ORCA RS1 OPENWATER

£290 Will 2018 see the rise of the two-piece wet­suit? We sure hope so

220 Triathlon Magazine - - KIT ZONE -

We placed a glow­ing re­view on the two-piece Orca RS1 Openwater back in June but, after a sum­mer of use in­clud­ing the 3.8km Tenby Long Course Week­end swim, it’s gone up in our es­ti­ma­tions. We’re strug­gling to go back to one-piece wet­suits.

Short of buy­ing a cus­tom-sized wet­suit from Corn­wall’s Snugg, a two-piece like the RS1 gives you the high­est pos­si­ble chance of find­ing the per­fect fit. You can select from nine dif­fer­ent-sized bot­toms (£145) or tops (£145), and you can ad­just the length via the Vel­cro tabs that link the top and bot­toms to­gether.

The lack of zip­per also means no chance of rub­bing from the sealed neck, and no chilly wa­ter ingress along the spine. The shoul­der flex­i­bil­ity is height­ened to lev­els be­yond top-end one-pieces and the Ya­mamoto 40cell neo­prene gives huge sup­ple­ness. Mi­nus the zip, it also rolls up into a tiny shape.

Orca po­si­tion the RS1 in the ‘Open Wa­ter’ and not ‘Triathlon’ wet­suits sec­tion on their web­site, sug­gest­ing this may not have tri-spe­cific race qual­i­ties, but we’ve had few trou­bles get­ting it off swiftly, and have felt less up­per-body fa­tigue after long swim sets. We just hope that Orca and other tri brands join the ex­ist­ing two-piece pi­o­neers De Soto and start to ex­per­i­ment with buoy­ancy lev­els (we’d like more in the legs of the RS1) and core sup­port within the two-piece for­mat. Be­lieve us, it’s a win­ner. MB orca.com

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