General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit Rss Feed  
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2006-05-08 9:10 AM

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Youngstown, Ohio
Subject: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit

Can anyone give me the pros and cons in regards to full sleeve wetsuits vs. sleeveless wetsuits?  I do have a broad chest (52" and wide shoulders.  Nothing sleek about this clydesdale.

 



2006-05-08 9:22 AM
in reply to: #417429

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The Original
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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
I have a sleeveles and love it.  I've tried swimming in a sleeved wetsuit and didn't like it.  It really restricted my stroke and was uncomfortable and harder to remove.  I'd recommend going sleeveless if you don't plan to swim in frigid cold temps. 
2006-05-08 12:48 PM
in reply to: #417429

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
It is not a pro or con versus sleeve or sleeveless...

It is an exclusive issue of FIT.

A properly fitting sleeve (i.e., full) wetsuit will not hinder swim reach. Fatique in the shoulders should not be a problem (assuming you know how to make minor changes to your srtoke while swimming with a wetsuit).

Some body types do not allow for a proper fitted full wetsuit. For those, the sleeveless is the better choice. However, I have seldom seen this to be the case with regard to a two piece wetsuit. The two piece wetsuit tend to fit a wider variety of body types.

The key advantage of a full wetsuit is the added efficiency of effort provided by the added bouyancy. With that advantatage comes faster times with less effort.

As for water temps...if the water temps meet the rules... Then for most athletes, overheating is not an issue. On the otherhand, for colder water... full suits are obviously the best choice (assuing good fit - of course).

Removal of a full wetsuit is typically not much different that a full wetsuit UNLESS it is a two piece. The zipperless two piece requires more effort and has a steaper learning curve, But, with some experience, the difference in speed becomes less... but, the effort level tends to remain more for the two piece zipperless full wetsuit vs. a traditional single zipper full wetsuit.

If you want to have the most efficient swims... a PROPERLY FITTED full suit will be the best choice.

It's all about fit - period.

FWIW Joe Moya

BTW, IMO the closes to being the best all round wetsuit (i,.e, acceptable for sprint or IM distance races) is a zippered full two piece wetsuit (by DeSoto).


Edited by Joe M 2006-05-08 12:58 PM
2006-06-15 10:35 AM
in reply to: #417689

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
Joe M - 2006-05-08 1:48 PM

The key advantage of a full wetsuit is the added efficiency of effort provided by the added bouyancy. With that advantatage comes faster times with less effort.



Can anyone comment on the relative bouyancy of a sleeveless vs full wetsuit? I'm not a strong swimmer and currently I have access to a sleeveless, just wondering if I should search for a full sleeve wetsuit.

Edited by e_unit 2006-06-15 10:35 AM
2006-06-15 11:03 AM
in reply to: #417429

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
Someone who posted in my Buffalo Triathlon race report stated that if I swam in a full sleeve wetsuit (versus my sleeveless) I could save up to 5 sec/100yds (I'm a weak swimmer). Don't know if that is a reasonable estimate or not.
2006-06-15 11:12 AM
in reply to: #455169

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
e_unit - 2006-06-15 9:35 AM

Joe M - 2006-05-08 1:48 PM

The key advantage of a full wetsuit is the added efficiency of effort provided by the added bouyancy. With that advantatage comes faster times with less effort.



Can anyone comment on the relative bouyancy of a sleeveless vs full wetsuit? I'm not a strong swimmer and currently I have access to a sleeveless, just wondering if I should search for a full sleeve wetsuit.


The primary area where you need bouyancy is in the body and legs. I bought a sleeveless suit back when I was learning to swim and had no problems.

One reason why people like sleeves is because you retain more body heat in the water and don't lose as much energy. Of course, if you don't have a good fit in the full suit, this is counterproductive.


2006-06-15 11:34 AM
in reply to: #417429

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Master
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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
A full sleeve will be faster, but I highly doubt its 5 sec/ 100. Thats closer to the overall impact of a wetsuit versus none.

My best guess would be 1 sec/100. Think about it in terms of surface area. How much additional surface area is there in the sleeves versus the entire suit? If you save perhaps 5 sec with a wetsuit, how much incremental gain will you get from the sleeves? 10% relative improvement? (i.e. 5.5% gain versus 5%)? Its probably somewhere in that neighborhood, so its not a lot.
2017-07-11 2:37 PM
in reply to: ovspmike


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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
Wet suit vs. non-wet suit can make the difference of 2-4 minutes over a half mile for somebody doing a 1:15 to 1:25 / 100 yard pace. But sleeved vs. sleeveless offers much less advantage, less than 2 minutes over a half mile. There certainly is an advantage of speed with a full-sleeved wet suit for faster swimmers. But for moderate to slow swimmers, the major benefit of the wet suit comes with the buoyancy in the legs, which position your legs closer to the surface of the water creating less drag and less of a need for a propulsive kick. This alone makes you much faster in the water. You get this benefit with or without sleeves.

I am a clydesdale and if you're like me, one thing You have trouble with in summer races is dumping your heat. I usually place in the top 10% of the swim, and with high effort comes high heat. I wear a DeSoto 2-piece wet suit and have a full-sleeve and sleeveless option for the top. Under 65 degrees, I go with the full sleeve. Over 65, I find I will overheat with the full sleeve, so I wear the sleeveless vest. On longer open water swims, 2+ miles, I generate heat for a longer time so the threshold is more like 60 degrees. I prefer to wear the full-sleeve wet suit over the sleeveless because it's a little faster; it doesn't compress my midsection as much and so it's a little more comfortable. But if the conditions are wrong, then overheating will eat up any gains the full-sleeves provide.

The temperature tolerance is different for everybody, but if you're 200+ pounds doing a 1-mile swim in a 75 degree lake on a sunny day with full sleeves, a latex cap, and your pushing your heart rate to 150+, you're probably going to have a hard time dumping your heat. I've been there and it sucks.

You overheat in the swim, then you get on the bike and get some brief relief because the wind is cooling you off. But your body-engine is still running very hot. So when you start the run and there's no more wind in your face, it hits you all at once. Your body starts to shut down physically and mentally and you have to walk. Never good in a race. Never!

Race and speed considerations aside, it's really nice to be able to get outdoors swimming three or four weeks earlier in the season after being in a pool all winter and then push into the fall much later too. In Boston right now the ponds are 76 degrees and the ocean is 54. Having a full-sleeve as well as a sleeveless lets you do it all. I think everybody should have both. Check out Craigslist or other used online markets if cost is a consideration. Nobody is debating the shorts vs. sweat pants issue for running right? You need both.
2017-07-11 3:33 PM
in reply to: OldClydie

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit

Originally posted by OldClydie Wet suit vs. non-wet suit can make the difference of 2-4 minutes over a half mile for somebody doing a 1:15 to 1:25 / 100 yard pace.

Not true.

It might be that way for someone who is a 2:00/100 swimmer......but not for a person who already has good balance in the water.  I've watched 750M tri swims by the best swimmers in the sport dozens and dozens of times......the fastest benefit very little from a wet suit. The slower the swimmer the more benefit is a good general rule.  How much benefit is individual.  For some it's dramatic.

2017-07-11 3:37 PM
in reply to: ovspmike

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Subject: RE: Full sleeve vs. sleeveless wetsuit
I'm a clyde as well. Chest is 44". I have used both and I found the sleevless worked better for me because of the freedom of shoulder rotation. Im sure a properly fitted full is comfortable to swim in too, but still will provide some resistance throughout your stroke.
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