1 Questions About Tech Suits
1.1 How Do I Put On A Tech Suit?
The following are step by step instructions for putting on technical suits. We want you to get the most bang for your buck both by getting into the suit all the way and by putting on the proper size, so we recommend that you follow them to the letter.
All of these steps were developed by our managers, Melanie and Kenzie, using tricks that they picked up both from when Kenzie was racing in them and from over customers over the years. Both Melanie and Kenzie have been working with technical suits since 2008; they have years of experience behind them.
If you have any questions at all regarding technical suits feel free to contact us.
- Take your time putting the suit on. It can take up to an hour for the first time you ever try on a tech suit. They do become easier as you figure out how to slip your body into them
- Fold up the hem of the legs. This is done to keep the gripping silicone away from your skin so that you can slide the material up and into place easily.
- Carefully accordion bunch the suit up into a single bundle. This is done to protect the suit and give you a bigger area to grip on the initial stepping into and pulling up. You want to keep the seems straight and the bunches even so that the suit doesn't twist and fold over on it's self as you pull it up. If this happens you will need to take the suit off and try again, because there is no way to straighten the suit once you have it on.
- Pull the suit up as high on your legs as you possibly can in one unit. Think pulling on a pair of tights. The higher you can wiggle it up as a unit the easier it will be later on.
- Hook one of your fingers under the hem of the leg and wiggle it up to as close to mid thigh as you can. The higher you can get the hem of the leg the more you will have to work with when getting the suit over your butt and the easier that will be. You will pull the legs back down and into their proper position after the top of the suit is in place.
- Getting the suit over the butt is the hardest part. Once you manage that you are home free.
- Pull the suit up to your hips. You will need to stop pulling on the suit as a unit at this point and need to work in incremental pinch and pulls. You will need to pinch a part of the material that is looser lower down and pull it up, then pinch a little above that new placement and pull again, repeating this until you've worked the material up to your hips.
- Once you have a bunch of material under your butt cheeks you will have to tuck your butt into the suit. The best way to do this is to find a strong point of the suit in the back. That will be right on the center butt seam. DO NOT PINCH NEXT TO THE SEAM BUT RIGHT ON IT. Pinch that strong point, seam, between your thumb and forefinger with one hand. Your free hand will need to push your butt cheeks into your body as the hand that is gripping the suits pulls it up and over your butt cheeks. Once your butt is in, even a little bit, you're good.
- If your suit has straps you can get them out of your way by pulling the straps up and over your butt and hips and have them sit on your waist as you work your butt into the suit.
- Once your butt is in you can pinch pull the suit up and too your waist. You will need to work in a spiral pattern around your body; meaning that you will need to pinch up the front, then the right side, then the left side, and then the butt. Following this pattern will make sure that the suit gets pulled up evenly.
- If the suit gets stuck on your hips you will need to cross your feet and squeeze your legs. This will compress your body just enough for you to be able to slip the suit over your hip bones.
- Once the suit is to your waist you will need to hike the crotch up as high as you can get it to give you a full range of motion in your legs.
- If your suit has a draw string: You can now secure the suit by tying the draw string. After that you can pull the hem of the legs down and into place, securing the legs by flipping the hem down and into place.
- If your suit has straps: DO NOT pull the legs down yet. You need to secure the suit via the straps first.
- Not pulling on the straps - pull the suit up your torso. You can do this by gripping the suit as a unit again, much like you did at the start, and wiggling it up your torso. You will want to get your chest fully into the suit and the strap that goes across your back up as high as you can before you pull the straps on your shoulders.
- Pull the straps onto your shoulders one strap at a time. You will want to pull the strap away from your body using the opposite hand, slide the arm that is going into the strap hand first into the strap hole and down the side of your body, carefully dip your shoulder and pull the strap up your arm and into place. Repeat on the other arm.
- Situate the top of your suit. Here is where you will make any adjustments to the suit in order for your chest and the straps to be comfortably situated in the suit.
