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Old 09-24-13, 07:58 PM   #1
iBiker
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Wetsuit- Sleeves vs. Sleeveless

Getting my first wetsuit...borrowed a full-body one and really liked it. Can get a deal on a full-body for around $220, but just saw a deal on a sleeveless wetsuit for $95. Is there really that big of a difference with sleeves? I won't be swimming in super cold water, but want to keep swimming comfortably into the fall season (lake, not ocean).

Thanks
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Old 09-24-13, 08:15 PM   #2
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Freedom of movement for SUP or kayaking, windsurfing, perhaps tri -> sleeveless. But cold water or immersed for any serious time, I think you'll need the full suit. Getting hyperthermic from the chest up is still no fun, I think you risk your arms and shoulders shutting down.
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Old 09-28-13, 10:12 AM   #3
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When I started I went with the sleeveless. I thought as a swimmer I would like having the freedom of movement and the feel of the water on my arms. It was fine until I tried the full suit. There was no loss of freedom in the full suit and it was overall more comfortable. The arm holes on the sleeveless are another chafe/rub point that don't seem to be a problem for me in the full suit. I still have and use both, but the full suit gets used 85-90% of the time. I am also faster in the full suit. I don't know what brand you are looking at. I have been happy with my Xterra suits. Both the vortex and vector are very good for the price. I think you can get a vortex full for under $175. There are plenty of discount codes out there that offer 50-60% off. I use the one from a triathlon club i belong to here in California. C-CALTRI code should get you 60% off.
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Old 09-29-13, 05:58 AM   #4
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As far as racing, full sleeves are slightly faster. If you're not going for medals, it isn't going to make much difference, especially if you're not swimming in cold water. I have both and wear them according to the water temperature. If water temperature and/or speed is not an issue for you, go with what you're comfortable with.
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Old 09-30-13, 02:30 PM   #5
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French is spot on based on what I know and what I've read and what my friends tell me. I just inherited a full Zoot suit from my swim coach who decided to go sleeveless. H bought a new sleeveless for the ITU World championships in London a few weeks ago, and he wished he had the full suit! The water was so cold they cut the International swim distance in half.

Since we live in So Fla, most of our swims are in fairly warm even in the cold weather.
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Old 09-30-13, 02:56 PM   #6
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btp has a good point, though. A cheap suit can cause problems with rubbing, which is not fun...
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Old 09-30-13, 09:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies...never thought about the rubbing/chaffing, and faster is always better. I'm on the East Coast of Canada so water is generally cold so sleeves it is!
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Old 10-01-13, 08:16 PM   #8
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I think you have made a good choice for your circumstances. If you ever move to So. FLa, you may choose a different outcome.
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Old 10-14-13, 02:46 PM   #9
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speedo all the way

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Old 05-03-14, 11:09 AM   #10
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depends on the distance i'd say, if its longer then i guess you should go sleevless if it feels better on you, if it's a short distance go with sleeves because the material they're made of usually rejects water (doesn't let it in) ending in better swim results.
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Old 07-07-14, 08:28 PM   #11
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(new to tri) I tried a wetsuit first time in the ocean, it limits my arm movement. Is it because I got a cheap model? Not sure neoprene stretches (like lycra), so how does it follow your arm movement?
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Old 07-08-14, 05:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needawheel2 View Post
(new to tri) I tried a wetsuit first time in the ocean, it limits my arm movement. Is it because I got a cheap model? Not sure neoprene stretches (like lycra), so how does it follow your arm movement?
Was it a wetsuit designed for swimming or a general wetsuit? If the later you will find it difficult to swim in...
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Old 07-08-14, 11:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needawheel2 View Post
(new to tri) I tried a wetsuit first time in the ocean, it limits my arm movement. Is it because I got a cheap model? Not sure neoprene stretches (like lycra), so how does it follow your arm movement?
there are different types of neoprene with different degrees stretchiness More expensive tends to be more flexible

there are also different westuit designs...scuba suits, surf suits, triathon suits. A triathlon suit is what you need

and there are different thickness....... the thicker the less fun to swim in.

so a 7mm dive suit will be close to impossible to swim comfortably in, but a 2mm triathlon suit would be great
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