Triathlete received the first sample of TYR’s new premier level wetsuit, the Freak of Nature and senior editor Aaron Hersh took it through the paces in the pool and the ocean. He compares it to other high-end suits to see if it really feels different than the others and what the astonishing price tag actually provides.
The biggest difference between the Freak of Nature and most elite-level suits is the neoprene used to construct the body. TYR built the entire suit exclusively with the most flexible material offered by the company that claims to produce materials for 90% of the world’s triathlon wetsuits, the Yamamoto Corporation. This special neoprene called Yamamoto #40 is extraordinarily flexible. Plenty of top level suits use #40 in the arms, underarms and/or shoulders. Very few use it for the rest of the body.
The Freak of Nature and TYR’s lower grade suits—the Category 5, Category 3 and Category 1—share the same cut. The torso, hips, legs, arms, neck, back and stomach are shaped identically, but we found that the Freak of Nature fits differently. It feels less compressive. More natural. When it’s on, the Freak of Nature stretches to the swimmer’s body. It doesn’t squeeze the body as hard as most suits—from TYR and other wetsuit makers—and as a result, swimming in the Freak of Nature feels more like swimming without a wetsuit than any other. The suit pulls and flexes with the arms and around the body with amazingly little resistance. Constructing the suit entirely with #40 results in this omnidirectional flexibility. This increased stretch in every segment of the suit, including the neck and cuffs, allows a little more water to squeeze into the Freak of Nature than one of TYR’s other suits of the same size.
Whether the Freak of Nature is worth $1,200 is entirely a personal choice, but it does feel different than other suits. We are sure of that much.
Learn more about how the Freak of Nature’s unique buoyancy in the February issue of Triathlete, on newsstands Jan. 10.
For more on the Freak of Nature watch the video review.