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First wetsuit experience

JulesJules Posts: 987
I gave the wetsuit a try today, first time ever. I thought I'd report back for the curious.

I'm doing a couple of open water tris this summer and my tri club are starting open water swim practice in a couple of weeks. I thought I'd do things in stages and have a go in the wetsuit in the pool first.

I swim at lunchtimes in an old Victorian baths, proper swimmers, not anywhere full of kids. So I got a couple of glances in the suit but not too much alarm caused!

First impressions, hot - obviously the point is the open water will be colder! After that wa-heey, floaty time! A serious lack of sinking. My feet felt odd.

Swimming in the thing seemed quite a bit easier than without one. I tried a couple of sets of four lengths, after which I was too hot and took it off. I went back in just in my trisuit for a comparison. Timewise I was about 8 seconds quicker over 100 yards (Victorian pool, remember) in the wetsuit.

I'm really looking forward to the open water training now!


  • Ron99Ron99 Posts: 237
    Nice one! I've heard plenty of talk about differences that a suit makes, so good to hear about actual results. Have been putting off getting in my local pool in a wetsuit in case I alarm the 'ladies who lunch', but think I might just give it a go next week. Oh yeah - that's right...I don't care what they think anyway. Slackers.
  • benjobenjo Posts: 14

    Do you know when Chester Tri will be doing OW sessions? - I can't see anything on their website. Thanks

  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Some time in May I heard. Not sure exactly when, nearer the start of May than the end I hope!
  • benjobenjo Posts: 14
    I just went on my own down the Dee last year. Not sure whether that was a good idea or not, so I'll try to go with other people this year!
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    had my first ever wetsuit experience this weekend - went down to near portsmouth and did 2 half hour sessions in the sea :D .. was an experience lol - rather cold on the old face but the suit itself is great and keeps most of you warm and bouyant - water temp was about 11 degrees .. brrrr

    First session, Saturday, was good with hardly any waves and sswimming felt quite fast - 2nd session was today and was a bit more like hard work - a bit more choppy but its all good experience.

  • combatdwarfcombatdwarf Posts: 258
    I tried out my new Orca Alpha a couple of weeks ago (in the pool as nowhere open for swimming round me at the moment) and with almost no effort (RPE3-4) I came in at 1min 15sec for 100m - I normally have to be at RPE7ish to achieve that!

    The suit is awesome, really flexy and bouyant with just the right amount of lift around the hips to hold me i the perfect swimming position. I would really recommend it to anyone who is a good swimmer over a 3.8 as that has little too much bouyancy..

  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    Had my first wetsuit experience at the weekend... Have been pretty under the weather so no training and the misses was away leaving me bored out of my mind on the sofa feeling sorry for myself so, I decided to try out my trisuit and wetsuit in the shower!

    Took me about 15 mins to get in the wetsuit... man it was tight, and hot! Cold shower was lovely and after filling my suit up with water it felt a lot better. Wished I'd put some lube on though as trying to get out was a struggle! In my weakened state I didn't have the energy to pull my arms out and initial laughter turned to frustration and anger. Eventually got out, but probably took around 7 mins!!

    Lesson learned... Body glide all over next time!
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    Good news guys, been in the sea all weekend and its warming up a treat. didn't wear my gloves in for the first time this year, unthinkable even two weeks ago. Reckon I'll lose my 5:3 suit in the next two weeks and pull out my summer 3:2. Boots stay on for the mo, it's not that warm!!!

    Oh and Flavadave, the wetsuit will get stretchier the more you pull it on and off and get it wet so keep jumping in that shower!!
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    I had a go with mine in the shower the other day, it was good to get the cold water as it was cooking me slowly inside it. I did struggle to get it on and in the end asked my (rather bemused) gf to help so she pulled the zip up. Getting it off was much easier and i think in total fromjumping out of the shower to having nothing but my tri shourts on took about 30 seconds, i did almost fall over when i tried to get the feet out. But i fell against the waull and just carried on regardless. I hope whoever i fall on (if there is anyone left) in transition will be as obliging! Although i doubt it. I just can't wait to see how badly i fair when i actually have done something resembling a swim in it.
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    I must admit I am not looking forward to having to put the wetsuit on when its actually warm ... was about 13 degrees on Saturday and about a minute after getting the wetsuit on it felt like 30 degrees.

    I have the Foor HQ1 from triUK and its a smart looking suit for the price - will have to see how it holds out over the summer but am sure I shall be keeping it at the end of the hire period, even if only as a training suit for next season.

  • Jesster wrote:


    Reckon I'll lose my 5:3 suit in the next two weeks and pull out my summer 3:2. Boots stay on for the mo, it's not that warm!!!


    how much difference is there between 5:3 and 3:2 (presume you're referring to the general neoprene thickness in millimetres?).

    I've got a flexible 5:3:2 suit I use for kitesurfing (badly), and figured I'd use this for my OW tri's this year, prior to buying _another_ piece of watersports kit.

    Will be doing London in August (but I don't think Excel docks ever gets _warm_)....

    was reading on slowtwitch that it's buoyancy that really makes the difference to swim performance, particularly in the leg department, so figured I may be better off.

    Oh, and if anyone wants a story about the trials of getting out of a wetsuit... i once had to drive home in mine as I couldn't get out of it (so cold after a February surfing session....)

    Getting _in_ is easy - plastic bags on hands and feet work wonders!
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