Tech suits are specialized, technologically-advanced swimsuits used by very experienced swimmers at high levels of competition. They are exciting to use, but because of their lightweight fabric and tight fit (not to mention big price tag!), you should exercise care when you put on your tech suit. This guide will walk you through how to put on and take off a tech suit without damaging it.
Putting On Your Tech Suit
The key to putting on a tech suit is being gentle with the fabric and making sure that the sections are correctly positioned over your body. Be careful to avoid wrinkling or twisting fabric at all times.
- Always use the broadest possible part of your hand to put on the suit. Pulling with your fingernails or fingertips can lead to tears in the fabric. You can put plastic bags or gloves over your hands to further protect the suit fabric.
- Make sure that both you and the suit are dry. This will make it easier for the fabric to slide over your skin when both are dry.
- Most tech suits (usually neck-to-knees) have rubbery grip strips along the straps and/or legs of the suit. If your suit has legs with a grip strip, turn them inside out. Put a plastic bag over your foot to make it easier to slide through the tech suit legs and protect it from your toenails.
- Pull the suit over your legs, and up as high as it will go before stopping. Pull the suit into position using your open fingers, and remember that any seams should go straight up the sides of your legs and/or torso. It may be a good idea to have somewhere to sit down as you do this, so you can work the suit over your feet and calves without worrying about falling over.
- Using the sides of the suit, pull it over your buttocks. If there are thicker sections of fabric, hold onto those as you pull.
- Put one arm through the straps of your suit, and then the other. The straps should not restrict your shoulder motion.
- The suit should fit well in the crotch, and lie snugly against your body. Make any small adjustments that are necessary and ensure that you have full range of motion in your legs and your arms.
- Double check that all seams, compression panels, or other suit features are lined up with the appropriate part of your body for the best possible hydrodynamics.
- Flip the bottom of the suit's legs down (if applicable) so that the grip strips lie against your skin.
Taking off Your Tech Suit
It is a good idea to take off your tech suit between swims to preserve the elasticity and shape of the fabric, to reduce wear and tear… and also because they're not very comfortable for long periods of use! Taking a tech suit off is much easier than putting it on.
Starting at the top of the suit, peel it off your body, allowing it to turn inside out as you go. You may need to pull a little harder over wider parts of your body, such as your hips or calves. Use your fingertips and not your fingernails if you need to pull harder than normal. It may be a good idea to have somewhere to sit down as you do this, so you can easily pull your legs through the suit instead of bending over and stretching the tech suit out, or catching the suit on a toenail.
Once the suit is off, turn it right-side out again. Rinse it off in cool, non-chlorinated water and lay it flat on a towel or let it hang dry, out of the sun. Leaving the suits in the sun can lead to a faster breakdown of the suit's fabric. Consider buying a small case or bag in which to carry your tech suit, to protect from any sharp objects that might be in your swim bag.
Tech Suits Need More Care Than Practice Suits
Tech suits aren't designed for durability and long periods of use like practice suits are, so it's a good idea to exercise a little extra care when putting them on and taking them off. One small rip or stretched-out section can significantly compromise their speed in the water, and thus, effectiveness.