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Triathlon Wet Suits

Triathlon wet suits are what you will wish you were wearing if you ever tried to swim in water that was cold enough to send you into hypothermia. Unless you are a polar bear, wearing one of these suits is the only way to swim in some of the waters where triathlons take place. A properly designed and fitted wet suit will help maintain the body temperature and avoid the shock of hypothermia.

For Warmth

Those rubber-looking triathlon wet suits are not quite what they appear to be. The material is actually a somewhat absorptive spongy type of neoprene, which holds a layer of water against the skin. The water absorbs heat from the body insulating the skin from the colder temperature of the water. Depending upon the type of wet suit used the formulation of materials and thicknesses will vary to accomplish the specific purpose for which it is designed.

For Energy

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Another reason for wearing one of these special triathlon wet suits is to retain energy during the long term of a triathlon. Nothing is as important as conserving energy especially during the swim phase of the event. The wet suit reduces drag and increased buoyancy allowing you to more easily float and glide through the water. The increased speed allows for faster times in the swim portion of the event reducing the energy required to complete the swim. The wet suit is a great advantage for the athlete if it's the correct style for the water and fits properly.

The Fit

You should take your time when deciding on the best fit for your wet suit. The arm holes, leg holes, and neck opening should be snug but not tight. There should be full motion allowed in the upper body area as this is important in developing leverage as you glide through the water. Watch for loose flaps of material or excessive folds that might occur if the material is too loose.

The Cut

There are different cuts and styles for triathlon wet suits, and the cut you chose in your wet suit will be determined by the temperature of the water in which you will be swimming.

  • If your event is going to be in cold water, it might be best to opt for the fullcut wet suit.

  • Warmer temperatures will permit the less protective sleeveless or shortcut style as conserving body heat is not as critical.

  • In the event your participation is going to involve a range of temperatures, consider the bibjon + pullover style for easy adaptation to the elements. The bibjohn also offers a great advantage as it is the easiest and quickest to remove further reducing time in the event.

Regardless of the style chosen, beginners and poor swimmers should always sport triathlon wet suits to maximize performance and minimize exposure to the elements.

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