EN­TRY-LEVEL WET­SUIT

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM -

So you’ve de­cided you are go­ing to be­come a triath­lete. Now you’ve got to fig­ure out how to pick up all the equip­ment you’ll need to take on this new en­deav­our. This can be a daunt­ing task, but, es­pe­cially when it comes to pick­ing out a wet­suit, it doesn’t have to be an or­deal.

Un­less you are con­fi­dent you will be at or near the front of the pack from day one, you prob­a­bly don’t need to look at a high-end wet­suit. There’s no doubt that a pre­mium suit can of­fer some per­for­mance gains, but un­less you’re gun­ning af­ter a spot on the na­tional team or hop­ing to qual­ify for Kona or the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship, you will likely do just fine in what we call an “en­try-level” suit. One such op­tion comes from Huub. The Aegis II costs less than $400, but has many fea­tures that you’d typ­i­cally find on much more ex­pen­sive suits. It also has some in­ter­est­ing fea­tures that make it par­tic­u­larly suited for be­gin­ners.

3:5 RA­TIO

Huub of­fers its suits in dif­fer­ent buoy­ancy con­fig­u­ra­tions, which can make a dif­fer­ence based on your level of swim ex­per­tise. In the case of the Aegis II, Huub has gone with a 3:5 ra­tio be­tween the up­per and lower parts of the suit, which you re­ally no­tice once you get in the wa­ter. This means that the up­per part of the suit uses 3 mm-thick rub­ber, while the lower part of the suit uses 5-mm-thick rub­ber. Be­gin­ner swim­mers of­ten have dif­fi­culty get­ting their bod­ies in the op­ti­mal po­si­tion when they’re swim­ming – of­ten they find their legs sink be­hind them. Pro­vid­ing more buoy­ancy at the bot­tom of the suit helps you at­tain a bet­ter po­si­tion in the wa­ter. Go­ing with thin­ner rub­ber on the up­per body helps your shoul­ders roll and your arms pull through each stroke more eas­ily.

QUAL­ITY MA­TE­RI­ALS

As you pay more for a wet­suit, you’ll typ­i­cally get higher qual­ity ma­te­ri­als – both the liner on the in­side of the suit and the rub­ber on the out­side will be more flex­i­ble and slip through the wa­ter more ef­fi­ciently. While the Aegis II doesn’t fea­ture Huub’s high­est-end ma­te­ri­als, it does uti­lize Ja­panese smooth­skin rub­ber and ex­tra stretch pan­els. This means that you’ll get lots or range of move­ment in the suit – while the Aegis II doesn’t pro­vide nearly as much of a “no-suit” feel as Huub’s most ex­pen­sive suits, it does al­low you to swim quite com­fort­ably.

Huub has also in­cluded a lot of de­sign fea­tures in the Aegis II that help it per­form like a more ex­pen­sive suit. The multi-panel shoul­ders con­form to your body so you can stretch out as you reach and pull through the wa­ter. There’s a large Vel­cro con­tact area so it’s easy to ad­just the neck and get a com­fort­able fit. The break­away zip­per, is very tricky to do up, but al­lows you to get out of the suit quickly in tran­si­tion.

SWIM­MING EASE

Wear­ing a wet­suit can be a bit scary the first time you pull it on. Be­lieve it or not, you’ll want it to feel very snug when you pull it on in the store to try it on. No, you’re not go­ing to suf­fo­cate, I prom­ise. Huub’s Aegis II is one of the most for­giv­ing in­tro suits you will find, too. It is sur­pris­ingly flex­i­ble and com­fort­able to wear (the col­lar is es­pe­cially comfy), and this suit al­lows lots of range of move­ment so you’ll feel like you can main­tain your nor­mal stroke once you hit the open wa­ter.—km

Huub Aegis II $375

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