Finding the correct wetsuit can be complicated, especially for first-time buyers. A wetsuit needs to fit snugly like a second skin but without restricting your body’s natural movement.
And with all the different options on the market, you can even consider looking extra cool in it; an excellent design doesn’t compromise performance.
One of the main perks of a wetsuit is to be flexible enough to swim with freedom, yet buoyant in the right areas for positioning in the water, to swim faster with less effort. Plus, did we mention it makes you look like a rock star!
Buoyancy and Flexibility
When picking your ideal suit, you need to consider these two characteristics and find the balance that works best for you. You want thick material in the core for keeping you not only insulated but elevated and thinner coverage on your arm and legs for freedom of movement.
We rate our wetsuits buoyancy on three levels at Just Wetsuits: Minimum, Moderate, and Maximum. Minimum ratings are given to thinner, less buoyant wetsuits, while Maximum refers to thicker ones. Moderate, of course, is in between.
Buoyancy helps you to stay more even on the surface, which means less drag in the water, and in the end, more speed. You can even save 10 seconds per 100 meters by wearing a full-sleeve wetsuit. This 10 seconds in every 100 means adds up quickly in a full distance triathlon!
Also note, various brands have different models for a reason. Some provide a swimmer with more buoyancy because that’s what the athlete needs, while other models may focus more on flexibility because experienced swimmers have better position in the water even without a wetsuit and they may be more concerned with finding a suit that focuses on flexibility. We can help you sift through all this because it certainly can be overwhelming when you see all the brands and models available.
The size varies between brands; you can visit our size charts for a better reference or better yet, contact our team directly, where a human will help you :)!
We will guide you to take measurements needed and toward the result you want from your performance. The ideal fit provides a wetsuit that compliments the contours of our body and provides an advantage in the area where you need help most. Even though sizing charts tend to encompass most body combinations, it’s not always as straight forward if you aren’t fitting into both the height and the weight chart for any given size on that brand’s chart. Also note every brand has their own size chart and they are not universal. Always look at the specific size chart for the brand you are considering. Please call us so we can chat and prevent any aggravating experiences about sizing confusion. We are experts for a reason and we are here to help!
When you are ready to pick your wetsuit, prices can range from around $200 on the low end to $950 on the high end, where materials, technology, and composition define the price. It is also essential to recognize the value of purchasing a wetsuit specific to your sport. It can be tempting to save a few bucks looking elsewhere, or using a surf or a dive wetsuit you may already have on hand, but will ultimately make you pay the price on race day. These other suits are made with a completely different kind of neoprene, open cell. This means the entire suit absorbs water into the suit, making you heavier. Triathlon wetsuits are made with closed cell neoprene and the ONLY thing to get wet is the liner on the inside of the suit. This makes you more buoyant making you work less, and it reduces drag, which equates to faster swim times. You will sacrifice the benefits and requirements of participating, including multiple disciplines and a need for efficiency in the water.
Sleeveless or Full Sleeve
This really comes down to the athlete’s preference, though generally speaking, more coverage equals warmth (if needed) and more buoyancy in the water. It also considers an entire neoprene piece, which will minimize the water that gets into the suit.
Nevertheless, even with the time factor, many athletes like the sleeveless because they feel less restricted and cooler in warmer hot races. Another trick we’ve seen from triathletes is adding a skinsuit to cover the arms, with a material similar to a triathlon suit.
USA Triathlon rules state that triathletes can wear wetsuits if the water temperature is 78 degrees or colder.
Various accessories can complement your wetsuit and help in safety and icy conditions; these may include boots, gloves, caps, safety buoys, goggles, and so on. Give our website a browse for more options.
Buy or Rent
If you’re still undecided on which wetsuit to buy or want to try different brands, why not rent it? Also, if you are unsure whether this will be your only triathlon, with a rental you can practice and race in it, and if you like it, we will credit a portion of the rental cost toward the purchase of that suit or even a brand-new wetsuit.
Finally, this is your training and/or race, and you want to have the best experience of it. A wetsuit needs to be an ally of your performance and instill confidence, helping you focus on having fun, not how cold the water will be.
You do not need any specific body type to rock your triathlon wetsuit; you just need to wear the right size and selection to get you to the start line and have your best triathlon experience!
Our first goal is to make sure each of our customers is swimming in the perfect wetsuit for them. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns or want to share your amazing triathlon experience. Keep swimming!