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Competition Suits

  • I have many people ask me if the more expensive competition suits like fastskins are worth the price, and why do they cost so much. I would love to have a more educated answer to give other than, "They truly help the swimmer cut time." I can't say why. Any technical info would be helpful :)

  • Hi Julie - I know you are looking for deeper technical input here, but I will just offer that the suits you are talking about really do cut drag time. I posted about the FINA approved suits in another section... swim gear I think it is... and I really did notice a difference in time on the first swim. Those suits are like your skin... no "puffing out" with infiltrating water, no floating around your torso. Did you ever rinse out a regular competition suit which is lined, any brand, after a swim? Those things are HEAVY! I always rinse my out with my shower and when I noticed their weight after experiencing the FINA suits (NO weight) I was really amazed. For me, even 30 seconds off a 500 meter swim just kinda stokes me.

    • A tech suit provides a tight streamline fit with a highly technical compression fabric.

    • The tight weave on the fabric does not allow water to be absorbed or to pass through the suit easily.

    • This gives the suit a very hydrophobic surface which lowers the drag coefficient of the swimmer.

    • The compressive nature of the fabric also improves blood flow to the muscles supported by the suit.

    • A suit with bonded seams eliminates more drag by removing the stitched seams from the suit.

    • Most newer high end suits are using fabrics with multi direction stretch. This helps to improve the flexibility of the suit while still having a compression benefits.

    These are a few of the benefits.

  • What a great explanation! Thanks for putting the info up here.

  • Can anyone give me in site to different fits?
    Does tyr run bigger or smaller than a speedo or arena? What tech suit is better suited for what swimmer ?

  • Here's my input. I am 5'4", 91 pounds, long torso. I always buy a size 34. All the brands have close to the same fit for me, with Nike being on the snug end but not uncomfortably so. Also, it seems like the solid colored suits are the most true-to-size fit while the color block suits are always a tad larger... they "float around" a bit on my body when in the water. The color blocks are a great look but because of the size issue I stopped buying them. The 34 "floats" and a 32 would be too small. Hope this helped!

  • We have found Arena to fit a slender body frame much better than Speedo for example. I commented about this a little more in depth under a different topic post. My daughter is from China, is 5'3" and weighs 108.5. She is 12. Although we used the lower end Speedo kneeskin for several years, the more expensive suits (Lazer X) gathered in the area just below the rear before you get to the thigh. The chest area was also too loose, which would have taken on water. I think that the suit would have been an excellent one if she had more "junk in the trunk" or a more filled out chest. The Arena Carbon Flex has been an excellent choice for her so far! It's also a great suit for Breaststrokers, I'm told, because it has greater flexibility through the hip area.

  • Thank you so much for the info on Arena Flex! My workout is free and breast, and a suit sitting on the hip bone while doing breast can be a problem. It is MOST uncomfortable and can actually distract me from my focus. I'm also very lean, no "junk" whatsoever... all bone and sinew, like your daughter, so the least suit restriction I can find, the better. Thanks again!

  • Yes, we to like the arena carbon pro flex, for the full range of motion.
    Does anyone have input on the TYR tech suits?

  • before i had a tech suit i thought the same way but once i got one you really do realize that they cut time. An employe and s swim shop might tell you that they cut about .0034 secs or so but thats just what the tech suit would do if you swam the same way but when you have the tech suit on you fell much lighter more mobility faster depending on what tech suit you get. and when using a tech suit they really are all the same no matter what the price so its all about what you fell good in.

  • Yes... I see the women Olympic swimmers are wearing them. Still, I can't help but think I'd feel like I'm wearing my "Union Suit" in the water. I'll try to be bold about this and try it out.

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