The Test Team
The effectiveness of a wetsuit depends on the swimmer. A person capable of keeping his or her hips and legs at the surface without assistance, for example, may need less lower-body buoyancy than a swimmer who sinks. To account for these personal differences, two distinctly different swimmers were selected to test the suits.
Power swimmer: He started swimming in June 2009 as a short-distance triathlete. He had no prior swimming experience. His body position in the water isn’t great (read: he’s a leg dragger), but he is also very strong and fit.
500 yards: 6:43
1,500m Olympic-distance swim: 21:30
Balanced swimmer: She began swimming at age 12 and raced in high school. She then competed for the University of Colorado’s swim and water polo clubs before becoming a triathlete. She floats well, but lacks the upper-body strength of the other tester.
500 yards: 5:50
1,500m Olympic-distance swim: 21:50