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Most buoyant legal wetsuit?
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Has there been any testing on what wetsuit is the most buoyant? My understanding is that it can't be thicker than 5mm. But it would seem different techniques could be used to make more buoyant than another.

Do any of the manufacturers publish buoyancy numbers?

Thanks!
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [bartturner] [ In reply to ]
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The problem is that every person that pulls a wetsuit on is going to have a different buoyancy based on their body composition - chiefly body fat percentage. So the suits may all be to a standard but every suit will be a little bit different when people are in it.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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What you say is true, but it shouldn't matter for the purposes of comparing wetsuits. That's like saying you can't compare a 15 lb bike to a 17 lb bike because some people weigh more than others and the total bike+rider weight would vary.
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [skavoovie] [ In reply to ]
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But that's also assuming buoyancy is spread equally among all the suits.
It's possible for 2 suits to have the same total buoyancy; (let's say) one with more buoyant legs, the other with buoyancy spread equally throughout. The first will work better for people who have trouble maintaining a proper body position, while the second would be better for swimmers with good body position.
While they have the same "buoyancy", that won't really convert well between different people.
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [ndenezzo] [ In reply to ]
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It's possible for 2 suits to have the same total buoyancy; (let's say) one with more buoyant legs, the other with buoyancy spread equally throughout. The first will work better for people who have trouble maintaining a proper body position, while the second would be better for swimmers with good body position.

That's a key point. It's something that we looked at very hard 3 years ago when we launched the Nineteen Frequency. We were the first wetsuit company to start using less neoprene on the upper body as part of our WingSpan system on the Frequency. We used huge panels of 1.5mm neoprene. No one else, was doing this at the time - although I note that all of our competitors have followed suit!! The reason - you don't need a lot of buoyancy in the upper body, and this is particularly so with strong swimmers, your lungs are acting like two big buoys! Furthermore, after the catch and as you start to pull through, you want to roll and sink the side of your upper body into the water - this allows for maximum leverage and hydrodynamics. Again having less neoprene is helpful with this.

So it's not so much about having great buoyancy, it's, where is the suit more buoyant, and where is it not!! :)


Your buoyancy may vary! :)





Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [bartturner] [ In reply to ]
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The most buoyant rubber is probably the new Yamamoto AeroDome 5mm with the air cells in it (it's actually a sandwich of three layers). The most buoyant wetsuit would be made entirely from this...and it would suck. Performance in a wetsuit is a combination of buoyancy, flexibility, lowered surface drag, and body positioning. This is why suits use different types and thicknesses of material throughout...manufacturers are trying for the optimal balance of the above factors (neglecting the cost factor for a second).
Sadly, there is no easy way to determine what the fastest suit is (and it varries by individual). Every manufacturer's top-of-the-line suit is the fastest wetsuit on the planet, just ask 'em. The best advice is to go with the suit that is the best fit to your body and budget.


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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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I swim in a Synergy Hybrid, which uses Aerodome rubber. It is amazingly buoyant, and by far the most flexible wetsuit in the upper-body that I tried on.

I never tried one on, but the Orca 3.8 I've heard is super buoyant.
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Re: Most buoyant legal wetsuit? [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Are you sure about the timing? I roll onto that side as I reach and before I catch....so as my right hand enters and reaches - my hips/shoulders roll quickly onto my right side.

Dave
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