Triathlon Wetsuits: Questions to Ask

Triathlon Wetsuits: Five Questions to Ask When Fitting Your Next Wetsuit

Triathlon Wetsuits by Orca
Triathlon Wetsuits by Orca

Fitting triathlon wetsuits can be a big task and the marketing hype add to the overwhelming feeling of information overload.  Ask yourself the following 5 questions the next time you are in the market and you will be happy with your purchase for a long time.

  1. Are you a good swimmer?  Are you a club swimmer or collegiate swimmer in your past?  If you are an above average swimmer, you will benefit from the better technology and the higher quality wetsuits.  If you are like me or not a good swimmer, I don’t care how much technology and cool features in a wetsuit, I am not going to go any faster. Just get me in the water and out of the water. The least expensive wetsuit will do.
  2. What is your body shape?  Long arms? Long legs? Shaped like a pear, or a fire hydrant?  Each of these body types will fit better in a particular brand. Make sure you ask the question of what type of model athlete does this brand fit the best.  You will save yourself a lot of frustration with sizing up.
  3. What is the goal of the wetsuit? Fast in the water, able to float better, warmth, etc. If you are just looking to survive the swim, any good quality wetsuit will do.  But for the athletes who want to go faster or more buoyancy, make sure the technology of the wetsuit matches your goal.
  4. What is your budget?  You can spend anywhere from $100 to $800 on a suit.  Make sure you set your budget before you start, or the “cool factor” will take over and you checkbook will be a lot lighter.
  5. Are you looking for the performance fit or good fit?  The general rule of thumb is that the tighter the wetsuit, the better it works.  So if you can stand the tightness you feel with a triathlon wetsuit, the tighter the better.  A great fitting wetsuit might take 20 minutes to put on.  On the other hand, too loose and you will take on water, not good.

In the end, spending the time up front will save your race.  I wish I had a dollar for all the athletes, who have just ran out and purchased the same wetsuit your buddy recommended, and chaffed all over.  They became claustrophobic and can barely breathe during the swim, not a great start to the day.  Remember.. a great fitting wetsuit will make our break your whole day.

For the complete show on fitting triathlon wetsuits, visit here. The wetsuit portion of the show started around 35 minutes in the the show.


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