Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Choosing a wetsuit

A friend of mine sent me an email asking:

Hi Tarek,
Can you recommend a suitable wetsuit for the ‘Monster Swim’? I’ve had a look online and there’s too much choice! Would be good to get the advice of an expert…….
By the way, it’s not too late to register!

Others might have had the same question before. So, I thought I'd share my personal opinion below. Please comment if you have other thoughts or adds.

Here is a website that describes what’s important to consider when buying a wetsuit much better than I could ever do: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1952
I personally have a 2XU R:1 wetsuit. Because a wetsuit has to fit tight, I suggest that you try it out before buying. There are 2 ways to do that:
A)     rent it first. There are many shops where you can rent a wetsuit. When I did my half-ironman in Vienna, there was a shop that rented them out, but then I decided to buy.
B)      often times you find wetsuit testing events organized by tri shops at swimming pools. In fact that’s exactly what I did. I wore 4 different wetsuits in such an event in Vienna and swam a few laps with each before I chose my 2XU. The biggest difference to the other ones I tried was the chafing at the neck. Somehow, the others I tried were probably cut too high at the neck and rubbing with every turn of my head to breath. This is not necessarily the same for everyone. Everyone will have different body dimensions. But without test-wearing wetsuits I would have never been able to tell which one will be best for me with respect to chafing. Therefore, to find and join such an event will be my only tip. All other features are less important. In fact, for a beginner, I suggest not to listen to all the sales arguments, but to buy a rather cheap one that fits.
 I hope this helps.

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