When talking about Zoot suits today, one isn’t likely to be talking about the suits with pegged trousers and long coats (with padded shoulders!) from the 1940s anymore.
Zoot suits are now almost synonymous with Triathlon gear. And why not? They deserve it!
An interesting chapter in history
With every great brand comes a great story, and Zoot definitely has one of those. To really appreciate how Zoot became one of the leading triathlon brands, you must go back to the origins of one of the toughest triathlons in the world – The Ironman World Championship. It was started in Oahu, Hawaii, in 1978 by combining 3 of Hawaii’s toughest endurance races resulting in one massive race that pushed athletes to their limits by having to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles! In 1981, the race moved to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii and right to the doorstep of triathlete Christal Nylin.
She noticed that while triathlons were a great way to combine all three sports, there hadn’t been much thought given to the apparel for the participating athletes. Each discipline had specific requirements in terms of clothing, making it necessary for the athletes to spend precious moments of their transition time changing from a swimsuit to cycling gear and finally into a running outfit. There just wasn’t anything available that could be used for all three events.
They say, “Necessity is the mother of all inventions.”
Christal set about ‘inventing’. She started by sewing pads into running shorts, experimenting with swim fabrics, attaching run singlets to bike shorts and eventually creating one- and two-piece uniforms. The Zoot suit that we know today was slowly taking shape back then.
She would hand-sew all her suits and customize them for athletes she met in her shop above a restaurant in Hawaii. Her innovative designs gained popularity immediately and the colorful designs and fabrics she used allowed athletes to make a fashion statement while powering through the races.
- Check out Zoot Sports Wahine 1 Triathlon Women’s Wetsuit to see what we mean about fashion meeting functionality. Its premium AQUAlift buoyancy panels in the lower core and rear raise the hips to put the body in the most efficient swimming position. The watertight neck panel eliminates neck constriction and creates an extremely low profile neck seal with SCS double closure. This wetsuit gives you the flexibility and buoyant feel of a high-end triathlon wetsuit without having to pay through the nose. And it’s new designer patterns for 2017 are fresh and fun!
- Another one of Zoot Sport’s Wetsuits is the Zoot Sports Wikiwiki Women’s Wetsuit. Wiki means ‘fast’ in Hawaiian and Zoot Sports Wikiwiki Women’s Wetsuits for Triathlons are designed to help you be just that! It utilizes SCS Nano coating — the most hydrodynamic and durable wetsuit coating available that works by reducing the suit’s underwater coefficient of dynamic friction for less drag and more speed. Its super-thin neck is designed for your comfort and the 2mm Speed Release Ankle Panels are stretchy panels at the base of the leg help you get the wetsuit off lightning fast in T1.Another great buy is the Zoot Sports Wave 1 Sleeveless Triathlon Men’s Wetsuit. Its Yamamoto C38 makes the suit lightweight, flexible and buoyant. It has gender-specific ergonomically-shaped panels that really help you with your speed in the water. The sleeveless suit removes the material on the shoulders, where you need the least restriction for you swim stroke. The GLIDEflex grooved panels allow you to fully expand your lungs. The SCS hydrodynamic finish on the chest and thighs reduces friction so you can go faster.
To continue with Zoot’s story, Zoot moved to mainland Hawaii in 1996 to cater to a much larger number of customers and a larger product line with the same care and thoughtfulness that was apparent in the little shop in Kona.
Zoot really knows what triathletes want (and need) and they should; after all, they have been coming up with innovative solutions right from the start. In October 2015, the relationship between Zoot Sports and triathlons was further sanctified when Ironman and Zoot announced their official partnership where Zoot Sports would be the official performance apparel and technical apparel sponsor for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 IRONMAN® North American Series.
Zoot Sports has been a pioneer in creating innovative products for triathletes and it continues to draw on its history in the sport and its athletes to deliver the most comprehensive, technologically-advanced and complete multisport product line in the world.
To find more Zoot Sports products that exceed expectations in buoyancy, flexibility and durability, have a look at the range of products we have to offer here. If you need expert advice on which triathlon wetsuit is best suited for you and your budget, or you simply need help with what size is right, call us at 1-877-784-7808 or email us at email@example.com.