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Wat zijn de grootste voordelen van zwemmen in een wetsuit? 

What are the biggest benefits of swimming in a wetsuit?

, by Dennis Florussen, 10 min reading time


Our colleague Dennis is happy to give you tips about using a wetsuit during the triathlon or for open water.

What are the biggest benefits of swimming in a wetsuit?

  • A wetsuit protects against the cold ;
    It is always said that you can dress against the cold. And that is certainly the case with a good wetsuit and the right accessories. You can swim in the open water early with a wetsuit , even if the water temperature is still low. When it is still really cold, you can also opt for extra protection such as: neoprene gloves , neoprene socks or a neoprene swimming cap.
  • You go faster with a wetsuit ;
    A wetsuit provides more buoyancy, which makes you lie flatter and higher in the water , making you more streamlined through the water . For some swimmers it can save as much as 10 to 15 seconds per 100 meters . For the technically inferior swimmer the time savings is greater compared to a technically good swimmer ; 
  • With a wetsuit you save energy;
    When you swim competitively, you will save energy by wearing a wetsuit, partly because you swim more efficiently, but also (especially in the early season when the water is still cold) you will save energy because you will get cold less quickly. And you can put that energy to good use in the cycling and running part of a triathlon. 

What are the biggest after parts of wetsuit swimming? 

  • Swimming in a wetsuit makes swimming easier , and you may quickly forget to pay attention to your technique. But with good technique, you also have an extra advantage in a wetsuit, so that you can swim even faster. And you will certainly notice this difference when we start swimming indoors again in the fall, so keep paying attention to your technique ;  
  • Your freedom of movement is more limited in a wetsuit , despite the fact that a lot is done by the manufacturers to make the shoulders as flexible as possible . So make sure you have a wetsuit that really fits well and is flexible around your armpits/arms. If sleeves are really an obstacle, go for a sleeveless wetsuit ; 
  • If you prefer to swim breaststroke, a wetsuit can be a disadvantage. Swimming breaststroke and wetsuits is not really a good combination , wetsuits are not made for that. Your position for breaststroke is different than for front crawl . 

What are the differences in the wetsuits? 

  • T he most common suit is with long legs and long sleeves. There are also suits without sleeves and short-leg suits without sleeves ; 
  • B rands have different types: from basic , mid to top models . Wetsuits mainly vary in thickness: the thicker, the more insulation , the more buoyancy. But also the stiffer and the less comfortable a wetsuit is. The fit is refined when a wetsuit consists of more panels. The more panels , the more different thicknesses of neoprene can be used for a better fit. This is where the price difference lies. 

What is the best way to put on a wetsuit?

  • Take your time putting on the suit. There is no use in haste, it will work against you; 
  • Make sure you always put plastic bags over your hands and feet when inserting your sleeves and legs, as this will glide better and ensure fewer tears in the suit ; 
  • If necessary, take off rings and your watch when putting it on, this prevents damage; 
  • Use thin gloves (when your hands are through the sleeves). This makes it easier to grip the neoprene and prevents damage to the neoprene from your nails . Sometimes these gloves are even included with the wetsuit; 
  • The inside of the wetsuit is stronger than the outside. If you have to pull, pull from the inside of the wetsuit and not from the outside ; 
  • Work from bottom to top. Make sure your legs are comfortable first and there is no space around the groin and crotch. Make sure everything fits properly and, if necessary, pull the wetsuit up a little higher around the calves to create more space at the top;
  • Make sure that you get all the room upwards, so that your shoulders will feel flexible, the space in your sleeves must also go upwards ; 
  • The legs should be 15cm above the ankles and about 10 centimeters above the wrists, this will give you more room in your wetsuit;
  • Are your sleeves sticking to your arms? Then blow air into your sleeve along your wrist. The neoprene will come loose from your skin. And the sleeves are a bit more in place again;
  • If you feel that there is tension between your skin and the neoprene, carefully (with your gloves) pull the neoprene loose from the skin in various places. This will release the tension;
  • Do not use Vaseline to prevent chafing. B odyglide stick is allowed. (Vaseline voids the suit's warranty because it does not dissolve in water and any repair/gluing of the suit is no longer possible) ; 
  • When you put on a wetsuit for the first time, stand up straight. Do you feel like there is too much pressure on your larynx/throat? Then tilt your head back a little , so that you are also lying in the water. You will notice that that pressure disappears. 

Open water swimming ( early spring ) : 

  • Never go alone, make sure you have a buddy with you . Especially when the water is still cold, there is a risk of cramps, with possibly all the consequences that entails ; 
  • Always use a swim saver in the water. It provides better visibility in the water and is safer. If something happens to you, you can hang on the float and call for help. It is also useful to take valuables with you, such as your telephone or car key;  
  • For extra visibility, always choose a striking swimming cap ;
  • When the water is cold, use extra heat protection such as Neoprene gloves , Neoprene socks or a Neoprene swimming cap;
  • If you are going swimming with a faster swimmer and you still want to cover a nice distance together, consider using swimming fins. This means you can still swim together and increase the fun of swimming together in open water. 
  • Make sure there is no blue-green algae in the swimming water , especially at high temperatures ; 
  • Enjoy swimming in nature!! 

 Taking off a wetsuit . Here are the tips . 

  • What you don't want when swimming is water in your suit. But you want this when you take it off. Especially during a triathlon , it is important that you can take off your wetsuit smoothly. So just before you get out of the water, make sure you get a scoop of water in your suit . You can easily do this by opening your wetsuit slightly at the neck, allowing water to flow in ; 
  • When you stand on the shore, the trick is to open your zipper as quickly as possible and remove your upper body from your wetsuit. During most competitions you are only allowed to completely remove your wetsuit when you are on your bike or changing room. Keep this in mind. When taking off the wetsuit (your legs) further, it is best to first pull your wetsuit down as far as possible and then quickly pull your feet up. You can possibly kick off your wetsuit while walking up the stairs. This is usually the fastest.
  • Taking off a suit may be a little less careful than putting it on. Most wetsuits break when putting them on and not when taking them off. you will also notice that taking off your wetsuit is a lot faster and easier than putting it on. 

Maintenance: 

  • Always rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after use; 
  • Do not let the wetsuit dry in direct sunlight ; 
  • It is best to fold your wetsuit loosely and not store it hanging , to prevent it from hanging out; 
  • In case of damage, (often nails which can happen quickly) repair immediately so that it does not tear further; 

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What are the biggest benefits of swimming in a wetsuit?