General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Better fitting wetsuits - Improving your efficiency in the water Rss Feed  
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2016-06-05 6:50 PM
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Ventura, California
Subject: RE: Better fitting wetsuits - Improving your efficiency in the water
What a great topic. I know that I would definitely pay for a custom fitted wetsuit. The idea of buying a wetsiut online just does not work for me.

I am in the market for a wetsuit and will most likely buy one in the next week or two. I recently shopped around some surf and dive shops in Huntington Beach and think I found the one for me. I would be buying the suit more for warmth then buoyancy, also transitioning out of the wetsuit quickly is a obvious concern.

I am looking at a short sleeve/short leg, 2.5mm suit. Another feature I really liked about the surf suit was the front chest zipper and the quick pull up over the head and then down off the body. I could potentially have the suit off in a matter of seconds. (theoretically anyways) I even seen some of the more expensive surf suits that have eliminated zippers altogether, but they looked a little more complicated/harder to pull up over the head and downward.

Where I potentially worry about the surf wetsuit is the flexibility of the shoulders. For right now its not a huge concern as my current triathlon swims are .5-.9 mile, I am also at a point where I am not a fully competitive age grouper. But next year will be different and I will want to invest in a excellent quality wetsuit after this racing season so I do winter open water practice swims and may potentially do a international tri in Canada or France in 2017.

My current budget for this first suit is going to be $100-$150. I think $500-$750 would be my upper limit for a full custom wetsuit.

Oh ya, chlorine resistant material, threading, gluing, etc would be great for those that wish to use their suit in pool practice swims.


Edited by rjcalhoun 2016-06-05 6:52 PM

2016-06-06 7:50 AM
in reply to: 0

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Better fitting wetsuits - Improving your efficiency in the water
I would advise against buying a surf suit to save $. There is a real difference in design and mobility, plus most surf suits will let in more water as they have more "give" at the neck and arms, and have more a lot more drag than a triathlon wetsuit. I actually purchased a cheap surf suit in Singapore over the winter, with the idea of tiding me over when our pool heater broke down (sounds crazy, but the water is COLD in the winter as it is pumped in from an underground tank, and the pool's indoors out of the sun) and my sleeveless shortie tri wetsuit began falling apart. The suit seemed to fit well in the shop, but as soon as I tried swimming in it, it took on water, especially at the neck and arms. (I have skinny arms, so that might not be an issue for a more muscular person, but keep in mind that this was actually a KIDS size wetsuit!) The suit was basically useless for warmth, and generated so much drag it was affecting my stroke, so I couldn't train in it. I ended up selling it to a colleague for her son (for snorkeling) and continuing to patch and baby along my sleeveless shortie until the weather warmed up.

My sleeveless shortie tri wetsuit is from ProMotion.They also make lots of surf and (their speciality) windsurfing products, but (I have asked them) they recommend against using those for OWS or tri. It is super-fast to get off--no more time than a swim skin/ speed suit. They have discontinued the shortie design, but there may still be some old models for sale. They have a new tri wetsuit to replace it that is sleeveless with legs that fall mid-calf. The product I mentioned (I think) is not much over your budget, maybe within it if a sale is going on. Other companies probably offer similar deals. If you are going to need a "real" wetsuit anyway in the future, better to spend the $ for something useful now.

Edited by Hot Runner 2016-06-06 7:55 AM
2016-06-06 3:58 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Ventura, California
Subject: RE: Better fitting wetsuits - Improving your efficiency in the water
Thank you for the advice.

I have a OWS clinic on the 19th and I definitely want something on. A few weeks ago I did a OWS clinic and was the ONLY person without a wetsuit and with 62F water it was pretty miserable for the 1rst half of the session. The first one was free, this next one is $40, so I don't want to show up and be out there hyperventilating and suffering in the cold ocean water again.

We shall see what happens, I am a hard head and always tend to go against the grain so I will probably buy the surf suit and regret it. But I can always sell it to a local surfer in HB at a discounted price.

2016-06-07 9:07 AM
in reply to: customwetsuits

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Culpeper, VA
Subject: RE: Better fitting wetsuits - Improving your efficiency in the water
A custom suit built to swim in would be awesome IMO. I've been through several suits with different manufactures to find one that fit me comfortably, had a good zipper and had good shoulder flexibility. Fit for me is way up there and is super important IMO.

I've currently settled on two but will sell one this season... but I've bought and sold a few to get to this point. If a manufacture were to have a suit that offered the materials of top/mid-range suits custom tailored... I'd imagine they might do pretty well.
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