The Triathlon Wetsuit Selection Guide
Before actually considering wetsuit selection for triathlons, one should rather ask the question whether or not wetsuits are permitted in a specific triathlon or not. According to some sources there are regulations that permit the use of a wetsuit in a triathlon; this regulation pertains to the professional aspect of the triathlon and depicts whether the competitor will be in line for prizes or rewards. Essentially the regulations stipulate the use of a wetsuit according to the temperature of the water.
Considering the fact that the wetsuit is allowed, then the wetsuit selection process is based upon the desired use of the athlete, obviously including their size and measurements, and most importantly their comfort within the suit itself.
The process of wetsuit selection should entail the proper fit of the suit, so that the athlete is not hindered by ant rubbing or excessive water intake into the suit, during competitions. The water intake into the suit will not only slow the athlete down, but really defeats the object of the actual function of the wetsuit, being there to ensure the wearer enjoys the insulated warmth created by the suit.
The wetsuit selection process of whether or not to go for the long sleeve or no sleeve wetsuit is that of personal choice, some feel that the long sleeve suit offers better warmth, whilst others say that it may be constricting, which could lead to a slower time in the swimming leg of the triathlon. It has however been researched that wearing a wetsuit does in fact speed up the swimmer in the water, if aspects such as correct fit and style of suit are optimal. Hence it comes down to personal choice.
The triathlon wetsuit selection process is also dictated by price, although the top end wetsuits are fairly similar in terms of benefits and materials, the lesser priced suits tend to use an older technology, and perhaps a lesser standard of the primary material of neoprene. This might benefit the user in terms of durability of the wetsuit, but may slow the wearer down in the water, due to a thicker more dense material.
A number of other factors also come into play in terms of selecting the right suit for you in terms of competing in triathlons, besides the mentioned factors above. These are primarily the seals on the wrists and ankles, which will ensure sufficient warmth of the wearer; the combination of stitching and gluing of the wetsuit instead of either two in isolation adds to the suits durability; and the warranty of the wetsuit will ensure peace of mind once purchased.
The wetsuit selection for use in triathlons is extremely personal, and will most likely represent an investment that one should consider according to the merits of the suit, and the wearer.