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Bouyancy issue

Hi all,

I've entered the London Super Sprint (my first) & thought the training was going well until I tried swimming in my wet-suit for the first time this weekend!

I've hired one of these proper full body, skin tight specialist triathlon wetsuits, but my problem is the bouyancy it gives my legs. Swimming is my weakest discipline & I'll be breast-stroking my way through the 400 metres. But the wet-suit gave my legs too much bouyancy to get a decent leg-stroke. I was fighting to keep them under & consequently tired a lot quicker than swiming in my swim-suit.

I'm now seriously considering cutting the legs off (an expensive solution, but one that may ensure I enter further events!) or wearing a standard "shortie" wet-suit that I use for sailing.

Any advice greatly appreciated.



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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I never heard the problem of too much leg buoyancy before! I can see how it would be a problem though if you are breaststroking as you actually need to use your legs!

    Is there no chance of doing freestyle?

    I guess the only thing you can do, which you suggested was chopping off the legs but this is very drastic. However many people do cut them off a little bit, so they end mid-calf so they are easier to get off, you could try this and see if that makes just enough difference to take your legs under the water.

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    toadtoad Posts: 104
    Hi half bob,

    As someone who does crawl I welcome the extra buoyancy in the legs that my snug wetsuit gives me, however i can see your dilema if you are intending to do more breast stroke. I know alot of triathletes who prefer not to use their legs much during the swim in order to save them for the bike and run sections. However in your case I think your idea of using a short wet suit is probably your best option rather than cutting the legs off your hired one.

    I did london sprint distance last year and found the water quite warm so i dont think you will have too much trouble with respect to water temperature in a shortie.

    I think at london for safety reasons they like you to use wetsuits whatever the water temperature ( apart from the more competitive races ), however as I recall if the water temperature is greater than 17 degrees regulations do not require you to wear one.

    It may pay to check with the london officials as to whether it is compulsory to have a wetsuit for the super sprint.

    From my experience the use of a wetsuit is usually a unanimous decision either everyone wears on or everyone doesnt.

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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    oh was it hired? sorry I didnt see that! Yeh maybe cutting the legs off isnt a good idea as I think they would be a bit pissed!

    Is there any chance of swapping it for another suit as different suits offer different levels of leg buoyancy.

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    Free WillyFree Willy Posts: 63
    Hi Halfbob

    In 2005 I had a similar issue just before IMWA when I was told I had to have a shoulder op, the choice was pull out of IMWA as I could not do freestyle or do it breaststroke, I choose the breaststroke option but could not use a wetsuit due to the bouyancy issues you have discovered. I used a top that is often used in paddling and ow swimming, they are often known as 'radiator tops' although that is a brand (which I did not use!)

    [color=#000000]http://evosport.com.au/product.php?productid=17111&cat=203&page=1[/color][color=#000000] [/color]

    This I found allowed me the flexibility to use my arms properly and keep reasonably warm, you can get shorts but I decided that the legs needed to 'be free'. I would however check with the race organisers before using this type of top as they may rule it out for some reason, (ok in Australia and New Zealand).

    I would recommend after you complete this tri that you do try to learn to do freestyle as doing breaststroke does tend to 'kill your legs' at least initially for the bike.

    Good luck


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    halfbobhalfbob Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replys.

    I managed a bit of open water practice at the weekend in my normal shortie wet-suit & found the leg-stroke a lot easier. The down side is that it's not as "snug" around the upper body as the Triathlon Wet-suit and tends to "baloon" & drag a bit.

    Ideally I want something skin-tight, but with very short legs! But I guess learning freestyle is the answer!

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    Hi half bob

    i had same problem with bouyancy doing front crawl in salt water. my legs were to high in water my 1500m time was 30min uin orca preditor

    i did some research & got an orca RS1 i used it last week for 1st in race & got my time back to its normal 24min.

    the suit is only 1mm all over kept me warm really happy with it

    & only cost 100 euro

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    CalimaCalima Posts: 35
    Suggestion is do freestyle (frontcrawl) kicking whilst doing breaststroke arms, its not as difficult as it sounds either, you might just be surprised, the bouyancy will infact help you out. Dont for any reason cut off the legs, your swimming will improve think long term. Good luck & enjoy.[:D]
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    nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Too much buoyancy - that truly would be a novel concept for me - I can't float, even in the sea, with a lungful of air, without sculling.

    I haven't yet decided whether I'm faster in a wetsuit than in speedos, but it definitely means that I don't have to use so much energy keeping myself to the surface, and I swallow less water as a consequence! Now it's the Summer holidays they seem to have doubled the chlorination at my local baths... [:'(]
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    hey guys and gals, i did the london triathlon sprint for the first time and found swimming in a wetsuit alot harder then i would without. struggled with the bouyancy too, felt like i had to fight for every stroke and tired very quickly.

    any advice how to improve my swimming.
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Swim more often in a wetsuit...you will adapt your technique & get used to the differing fatigue.
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