ORCA RS1 OPENWATER
£290 Will 2018 see the rise of the two-piece wetsuit? We sure hope so
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