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Thread: Are the expensive jammers really faster

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Are the expensive jammers really faster

    When I started, the most advanced suit was he nylon brief. Clearly the "shiny suits" were faster, but they covered your whole body. Jammers cover such a smaller area I have to wonder how much difference the top of the line ones make vs more affordable. Has anyone done testing or any objective measure? Shaving down makes about 1 second/100 difference for me and every .01 sec can be important, but is there even .01 sec difference between good jammers and top of the line?
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    I’ve noticed improvements with even a tyr tech brief, but not as much of an improvement as the ap12 tyr jammer (still in use). Regarding shaving, I get an advantage of a suit over a fresh shave.

    It would be an interesting experiment. Requires use of a lane for 2 days, a timer, and video for all but one of the swims.

    50m fr AFAP:

    day 1, unshaven
    • completely naked
    • $10 suit
    • $400 jammer
    • full body suit

    day 2, just shaved
    • completely naked
    • $10 suit
    • tech brief
    • $400 jammer

    A 100 would show experimental differences better, but fatigue would be an issue

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    If you have ever watched anyone underwater off a turn, you will see their skin ripple as they push off. What the full body suits did was to create a smooth surface on the body and essentially eliminate the skin ripple. That was worth 2 seconds a 100. But now, at least for the men, the jammers cover a very small portion of the body and as a result cut much less time...how much time? Who knows, maybe a tenth or two. Certainly a tenth or two could be the difference in a race, but so can a good vs bad start and a good vs a bad finish and not snapping your turns or getting a good dolphin kick off your walls etc.

    And how much of a difference will there be between a top of the line jammer and a $20 jammer...if you use the $20 jammer once or twice, probably no difference.

    Trying to test the difference that small is not worth it since there are so many variables you could never control for all of them (the variables that is).

    My recommendation is to buy the cheaper suit and spend a little more on a good razor!
    Glenn Gruber

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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    I’ve noticed improvements with even a tyr tech brief, but not as much of an improvement as the ap12 tyr jammer (still in use). Regarding shaving, I get an advantage of a suit over a fresh shave.

    It would be an interesting experiment. Requires use of a lane for 2 days, a timer, and video for all but one of the swims.

    50m fr AFAP:

    day 1, unshaven
    • completely naked
    • $10 suit
    • $400 jammer
    • full body suit

    day 2, just shaved
    • completely naked
    • $10 suit
    • tech brief
    • $400 jammer

    A 100 would show experimental differences better, but fatigue would be an issue
    If you're going to swim naked I think you'll have to rent more than just one lane 🤣

  5. #5
    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    ...so what's the difference between naked and completely naked?
    Glenn Gruber

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    Very Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    For me they are! Every season for the past 8 years I've gotten a different tech suit. I buy it for my shave/taper meet that season then wear it for my later season meets the following season before buying a new one the following spring. In order, I've done the Aquablade, Speedo LZR Elite, Speedo LZR Racer Elite, Speedo LZR Elite 2, TYR Avictor, Adidas Adizero XVI, and then the A3 Performance VICI for the past two seasons.

    The Speedo LZR Elite was a huge upgrade over the Aquablade--I broke the LZR out for the first time at Spring Nationals that season and tried it back to back with a brand new Aquablade while warming up in the competition pool on the Wednesday before the meet started. The LZR lifted my hips and thighs in the water and was almost night and day more hydrophobic than the Aquablade. I played around with just gliding off the wall in streamline and consistently got about 4 feet further with my glide in the LZR than in the Aquablade. The improved compression also kept my thigh muscles much better controlled.

    I'm sure the shave and taper also helped, but I dropped .3 in my 50 back, .5 in my 50 fly, ~:.75 in my 50 free, :1 in my 100 IM, and almost :2 in my 100 fly at Nats compared to our Zone championship meets two week before, which was unshaved/untapered and Aquabladed.

