To win at competitions of any level, a swimmer needs not only to be agile and fast, but also to feel confident. And for this, as they say, all means are good. Modern high-tech swimwear has been proven to help improve swim performance with its hydrodynamic performance. In sports, where the fight takes place in a split second, this is an essential topic of conversation. Engineers and designers, together with hundreds of professional athletes, develop different models of starting suits so that new achievements in any swimming style will not be long in coming. It is especially important for high-speed swimming, for example, a crawl on the chest, in which the fight takes place in hundredths of a second.
First steps in creating starter suits
Once in the 50s of the last century, a certain window seller Jack O’Neill took up sewing functional clothing in order not to get hypothermia when riding in cold water on a surfboard. At first, he took as a sample diving equipment sewn from thin parts of rubber diving equipment of the 40s, but it was not perfect. O’Neill has tried various foams, and has made a name for himself by finding polyvinyl chloride with excellent insulating properties and bonding it with plastic inserts. A little later, it is this inventor who draws attention to the previously discovered neoprene for industry and uses it in a non-standard way: to design a water suit. In 1952, a neoprene swimsuit was first sold in San Francisco.
Technical characteristics of starting suits and their types
Starting suits for men and women must be approved by the international sports organization FINA in order for an athlete to wear him to a FINA-affiliated tournament. This once again shows the seriousness of developments in the field of improving the technicality and comfort of the swimsuit. Any good starter suit should have:
- reasonable compression, which gives good streamlining and glide to the swimmer;
- correct design of the product parts for ease of use;
- lightness. Less weight means faster speed;
- support. This will make you psychologically feel faster and more agile;
- elasticity and strength for ease of dressing and movement in it;
- high moisture isolation;
- immunity to chlorine;
- a well thought-out interesting design.
The most popular types
starting suits are closed (they cover the torso and limbs) and
more open (starting shorts for men and women’s one-piece wetsuits with
Riding T-shirt and shorts). There are other variations of swimwear for young men
and girls, but professionals noticed the maximum effectiveness of these
types. However, each swimmer chooses for himself a model that is comfortable for speed
swim, considering your feelings.
Main starting models of aquatic suits
Well-known manufacturers with many years of experience are: Speedo, Arena, TYR, Mad Wave, etc. Their models are constantly being improved in terms of functionality and design. Let’s consider some models according to the popularity of their use at world championships:
Men’s hydroshorts. They are used in many championships, in different swimming styles. Such clothing from the Arena company, for example, allows you to achieve high swimming speed due to reasonable muscle compression, maximum fit, XV-Flex System technology for the thoughtful placement of seams on a product that does not interfere with the swimmer’s movements, lightweight durable fabric with the addition of lightweight carbon fiber with increased water repellency and better glide. These shorts have no seams at the waist for maximum comfort. But there is a “line of tension”: the legs can be kept higher while swimming in a free style, and this excludes “sinking of the knees” during breaststroke or butterfly stroke. It is much easier to push off the pool wall with your feet when turning. Some models are made using the world’s newest system of horizontal weaving of carbon threads Carbon Bands – we can say that this is the “second skin” of the swimmer. These jumpsuits are suitable for long distances. Material: 65% nylon, 34% elastane, 1% carbon. We also note the legendary Fastskin LZR Racer Element Jammer shorts, which received FINA approval. Their advantage is ultrasound sealed seams and silicone grips for better comfort and racing swings, the weight of the suit in the water is reduced by 40%.
Women’s one-piece tank-type wetsuits on the chest with shorts at the bottom. Now produced by different companies. For example, consider the Powerskin Full Body Short Leg Open Black, composed of the super lightweight X-FLAT fabric. It is carefully knitted, weighing 142 g / m. sq. and contains 29% Lycra, which can reduce the water resistance of the athlete. The proven Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer Element Kneesuit feature ultrasonically welded seams and silicone bands for better fit and reduced skin and muscle vibration. They are worn with FINA approval for serious competition.
For professional swimmers and female athletes, snorkeling, surfing, rowing, triathlon and open water swimming are available closed wetsuits. Ergonomic cut from well-known brands allows you to fit perfectly on the figure, the person practically does not feel the weight of the suit thanks to lightweight wear-resistant materials, for example Double Lined Neoprene 2.5 mm thick in the Italian men’s suit Head MULTIX VL MAN. Airtight flat seams and a waterproof zip ensure absolute moisture isolation and comfort. Crew neck, comfortable collar and long sleeves are complemented by special panels on the hips and chest for flexibility and mobility during the swim. Modern women’s closed wetsuits such as the EXPLORER 3.2.2. mm lady features a clever combination of neoprene and nylon. The suit contains special inserts on the hips and chest with a thickness of 3 mm, which give the girl better glide and comfort while swimming.