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Wetsuits - do you really need long sleeves

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Last time we moved house a box went missing with two Blue Seventy long sleeve wetsuits in it - must have gone out to land fill with a lot of other stuff

Next race I still couldn't find it so I borrowed one from a friend - I couldn't keep doing that so I had to buy another one 

I thought I''m not paying the price for the latest model marketed at 3-4 times the price they get them for from China - so I got the cheapest sleeveless one on the market

In Cairns on the weekend my daughter has the same wetsuit and had the 2nd fastest swim in her category and I had the fastest swim in my category

I really think wetsuit salesmen are selling most athletes something they don't need - after all the flotation effect is mostly in the torso and legs - and the water is rarely cold enough to need arm protection 😏

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I hate to say it but I 100% agree with you.

In fact I think people swim better in sleeveless over the long Sleeves.

Less fatigue on the shoulders.

 

 

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You're a good man Peter 💖

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AP - firstly, nice brag on your swim. Seriously an impressive swim. I think sleeveless in Cairns is the only way to go. Bergs posted pre event on why he goes sleeveless at Cairns - turnover a key point.

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I am a weak swimmer and Cairns was my first swim in sleeveless. I will not be going back.......

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I still haven't bitten the bullet and bought a new wettie (I started a thread a while ago this) as I'm procrastinating on making a decision...

For those of you who have gone from sleeved to sleeveless, what was the sleeved wettie you had before you converted?  Guess I'm looking for the quality of your sleeved wettie...  I have been told that the reason I hate my sleeved one is that it is bad quality (no arguments there - it was cheap) and isn't stretchy enough around the shoulders / body...

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Xterra Vengeance to $150 DHB sleeveless.  Xterra have some awfully cheap deals in US now if you know someone to help with shipping. ($59 USd for sleeveless VOLT) 

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Over the years I have had three sleeved wetsuits one was a European one "green turtle" or something like that - the last one was a Blue Seventy properly fitted etc by the agent - it was good but no faster 

I used to coach a very good junior female athlete - good enough a swimmer to lead the under 23 wave out of the water at world champs - she had a wetsuit sponsor - we tried her in time trials in sleeved - sleeveless - and with no wetsuit - she was slightly faster over 200m in sleeveless first - no wetsuit second - and sleeved third - so she actually swam slower with sleeves than with no wetsuit - the stop watch doesn't lie 😏

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4 minutes ago, AP said:

she was slightly faster over 200m in sleeveless first - no wetsuit second - and sleeved third - so she actually swam slower with sleeves than with no wetsuit - the stop watch doesn't lie

Yes BUT...  was it a good quality, properly fitted sleeved wettie?  Need to know what exactly we are comparing....

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Correctly fitting the wetsuit is crucial whether in sleeved or sleeveless and I think there is time being lost with sleeved suits that are too tight and with sleeveless that dont fit and let water in where it shouldnt be... I think if I need another wetsuit again I will look at sleeveless..

 

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1 hour ago, AP said:

Last time we moved house a box went missing with two Blue Seventy long sleeve wetsuits in it - must have gone out to land fill with a lot of other stuff

Next race I still couldn't find it so I borrowed one from a friend - I couldn't keep doing that so I had to buy another one 

I thought I''m not paying the price for the latest model marketed at 3-4 times the price they get them for from China - so I got the cheapest sleeveless one on the market

In Cairns on the weekend my daughter has the same wetsuit and had the 2nd fastest swim in her category and I had the fastest swim in my category

I really think wetsuit salesmen are selling most athletes something they don't need - after all the flotation effect is mostly in the torso and legs - and the water is rarely cold enough to need arm protection 😏

Prizna had fastest AG IMWA swim split with a sleeveless.

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32 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

Yes BUT...  was it a good quality, properly fitted sleeved wettie?  Need to know what exactly we are comparing....

You need to listen to this podcast.

But to summarise.

The better the swimmer the more expensive the wetsuit should be.  it will be more flexible etc..

The worse the swimmer the cheaper the wetsuit should be.  The more rigid it will be helping the poor swimmer.

These guys run a well known swim group in USA.  People fly in from all over to swim with them.  Pros included.

 

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Good thing I have a cheap wetsuit 😂 I am in the sleeveless club, but I did not want to spend a fortune on one with shoulders that are flexy enough for a slightly dodgy right shoulder.

I'm on the hunt for something similar for the +1 some of the earlier races in the season are quite cold (sub 20) and he needs to not freeze to death 😂

Edited by MissJess

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Only ever swam with a sleeved one, based more so on water temps than anything else.

 

Be a different story if i lived more north I reckon.

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6 minutes ago, Peter said:

You need to listen to this podcast.

But to summarise.

The better the swimmer the more expensive the wetsuit should be.  it will be more flexible etc..

