Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Made some progress on looking for a wetsuit.

UPDATE: merritt has sent us a link to Blue Seventy and though it too has lousy graphics, it did win the top wetsuit award from 220 Triathlon which is a tri-magazine and has conducted these awards for the past two years: [Link]

The suits listed below are rather expensive but they include lots of info on what makes them best.
Here is a really helpful buyers guide
from OneTri: Triathlon Wetsuit Buying Guide:

Here is a snippet:

"... Level 3: If you’re looking for the most comfortable and fastest wetsuit with the newest technology then we’d consider you Level 3. If you’re looking for every little edge and don’t mind spending more for the top of the line wetsuit then these are the ones for you. These wetsuits generally have the best quality and most buoyant rubber. As well they are designed with efficiency and flexibility in mind. ..." (Caveat: OneTri sells all these models)

Here are some "level 3" wetsuits suggested:

Zoot: Zoot Zenith for Men and Zoot Zenith for Women

Orca: Orca Apex 2 Fullsleeve Triathlon Wetsuit Men's and Orca Apex 2 Fullsleeve, Triathlon Wetsuit Women's

2XU: 2XU Elite Triathlon Wetsuit for Men and 2XU Elite Triathlon Wetsuit for Women

De Soto: De Soto T1 First Wave Pullover Triathlon Wetsuit, De Soto T1 First Wave Bibjohn Triathlon Wetsuit, De Soto T1 Speedtube 5 Triathlon Wetsuit

It turns out the the US Triathlon Association has rules regarding wetsuits. (Here is a link to the PDF regarding those rules:
competition-rules-master5.PDF.) For instance, a wetsuit with 5mm of rubber is illegal and said wetsuit has to be made of a material that FINA or ITU approves when racing in USTS events. Also, which I found really odd, is that you cannot wear just wetsuit bottoms for a race. I would totally want to do that and I think it is silly that you can't. (Section D.5.2)

For me I want most of the rubber in the reg area and a lot less rubber in the torso part. Since triathletes are generally not know for their swimming prowess, suit companies are making both the torso thicker and the arms thinest for flotation purposes. I currently have a wetsuit like that and though the arm area is thin and mobile, the trunk area is thicker and less mobile. I feel this effects my shoulder flexibility.

BTW: All have bad logos or cheesy prints!


merritt said...

The site you referenced leaves out one big wetsuit brand, Blue Seventy (http://www.blueseventy.com/index.php). It looks like they aren't a Blue Seventy dealer though and that would be why they were left out. I got one of their wetsuits a few months back, it was my first wetsuit purchase. It has done well for me, comfortable not restrictive. We'll see how I do with it in the LA Tri.

Tony Austin said...

Let me do an update!

Ranger said...

After meeting several people this summer doing triathlons this summer, I did get the impression that the weakest link for most people is swimming. I think compared to running and biking, swimming is more technically challenging.

(I hope didn't anger any runner or bikers who read this blog!)

Tony Austin said...

I think it is hard for triathletes to master any of the sports if a 40 hour work week and the winter is part of the equation.