Suit Up: Finding The Right Wetsuit For You

  • By Erin Beresini
  • Published Jun 30, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:38 PM UTC

Nineteen Pipeline $280

Best for: Hip draggers

Named for the Queen K (state highway 19) on which much of Kona is raced, Canada-based Nineteen created a suit both hip draggers and their pocketbooks will appreciate. Extremely buoyant hip and thigh panels pop the legs out of the water, placing the body in an aggressive, streamlined swim position so it “feels almost illegally advantageous,” one tester said. Despite all of that lift, the suit remains flexible, providing a surprisingly good range of motion in the shoulders for a suit at this price point. That thick blue stripe isn’t just for looks—it’s the stretch panel that gives the suit much of its flex.

Zoot Force 1.0 $200

Best for: Large chests and shoulders

Testers were impressed with the Force’s flexibility, a feature typically missing in lower-priced suits. Because of its ability to stretch and conform, the Force allows comfortable shoulder rotation and will fit a variety of body shapes. One tester said, “It easily fits over my huge back and shoulders. And, you know, my belly.” Best for swimmers with good body position who don’t need a lower extremity boost, the Force also features a thick collar that keeps water out but might be a bit too bulky for some athletes. And just like all of the suits featured here, the Force rips off with minimal effort, so any time gains made in the water won’t be lost in transition.

RELATED: How To Efficiently Put Your Wetsuit On And Take It Off

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FILED UNDER: Gear & Tech / InsideTri / Swim TAGS: / /

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