What You Need to Know About Wetsuits

LEG LUBE: Unless all your races are going to take place in tropical waters, such as in Hawaii, then a wetsuit is an essential piece of race equipment. This holds true whether you come from a competitive swimming background or not. Free speed is the most significant performance benefit of a wetsuit. Wetsuit buoyancy improves your body position so you “ride” higher in the water.  This translates into less resistance, which directly correlates with faster times. This advantage is certainly greater for less experienced swimmers than for experienced ones that already have good body position. Still, the advantage is real.

Better insulation against frigid water temps is another benefit. Wetsuits make more races possible, particularly the longer ones. The danger of extended exposure to cold water would be just too great for these events to take place without the added warmth of a wetsuit.

The third benefit is safety. While your wetsuit is not a flotation device, it will keep you on top of the water in case you need to swim to the side, roll over on your back and stop for a moment to collect yourself.  If you want to see how this works, take your wetsuit out for a test ride and try swimming under water. You won’t be under very long before you pop back up to the surface like perfectly cooked ravioli.

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