The worse the swimmer the cheaper the wetsuit should be.  The more rigid it will be helping the poor swimmer.

These guys run a well known swim group in USA.  People fly in from all over to swim with them.  Pros included.

 

I managed 3 mins before I wanted to kill him

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I switched to a sleeveless a few years ago due to ongoing shoulder issues. It definitely felt better and less restricted.

On the other hand a wise man once told (Craig Percival) me that the reason sleeved is faster is due to the extra width of your forearm when you are catching then pushing. IOW it makes your 'paddle' wider to 'grab' more water.

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1 hour ago, BogFrog said:

Yes BUT...  was it a good quality, properly fitted sleeved wettie?  Need to know what exactly we are comparing....

She was sponsored and personally fitted 

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1 hour ago, BogFrog said:

Yes BUT...  was it a good quality, properly fitted sleeved wettie?  Need to know what exactly we are comparing....

I think there's also an element of adaptation. 

If you are used to swimming naked or sleeveless, a one off test in a sleeved suit will feel shit and you will likely be slower. 

But give it time, and you will likely improve. 

Say you get a bike fit and they change a few things around. You'll probably feel shit and be slower until you adapt to the new position and feel. 

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Wow this is good to hear

I bought a 2XU A:1 sleeveless wetsuit for $225 from the online outlet shop

I got it because I read somewhere on here that all the features of an expensive suit are in the shoulders

I'm totally stoked with it and It fits perfectly now I just have to enter a triathlon 

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I've only ever swum in a sleeveless. The tuck shop arms have never fitted into anything else.

FM 

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Topic has been done to death. 

All being equal, In most people, sleeved is faster.

There may be exceptions, but to say that someone lead a swim in a sleeveless means nothing. They might have lead by more in a full suit. Craig Walton learned this in Perth, 2000.

Generally, if a good quality sleeved suit is restrictive, it's the wrong size, or has been put on incorrectly- which is very common. Putting a sleeved wetsuit on is an art in itself, and often isn't taught properly. 

I did bucketloads of wetsuit testing, and never found anyone who swam faster in a sleeveless. However...that was in a pool. In real life, good open water skills & a nice draft are under rated.

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Hey ZED

Mark Robson also had the fastest swim a few years ago at 70.3 Busso in a long sleeved wetsuit.....he said it made all the difference to his swimming.................................................................Sorry couldn't help myself !!!!!!

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Well I have great fitting, good quality suits in both long sleeved and non sleeved. For me the sleeved suit is definitely faster, though in long open water swims ( 4K+) my arms will certainly feel a little  more fatigue at the end. In the Magnetic Is/Townsville 8k I didn’t even consider the long sleeved suit.

I have a light frame with long arms and a very long slow rating stroke. I’m not fighting the shoulders of the sleeves at all and I really notice the extra pull I’m getting through the water from extra volume created by the sleeves along my forearms. Similar feel to x-small paddles. 

If I was a power swimmer or I was wanting to rate higher for a shorter sprint race (under 750m) I would use my sleeveless suit. Just my opinion and the way it works for me anyway. 

Edited by Mike Del

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Sure they may be a little easier on the arms...but who wants to look like they are about to go fishing????

 

Image result for waders

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When I first moved to UK I had my years old IM branded sleeveless from Oz. water temps at most of my races back then was anywhere between 14-16.5C.  Mrs FP said I was easy to spot because my arms were bright red. :lol:

I've got a FOOR sleeved 3.5 now.  I tried three suits in an Endless Pool at Tri UK before settling on this one. The guy who did the fitting was not a triathlete, he competes in LD OWS races. He really knew his stuff, so i think correct fitting can make a huge difference.

Apart from that, IM Wales was 15C last year and I'm getting old. :blush:

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Agreed with you Al. I’ve started a couple of newbie open water and triathletes in sleeveless because they tend to feel less constricted too so for beginners (new to wetsuit swimming) and those without good body roll that rely more on throwing their shoulders around to swim then sleeveless is the way to go.., so long as they swim in warm enough water and don’t want the sleeves to keep arms warmer and prevent cold water gushing in at the underarms. So for me in SA, that’s definitely not all year round! 

I love my sleeved suit but it has such thin arms after a few swims it’s comfortable to swim in but is always a shock to start off with if I haven’t swum in it for a while. 🏊🏼‍♀️😁

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A good swimmer only gets a small advantage from a wetsuit, A bad swimmer gets two benefits. A) flotation and b) a psychological safety net.

Its been a long time since I wore a sleeveless wettie but my thinking is your arms are there to hey buoyancy!

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For me, it's the temperature of the water that determines which wetsuit I wear. Water temp less than 18 degrees, I wear a sleeved wetsuit. 19 and above I wear a sleeveless suit. My swim times vary little between sleeves or no sleeves.

It's all about being comfortable and flexible in the wetsuit.

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