- Once the suit is in place, pull the legs down and uncuff the hem.
If you have any questions on how to take care of your tech suits you can find the answers in our FAQ section.
1.2 How Do I Take Care Of My Tech Suit?
The following are step by step instructions for taking care of your technical suits. We want you to get the most bang for your buck so we recommend that you follow them to the letter.
All of these steps were developed by our managers, Melanie and Kenzie, using tricks that they picked up both from when Kenzie was racing in them and from other customers over the years. Both Melanie and Kenzie have been working with technical suits since 2008; they have years of experience behind them.
If you have any questions at all regarding technical suits feel free to contact us.
- Take your time putting the suit on.
- For proper technique please refer to our guide that you can find on our FAQ Page.
- We recommend that you warm up in the suit for two reasons:
- It protects the suit because you won't be rushing with damp skin to get it on before your race. When you are rushing you are more likely to pull to hard on a weak point of the suit and rip it. Not to mention that the suit will stick to damp skin making it about 10 times harder to pull on.
- Compression, the main reason why these suits are fast. The reason being that it basically smooshes, compresses, your muscle tissues closer together. When that happens it traps oxygen in those tissues. This both reduces lactic acid creation as well as increases potential performance. Meaning that more oxygen equals less burning and quicker reactions. Every time you warm up and cool down you are increasing the oxygen flow in your blood and circulating it through your muscles. By already having that compression in place you start trapping that oxygen sooner.
- Keep the suit protected during the meet.
- Wear drag shorts, drag tights, or a practice suit over your tech suit while you warm up and cool down.
- Wear shorts, sweats, t-shirts, parkas, basically anything to cover the suit while you wait between races. We don't want it to snag on anything.
- DO NOT take the suit off and put it back on in between races. The more you take it on and off the more it stretches out.
- DO NOT pull the straps off your shoulders and wear them around your torso/waist between races. This stretches out the straps and neck of the suit faster and makes it easier for water to get down and inside your suit.
- Tip: The straps only start to hurt because they are dry and pulling on your chlorine super dry skin. When they start hurting that means you have been sitting out of the water for to long (this can take an hour or two to happen) get back in and re-warm up at least 200 yards. This will get your suit and skin wet again and cause the straps to stop tugging on your puckering skin. It will also benefit your performance by bringing more oxygen to your muscles.
- Race in the suit wet
- When the suit drys on your skin micro air bubbles form. These become apparent when you jump back into the water. They can stretch the suit and also allow a pocket for water to get in between you and the suit creating drag.
- Get the suit we and run your hands all over the suit. This will stick the suit to your skin and remove all of those air bubbles.
- After you are done competing for the day
- Rinse the suit in the shower with fresh water. Try to keep shampoo and soaps off the suit as best you can. You want to rinse the suit on your body so that you don't create stretch pockets from the force of the sink faucet. You need to have the suit exposed to fresh water for at least 10-15 minutes to get all the chlorine out.
- Peel the suit off your body slowly. It will come off much faster and easier when it goes on, but we still want to try to not stretch it out.
- DO NOT ring the suit out or try to get water off of it in any way (dryers and spinners are an instant death to a tech suit). It will stretch the suit and damage the material.
- Lay the suit flat on a towel and roll the suit up inside the towel. DO NO bunch the suit up.
- KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SUIT AT ALL TIMES. They are very easily stolen in locker-rooms.
- Once you get home
- Take the suit out of the towel you rolled it up in.
- Lay a fresh and dry towel on a flat surface (floor or table).
- Lay the suit flat on the dry towel and let it air dry completely.
- Fold the suit up and store it in a ventilated bag or box for safe keeping until your next meet.
1.3 How Do I Know If A Tech Suit Is 12u Compliant?
Tech suit restrictions of 12 and under swimmers takes full effect everywhere in the USA September 1, 2020.
