch... walks like a crutch... smells like a crutch....
    Last edited by evmo; April 4th, 2012 at 01:06 AM.

  11. #31
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by evmo View Post
    What she said. Listen to the Chicken.



    Of course it's a crutch! Unless wearing a wetsuit is inherently pleasurable - which I doubt even the most enthusiastic wetsuit proponents believe - then it logically follows that it is a crutch.

    Why do people wear wetsuits? Why do they spend the money to buy them, or take the time to put them on, or put up with the chaffing they cause?

    Because they think the water is too cold, or because they think it will make them faster.

    Looks like a crutch... walks like a crutch... smells like a crutch....

    Why did I wear a wetsuit in triathlons? The same reason I bought a tri TT bike. It's legal and faster. Have I ever worn a wetsuit in an open water race or swim? No, but I did wear a speed suit once. Why not? It surely isn't because I like to swim in cold water. I like 68 to 74. I only swim in cold water because the places I want to swim have cold water. It's the same reason why I would go out into the Alaskan wilderness in sub zero weather. It just happened to be that cold when I wanted to go. I would have enjoyed it more in the 15 to 25

    Frankly I think water temperature is arbitrary. Records for Catalina show that you can find 60 degrees one summer, but 72 on another. Is there anything wrong with waiting for a year when the water is warm? If it is a warm year, should you wait until it gets cold?

    As for training for cold water, I think it is primarily mental, until your in 60 degree water for 10 hours, give or take. I did absolutely no training outside a 83 degree pool before swimming in the SF Bay at 59 for 5 1/2 hours. And outside of that swim I did no swimming out of that same pool leading up to Catalina at 65 to 66 , not,counting the 5 degree drop near the mainland.

    I guess I don't wear a wetsuit in an open water swim because . . . Not really sure now that I think about it. It isn't because the cause irritation. A high end suit that fits you well is hardly noticeable at the start, and not at all after that. I guess I don't wear one because of peer pressure, but that means I'll never do a swim in Alaska.
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

    www.bobswims.com/

  12. #32
    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken of the Sea View Post
    I guess this won't win me any popularity contests, and is possibly a little off topic, but here goes:

    The ability to withstand, and even enjoy swimming in cold water doesn't happen by accident. It's not some pill you can take or some magic ability some people have and others don't. It's nearly always the result of a lot of hard work and training, just like running a marathon or doing a triathlon (or swimming a fast pool swim!!).

    I think the "snob" label some non-wetsuit swimmers get is a little unfair. I definitely get very annoyed when I'm told I "don't feel the cold" or am just "built for it" because that trivializes a lot of my hard work! I have personally invited people who say those kinds of things to me to come to the lake with me and watch me shiver. I believe non-wetsuit "snobs" are just trying to maintain what should be a huge distinction between wetsuit and non wetsuit swims. They are just not the same animal and do not compare at all. Hence the disqualification of wetsuits from awards in some races.

    If people don't have the time or just don't want to put in the training required to swim in cold water without a wetsuit, fine. In my mind, though, it's the equivalent of showing up to Canada or Lake Placid with a motor on your bike because you didn't feel like training for the hills.
    couldn't have said it better

  13. #33
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
    There is just this purist holier than thou attitude among some OW swimmers (all present company excepted, of course ) who see a wetsuit as a crutch.
    Chris, as a member of the purist holier than thou OW swimmer sect, I donít see wetsuits as a crutch I see wetsuits as equipment; similar to cap and goggles.

    But I guess it depends on your definition of crutch. If you mean it as something that supports somebody who is otherwise liable to falter, then I agree that things such as goggles and wetsuits are crutches.

    Note to EvanÖ Iím not sure where you find your wetsuits and crutches, by my wetsuit doesnít look like or smell like a crutch .

  14. #34
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    Why did I wear a wetsuit in triathlons? The same reason I bought a tri TT bike. It's legal and faster. Have I ever worn a wetsuit in an open water race or swim? No, but I did wear a speed suit once. Why not? It surely isn't because I like to swim in cold water. I like 68 to 74. I only swim in cold water because the places I want to swim have cold water. It's the same reason why I would go out into the Alaskan wilderness in sub zero weather. It just happened to be that cold when I wanted to go. I would have enjoyed it more in the 15 to 25

    Frankly I think water temperature is arbitrary. Records for Catalina show that you can find 60 degrees one summer, but 72 on another. Is there anything wrong with waiting for a year when the water is warm? If it is a warm year, should you wait until it gets cold?

    As for training for cold water, I think it is primarily mental, until your in 60 degree water for 10 hours, give or take. I did absolutely no training outside a 83 degree pool before swimming in the SF Bay at 59 for 5 1/2 hours. And outside of that swim I did no swimming out of that same pool leading up to Catalina at 65 to 66 , not,counting the 5 degree drop near the mainland.

    I guess I don't wear a wetsuit in an open water swim because . . . Not really sure now that I think about it. It isn't because the cause irritation. A high end suit that fits you well is hardly noticeable at the start, and not at all after that. I guess I don't wear one because of peer pressure, but that means I'll never do a swim in Alaska.
    Yup. Which is why the OW swimmers here who don't also do triathlons (not making any characterizations about that at all) I guess don't get that you use the tools that are legally available to you in triathlons. If you do triathlons in colder water and don't wear a wetsuit that's just poor race strategy, unless you like playing catch up all day long.

    I am sure in OW swimmers' eyes that makes us triathletes weaker, wimpier, not willing to work hard enough, blah blah blah. Whatever. And the analogy to motorized bikes at an IM is a non sequitur. Motors are illegal. Wetsuits aren't (at those races). I wouldn't think that's a difficult concept to grasp.

