At the end of 2015 I was approached by a wetsuit company, Zone3, about potential sponsorship. I was already sponsored by a leading wetsuit manufacturer and arguably one of the most popular brands out there – ROKA. I loved the ROKA wetsuit and it worked for me versus other wetsuit brands, so I hesitated to switch, but I was also excited about the opportunity to work with an up and coming brand that was wanting to make a foray into the US market. Before I committed to anything I needed to test the wetsuits. I tested the Zone3, the ROKA and well as several other brands and was astonished to see such variability from one brand to the next.
For ME the Zone3 was the fastest wetsuit, not to mention that it gave me the most shoulder flexibility and true natural feeling of swimming. Other leading brands I tested made my shoulder feel restricted and I struggled to swim and keep my turnover up. From the fastest suit (the Zone3) to the slowest suit (I’ll refrain from mentioning the brand name) for me there was a 5-6 second/100 yard difference in my times in blind testing. It was amazing, but it also showed how important it is to make sure you have the right equipment FOR YOU. Having the right bike with the right fit that makes you as aerodynamic as possible is going to be better for you than having the same bike and same fit as your super fast training partner. If you have narrow feet and Bill has wide feet you likely won’t be wearing the loving the same running shoe.
Triathlon is an expensive sport and testing product is important! Don’t be afraid to do you research but also include demo-ing products. Test ride a few bikes, rent several wetsuits and do some wetsuit testing, and try out a few different pairs of shoes before deciding on which ones to buy. You body and your race times will thank you!