General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Non-Triathlon Wetsuits Rss Feed  
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2012-06-16 12:58 AM

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Subject: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits

Are non-triathlon specific wetsuits OK to use for sprint/olympic distance races? I see a lot of wetsuits for surfing/body-bording that are cheap and I am wondering if this would suffice due to my budget lol I will be doing my first sprint triathlon this September and the race has always been wetsuit-legal from what I saw online. Any thoughts on this or should I wait until next season when I have a little more $$  to buy a low-end triathlon specific wetsuit?

Thanks!



2012-06-16 1:30 AM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
You're probably better off renting a triathlon wetsuit rather than buying a cheap non-tri wetsuit.
2012-06-16 1:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
ChemNerd23 - 2012-06-16 7:58 AM

Are non-triathlon specific wetsuits OK to use for sprint/olympic distance races? I see a lot of wetsuits for surfing/body-bording that are cheap and I am wondering if this would suffice due to my budget lol I will be doing my first sprint triathlon this September and the race has always been wetsuit-legal from what I saw online. Any thoughts on this or should I wait until next season when I have a little more $$  to buy a low-end triathlon specific wetsuit?

Thanks!

Surfing wetsuits are hard to swim in because they don't have the flexibility in the shoulders. They are meant to be rubbed against the board so the outer fabric is not hydrodynamic at all. You can swim in these, but if you have no intention of going surfing it's a waste of money in my opinion. Often you can rent suits for a weekend for the race.

Cheers, Erik

2012-06-16 5:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
Isn't USAT making it so wetsuits w/ thickness greater than 5mm illegal? Next year I believe (go on website, under rules) Makes sense to "invest" in one you can use for several years because they are costly. I got mine used from craigslist.
2012-06-16 5:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
Rent one for your event or watch a buy a trI-wetsuit when one goes on sale
2012-06-16 12:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits

joyct32 - 2012-06-16 3:12 AM Isn't USAT making it so wetsuits w/ thickness greater than 5mm illegal? Next year I believe (go on website, under rules) Makes sense to "invest" in one you can use for several years because they are costly. I got mine used from craigslist.

WTC (Ironman brand) banned wetsuits thicker than 5mm in 2011, and the USAT rule goes into effect in 2013.  Most tri wetsuits on the market already comply.



2012-06-16 1:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
Thanks for the replies everyone, sounds like I'll wait until next season to get a tri-specific wetsuit when my budget isn't so tight haha
2012-06-16 1:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits

I did my first tri in a surfing wetsuit I borrowed from a friend.  I was going to set any speed records and it worked just fine for newb like I was

I stepped up to a tri wet suit for my second, third, fourth etc...  and it does make a HUGE! difference but dang they if they aren't expensive.  

2012-06-16 4:20 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
You can get a tri-specific wetsuit for about $170 (Xterra) or even buy a rental from them for less.
2012-06-16 4:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits

Tri suit is by far the best suit for swimming in, but you can absolutely swim in a surfing wetsuit.  However, it will make you slower and not faster.  The biggest issue is they are a little spongy so they tend to soak up water and gradually get heavier throughout your swim.  I rented one last year and my swim for an Oly was almost 5 minutes slower and my arms were pretty heavy towards the end so I felt a lot more fatigued in general.  But, it was 65 degrees in the water and it kept me very warm so I'd do it again in a heart beat.  In my experience i didn't have any flexibility issues because the entire suit is made of very flexible materials and was only 2mm thick in the shoulders.

So, if its a cold swim that you couldn't swim in without a wetsuit then surf suit gets the job done.  If it's merely wetsuit legal and you're trying to improve your performance then absolutely do not wear a surf wetsuit.  

All that being said, its best to save up for one of the xterra wetsuits.  I think they're around the mid 100's with the BT coupon code and they keep you warm and make you swim quite a bit faster.

2012-06-16 7:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
I got the Xterra Vortex 4 for $125 last month and it's been fantastic.  The best triathlon money I've spent.  Bouyant, warm, and slides through every 100M with less strokes. 


2012-06-17 3:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Non-Triathlon Wetsuits
One thing to consider is actually buying an ex-rental tri wetsuit.  That's what I did to get my feet wet in wetsuit land!
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