Swim skins

Lots of talk on here about potential non-wetsuit swims. So, any recommendations about swim skins? As someone that’s basically just getting round, are they really worth it? I’m not a particularly fast swimmer but I’m pretty confident in open water, so I don’t think I’d need one to feel better or more secure. What say you, good people of tritalk?

Well, it won’t make you any safer or more secure, as they are not allowed to have any buoyancy properties. The purpose is just to compress and streamline the body; using hydrophobic fabrics.

I would argue that they’re probably not worth it for anyone swimming slower than 1:10 with a wetsuit, as the return is likely to be almost completely diminished.

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Thanks Jorgan. I felt it probably wouldn’t be worth it. So my plan B of sticking a pull buoy down my trunks is a non-starter? :smiley:

In your case then, I would wear a pair of good quality compressive/hydrophobic swim jammers, and change in T1. I have a pair of Zone3 MF-X jammers that are excellent; I train in them, and they’re very robust too. £35.

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I picked up a Roka Viper swim skin with the BTF deal that was kicking about late last year. From a compression perspective it works and after watching the swim exit at Frankfurt it was interesting the different approaches to using them with sleeved trisuits.

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just a note to say that swim skins are only allowed for the swim element in middle and long distance events under BTF/ITU rules - Ironman have a different rule book. yes, you can wear one for shorter distances below middle BUT if you do so, you have to keep it on for the whole event - yep, you have to run and bike in it. :grin: on a hot day, not good!

so if you are transitioning from longer events to shorter events remember this - I had to point this out to 2 athletes at an ITU qualifier event last weekend as they were not aware of the rule having previously used them in IM races. they both took them off before the swim.

I wear a Swimskin in pool Sprints, obviously keep it on for the whole thing. Assume that’s okay then? I only wear trishorts underneath, no top. It’s normally cold when I do these races, so I end-up adding a bike top anyway!

Unless it’s 40 degrees, I reckon I could run in one in an Oly, again no top underneath; would that still be okay? This is pretty hypothetical in my case though.

yep - you can use a swimskin in pool or open water standard and shorter distance events provided you keep it on for the whole event. what you wear under or over the skin is up to you as long as it complies with the rules.

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another option is the ashmei tri suit, it’s basically a swimskin with a micro pad in it, same fabric and bonded seams. It takes about 5 mins to get on as the fit/compression is something else

not entirely sure that Ashmei do that suit any longer

I assume a swimskin is no good for world/euro sprint/oli champs then, as you have to have the federation trisuit?

How else will the Federations make money and keep the gravy train going :wink:

ITU rule - “Swimskins may be removed after the swim segment, except in the
standard distance and shorter events” so - yes - you can wear over the federation kit if you’re happy to wear it for the whole event.

In reality, you’re going to stand out like a sore thumb if wetsuits are banned and you chose to wear a skin, and risk overheating on the bike and run. The Race Referee may also take a different view if your fed kit is not on show.

We were specifically told in Ibiza last year that swimskins would only be allowed (both in the aquathlon for the whole thing, and for the Middle for the swim only (middle ended up wetsuit anyway)) if they matched the GB tri suit design underneath. Such a swim skin obviously doesn’t exist.

It’s the same with rain jackets … they have to be entirely see through as GB don’t make an official one in the GB AG design available (like Spain, NZ, etc).