Swim Faster with a Tech Suit
Over the past few years, professional and competitive swimmers have constantly turned to innovative new technologies in their swimsuits to try and gain more of an edge and improve their times. The most popular and highly developed of these suits are tech suits, also known as performance, competitive or racing swimsuits.
These highly technical racing swimsuits aren't just for professional swimmers, however. Everyone can make use of racing swimwear, from beginners to advanced competitive racers.
Tech Suits and Performance
So, what makes a tech suit better than a standard swimsuit when it comes to improved performance. The answer is that tech suits use a range of technologies to help cut down on drag and also improve oxygen efficiency.
To begin with, tech suits are made from a water repellent material, often referred to as hydrophobic. This material doesn't absorb water, which would otherwise weigh the swimmer down.
Tech suits also use compression to give a closer fit. This is crucial for swimmers because a slimmer profile helps to streamline them and cut down on drag. Compression also helps to improve circulation, which can boost performance. Many tech suits also lack seams, which makes them smooth, reducing drag even further.
Some suits such as the Adidas Adizero racing suits have variations designed for freestyle and breaststroke. These suits have carefully placed seams that provide the additional support that is needed in the leg muscle groups that are used. for these specific strokes.
Psychological Benefits of a Tech Suit
Another benefit of tech suits is the psychological role they can play. In addition to actually giving the swimmer some physical advantages in the water, they also have an effect on the mind.
Anyone, regardless of whether they're a swimmer or not, has experienced feeling like a bit of a superhero when they use something shiny and new. If that new item also happens to advertise itself as super technical, that can give another boost to the brain.
So, even if a tech swimsuit didn't make you that much faster on its own, it makes you feel faster – which can make you go faster.
Tech Suit Prices
With thousands of swimmers all over the world competing in a vast variety of age groups and skill ranges, there is a high demand for lower tier performance suits just as much as the elite level suits costing hundreds of pounds.
Manufacturers such as Maru and more all make more cost-friendly suits aimed at lower level competitive swimmers.
Now, these suits are not slow by any means, they are just typically not packed with as many performance enhancing features as the elite level suits.
Approved FINA Swimwear
Since 2009, swimsuit rules for competition have changed several times. FINA, the international governing body for competitive swimming, banned, legalised, then banned again full body tech suits.
Today, FINA-approved tech suits must not extend below the knee. Men's jammers must not extend above the navel, while women's knee suits must not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders.
There are also strict rules on the types and thickness of material used, as well as surface treatment, seams and much more.
Putting on a Tech Suit
Tech suits are made to fit tightly to streamline the swimmer’s body in the water, and so can be tricky to get on.
Check out this video from Finis, showing how to put on a man’s jammer tech suit.
Sharks Swim & Triathlon
Tech suits have undoubtedly helped swimmers to break records; they've been developed in labs by professionals and they have had huge budgets poured into their creation.
Sharks Swim & Triathlon stocks a huge range of tech suits for men, women and youngsters including brands such as Finis, Orca, Michael Phelps, Tyr, Speedo and Addidas.
You can come and try on a tech suit at our shop in Sketty,, Swansea or you can order them online