For distance swimming and triathlons, it is critical to have a competitive swim specific wetsuit. Triathlon wetsuits are designed to be extra buoyant. The extra buoyancy will optimize your position in the water so you can swim faster with less effort. In many cases, the extra buoyancy is more important than the warmth provided by the wetsuit. Triathlon wetsuits also feature a smooth exterior that reduces friction through the water. Triathlon wetsuits are designed to fit snug for efficiency in the water with minimal restriction to your swimming stroke. They should also be easy to remove for fast transitions. Our Triathlon wetsuits are available in both Fullsuits and Sleeveless models.
Fullsuits are warmer and more buoyant. For water temperatures below 65 degrees, most people prefer the extra warmth of a fullsuit. In warmer waters some people still prefer the fullsuits because they feel more streamlined and efficient, but you do risk overheating if it gets too warm.
Sleeveless triathlon wetsuits are less expensive, less restrictive, and easier to get on and off. Most people are comfortable in our sleeveless triathlon wetsuits for water temperatures 65 degrees and above. Some people still prefer a sleeveless wetsuit in colder waters if they like their arms and shoulders uncovered and totally unrestricted. With sleeveless triathlon wetsuits, it is especially important to have a snug fit in the chest to get a good seal on the arm openings.
Can I use a surfing or windsurfing wetsuit for triathlons?
For short swims or occasional use, a multi-purpose wetsuit or surfing wetsuit will work for swimming, but it is not ideal. A triathlon specific wetsuit will be more flexible, more buoyant, and more efficient for swimming longer distances and much more competitive for racing.
Should I get a fullsuit or sleeveless?
That depends on the water temperature and your personal preferences. For water temps less than 65 degrees, most people prefer the extra warmth of a fullsuit. For water temps above 65 degrees, most people are comfortable in a sleeveless triathlon suit.
Some people prefer a fullsuit in warmer temperatures because they feel more streamlined and efficient and appreciate the extra buoyancy, but you do risk overheating if the water gets too warm.
Others prefer the freedom of having their arms and shoulders totally unrestricted, and like the “feel” of the water on their arms, even in cooler temps.
How tight should my wetsuit be?
Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water next to your skin. If the wetsuit is too loose, you will get an excess of water flushing through the suit. We like to fit our triathlon wetsuits “slightly uncomfortably” snug when they are dry since they will loosen up when they get wet. Once you are in the water, the fit should be snug without being uncomfortable or restricting to your breathing.
The neck of my wetsuit feels tight, what can I do?
The necks on our triathlon wetsuits are designed to seal out excess water while swimming so they do need to be snug. They will loosen up in the water, so minor discomfort will usually disappear once you start swimming. If you still feel that the neck is too tight after a few swims, you can trim down the front center height of the collar. We recommend trimming off ¼” at a time. The neoprene collar will not unravel after trimming. Many people think that by switching to a larger suit, they will get a looser neck, but we find that if the suit is too large and you aren’t stretching the chest and collar of the suit enough, the neck can actually feel tighter.
Are your triathlon suits legal under the new USAT and WTC/Ironman rules?
Yes. Wetsuits are allowed for races with water temps of 76 degrees or below. There is a 5mm thickness limit for wetsuits which all of our wetsuits do comply with. The only exception is the combination of our Tri Sleeves jacket when worn with our Power Glide or Fluid Drive sleeveless model, which would exceed the 5mm limit in the torso.
Can I swim in a chlorinated pool with my wetsuit?
Repeated exposure to chlorine will shorten the life of your wetsuit. A couple of swims in a chlorinated pool to check the fit of the suit won’t do damage as long as you rinse the suit thoroughly with freshwater afterwards. If you train regularly in a chlorinated pool, you will need to replace your suit more frequently.
Thorough rinsing and washing with a wetsuit specific shampoo with conditioners and chlorine removers can help to extend the life of your suit.
Our staff has many years of experience in fitting thousands of athletes for wetsuits. Please feel free to use the knowledge of our staff for a size recommendation.
We have found the chest/bust to be the a critical measurement when using our size charts. This measurement should be made with a cloth measuring tape, and measured around your chest/bust at the nipple level. While measuring you should relax your breath. Your arms should be down at your sides. It is best to have someone make this measurement for you.
Next in importance is your height measurement, and finally weight.
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