southeast wetsuits

Fitting Your Triathlon Wetsuit:

A triathlon suit is specifically designed for open water swimming, and as a result provides more flexibility in the limbs than the average surfing wetsuit. It should ­fit snugly, as the more you use the suit, the more it will stretch and become accustom to the contours of your body when you move.

An Osprey triathlon wetsuit features different panel thickness’ in different sections of the wetsuit, this is to aid buoyancy, helping you swim more efficiently.

When buying a tri-suit, consider where you need buoyancy the most as too much buoyancy, for example in the legs can result in lifting your legs too high in the water; whilst not enough can result in a hindered swimming performance.

For the correct fi­tting tri-suit you should make sure that it feels tight without restricting your range of movement. It should fi­t very snugly from crotch to the shoulder region and you should be able to swing your arms and breathe deeply without the suit restricting the movement too greatly.

A good test to make sure the suit is optimally fitted in the torso region is to carefully pull the suit from your skin in the lower back region, if it has suction then the suit fits your body, if there is no suction, then the suit needs to be pulled up higher starting from the legs upwards to the body.

To ensure a good fi­t in the shoulder region put your arms parallel to the ground, the neoprene should be close to the arm pits, whilst on the topside of the shoulders there should be excess material on top, allowing for the greater arm rotation needed for open water swimming. A good suit will not reduce your swimming stroke.

The neck of the suit should be relatively high and snug (not overtly tight) ­fitting to avoid water ‑flushing in and out of the suit.

Putting On Your Triathlon Wetsuit:

  • Relax; putting on your wetsuit is not a race! Aim to spend 5-10 minutes putting on your suit. Generally the rule of thumb is the longer you spend ensuring a proper fit, the easier it will be to get off.
  • Remember to make sure the zip is at the back to avoid putting on back to front.
  • Watch out for finger and toe nails as they can dig into the neoprene and cause tears! (Make sure your nails are well trimmed!)A handy tip to avoid damaging the neoprene with your toe nails is to put plastic bags on your feet when sliding your feet through the ankle openings (this also makes slipping your feet through a lot easier!) Similarly using soft gloves can help avoid accidents with fingernails.
  • Gradually pull the suit up in sections, starting at the ankles then to the calves, working up slowly until you’ve pulled the suit all the way up to the crotch. Remember pull firmly but don’t yank as this can stress the seams or tear the neoprene.
  • Once the suit has been pulled up your body, then firmly but carefully pull your arms through the suit so you can see your wrists.
  • If possible ask another tri athlete to zip you up, pulling the rear zipper up slowly and straight in an upwards motion; avoiding pulling at an angle as this can cause additional stress on the zip.
  • If you’re wearing a watch make sure it’s worn under the sleeve of the suit and not on top, otherwise you will have to remove the watch before you can remove the suit. Be careful if wearing a watch not to catch your wetsuit on it.

Things to Avoid:

  • Only use your suit for its intended purpose, open water swimming. Do not use it for surfing etc.
  • Pulling your suit up without gradually working up neoprene up the legs and lower torso first will result in over-stretching and possible tears!
  • Avoid peeing in your suit! Urine is corrosive to neoprene as it has acidic properties and it will also make your suit smell! If in doubt pee before you suit up!
  • Do not use a petroleum based lubricant such as Vaseline to stop rubbing as this will degrade the suit and shorten its life span. Using an all-natural or a silicone based lubricant will work as effectively without damaging your wetsuit.
  • Swimming in chlorinated water (i.e. swimming pools) will degrade the neoprene of your suit.
  • Storing your suit or leaving it in a bag when wet will result in odours, and possibly mould growing on your suit. In severe cases of mould this will sentence your wetsuit to the skip!
  • Do not leave the suit folded up as this will cause creases and affect the stretch of the suit.
  • Using harsh chemical cleaners will ruin the neoprene, drying it out and severely reducing lifespan. Using hot water to rinse out your suit can also dissolve the glue in the seals. Use only cool clean fresh water to rinse your suit!
  • When drying your suit find a cool dry place in the shade with plenty of air circulation! Avoid placing in direct sunlight or places of excessive heat (e.g. a hot car in direct sunlight) as this can perish the neoprene resulting in a lack of elasticity and possibly splits as a result.
  • Hang the suit to dry using a wide plastic or wooden hanger. Thin hangers can dig into the suit and cause weak spots in the material. We recommend not leaving the suit on a hanger for more than a week as the weight of the suit could stress shoulder areas. Alternatively fold your suit in half over an object like a railing (non-metallic) to drip dry and remove the excess water weight (recommended) before finishing it off on a hanger.

Please Note: NEVER use a metal hanger to hang your suit up, as this can rust and ruin the neoprene.

NEVER EVER wash your wetsuit in a washing machine or dry it in a tumble dryer! It will ruin it!

Cutting the sleeves/ self-tailoring your wetsuit without the guidance of a professional wetsuit repair person can result in irreparable damage to your suit!

  • Wherever possible, we recommend laying the suit flat to store away once dry.
  • Make sure the storage area you place your suit is cool and dry, away from direct sunlight and the area is well ventilated.
  • Do not store in a plastic bag as this will make the suit sweat!
  • Keep your wetsuit away from pets and other animals.

Remember:

  • Always rinse out your wetsuit after every use using cool, clean, fresh water. Salt water is corrosive by nature and will degrade the neoprene and possibly ruin the zip too.
  • Where possible use a shower-head to rinse the suit completely inside and out.
  • Use a specific wetsuit shampoo every 6-8 uses to keep your suit fresh.
  • A silicone based stick to lubricate the zipper is useful if the zip becomes difficult to zip up smoothly.
  • Repair any minor damage (i.e. blown seams before they become a major problem) you can fix this yourself with specialist wetsuit glue, providing you have the expertise. Alternatively seek the services of a professional.

Warranty Information:

Please note that due to its necessary fitted, lightweight and flexible construction all triathlon suits are particularly sensitive to rips and tears and therefore very special care must be taken when handling and putting on the wetsuit. For this reason the wetsuit is covered for 1 year on manufacturing faults but not against damage caused due to misuse.

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