So I'm shopping around for my first wetsuit and wanted to poll everybody and see if anybody had any recommendations. Sleeveless vs. no sleeves? Is there a difference in buoyancy? Any recommended brands?
It's purely personal preference. I have a sleeved wet suit that works fine, but I've not tried out a sleeveless one. You may wish to rent different types from Bonzai or wetsuitrental.com or the like and try them out. Since most of the buoyancy help is in the hips rather than the shoulders (you already keep your upper body up), I can't imagine there's that much difference between the two in that effect.
We do have a club relationship with Xterra to get a discount on their suits.
Hope that helps.
Conte's is a merchant partner and they rent wetsuits.
Defintitely sleeves. I got a Zoot year before last from Bonzai on sale. Still pricey - but it is nice.
When you look to buy a wetsuit, you have to think about where you're going to be doing most of your races. Most of my friends who live down south have sleeveless wetsuits- helps with buoyancy & body position in the water but they don't have to worry about keeping warm. Most of my friends here (as well as myself) have fulls. If you live & race in this area, chances are you'll be dealing with colder water temps so that's probably your better choice.
There is probably some minimal improvement in buoyancy & hydrodynamics with a full but not enough to factor into your decision. A few years back, one of the drawbacks with a full wetsuit was limited range of motion in the arms. With the new materials & construction methods used by most manufacturers, they are less restrictive and allow for range of motion on par with a sleeveless suit.
Xterra has one of the best deals going right now- almost 50% off most of their line. If price is not a concern, I would recommend Xterra Vendetta, Orca Alpha or Orca 3.8. If you're on a budget, the Xterra Vortex 3 is a great deal.
Thanks for the great advice everybody! I ended up going through Xterra for a full. Now I'm interested in getting a couple of open water swims in me. Do you guys know when we'll be doing them as a group?
Is it true that we are not allowed to wear wetsuits in the NJ Triathlon?
For the past two years, wetsuits have not been allowed at the NJ Tri. Whether a race is wetsuit legal has to do with water temperature-I think the rule is water must be below 78 degrees F for wetsuit legal, between 78 and 80 you can wear a wetsuit but aren't eligible for any prizes, and above 80 wetsuits are not permitted at all (overheating/safety issue).
Anybody know what water temps can be expected for the ITU in DC in June? I am assuming that 1) a wetsuit will be needed, 2) a full wetsuit will be needed (?) because it's the Potomac, and 3) they won't allow drysuits even if it's the Potomac. Thanks!