Which swimsuit is best for you?
Most people don’t realise that a swimsuit or racing suit can affect movement in the water in a big way. Choosing the right one is tricky, so here are some tips to help you find the perfect fit …
Streamlined for speed
The more streamlined you are, the more efficiently you’ll move through the water, meaning a snug, smooth fit is essential for speed. The Speedo Fastskin Racing System is a range of racing products designed by advanced swimmers, for advanced swimmers. Not only has each element of the Fastskin Racing System been worn by world champions and world record holders, but it’s actually proven to deliver in the pool. And better still, every detail – from full-body form to goggle strap clips – has been examined to improve and control water flow over the body.
Experts say proper compression can add buoyancy and reduce drag, so it’s a no-brainer to take it into account when buying a new suit. Speedo Fastskin Racing Suits, like the Fastskin LZR Racer X, feature Dual Construction Fabric which offers the highest level of compression yet, exactly where you need it. Combined with LZR PulseLite fabric in the body, it offers targeted compression without compromising on stretch, elasticity and comfort. Better still, the Maximised Support Seams provide an improved structure and promote optimal body position in the water, too.
Pool chemicals can make a swimsuit lose its shape, so consider how much you’re swimming. If it’s several times a week, a chlorine-resistant fabric will stop it from going baggy and creating drag. Speedo’s most durable fabric Endurance+ is chlorine-resistant, giving a higher level of snag-and-fade protection.
“The less skin exposed, the better because there is less drag from a quality swim fabric than from skin,” says Dan Bullock, Head Coach at Swim for Tri. “Shaving or waxing body hair also reduces drag.” Racing suits go all the way down to the knee, but if you want to increase skin coverage for everyday training, you could try Speedo’s legsuits, which finish mid-thigh and deliver some of the benefits.
Fit and comfort
The different types of back straps are mainly a comfort and style preference, but there can be a functional difference too. Some swimmers prefer thinner straps because they give more flexibility so you can move around more. Wider straps offer more support so tend to be preferred by swimmers with a curvy build. Try several fits on and practice your swimming motions on dry land before you decide. The most important thing is that the fit feels right. “The shape or fabric of a swimsuit may make a marginal difference to your stroke, but it can make a big difference psychologically,” says swim coach Phil Tibenham. “If it isn’t comfortable it can distract you, which overrides any benefits. Make sure you practice in what you plan to race in, too, to avoid any surprises.”
Disclaimer: Always consult with a professional healthcare provider before starting any diet or exercise programme, if you are pregnant or if you are potentially suffering from a medical condition.