A new generation of triathlon and open water swimming wetsuits have been introduced. Meticulous research lies behind the launch of Huub wetsuits (pronounced hoob) which challenge current wetsuit design thinking.
See the complete announcement below:
Huub means ‘bright mind’ in Dutch, and is coincidentally the name of the principal of the Swimming Research Centre in Amsterdam, where the suits have been researched. Huub Toussaint’s extensive testing quantified the benefits using a suit that puts swimmers into the correct body position based on their ability.
So convincing were the test results from Amsterdam’s hydrodynamic facility, that Nottingham based Turning Point Investments put the finance together to ensure that Huub could launch into the market in time for the start of the 2012 season. One potential British Olympian has already made the decision to wear the suit this year.
Huub Toussaint said, “What we found surprised us, but we saw some swimmers improve by up to 30% in the suits. There is a big difference between natural swimmers and those not from a swimming background, and Huub are the first to really understand this and cater for it.”
He added: “85% of triathletes don’t come from a swimming background, and they need increased buoyancy around the thighs and hips, whereas natural swimmers need even leg and chest buoyancy to maintain correct body position in the water, particularly to activate the kick.”
All Huub suits have two varieties, one for natural swimmers and one for those with sinking legs.
Paul Newsome of Swim Smooth said: “Many triathletes are afflicted by poor body position in the water. We call this Sinky Leg Syndrome and is often due to their lean, muscular legs and limited swimming background and poor hip and ankle flexibility creating drag when they kick. Some swimmer’s though don’t need much assistance with their buoyancy and find conventional wetsuits destroy their otherwise good balance in the water. Whilst all wetsuits provide buoyancy, only the Huub addresses the balance of this buoyancy for an individual’s natural position in the water by offering distinctly different suits to cater for the array of strokes out there. They also actively assist in correcting common stroke faults which cause additional drag. For triathlon in particular, effort from the legs to assist body position needs to be controlled and energy conserved for the bike and run. The Huub suits achieve this goal better than any other suit on the market which is why we so proud to have been involved in their design.”
Huub has put buoyancy panels in the right places to create the optimal position, as well as supporting the core and hips through the X-O Skeleton design to improve streamlining.
The flagship Archimedes suit delivers buoyancy and flexibility that has been designed to precision based on extensive scientific and practical swimming development. The Archimedes offers additional bicep and calf release panels which further improve efficiency.
The mid-level Aerious suit offers the same buoyancy and stability system as the Archimedes, whilst the entry level Aegis suit is available for both men and women and features Smooth Skin neoprene throughout the whole suit. It is the only suit at this level to do so. With 2mm neoprene around the shoulders, it’s also exceptionally flexible.
Huub has designed a bespoke suit for women, the Aura, noting that women have less dense muscles and therefore are less likely to sink in the water. Like the Archimedes, the Aura is perfectly balanced for fast swimming, and has calf release panels to promote better kick and faster removal.
Huub’s entry level suit will retail at £220, with the top end suit selling at £495. The Aura women’s suit is priced at £350, ensuring that whole range is accessible to a broad audience of swimmers.
Who’s behind Huub?
A chance meeting by Dean Jackson in the transition area of a local triathlon propelled Huub wetsuits from a distant dream to reality in time for the start of the 2012 season. Impressed by the results of extensive scientific and practical swimming development, Nottingham based Turning Point Investments is backing Huub to revolutionize triathlon swimming.
Before triathlon, swimmers simply were not allowed to compete in wetsuits, and hence research and development has some catching up to do compared with cycling and running.
Tom Mawhood is the Investment Manager at Turning Point Investments. He commented: “We are constantly on the look-out for businesses with potential that are short of money, be it mature businesses suffering cash flow difficulties, or start-up businesses like Huub. As soon as I met Dean and saw the proposition I felt that this would succeed in front of the investment group – in fact it was so well received that Huub broke all records and within weeks of meeting we had signed heads of terms and he had the first tranche of investment to start developing the product – to put this in perspective this process normally takes up to 3-4 months.
“It is rare to become involved with a start-up business which is able to deliver a portfolio of International Sales at launch with credible provenance in terms of the science and engineering of the product, a leading manufacturer, and outstanding test results from even the first prototype suits.”
Turning Point Investments supports ‘local’ East Midlands businesses and has just launched it’s second fund and is now actively looking for new opportunities.
From inception in 2009, Turning Point Investments has made eight investments in a cross section of businesses from start-ups to a £10m mature garden products manufacturer.