    It's different for OW swimming as a solo sport. I totally get that. And I get that this is an OW swimming board, so the opinions will be skewed a certain way, and rightly so. Triathlon swimming is to OW swim races as the run in an IM is to marathons. Each is a totally different animal, even though they involve the same basic sport.

    I actually prefer swimming without a wetsuit. But if you are going to allow me to use a tool in a triathlon which will (1) allow me to swim faster and (2) stay warmer thus conserving energy for the bike and run, I'm going with that option.
    Last edited by ChrisM; April 3rd, 2012 at 02:52 PM.

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    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    Note to EvanÖ Iím not sure where you find your wetsuits and crutches, by my wetsuit doesnít look like or smell like a crutch .
    nothing personal, but i would bet dollars to doughnuts that your wetsuit smells much worse

  16. #36
    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisM View Post
    But if you are going to allow me to use a tool in a triathlon which will (1) allow me to swim faster and (2) stay warmer thus conserving energy for the bike and run, I'm going with that option.
    This is essentially the same argument that was made in favor of tech suits. Yes... there is no denying that many competitors will embrace every technical advantage that is made available to them, even to the point where the very nature of the activity they are participating in becomes completely different from what it was before said "technical advances". Bravo if it makes you more competitive... but there is still only room for 3 on the podium.

    The swim leg of a triathlon is not the same thing as an OW swim. The whole sport seems to favor making the swim as easy and short as possible. Reason: To encourage mass participation (read $$$$$), even to the point where really poor swimmers are likely to enter. There is a company now marketing wetsuits with EXTRA floatation built in. Yes, I think the training wheel analogy is appropriate.

    Call me a relic if you want... I'm also the guy with the Rossin steel frame (Columbus SL tubing), Campy Super Record 12 speed, sew-ups, friction shifters on the drop, and leather hair net.

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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    The swim leg of a triathlon is not the same thing as an OW swim. The whole sport seems to favor making the swim as easy and short as possible. Reason: To encourage mass participation (read $$$$$), even to the point where really poor swimmers are likely to enter. There is a company now marketing wetsuits with EXTRA floatation built in. Yes, I think the training wheel analogy is appropriate.
    Sadly, can't disagree there, and the industry has to deal with calls for legislation every year when the inevitable death occurs, even if it's the result of something completely irrelevant to fitness level.

    Triathletes as a general rule are poor swimmers. I am certainly not fast when compared to true swimmers and was well within the top 10% OA at Oceanside 70.3 last weekend at :30. Some people will actually not do a race if they can't wear their wetsuits. That's sad. Then there are the 25 minute 1.2 mile half ironman guys and girls. The huge majority are somewhere in the middle.

    The De Soto 5mm suit, if that is what you are referring to, is specifically banned at WTC events, by the way

    I don't care that a RD sets rules to increase participation. At the end of the day, the more people that participate in my sport means that more events will be put on, which means that I get to race more. Races that don't get support die. In my naive and ideal world, people will not enter races for which they are not prepared.

  18. #38
    Active Member geog's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    +1 @ chicken of the sea
    +1 @ leather hair net

    the speed argument holds for podium contenders. most though
    are competing against themselves, training to swim faster than
    they did previously. their victories are huge ... and independent
    of attire.

    the bicycle analogy is encumber by the fact that a bike is required
    for cycling, whereas a wetsuit is not required for swimming.

    non-insulating positively-buoyant wetsuits for warm water

    cone-head speed caps

    gps enabled goggles
    swimith

  19. #39
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by chaos View Post
    Te swim leg of a triathlon is not the same thing as an OW swim. The whole sport seems to favor making the swim as easy and short as possible. Reason: To encourage mass participation (read $$$$$), even to the point where really poor swimmers are likely to enter.
    I am SO TIRED of hearing the criticism and The belittling of the swim leg of triathlons by people who have no idea what it is all about. Let me make it perfectly clear right now, if it wasn't for the swim leg in triathlons I would never be able to relive the joy I had 30 years ago swimming near the front of an open water race. Outside of USAT Nationals I always finished in the top 3% to 8% in the swim, and finished 3rd overall 2 years in a row in fields of over 250 people in the race (it had a longer than normal swim leg). Please don't take that away from me.

    Call me a relic if you want... I'm also the guy with the Rossin steel frame (Columbus SL tubing), Campy Super Record 12 speed, sew-ups, friction shifters on the drop, and leather hair net.
    Unless to are riding a 10 speed with down tube shifters and a Reynolds steel frame and Campy Nuovo Record components you can't claim to be a traditionalist. Although I'll give you credit for sewups, you only get partial credit unless you repair your own flats and ride them until the threads are showing through the treads.
    "If you didn't swallow water in your last open water race, you weren't racing."

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  20. #40
    Very Active Member chaos's Avatar
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    Re: Water Temp v wetsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by E=H2O View Post
    I am SO TIRED of hearing the criticism and The belittling of the swim leg of triathlons by people who have no idea what it is all about. Let me make it perfectly clear right now, if it wasn't for the swim leg in triathlons I would never be able to relive the joy I had 30 years ago swimming near the front of an open water race. Outside of USAT Nationals I always finished in the top 3% to 8% in the swim, and finished 3rd overall 2 years in a row in fields of over 250 people in the race (it had a longer than normal swim leg). Please don't take that away from me.
    I'm not nearly as old as you, but I did participate in a good couple of dozen triathlons in the early 80's (if participation can be defined as crawling through a 10k on one's hands and knees)
    These were indeed the good old days... few (if any) wetsuits, no aero bars, creative non-standardized distances, and beer company sponsorships.

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