General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Buoyancy Shorts During A Race Rss Feed  
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2019-08-01 8:27 PM


Subject: Buoyancy Shorts During A Race
I’m doing a sprint in September and the swim is only 400m. If it’s wetsuit legal, I’d like the advantages of a wetsuit but I don’t think the time it costs to take it off in transition is worth if for such a short swim. I’m thinking of using buoyancy shorts for this, but wasn’t sure about that either. Thoughts?

2019-08-02 9:09 AM
in reply to: JP2010

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Buoyancy Shorts During A Race
You would still need to take the shorts off, so time there, too.

Personally, I wear wetsuits whenever I can. Sprint, Oly, and longer.

After practice, you can get them off pretty quick.
When I'm 50 yards out from swim exit, I start going through the process.
- Goggles pulled up to head off eyes so I can see.
- Unzip the suit.
- Pull one arm out holding shoulder and yank arm out, turning suit arm inside out.
- Next arm.
- Pull down to waist.
- Pull off goggles, swim cap and ear plugs
- If still heading to transition, I will start inching suit down past hips careful not to trip.
- When I hit transition, drop goggles, cap and ear plugs.
- Pull suit to ankles.
- Step on suit leg with one foot and pull other foot out of the leg I'm standing on.
- Sometimes I have to pull the suit past my heel to get it all the way off.
- Repeat for other leg.
I'm out.

Seems like a long list, but all motions are fast to get out of the suit. If you go slow, it turns into a wrestling match.

And, if it's wetsuit optional, I go with a speed suit or swim skin. Similar process.
2019-08-02 4:48 PM
in reply to: #5261467

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy Shorts During A Race
Part of it would depend on temperature for me. I wore a sleeveless wetsuit during my last 70.3. Water temp was around 69-70 degrees and outside temp was maybe 74-75 degrees at swim start. I started getting pretty warm towards the end of the swim. Buoyancy shorts would prevent overheating as quickly.
2019-08-06 9:16 AM
in reply to: JP2010

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Buoyancy Shorts During A Race
It's mostly about projected time savings. Wetsuit help some swimmers more than others. I get a big time savings with wetsuits as my body position without the rear end float effect is sub-optimal. Wetsuits get my rear end higher in the water which helps improve me swim speed. I have both a full sleeved wetsuit (Roka Maverick) and a 2-piece (DeSoto T1). For warmer wetsuit legal swims I'll wear just the bottoms of the DeSoto. I would imagine buoyancy shorts will result in similar results.

I really like the DeSoto 2-piece for that reason, I get a good position without the overheat effect of having another layer on top.

But you have to look at time saved in the water vs. time spent getting the thing off. I can shave a good 20-30 seconds off in a 400m swim with the DeSoto bottoms and they can come off quite quick so I still net 15-20 seconds savings on the swim.

Where you may not net a savings in time is during one of those races where you can't get the wetsuit over the timing chip or can't grab the zipper correctly (or gets stuck).
2019-08-07 9:39 AM
in reply to: 0

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Buoyancy Shorts During A Race

Hah, I asked a similar question once and was yelled at by people telling me to learn how to swim properly.  

I definitely think a wetsuit can be very quick to pull off.  Start taking the top off while you're walking out of the water and you have practically the same thing as buoyancy shorts.   If you have a suit getting stuck on your ankles, just trim off a few inches from the bottom.  I trimmed mine to roughly mid-calf and it worked like a charm. Just make sure to cut below any seams.   It improved my swim time pretty dramatically - even in a sprint.  In addition to good body position, it helped save a great deal of effort.  

I would peel mine off, inside out, and then step on the leg to yank out my foot. I always had very fast transitions.  It should only take a few seconds to take a suit off.    There are several ways to trim time from T1 to make up the time difference.  

Edited by BikerGrrrl 2019-08-07 9:40 AM
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