Big Island Innovation

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Oct 4, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen

5. It’s a wash

Normann Stadler swam with the lead pack for the first and last time in his career en route to winning the 2006 championship. He was wearing a buoyant swim skin produced by Blueseventy, and no other athlete had one. But the days of suit technology swinging the world title are gone—for now. Current regulations prevent the use of buoyant neoprene and hydrodynamic shaping or coatings that have the potential to make one suit dramatically faster than another. Current-generation swim skins are still effective and completely necessary to keep up with the competition—our own tests found them to be worth between 1 and 1.5 seconds per 100m over a swim brief. The fact that every pro now wears one in Kona puts them all on a more even playing field than in years past when manufacturers had to scramble to create legal suits in time for the race.

RELATED: Ironman Announces Changes In Swimwear/Wetsuit Rules For 2011 Season

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FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech / Ironman / Pro Bikes

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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