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1742 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2011 12:51 PM by Charlie Gomer
Charlie Gomer Rookie 2 posts since
Jul 15, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 23, 2011 7:54 AM

Wetsuit - Sleeves or No Sleeves; That is the question...

My wife and daughter are training for their first Ironman (Panama City Beach, FL on Nov 5; water temp ~70 deg F) and have been shopping on-line for their first wetsuits.  They are really struggling with the decision to get sleeves or go sleeveless.  Does anyone have words of wisdom to share on making this decision?


Any other general recommendations or feedback on purchasing your first wetsuit?



  • DDChies1 Expert 42 posts since
    May 19, 2010

    Firstly, rent one/at least try one on of each for a weekend, see what you like better.  Go try on a bunch.


    You could even buy one from (what I did) and you can return in within 30 days. (lots of super-discount codes out there, just search the internet).

    *Like, a no-sleeve for 139 versus a full sleeve for 159?   Made $$ sense to me, I want the full monty!


    It depends how you feel in the water. Full sleeve might give you more security/flotation, but no sleeve might give you more motion.


    Personally (and this is just me), I am a strong swimmer, I wanted as much advantage as I can get. I wanted full sleeve, got a ridiculous deal on one.


    First time I swam in it, I hated it. 2nd time, better, third time, better.  It does take a little bit getting used to in the water.  I was worried I would be sore having to swim with more rubber around my shoulders - just did an Olympic on Sunday, and my shoulders are fine.


    Any reply to this post will say, "It's up to you!"


    It usually is with tri stuff! 

  • DDChies1 Expert 42 posts since
    May 19, 2010

    Keep in mind that:


    Sometimes the water is too warm for wetsuits.




    You might actually do better WITHOUT a wetsuit or only marginally better.


    Case in point this year, my stats:


    500m w/o:  7:30

    1500m w/o: 25:56

    400m w/ :  7:00

    1500m w/ : 24:35


    so....pace wise I was faster without a suit in sprints, and faster with a suit in olympics, and even swam a better pace in an olympic without a suit, than the one sprint WITH a suit.


    Very confusing.

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