10 Tips for Making Your Tech Suit Last

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.

Here’s a fun fact for ya: We recently put together a comprehensive tech suit guide that covers the background on why tech suits became all the rage (hint: the 2009 world championships have a lot to do with it), as well as a full 2017 tech buyer’s guide for swimmers that covers the major brands. Click here to give our tech suit guide a gander!


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Steve Nolan

11) Make it out of rubber.What a resilient material!

a current swimmer

I was always told to not wash it out and take it off to dry as soon as you were done racing, because water alone was what kills it. Also that rolling it into a towel was the worst thing to do………..


This might be a dumb question, but why do people wear tech suits to practice? I never understood this.


Sometimes my coach will have us suit up in practice and get on the blocks and race. Although we never use new suits, always just ones we’ve had from previous seasons. I wouldn’t see the point in a regular practice though, the whole point is when you put it on you feel fast! If you have it on all the time it kinda ruins the effect.

Just Keep Swimming

I would not be a happy camper if my child wore a $500 suit during practice!!!

College Swimmer

It is not a dumb question! As Pinodee said, when we wear them they are generally worn out. We will swim in our practice suit for a warm up set, do some heart rate stuff, open up the lungs then get out and put the suit on! The suit is worn to replicate race speed, race feel, and the race mind set. For example we suited up a few days ago (I wore an extremely used Arena Revo that was almost see through) and swam a intense set that consisted of 21 100s on 1:30 LCM, they were from a push and had to be fast. The suit aided in this set as it provided compression to my legs to… Read more »



About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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