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  • Jun

    Neoprene Swim Shorts: A Triathlete’s Best Friend

    By Evan Rudd, Triathlon Team

    The sport of triathlon attracts people with diverse athletic backgrounds and can serve as an exhilarating challenge, regardless of prior competitive experience in swimming, biking or running.

    The swim is typically the most daunting leg for beginner triathletes, but the extra buoyancy offered from a wetsuit can help ease that feeling of anxiety associated with swimming in open water.

    While most triathletes race in wetsuits, few spend much time training with one on in open water. Here’s the problem: your body is in an entirely different position in the water while swimming in a wetsuit compared to what you typically wear while training in a swimsuit in a pool. The buoyancy of a wetsuit elevates your entire body, allowing you to swim faster with less energy.

    The logical fix to this problem is to simply swim in your wetsuit more often. But it can be difficult to find bodies of water to swim in and wearing a wetsuit in the pool isn’t an option because of the warm temperature of the water.

    Enter the neoprene swim short.

    Designed to elevate your lower body to simulate the body positioning of swimming in a wetsuit, neoprene swim shorts are an amazing training tool that can replace a pull buoy. You won’t overheat the way you would in a full wetsuit, but can still reap the benefits of the extra buoyancy. They are especially useful for triathletes that struggle with body position and have an over-aggressive kick in an effort to keep their lower body afloat.

    There are currently several brands making neoprene swim shorts, each with a few unique features. The Bluseventy Core Swim Short has bright orange graphics on the hips to make it easier for a coach to watch the rotation of your hips from the deck. The Core is 5mm thick through the majority of the short with 3mm panels on the thighs to promote a natural rotation.

    Zone 3 was one of the first brands to make a neoprene swim short, offering varying thicknesses of neoprene to help stabilize your core. Xterra’s Lava Pants extend past the knee to offer the most buoyancy while the DeSoto T1 Inviscid Wetshort is made of 2mm thick environmentally friendly GreenGoma neoprene. The Roka SIM Pro shorts have a centerline buoyancy panel that mimics the design of the brand’s wetsuits.

    Neoprene swim shorts an awesome training tool that can help elevate your swimming technique, making you stronger and more comfortable in the water come race day.

    Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: xx@yy.zz
    Don Mann
    3 years ago.
    I have the Xterra Lava swim pant. Generally like the pant for training except for the bunching of material behind the knee. I would suggest an above the knee neoprene short instead.
    3 years ago.
    Can I always wear my core shorts when training?
    5 years ago.
    Is there neoprene shorts for women?
    5 years ago.
    Hi DJ,

    ROKA makes women specific neoprene swim shorts:

    I hope this helps!
    5 years ago.
    Can these be worn in USAT wetsuit legal races?
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