A wetsuit is a very important part triathlon or open water swimming. It's not there only for warmth but to increase your comfort, speed and stamina. Using a cheap wetsuit which isn't designed for swimming and will slow you down in the water and make it much harder work. A lot of research, development and technology goes into swimming wetsuits so it's an important decision.
The materials in triathlon wetsuits are designed to be light, flexible and buoyant. The only drawback to this is their durability so this guide will help you understand how to look after your wetsuit so you can extend its usage.
British brand Zone3, has two wetsuits in its entry level range called the Advance and Vision. These suits are made from a more durable material so perfect for beginners or intermediates looking for all of the performance features in a swimming wetsuit but want to keep to a budget whilst they decide if they enjoy the sport enough to invest further.
For those looking for extra comfort, flexibility and speed the Aspire and Vanquish wetsuits use thinner and higher stretch fabrics but this means that they need to be looked after even more carefully. 99% of the time damage to a wetsuit is caused by being heavy-handed or in a rush but if you follow this guide there is almost no chance of damaging you suit, regardless of the level.
Please follow some of these simple guidelines to ensure that your wetsuit stays in the optimum condition:
Take your time when putting your wetsuit on
This is the most common time when damage can occur. Make sure you don't have sharp nails and only use your finger tip to get the wetsuit into position. Please view this video guide to help ensure this.
If you are hot or wet then use a plastic bag to help put the legs and arms on. The smooth surface of the plastic makes the suit go on easier. This results in less adjustments needed and less contact with the material to achieve the correct position. Remember:
- Rinse well in fresh water after every use.
- Minimise time left in direct sunlight and aim to dry in the shade.
- Dry inside out first and then dry outside.
- Store Inside Out
- Best kept flat and folded behind the knees and then in half.
- Only use a hanger for short periods of time and use as wide a hanger as possible.
- Do not allow others to use your wetsuit. It has been fitted for your body shape and nobody larger.
- Avoid contacting the Velcro with the inside lining of the wetsuit as this will pull on the sensitive fibres. Keep the Velcro covered with the fabric patch provided.
- Do not use petroleum lubricant on contact with your wetsuit.
- Avoid use in Chlorinated swimming pools
- The Zone3 wetsuit has been designed to optimise performance during racing. Its use should be restricted to swimming or triathlon racing.
- Don't put in the washing machine or tumble dryer, don't iron, don't wash with detergent or bleach.