Whether you are about to throw yourself into the triple challenge or are an expert of the discipline, the choice of equipment is one of your biggest dilemmas you will have to face. Just like the tri suit, the neoprene wetsuit is an essential element of the triathlete's wardrobe.


But before you rush out to buy a wetsuit, are you aware of its actual functions?



The primary function of a neoprene wetsuit is to keep your body at an acceptable temperature, by reducing your body's consumption of energy.

This means that you need to find out about the triathlon sites and temperatures to which you will be exposed during your training and competitions. The colder the temperatures involved, the thicker the wetsuit that you will need.


The second benefit of a neoprene wetsuit is that it makes you more buoyant.

When you start a triathlon, the mass starts can sometimes be destabilising, but wearing a wetsuit helps to build up confidence while also reducing the level of effort you need to make. The thicker the wetsuit, the more buoyant you will be.

Given the highly technical nature of swimming, the onset of fatigue can occur quickly if your technique is poor. If you are a beginner swimmer, you should therefore opt for a thick wetsuit (4mm) in order to reduce your level of fatigue during the first event.

You may also find yourself on start lines where you cannot touch the bottom in which case a wetsuit will save your energy as you tread water. When engaging in this triple challenge, every calorie you save will be important!


The final benefit of a neoprene wetsuit is its hydrodynamic properties. Indeed, the neoprene panels used to make wetsuits considerably improve the capacity to glide through water which reduces fatigue at the same time. Bear in mind that in a long-distance triathlon (3.8 km of swimming), the time that you can save by wearing a wetsuit can be as much as 15 minutes! It can make a massive difference as you can see.




Now that you know what you need to know about the benefits of neoprene wetsuits, take the time to try on several models before investing in your wetsuit. It must fit your body shape perfectly so that it does not hinder your freestyle movement and your breathing. When trying them on, feel free to put on your tri suit under the wetsuit so that you are sure that you have the right size.

A small tip if you are starting triathlon training: remember to apply a Vaseline-type petroleum jelly-based product or anti-rubbing cream on the neck, ankles and wrists. This will prevent the irritations caused by rubbing and help you to save time when you remove your wetsuit during the first transition.


However, you should bear in mind that the rules governing triathlon neoprene wetsuits are very strict: if the water temperature is less than 10°C, wetsuits are compulsory. If the water temperature is more than 24°C, wetsuits are forbidden.

Between these two temperatures, it is up to you to decide what you want to wear!






Having always been a sports enthusiast, I practised watersports like competitive swimming and sailing for 15 years. I am a sales assistant in the Decathlon store of Scionzier in Haute Savoie. Now as an amateur triathlete, I can combine my love of watersports with my desire to push myself to the limit. Being more comfortable over long distances, the Ironman of Nice will be my next objective.


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