    Since then I've been up and down on how the various suits have performed, hence why I've gotten a different one pretty much every year. A lot of it comes down to fit for me--I've got short, stubby legs with a big butt, so my two main judging criteria for any given suit is how much plumber's crack coverage it provides and how much the excess fabric bunches around my knees, especially on the last day of Nationals when I've worn it for 3 long days in a row. The A3 Performance VICI is the first one I've found that nearly nails both the butt coverage and leg length for me, so I've stuck with it the past two years. I've found that it doesn't quite provide as much hip lifting as some of the Speedos I've worn in the past, but it is still a night and day difference compared to my practice speedo or any of the worn suits I use at early-season meets.

    Directly comparing it to a, say, $60 Speedo Endurance jammer? No clue, but I've generally been quite satisfied with the performance I've eked out of the various suits over the years.

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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    They take off about a second per 100. Especially the generations of suits coming out the last few years.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Soooo - if you can afford the more pricy jammer, get it. If you are a middle of the pack swimmer not focused on Nationals the lesser suit will do fine.

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    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    I normally have 3-4 jammers in my practice rotation. I buy at least one new suit every year just for meets and then throw it into the rotation after it starts to stretch out.

    I'm not at a level where I can justify a tech suit (let alone having to explain it to my wife), but putting on relatively new, snug suit for meets certainly gives me a psychological lift if nothing else.

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    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    I think the difference between a $150 tech suit and a $400 tech suit is marginal for the normal Masters swimmer. The important thing is to find a tech suit that gives you the fit you need. Some of the really expensive new suits, I can't fit over my thighs in a size that works with my waist. The best suit I've found for me thus far is the A3 Stealth that's a $200 suit but I got for $70 because they don't make it anymore and are getting rid of their inventory.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    If you have ever watched anyone underwater off a turn, you will see their skin ripple as they push off. What the full body suits did was to create a smooth surface on the body and essentially eliminate the skin ripple. That was worth 2 seconds a 100.
    I think there was more to it than that. For one, the full body suits also provided slight flotation, which consequently reduced wave drag. Also, they provide muscle compression. The third is the one you mentioned: reduction in form drag.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    I wonder what percentage of the tech suit consumer in the US are masters.

    OT, anyone know of a suit model that fits on the long side?

  13. #13
    Very Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    I wonder what percentage of the tech suit consumer in the US are masters.

    OT, anyone know of a suit model that fits on the long side?
    From my experience based on the amount of bunched up fabric at the knee due to my stubby legs, the TYR Avictor and Adidas Adizero both had the longest legs of any of the tech suits I've worn. My torso is comparatively much longer than my legs, so while those suits had excess leg length on my particular body, I don't know if they'd really count as suits on the longer side, per se.

  14. #14
    Participating Member olivesss's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Quote Originally Posted by habu987 View Post
    From my experience based on the amount of bunched up fabric at the knee due to my stubby legs, the TYR Avictor and Adidas Adizero both had the longest legs of any of the tech suits I've worn. My torso is comparatively much longer than my legs, so while those suits had excess leg length on my particular body, I don't know if they'd really count as suits on the longer side, per se.
    TYR makes a high waist version for the Avictor. Helps when you have a longer torso or need to contain your thunder in the rear.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    I wonder what percentage of the tech suit consumer in the US are masters.

    OT, anyone know of a suit model that fits on the long side?
    The A3s that I have are on the longer side, they're the only tech jammers I've worn that actually hit right above my knee. I'm 6'2", long legs.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    Can the "high waist" suits cover my "love handles"?

  17. #17
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Are the expensive jammers really faster

    I’ve only seen you on tv, would be too difficult to make a comment riding on $400.
    I currently have both low and high-waist styles of the TYR AP12. when I wear the high-waisted jammer my love handle, I look like steve urkel. Most importantly, I swim the 50 fr as such, slower than in the low-waist variety of same suit model.
    Last edited by __steve__; October 16th, 2019 at 04:02 PM.

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