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2882 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2010 9:01 AM by dkhartung
HBMichele Amateur 26 posts since
Sep 18, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 10, 2010 8:13 AM


I want to do my first Olympic Distance Tri...So, it will be in a lake and not a heated pool.  At what tempurature should I think about getting a wetsuit?  Pros & Cons?.  Can you rent them?  Are special wetsuits for triathlons?  Do you wear them over a trisuit?  I am so confused.

  • DSchiemel Pro 45 posts since
    Nov 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Feb 10, 2010 11:51 AM (in response to HBMichele)
    Re: Wetsuit?

    Yes you can rent a wetsuit. Yes, you wear the wet suit directly over the tri-suit. Look around on the race's home page to see if there is any information about rentals, if not check your local tri stores. A wetsuit is not a necessary purchase if you are unsure about the sport; renting is a more cost effective way to go. Pros: well a wet suit will allow you to keep your body temperature higher, increases buoyancy in the water (especially fresh water in a lake normally salt water helps you to float more), lastly it can increase your speed. Cons: if its a poor fitting wet suit, meaning not sung, it can increase your drag in the water, weighing you down, you can get rub burn from suit if its too loose or too tight in the shoulders, neck, etc... there are tri-specific suits, I use xterra


    USAT rule on wet suits  Wetsuits: (cut and pasted from USAT website )

    Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.


    Basically it depends on the race day conditions but lakes can be warm during the summer so you might not need one, but if its early in the spring/summer season you will totally need one.


    Best of luck to you, I hope I got all your questions.

  • Barry11 Legend 332 posts since
    Dec 5, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Feb 11, 2010 6:55 PM (in response to HBMichele)
    Re: Wetsuit?

    Go to a tri-shop and get properly fitted for the wetsuit.  Swim in it a few times before the race and you will never want to do a race with-out it again.  Pro's - your warm and faster.  Cons - none, unless the water is hot and they tell you, you can't use it.

  • dkhartung Pro 98 posts since
    Aug 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Feb 12, 2010 9:01 AM (in response to Barry11)
    Re: Wetsuit?

    I can think of a few "cons", but they generally apply to beginners.

    -  If the wetsuit doesn't fit properly, you can get some nasty neck rashes

    -  Some people feel that their breathing is restricted before they get used to the tight fit.  Not necessarily a con, but it would be a problem if you don't swim in it a few times before the race to get used to the feeling.

    -  I've also watched some folks in transition have a tought time getting out of the wetsuit if it's too snug around the ankles and wrists.  Again, just something to be aware of and practice.


    You mentioned that it's your first Oly, but I don't know your experience with shorter distances or the expected water temp.  Wetsuits are "nice to have" if the water is reasonably warm, but certainly not necessary.

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