Suit Yourself: Wetsuits On Test

Choosing the right wetsuit can make all the difference to your results, especially when you’re new to triathlon

Posted: 10 June 2010
by Nicola Joyce

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When you're starting out in triathlon, one of the most important bits of kit you'll buy is your wetsuit. For those lacking a little confidence in the water, making the right choice is crucial, but even if you're comfortable ploughing through chilly lakes, your wetsuit should keep you warm, buoyant and streamlined, making you faster and more efficient in the water. If you can spend between £120-£270 on your first wetsuit you'll be able to choose from a great selection of suits targeted at slower swimmers or those who need a bit more help with floatation, particularly when it comes to leg-kick. The more you spend, of course, the more you'll get in the way of go-faster details such as catch panels on the forearms (to increase the amount of water you can pull on the 'catch' phase of a stroke) and differing thicknesses of neoprene throughout the suit. Entry-level wetsuits tend to be thicker (particularly on the legs and torso) to keep weaker swimmers afloat. You might want to select a suit with thinner material around the shoulders and arms if your stroke is strong enough to benefit from a change in pace. Whatever you choose, try swimming in the suit before you buy it. Most manufacturers allow this and many make their suits available at open-water training venues around the country. Take a few different suits for a spin and see which one is best for you. We've selected a range of wetsuits to reflect a variety of budgets. 

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