The rule states that no technical suit may be worn by any 12 and under USA Swimming athlete in a competition.
The main question here is, "What is the definition of a tech suit in this rule?"
- A Technical Suit is any suit with any bonded or taped seams regardless of its fabric or silhouette or any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips
What this basically means is:
- If a 12 and under swimmer wants to wear a suit with legs (female short john or male jammer) that suit must have stitched seams and be a knit fabric.
- If a 12 and under swimmer wants to wear a woven fabric suit then that suit must be in a female regular cut or a male brief. Woven suits in those styles may have bonded seams.
If you want to play it super safe then your 12 and under swimmer can't wear any suits with legs.
If you want your 12 and under swimmer to be in a suit with legs then that suit must have stitched seams and be a knit fabric.
The two most common knit fabrics are polyester and lycra and suits made out of those materials have stitched seams.
Buying a suit with a stitched seam is your best rule of thumb when shopping for a racing suit for your 12 and under swimmer. This is because the vast majority of woven suits don't have stitched seams.
We make shopping for 12 and under compliant suits super easy. All of our tech suits that are compliant with this rule say so in the description of the suit in question.
2 General Questions About Suits
2.1 How Do I Take Care Of My Suits?
The following are care instructions for taking care of your standard polyester and lycra suits, both workout and fashion styles.
Please note that these are not the care instructions for technical suits. Those suits must be taken care of differently. You can find those instructions on our FAQ page.
The biggest part of making sure that you are taking care of any type of suit is having the proper fit. The water will find any place on your body to get in under the suit and fill it up thus stretching out your suit and shortening its life. To prevent this you can use our Basic Sizing Guides. If you ever have any questions on sizing or taking care of your suits feel free to contact us.
- Keep the suit protected during your swim
- Wear drag shorts, drag tights, or suits over your main suit. This will not only protect your suit from snagging, but will aide in your training.
- Be mindful of how you get in and out of the water as well as how you interact with the bottom and edges of the pools and even any training, exorcise, and flotation equipment. Brushing up against any porous surfaces (i.e. plaster, rock, tile, cording, etc.) will cause snagging, rubbing, and friction that will harm your suit. Thin suits will even rip under the right circumstances.
- After you are done swimming
- Rinse the suit off in the shower with fresh water.
- DO NOT ring the suit out or try to get the water off it in any way (i.e. dryers, spinners, etc.). It will stretch the suit and damage the material.
- Lay the suit flat on a towel and roll the suit up inside the towel. Avoid bunching the suit up as much as possible.
- DO NOT use the suit dryers. They stretch the suit out and bake the chlorine into the suit making the damaging affects of the chlorine happen faster.
- Once you get home
- Take the suit out of the towel you rolled it up in.
- Drape your suit over the towel that you rolled it up in over a banister, chair, open door, or shower.
- Keeping the suit on the towel will dry the suit faster as well as keep your suit and towel with each other so you won't forget either one when you head back to the pool.
- Avoid hanging the suit by the straps or crotch to drip dry because the weight of the water in the suit will stretch it out in odd ways.
- Washing your suits
- Your suits don't need to be washed like normal clothing.
- We recommend only watching your suits 3-4 times a year. Basically when the straps get sticky and gross from sunscreen or when any type of staining happens to the suit. You may also want to wash them if they start to smell mildewy because they weren't dried properly.
- We recommend that you avoid using the watching machine because the nature of them can cause the suit to be stretched as they are washed. If you can't hand wash them in a sink then we recommend that you use a garment bag when you use a machine.
- If you do wash your suits NEVER use the dryer, for the same reasons as listed above. Dry them the same way that you would when you wear them.
- If you do feel like your suits are getting gross with the chlorine there are products out there that will take the chlorine out of the suits. We don't recommend using them all of the time. We do recommend that you us a Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, and Soduim Benzoate biased product that neutralize the chlorine and doesn't strip chlorine out of the material in a harsh way.
