The tech suit is one of the most expensive investments you will ever make during your time as a competitive swimmer. Here’s some tips for making those expensive and best time-smashing suits last.
You’ve gone ahead and done it, or begged and begged your parents to pick one up for ya, and now it’s time to unleash all of your hard work while wrapped up in a tech suit designed by a bunch of space scientists in a lab somewhere.
You pull it gingerly out of the box, take a moment to think about how on earth you are going to squeeze in it, but it’s there, lurking…
The unavoidable peak of confidence that comes from holding a piece of expensive racing gear that is designed with one purpose and one purpose alone…
To help you go faster than you’ve ever gone before.
Inevitably, after a few swims you notice that it’s starting to stretch a little, or you snag it on something, or think it wise to wear it to practice for a few sessions, and suddenly that fancy new tech suit is looking a lot less new and a lot less techy.
Before you sheepishly head back to the local swim shop with a stack of Benjamins in your pocket, resolve to take better care of the suit.
Or if this is your first foray into the world of expensive racing suits pay special attention.
Take care of your tech suit and it will take care of you.
Here are 10 tips for making your tech suit last:
1. Don’t wear anymore than you have to. Racing suits don’t last long. After about a dozen wears they begin to stretch and degrade fairly quickly. So yeah, don’t be the swimmer that wears a $600 LZR Racer X Kneeskin suit to practice.
2. Save them for the big meets. Unless you feel like burning through $400 for a new tech suit every couple of meets try to save your racing suits for the championship meets towards the end of your season.
3. Wear pants or shorts over the suit between races. Last thing you want to do is snag it on something. Avoid placing sharp objects around your suit. If you are particularly accident-prone consider bubble-wrapping yourself with Kevlar and stab-proof chain-mail.
4. Take it off slowly. If you’ve had a bad race resist the urge to rip it off as fast as you can. Don’t add a stretched suit to a bad swim.
5. Rinse it out with cold water in the shower. Avoid soap and shampizzle (even swimmer’s shampoos) on the suit. If you aren’t in the mood for a shower take it out of your swim bag when you get home and rinse it with cold water in the sink to get the chlorine out.
6. Put it in a towel and roll it up. Don’t wring it out or blow dry it.
7. Do not put it in the dryer. Ever. Ever-ever. If you need to dry it between sessions lay out a towel when you get home or to the hotel room and let it air dry. Hot-breathe on it if necessary, but don’t put it in the dryer.
8. Put it on when you are completely dry. Putting on a wet tech suit requires pulling, yanking, and grimacing. Two of those things are not good for your suit.
9. Go to the bathroom before ya put it on. This is a toughie. Between the nerves and the 18 refills of your water bottle that you’ve anxiously been drinking going to the bathroom is inevitable. Time it so you don’t have to wrestle your way out of your suit before your race to hit the can.
10. Don’t hang it up to dry. The weight of the fabric, the clothes line or the hangers will often cause the suit to stretch. Remember what we talked about with rolling it up in a towel and laying it out?
Bonus tip: Cycle in your old tech suits to make the new one last longer. Use your older tech suits and jammers for preliminaries. It will help extend the shelf life of the new one you just bought.
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