I have never been a fan of cold water, so I went off to buy my Orca S3 Fullsleeve Mens Wetsuit in preparation for my first triathlon in over 20 years.
Just getting into one of these should be an Olympic sport on its own! The suite is really close-fitting, and the neoprene is only 2mm in some of the panels, making a tearing it a concern (I believe the ladies get a special glove to wear to prevent their nails from doing just this). Fortunately once you and the suit are wet, getting out of it after the swim is way easier.
The design of the modern triathlon wetsuit is incredibly detailed and clever. It has different thickness panels ranging from 2mm where flexibility is needed, to 5mm on the back and front to add some buoyancy. The neoprene is incredibly slick, so to add traction in the water, there are textured “grip” panels on the forearms!
I include a fair amount of training in my suit as the additional buoyancy obviously alters your body position in the water, and it also feels quite different in terms of feel in the water. I think there can be little argument against the fact that the buoyancy and reduced drag of the modern suit is a huge advantage in the swim.
- To put the suit on, put your foot in a plastic bag to help ease your leg into the leg of the suit. Pull the suit up as high into your crotch as possible before getting into the top half.
- If you are wearing a personal GPS like a Garmin Forerunner 910XT, you will need to put the watch on after you suit up, but the remember not to put the strap over your sleeve, as you will then rip the watch of when you pull your suit off in T1.
- When you leave the water and head for T1, pull the suit down to your waist. I have even see some athletes pull their suits off completely while in the water.
- I have read quite a lot about the danger of overheating in your suit before a race. This has even been suggested as a contributing factor to some deaths in triathlon swim legs. You should be able to counter any discomfort by coming out of your warm-up swim as “last-minute” as is possible.
Read more on the official Orca site.
R2600.00 @ Olympic Cycles