A wetsuit protects against the cold ;
You can dress against the cold, it is always said. And that is certainly the case with a good wetsuit and the right accessories. You can swim in the open water early with a wetsuit , even if the water temperature is still low. When it is still really cold, you can also opt for extra protection such as: neoprene gloves and , neoprene socks or a neoprene swimming with Lifeguard Class.
With a wetsuit you go faster ;
A wetsuit gives you more buoyancy so that you lie flatter and higher in the water , so that you go through the water more streamlined . For some swimmers it can be as much as 10 to 15 seconds per 100 meters . For the technically lesser swimmer, the time gain is greater compared to a technically good swimmer ;
With a wetsuit you save energy;
When you swim in a competition you will save energy by wearing a wetsuit, partly because you swim more efficiently, but also (especially in the pre-season when the water is still cold) you save energy because you get cold less quickly. And you can use that energy in a triathlon for the cycling and running part with Lifeguard Class.
What are the biggest disadvantages of wetsuit swimming?
- Swimming in a wetsuit makes swimming easier , and you may forget to pay attention to your technique more quickly. But it is precisely with good technique that you also have an extra advantage in a wetsuit, so that you can swim even faster. And you will certainly notice this difference when we go swimming back in the autumn, so keep an eye on your technique ;
- You are more limited in your freedom of movement in a wetsuit, despite the fact that a lot is done by the manufacturers to make the shoulders as flexible as possible . So make sure you have a wetsuit that really fits well and is flexible with your armpits/arms. If sleeves are really an obstacle, go for a sleeveless wetsuit ;
- If you prefer to swim breaststroke, a wetsuit can be a disadvantage. Breaststroke swimming and wetsuits are not really a good combination , wetsuits are not made for that. Your position in breaststroke is different than in front crawl .
What are the differences in the wetsuits ?
The most common suit is with long legs and long sleeves . There are also sleeveless suits and sleeveless short leg suits ;
Brands have different types : from basic , medium to top model . Wetsuits mainly vary in thickness: the thicker , the more insulation , the more buoyant. But also the stiffer and the less comfortable a wetsuit is. The fit is refined when a wetsuit consists of more panels. The more panels , the more different thicknesses of neoprene can be used for a better fit. So here is the price difference with Lifeguard Class.
What is the best way to put on a wetsuit?
Take the time to put on the suit. Hurrying is useless, it will work against you;
Make sure you always put plastic bags over your hands and feet when inserting your sleeves and legs, that will slide better and cause fewer tears in the suit ;
If necessary, take off rings and your watch when putting it on, this prevents damage;
Use (when your hands are through the sleeves) thin gloves. It is better to grab the neoprene with this and you will prevent damage to the neoprene by your nails. Sometimes these gloves are even included with the wetsuit;
The inside of the wetsuit is stronger than the outside. If you must pull, pull on the inside of the wetsuit and not the outside ;
Work from the bottom up.
The legs should be 15 cm above the ankles and about 10 centimeters above the wrists, this gives you more space in your wetsuit ;
Do your sleeves stick to your arms? Then blow air into your sleeve along your wrist, the neoprene will come off your skin . And the sleeves are a bit more in place again;
Do you feel that there is tension between your skin and the neoprene, then carefully (with your gloves) pull the neoprene loose from the skin in various places, this will cause that tension to disappear;
Use a petroleum jelly to prevent chafing
Bodyline stick is allowed . (The warranty of the suit lapses with Vaseline because it does not dissolve in water and any repair / gluing of the suit is no longer possible) ;
When you put on a wetsuit for the first time, stand up straight. Do you feel that there is too much pressure on your larynx/throat? Then tilt your head back a bit , because that way you are also in the water. You will notice that the pressure is gone.
Swimming in the open water ( early spring ) :
- Never go alone, make sure you have a buddy with you . There is a risk of cramping , especially when the water is still cold, with possible consequences ;
- Always use a swimsaver in the water. It provides better visibility in the water and is safer. If something happens to you, you can hang on the float and call for help. It is also useful to take valuables with you, eg your phone or car key;
- For extra visibility, always opt for a striking swim cap ;
- When the water is cold, use extra heat protection such as Neoprene gloves , Neoprene socks or a Neoprene swimming cap;
- When you go swimming with a faster swimmer and you still want to cover a nice distance together, consider the use of flippers. As a result, you can still swim together and increase the pleasure of swimming together in the open water.
- Make sure , especially at high temperatures , that there is no blue-green algae in the swimming water with Lifeguard Class.
- Enjoy swimming in nature!!
Taking off a wetsuit . Here are the tips .
- What you don’t want when swimming is water in your suit. But this is exactly what you want when you take it off. Especially during a triathlon , it is important that you take off your wetsuit smoothly. So make sure you get a scoop of water in your suit just before you get out of the water .
- You can easily do this by opening your wetsuit at the neck, allowing water to flow in ;
- When you are standing on the side, the trick is to open your zipper as quickly as possible and to remove your wetsuit from your upper body. At most competitions you are only allowed to completely remove your wetsuit at your bike or changing room. Keep this in mind. When pulling out (your legs) of the wetsuit it is best to first pull your wetsuit down as far as possible and then quickly pull your feet up. You can supposedly kick off your wetsuit while walking stairs. This is usually the fastest.
- Taking off a suit may be a little less careful than putting it on. Most wetsuits break when you put them on, not when you take them off. you will also notice that taking off your wetsuit is a lot faster and easier than putting it on.
Maintenance with Lifeguard Class.
Always rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after use;
Do not let the wetsuit dry in full sun ;
It is best to fold your wetsuit loosely and not to store it hanging , because of hanging out;
In case of damage, (often nails which can happen quickly) repair immediately so that it does not tear further;