Do wetsuits help the Florida Triathlete?

wetsuit2In the early 1990’s, the use of the wetsuit emerged as a source of controversy in the sport of triathlon. Originally, the wetsuit was introduced to our sport as a safety tool to help the triathlete survive cold waters and prevent hypothermia during a frigid swimming portion of the race. However, it wasn’t long before triathletes discovered the wetsuit served an even greater purpose in triathlon; it made us FASTER!

That’s right. It was quickly discovered, even in the Sunshine State, that the wetsuit provided the necessary buoyancy to lift a swimmer high enough in the water to enhance the overall swim performance. The theory being, the higher you are in the water, the less water resistance when swimming and the faster the overall swim performance; much like that of a speed boats traveling on a plane. Despite the performance advantages resulting from the wetsuit, the safety of the swimmer came first and the issue seemed settled while racing in colder waters or during the chillier months in our Southern States.

Racing in Florida usually leaves us with three months at the beginning of the season & three months at the end of the race season. An argument is always made that there isn’t enough chances to wear your suit in Florida, so why buy one? I disagree. I have been to many races in May & June that have been wetsuit legal (78 degrees or lower) right at the last minute due to our rain. Since I brought my suit with me in the car to the race, I wore it. That means a wetsuit can certainly give you the boost your early season needs at the spring races like St. Anthony’s or even the Great Clermont & even later into the season. And as the year goes on, having your suit on stand by in September, is a very nice feeling.

Gear for Multisport will always be here to rent wetsuits & we are happy to help a suit less triathlete in a crunch during race week. But I will be the first one to tell you that owning a suit will always be your best bet. Just like you would not want to race on a borrowed bike, training in a wetsuit leading up to your event will give you a huge advantage; if nothing else just practicing getting out of it a bunch of times.

Buying a wetsuit will be one of the best investments you will make as a triathlete. And we at Gear for Multisport have custom fit hundreds of triathletes of every shape & size. We take great pride in the wetsuit brands we stock & will take the time to educate you on the dos & don’t of putting on wetsuit (and taking off during your race) as well as find the best-fit wetsuit for you.


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