- Tip: The Vitamin C in citrus juices neutralizes chlorine so you can soak your suits in some orange juice for 10 minutes before you wash them.
Be aware that the biggest impacting factor in how quickly your suit will be destroyed is the chlorine levels of the pool you are swimming in. Regardless of how well you take care of you suits, the higher the level of chlorine the faster your suits will be destroyed. We recommend that you check the pools in your area and only go to the one with the lowest average levels. As a basic rule of thumb, pools with UV Filters can legally have less chlorine in them then pools without the UV Filters.
Note: The best trial and error way to make your suits last is to rotate them. We recommend that you always have at least two suits in your wardrobe that you like to wear. The more time that you can put between uses in the water the longer your suit will last. For example, one of our managers, Kenzie, back when she was spending 3-5 hours a day in the pool, 6 days a week training, would rotate between 5 to 8 different polyester suits. Some of those suits lasted her up to 5 years.
2.2 What's The Best Way To Put On My Suit?
The following are tips and tricks for comfortably wearing a suit. Most of these have been developed around training and racing suits, but can be applied to any type of suit.
All of these steps were developed by our managers, Melanie and Kenzie, using tricks that they picked up both from when Kenzie was competing and from other customers over the years.
If you have any questions at all regarding the fit of the suits feel free to contact us. You can also check out our sizing guides.
- Make sure the suit is the proper size for you. When it's on your body you want it tight, but comfortable. We recommend that it be fitted with little to no wrinkles anywhere on your body.
- You want it tight because water is a tricky thing. It will find ways to pull and tug on your suits. To prevent that from happening to the point of you becoming exposed you need to be in a fitted suit.
- To insure that you have a full range of motion in your legs you need to make sure that you get the crotch of the suit up as high as possible before you pull on any straps or tie any draw strings.
- To insure that you have a full range of motion in your arms we recommend that you:
- Experiment with different strap types and styles
- If the suit has a securing strap that runs around the width of your back make sure that strap is positioned high and right under your shoulder blades.
- If the suit has any form of crossing or racer style back make sure that the straps that go over your shoulders are not coming in contact with any part of your shoulder blade.
- If the suit feels like it is compressing your back do the following steps to position the straps to relieve that pressure. You will need someone to help you with this.
- Pull the base of the straps (where they meet and/or cross) upwards.
- Pinching the straps between your forefinger and thumb, slide your fingers along the straps as you pull upwards.
- When you reach the top of the shoulder, push the straps forward and down to where the meet with the front of the suit.
Note: There is a totally different technique for putting on and wearing a technical suit. You can find those tips and instruction here in our FAQ section.
2.3 What Swim Suit Material Last Longer?
Polyester is the most chlorine resistant fabric and therefore lasts longer in the pool then other materials.
It tends to be thicker and a little bit heavier and therefore can cause more drag, but if you are looking for a long lasting practice suit that's what you want.
Most of our customers can get a full season to a year out of their polyester suits. That's with daily wear in the pool (4-6 times a week) and somewhat taking good care of the suit. Our customers that take excellent care of their suits can get much more use out of them with the known record being close to 4 years.
When shopping for a polyester suit you want to look for one that is an 80% blend or higher. Also note that most of the 100% polyester suits are labeled as a 50% polyester and 50% PBT blend. PBT is a special type of polyester yarn that has stretch to it. Without the PBT suits wouldn't be elastic enough to pull on easily.
2.4 What Is The Difference Between Lycra and Polyester?
Generally polyester is thicker, heavier, and lest stretchy then lycra, but polyester lasts longer in the chlorine.
Lycra is thinner, lighter weight, stretchier, and softer then polyester, but doesn't last as long in the chlorine.
Most swimmers will get about a year of daily wear out of a polyester suit and 2-4 months of daily wear out of a lycra suit.
The big upside to lycra is that it is more comfortable to wear and swims a lot faster then polyester.