Find your ideal wetsuit

Whether you’re buying your first triathlon wetsuit or replacing an old favourite with a newer model, it can be easy to get lost in the choice of wetsuits on the market. Each manufacturer has several to choose from, ranging from entry-level triathlon wetsuits for beginners right up to top-end wetsuits for faster, more experienced triathletes. How can you be sure you’re making the right choice?

What kind of swimmer are you?

Have a think about what your strengths and weaknesses are in the swim. This will dictate the type of triathlon wetsuit you need to look for. Are you tall, long-limbed and fast? Or is swimming your weakest discipline? Are you likely to be in and out quickly, or will you be in the water for quite a long time? Do you have heavy, muscular legs which tend to sink behind you? Does your leg-kick need a bit of assistance? Do you feel the cold, or appreciate a bit of extra buoyancy? These are all questions you should ask yourself when drawing up a shortlist of triathlon wetsuits.

What kind of triathlon wetsuit should you look for?

There’s a triathlon wetsuit out there for everyone. The secret is finding the best one for you. Entry-level wetsuits (at the cheaper end of the range) tend to be best for beginners, as they are usually thicker (more buoyant, but less flexible) and feature fewer clever areas of technology (such as catch-panels). The TYR Hurricane C1, for instance, uses 5mm neoprene to give you superb buoyancy and warmth. In the middle of the range, you’ll find wetsuits which have some thinner, more flexible areas of material (around the shoulders and back) for those who want to make the most of a better swim stroke, but retain buoyancy where it’s needed (usually the torso and upper legs). Some, like the Blue Seventy Axis, retain extra buoyancy in key areas, such as the legs, for intermediate swimmers with a weaker kick. The more expensive suits tend to be best for experienced triathletes or fast, natural swimmers. They’ll be very thin and flexible around the arms, shoulders and back, may have minimal areas of thicker material (as better swimmers don’t need so much help with body position) and will probably have catch-panels, reverse zippers and other built-in technology (like the Quintana Roo Superfull’s Virtual Pull Buoy), aimed at taking every last millisecond off your swim time.

Find your perfect match

Be honest about your swimming abilities, experience, biomechanics and comfort levels, and then look for the corresponding triathlon wetsuits: entry-level, mid-range of high-end. Budget will also play a part, and there are now so many great quality triathlon wetsuits to choose from that you should find a selection to suit your pocket. Fit will vary between manufacturers, so take time to put your wetsuit on to ensure it fits you like a glove (see our fitting guide).

Top tips for buying triathlon wetsuits online

When buying a wetsuit online, ensure the perfect fit by accurately measuring your weight and height. Some wetsuits can be ordered by size, too, so you may need to get the tape measure out. Fit is key, so don’t buy a smaller suit with the intention of slimming down to your racing weight. You need the right suit for you, right now. Don’t settle for a triathlon wetsuit you’re not completely happy with: there’s enough choice out there to shop around until you find your perfect fit.

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