The 'TYR Tent Sale' was today so I drove down to the O.C. hoping to pick up an Aquashift speedsuit at a 75% off discount. (Michael from SCAQ got one for $60.) Unfortunately, they were out of my size. However, it was still a very worthwhile drive since I was able to see, touch, handle and even throw water on a Tracer Light and Tracer Rise.
First impression of both suits is how little they weigh. The "Tracer Light" felt half as heavy as my Nike Hydra and the Hydra is the lightest suit I have ever worn. The material on the Tracer feels completely dissimilar as well whereas the Nike feels like old school Lycra, the Tracer Light felt more like pliable nylon. Though light in weight there was a sense of sturdiness to the material so the suit feels as if it will last a long time unlike the 6-10 races that the LZR has been stated to last.
What astonished me was how water-repellent the suits are but calling it water-repellent may be an understatement and this is why: The person who showed me the suit got a spray bottle and sprayed several tablespoons of water on the Tracer Light untill it pooled or coalesced into a blob like mercury. (Yes, I was stupid enough to play with mercury as a child so I know how it pools.) When I tried to rub the water into the fabric, it would just break apart and merge somewhere else on the suit into a silver, liquid, blob.
Now, here is the "coup de grace" regarding how water proof it is. After cracking some jokes about mercury and other states of matter, I then left the Tracers on the table to go do my business elsewhere. So, after having a conversation or two, hearing a great Mark Spitz story, running into somebody I went to high school with, exchanging email addresses, I suddenly had to know what happened to the pool of water on the Tracer Light.
Hence, I asked this person at TYR if I could see what happened. She assured me it would still be there and started cracking up. So I went back to the table and there it was: The suit was completely dry and the blob of water was still pooled in the middle of the suit waiting to be disturbed. For over an hour-an-a-half the suit totally rejected 100% of the water and seemingly the water therein would literally evaporate before it could possibly saturate into the fabric from what I observed.
Example: Look at the photo above, note the layer of oxygen surrounding the suit or look at this shot of Chloe Sutton standing post an open water race in Beijing looking quite dry.
Anyway, then I asked if I could buy one? I figured the answer would be an emphatic NO, but they said, "Sure! it's for sale right around the corner." I asked if I could get the addresses of where it sells for the blog and I was utterly accommodated. So, if you want to see, touch, wear, buy or perhaps splash water on a Tracer Light, this is where you can go:
Competitor Aquatic Supply
15661 Container Lane.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
I was given four more addresses but I was not able to confirm if they are stocked up yet. I will post as soon as I know. For instance Kiefer took five minutes to confirm they had a short-john but not a full suit.