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Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
CREATED: 05/20/09 by urbanlumberjack REPLIES: 8
urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 4:15 PM

I'm buying a wetsuit for my first tri, and I was debating whether or not I should get one with sleeves. Thoughts?

mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1786
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 4:22 PM

Sleeves make for more buoyancy and warmth, yet are more constricting for the stroke. Your choice. Some get both versions, which is more expensive. My view is sleeves are more versatile, a safer bet.

wombat's ravatar wombat    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 266
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 4:30 PM

Depends. Where will you be swimming and in what water temperatures? What type of stroke do you have? Are you a strong swimmer or a weak swimmer who may benefit from the extra buoyancy of sleeves?

I posed the same question 6 months ago when I bought my first wetsuit. I ultimately decided on a sleeveless because I am a strong swimmer with a windmill-style stroke.

urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 4:36 PM

I don't really know what you mean by windmill (which I guess would also indicate that I'm a beginning swimmer).

I'm doing the National in September, but would like the option to do others as well (I'm not going to buy two wetsuits). I was originally learning towards the sleeved version because it would be more versatile, but I am also a little paranoid that the sleeves would cut off circulation to my arms. I only have experience wearing thick wetsuits from surfing in Maine year round.

ferguson's ravatar ferguson    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 220
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 7:05 PM

A thread on this very same topic was posted a back in Feb. Search 'wetsuits' and you'll see it- some good information there.

From Wikipedia:
The Windmill is one of the most widely recognized power moves in breakdance. The breaker rolls his torso continuously in a circular path on the floor, across the upper chest/shoulders/back, while twirling his legs in a V-shape through the air.

garydean's ravatar garydean    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 47
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 8:13 PM

As in many things, in the choice of wetsuit style, there are competing interests. Full sleeved wetsuits are "best" because of additional buoyancy and drag reduction, but (1) they might/can impede your stroke, and (2) they can get too hot. The first is a personal preference, largely dependent on how good of a swimmer you are -- I am not, so I don't like the added complication of sleeves. The second is what you want to endure/tolerate in warmer conditions. Having said that, however, it is unlikely that you would encounter a triathlon in which the water was so cold that you could not do it in a sleeveless vice sleeved wetsuit -- at the Kinetic a few years ago in 52-54 degree water, I was no worse off with sleeveless.

Since renting wetsuits is so easy, you should consider renting to try out and determine what you like before buying. Plus, the different makes and particulars of wetsuits are significant, so you could very well determine that brand X just doesn't suit you while brand Y is particularly comfy.

As for cutting off circulation, sleeved wetsuits are supposed to be very, very snug. If they are not, then instead of reducing drag you could find that drag is increased. There is no wetsuit that you could put on that would deleteriously cut off your circulation -- although it could certainly feel like it, so we get back to personal preference.

Semper Tri,
Gary

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/20/09 9:16 PM

the sleeves if fit right will not cut off circulation.

you are surfer the suit should fit liek a surf suit, basically snug against the body no excess space ortherwise too much water in.

i say sleeved, if its fit right you wont' notice the sleeves that much, but if you hate sleeves from surfing and paddling out then go sleeveless.

you ahve the advantage that you actually have used a wetsuit before.

good luck.

AndyJB444's ravatar AndyJB444    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 401
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/21/09 8:11 AM

A math equation for your thoughts:

More rubber + proper fit = faster times = less time in the water = less chance of overheating = happier triathlete

Andy B.

trithis73's ravatar trithis73    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Wetsuits: sleeves or no sleeves?
POSTED: 5/21/09 8:32 AM

I had both. Never had a problem with either one. I stayed with my sleevless and just recently sold my sleeved. I like the freedom of my stroke with sleeveless. Dont' get me wrong, I didn't have a whole lot of restriction with my sleeved, but the little I did just irritated me. So it is truely all about preference and the temps of the water you are swimming in. A post earlyier suggested renting a suit, that is probably your best option. That way you can see which you prefer, before you drop a pretty penny on a wetsuit. My 1 cent on this.

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