It's competition season again! Whether you're attending club, county, national competitive events, open meets or galas, there's never been a better time to talk about tech suits!
There are two things that everyone starts talking about close to a meet, taper and tech suits. These are two aspects of racing that can be key to a swimmer's confidence.
Taper is that period running up to a race where the athlete eases off of their physical training in order to be in peak condition for race day. It would not be a good idea to tire yourself out, or risk injury by going 110% in training the night before a big race! Taper takes this idea and runs with it, depending on the coach, athletes can start their taper period 2-3 weeks before a big event. Swimmers and coaches are always refining their taper times/regime to eek out a little more speed on race day. Everyone does it differently.
Tech suits are a similar phenomenon, the tight fitting race suits are meticulously designed to help knock the odd 100th of a second off your PB so that maybe, it will help you reach the wall first when it really counts!
Picking one of the high-price suits for a competition can be tricky. There's such a huge range nowadays that it can be hard to know which one to go with! And they're evolving all the time! There are now suits that are that are specifically geared towards breaststroke swimmers or specifically geared towards freestyle swimmers.
The Adidas Adizero XVI is the perfect example. Adidas produced two versions of the Adizero XVI, one for breaststroke, one for freestyle.
The key thing is finding the tech suit that is right for you. Budget, brand loyalty, what you've seen everyone else wearing on poolside, fit, feel and durability may all be deciding factors in your choice of tech suit, but often it comes to to what feels fast, comfortable and gives you confidence for your race!
Remember these three tips when choosing your next racing swimsuit:
Comfort is above all other factors! If you're not comfortable, you're going to be distracted. If the legs or shoulders are too tight then you're going to be in pain from the moment that you hit the water and that will most definitely have an impact on your performance. You'll find that each brand fits a little differently, and the fit can even differ between tech suits within the same brand.
It doesn't matter if it is the best top-of-the-range suit if it's digging into your shoulders, or otherwise causing you pain, it's not going to help your times in the pool. So, our advice is to start trying on a variety of suits well before your important competitions to get a feel for the different types available. Try a Speedo suit, an Arena suit, a FINIS suit and any others that take your fancy!
Usually, if you're buying online you can always return the suit for a refund as long as it is undamaged and has not been worn in water.
Budget is always going to be a big factor. Set your budget and stick to it! It's not always about buying the most expensive suit. Sometimes a cheaper suit will fit you better, boosting your confidence and resulting in a better performance than a poor-fitting, more expensive suit.
Swim brands know there is a huge market for athletes at the entry and mid-level price points and they're producing some excellent suits to fill this gap. The FINIS Fuse is a great example of a low price suit with high-end performance.
Some of the lesser-known brands will put out their suits at a lower price to tempt people into trying something outside of the big name brands. For example Aquafeel and Mad Wave produce some top-quality suits with performance features that you would expect to find in swimsuits double their price! Which leads me on to our next point...
If you're a bit of a swimming geek then no doubt you'll get a kick out of researching all of the specialist features and why they'll help to knock time off your PB. Getting deep into the technical features of each suit and gaining a full understanding can help to bring a greater knowledge of what you want/need from your racing swimwear, thus helping you to make your decision.
Search for blogs or customer reviews on the specific suit and see what others are saying about it. If someone at your club already has the suit, grill them on whether or not it's a good choice! You can't beat feedback from fellow swimmers.
Well, there you have it, our three tips for choosing a racing swimsuit. We hope you found them useful.
...Now would be a good time to remind you that we're Europe's largest competitive swimwear store! With the best choice of racing suits from all the top brands and some lesser-known well kept secrets too. Our customer services team are always ready to lend a helping hand if you have any questions when choosing your racing suit and our free size exchange ensures UK customers can try several sizes or several different suits at no extra charge.
Why not start the process of choosing your new tech suit today? Get started by visiting our FINA Approved swimwear page.