The Benefits Of Wearing A Wetsuit
Wes Severson October 27th, 2020 Posted In: Articles
The Benefits Of Wearing A Wetsuit
Everyone knows they keep you warm but the benefits of wearing a wetsuit go well beyond temperatures
When you think of a wetsuit, the first thing that probably comes to mind is trying to keep warm while swimming in cold water. After all, that is the reason they were invented. The average wetsuit is designed to keep you warmer while you are submerged in water that ranges from around 50 to 70-degrees depending on the style and thickness. But in reality, there are many other benefits of wetsuits that are easy to overlook.
Peace of Mind
One benefit of wetsuits is that they can actually relieve stress and help you perform better. Knowing that your body is going to be kept at a very comfortable temperature allows you to focus more on your actual performance rather than how you feel during that performance. Stressing over body comfort and temperature can make it harder to get excited about the activity you’re about to do. A wetsuit can take that out of the equation especially if you find the perfect wetsuit for you.
Also, just having knowledge of all the other benefits of wetsuits beyond warmth will have you feeling safer every time you jump into the water. That is why you see people swimming in wetsuits when the water isn’t even cold. So, what are those wetsuit benefits?
A huge benefit of wearing a wetsuit is that it makes you float easier. The natural buoyancy of neoprene makes you sit higher up in the water than you would without a wetsuit. That means less resistance and an easier swim. This comes into play mostly for triathletes who are looking for any competitive edge they can get to shave time. That is why you often see swimmers wearing wetsuits in warmer water. Their wetsuit may help the athlete conserve extra energy during the swim portion of the race that they can expel in other parts of the competition.
Another wetsuit benefit comes from the outer coatings or “skins” used to cover the outside of the suit. They are made to repel water away which means you can actually swim faster and glide easier through the water. That outer coating is known as ‘Super Composite Skin’ or SCS. Advancements in this technology are really stretching the limits of what wetsuits are capable of these days. Some scientists say that the SCS on a wetsuit can lessen the resistance in the water by around 15%. There are also professional swimmers who claim that the right wetsuit can shave 5% to 10% off your time, depending on the distance of the swim.*Note that this type of skin is found only with triathlon or open-water swim specific wetsuits, not your general watersports wetsuits.
Knowing you have the help of the added buoyancy and speed is a great benefit of wetsuits. But now, those benefits offer you the benefit of more confidence. Having a great wetsuit that fits you perfectly, keeps you warm, and helps you swim easier and faster, can help you push yourself as an athlete and maybe take on swims that are a little out of your comfort zone. Those are the kind of things athletes need to get better and if a wetsuit can provide that then I suggest taking full advantage.
A wetsuit works by trapping a thin layer of water tightly between your skin and the suit. Your body heat heats the water to 98 degrees and then it keeps you warm. The tighter the suit, the warmer it is. But another benefit of a wetsuit is that when it fits very tightly it can provide automatic compression to muscles and joints that can also make you perform better and longer. The sensation of a wetsuit can feel like wearing a compression sleeve over your knee while running. Once you put on your wetsuit, your entire body feels tighter and ready for performance. This wetsuit benefit can also help you push harder as a swimmer or a surfer which will eventually make you much better at the sport.
One final benefit of wetsuits is what you look like when you wear one. In most cases, people who are wearing wetsuits give off an obvious signal that they are very serious about their sports. This can garner some level of respect from other people in the sporting communities that you are in. This could lead to conversations, new friendships, and new possibilities to learn more about the sport which overall would mean a lot more fun!
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