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Wetsuit - isn't more better?


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Watching something ordinary on tv, i started to ponder.

Why don't wetsuits just go 5mm from toes to upper chest, back and front, and leave shoulders for more stretchy neoprene?

Like boats, isn't the less your down in the water, the faster you move across and through.

Why do we complicate it with 117 different panels of varying degrees of thickness. Aren't we just creating more brittle wetsuits with more seams and different thickness' pushing and pulling on those seams and the way they flex.

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9 hours ago, Lost in transition said:

Watching something ordinary on tv, i started to ponder.

Why don't wetsuits just go 5mm from toes to upper chest, back and front, and leave shoulders for more stretchy neoprene?

Like boats, isn't the less your down in the water, the faster you move across and through.

Why do we complicate it with 117 different panels of varying degrees of thickness. Aren't we just creating more brittle wetsuits with more seams and different thickness' pushing and pulling on those seams and the way they flex.

When you lift your arm and put it over your head, it isn't just your shoulder that moves - your whole torso stretches forwards on that side...

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51 minutes ago, Peter said:

Aren’t they rules set by the ITU ? 

Pretty sure the rule is 5mm maximum. 

Old suits, especially the old sleeveless ones, used to be straight 5mm all over.  The float really well, but aren't real flexible and are not that easy to get on and off. 

 

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10 hours ago, Lost in transition said:

Watching something ordinary on tv, i started to ponder.

Why don't wetsuits just go 5mm from toes to upper chest, back and front, and leave shoulders for more stretchy neoprene?

Like boats, isn't the less your down in the water, the faster you move across and through.

Why do we complicate it with 117 different panels of varying degrees of thickness. Aren't we just creating more brittle wetsuits with more seams and different thickness' pushing and pulling on those seams and the way they flex.

It's a good question & one that is not uncommon.

As Bog Frog hinted at, you at least need the flexibility to run down the back of the suit to cope with the full movement when swimming.

Regarding the legs - if you ran 5mm all the way down, people would complain that they can't kick - as their feet would be too high. Plus, this would put a bit more pressure on the lower back to to a little bit more arching.

In terms of taking it off - I actually find that thicker legs come off easier, as they don't get stuck to the skin as much (because they don't stretch).

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I also think it may be because all the R and D would be done with "real swimmers" who value flexibility over buoyancy, whereas average Joe triathlete would probably take a bit more buoyancy. 

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I did my first few years of triathlon without a wetsuit (back when my biggest tri expense was a second hand steel framed bike for $200).  Since then, I'm on my 4th wetsuit (over the last 15 years) and soon to buy my 5th (if we ever race again).

- Each new wetsuit has had more thinner and flexible areas then the previous one.

- Each one has been more comfortable

- Each one has been noticeably faster

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8 hours ago, Rob said:

 

- Each new wetsuit has had more thinner and flexible areas then the previous one.

- Each one has been more comfortable

- Each one has been noticeably faster

And in my experience at least, each one wears out faster than the previous one!  No doubt to do with the flexibility and comfort aspects. Or maybe more use these days due to living in Vic ❄ 

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1 hour ago, -H- said:

And in my experience at least, each one wears out faster than the previous one!  No doubt to do with the flexibility and comfort aspects. Or maybe more use these days due to living in Vic ❄ 

Yes, I have found that too

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2 hours ago, -H- said:

And in my experience at least, each one wears out faster than the previous one!  No doubt to do with the flexibility and comfort aspects. Or maybe more use these days due to living in Vic ❄ 

Its why you need a race one and a winter one in Melb.  When it warms up I just use core shorts.  Heaps nicer to swim in and put on compared to a wetsuit in summer. 
 

I even race in them in events 750 and shorter 

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Thickness definitely was an issue in the early days of triathlon. I had a sleeveless wetsuit that had 5 mm all over and it was a bitch to get on and off. It did however, last a very long time and I still have it and yes it still fits. 

Wetsuits certainly don’t last like they used to. Living down here with the cooler water conditions, it pays to have options if you can afford to. After a stint living and working in Brisbane,  I moved back to Melbourne in 1994. I had a great sleeveless wetsuit I’d been using up north however, it just wasn’t keeping me warm enough down here in the bay. So I had a think about it and bought the same make and model wetsuit but with sleeves. Smartest thing I ever did with Tri gear. Options!

I prefer sleeveless if the waters warm enough and usually that covers most of the Vic tri season and summer open water swim races. But in the lead up to summer and towards the end of the season when the bay water is too cold for a sleeveless wetsuit I have the long sleeved one to use. This was fine for about 8 years when seam repairs with glue and zipper failure meant new wetsuits were need. 
I repeated the two wetsuit purchase thing again prior to 2004 season, making a good deal with the brand rep. Those suits went well right up to 2 years ago, when I repeated the two wetsuit purchase again.

This last time the brand rep was an old army buddy of mine and he did a great deal on two great wetsuits. I’ve been lucky to do this and not have to worry about problems with wetsuit fit etc. 

the only care tip I give people is to wash your wetsuit out after every use and dry it in the shade.  

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  • 5 weeks later...
On ‎24‎/‎09‎/‎2020 at 9:28 PM, Greyman said:

the only care tip I give people is to wash your wetsuit out after every use and dry it in the shade.  

And for me.... I dry it inside out and store it....inside out and in a bag and in a cupboard.

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8 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

And for me.... I dry it inside out and store it....inside out and in a bag and in a cupboard.

Why inside out-to protect against nicks? 

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45 minutes ago, more said:

Why inside out-to protect against nicks? 

yes, but I store mine in a cheap suit bag with a big mooshy hanger ,

if folded they can develop an unsightly crease (extra off-season "growth" may help hide this). 

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