General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2019-06-14 11:07 AM


Subject: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
Hi everyone,
My first time posting! I love reading the threads, and find them really helpful!
I did 2 sprint triathlons in 2016, then got pregnant and had a baby. I'm back at it this year and just completed a sprint last weekend and have an Olympic in July. I have a long sleeve wet suit I use but find the shoulders to be restrictive. It is also tight around the neck, but I don't notice it once I get in the water.

Swim is my weakest sport and I want any advantage I can get to make it easier. I know I can do the distance in the pool. What I was surprised about at my sprint last weekend was that I was kinda freaking out the whole time. My heart rate was high and I had trouble calming down. The weeds in my face didn't help that. It really made me question how prepared I am for this next distance, even though my training has been going great.

I do know I need more open water swim time, which I am planning on doing. I am just nervous now that I'm going to be totally gassed after I get out of the water at my next race. So I am considering buying a sleeveless wet suit so I feel like I will have more "freedom" in at least one part of the swim. Do you think it will make that much of a difference? Did I buy a wet suit that doesn't really fit me right? I hate to spend more money, but maybe it's worth it? I'm not trying to break any speed records. I want to survive the swim in the calmest way I can. Thanks!

Edited by stephbaxter2 2019-06-14 11:07 AM

2019-06-14 12:39 PM
in reply to: stephbaxter2

Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
For what it's worth I have only ever owned / used a sleeveless. The coldest water I have ever encountered in a triathlon was 61 degrees in a half iron swim of 1.2 mi. I have nothing to compare to, but Iike the freedom of arm movement of the sleeveless. I would assume it is a comfort trade-off on temperature vs. freedom of movement. I would think that sleeves on a wetsuit would also contribute more buoyancy?
2019-06-14 2:30 PM
in reply to: #5259906

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Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
What temp will the water be at your race in July? If it’s a warmer swim, a sleeved wetsuit is going to be hot. I have a sleeved and sleeveless wetsuit. The water would have to be really cold for me to opt for the sleeved. The extra buoyancy in the sleeves will get cancelled out if it’s hindering your stroke.

I think getting more open water swims in will help you the most. I do 90% of my swims in open water and have never really had the panic attacks in the water that pool swimmers talk about.

Also, make sure you are warming up before the swim. Getting a huge surge in HR makes it hard to get your breathing under control in the early part of the swim.

2019-06-14 6:27 PM
in reply to: Parkland


Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
Thanks for the tips! The temps should be 72-74 in July I would think. I have never been hot when swimming so I find it difficult to imagine. Good point though that the extra buoyancy is cancelled out if it messes up my stroke. My stroke definitely was not right. I was trying to avoid spending anymore money but got an email today for $59 sleeveless wetsuit from xterra so I think I might just do it. It's good to have the option.
2019-06-17 1:36 PM
in reply to: stephbaxter2

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Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
You should be able to wear the full sleeve and not feel restricted.

I made a video showing how to get it on and cinched up to get room in the shoulders.

I prefer full as it's more advantageous in swims. Less problems with chafing around the arms. More buoyant.

And, check out Xterra as they are having sales all the time for quality full sleeves for less than $100. I have had mine for 4 years and no issues. Just swam Escape from Alcatraz and it worked like a charm. Even had room in the legs to stuff in aqua socks to wear to run from swim exit 1/2 mile on pavement to transition.
2019-06-18 9:05 AM
in reply to: TriJayhawkRyan


Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
Thanks for the video! I was a bit rushed putting on my wet suit the last few times, so I'll try again tomorrow and really take the time to make sure it's up and more comfortable. I have the long sleeve suit and wanted to avoid buying a sleeveless one if I could. I'll try tomorrow, thanks for the video!

2019-06-18 10:28 AM
in reply to: stephbaxter2

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Subject: RE: Wet suit - Long sleeve or sleeveless
In water that is 70+ I would be sleeveless wetsuit all the way. I really do tend to overheat in a full suit. Granted the better quality the full suit the less restrictive the arms will be. I have had Xterra and Roka suits. My Xterra was very restrictive. Roka has been easy to swim in with full sleeves or sleeveless. However, I still use sleeveless for almost every tri I do. I have been in sleeveless for water as low as 62 and it felt good.
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