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4409 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2012 1:29 PM by BT.ROB
gonz67 Rookie 4 posts since
Apr 19, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 27, 2012 5:03 PM

Wetsuit Question

I have to be cautious about buying new tri equipment...  Wife gives me the stink eye whenever I bring something new home, or it arrives via FedEx.  So I know buying a $200 to $300 dollar wetsuit would be the end of me. 


This weekend I have a sprint triathlon in Key West.  I bought a $50 wetsuit at Dick's.  (on sale, and I had a coupon!). It is a surfer wetsuit that comes to my knees and is short sleeve, and I have no illusion that it will let me swim faster.  I only bought it so I don't freeze to death, like last year. 


My main concern is that it will actually slow me down.  Can someone please reassure me that this thing won't drag me to the briny deep!  It is my first wetsuit, and maybe in a couple of years I will purchase a nice "seal skin" variety.

  • Billy137 Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 5, 2012 8:38 AM (in response to gonz67)
    Wetsuit Question

    I'm not sure what kind of wetsuit you bought but I kind of had the same dilemma.  My dad bought some wetsuits for when we went canyoneering and what not.  It was a thicker one and short sleeves and down to the knees.  I tried it for a couple short distance tri's and it worked good keeping me warm, but it was rather difficult to swim in.  Then last year I signed up for the St George Ironman and figured I needed an actual wetsuit that is made for this.  I went with Xterra because of price and reviews and mine cost about $180 for a new one that is long sleeve and long leg, they always have good deals and promotions.  The difference in the 2 is amazing.  The ones made for tri's is thick where you need it and not as thick in other places like the shoulders for better mobility.  But for a sprint, it probably won't be a big deal unless you are hoping for an overall win and worried about seconds, but in longer distances I would definitely go with a tri wetsuit.  Oh and the chaffing on the arm area was definitely an issue for the original one I had as well!

  • LisaValentineNY Amateur 8 posts since
    Nov 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 5, 2012 12:42 PM (in response to gonz67)
    Wetsuit Question

    I agree, I don't think you have any worries wearing that suit in a Sprint race.  Use lots of Glide stick, too!


    You might want to check out a slightly used tri wetsuit to keep costs down.  I get a new wetsuit every three years or so and give my old ones away, usually.  I'm sure there are plenty of folks around who are upgrading their wetsuits, too.  Ask around with the people you train with, or try eBay or Craigs List.  You want the thickness of it to be right for swimming/racing, do some research on wetsuit websites like Zoot, BlueSeventy and Orca to see what millimeter measurements are ideal (I forget what thickness mine is, but it's a Zoot).


    Have a great race!


    • 2012 Town of Huntington Sprint Tri: 2nd Pl W45-49
    • 2012 Mighty Hamptons 2012 Tri: 3rd Pl W45-49
    • 2012 Riverhead Rocks Oly Tri: 2nd Pl W45-49
    • 2011 L.I. Gold Coast Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 West Point Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Mighty Hamptons Oly Tri: 3rd Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Town of Huntington Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Beach2Battleship Half: 2nd Pl W45-49


  • BT.ROB Legend 270 posts since
    May 12, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 5, 2012 1:29 PM (in response to gonz67)
    Wetsuit Question

    I hope your tri went well. Surfer wetsuits are designed to keep you warm, tri wetsuits are designed to swim giving you bouyancy and adequate shoulder/arm rotation as well as keep you warm. I live where the water is cold, even in the summer, so I have a full leg/arm suit as well as a sleeveless suit. Both are from Xterra ( They are having a sale right now so the sleeveless Volt is $99 with free shipping. They also do rentals. If you go sleeveless, you can also get neoprene sleeves so you have full rotation but the with added warm and bouyancy on the arms.


    Good luck and have fun.



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