The Huub/Brown­lee col­lab is here. Will it be worth the wait?

220 Triathlon Magazine - - KIT ZONE - hu­ub­de­

Huub’s five-year as­so­ci­a­tion with the Brown­lee brothers has now re­sulted in a sig­na­ture wet­suit that the brothers have been in­volved with from con­cept to the fin­ished prod­uct. Both Alis­tair and Jonny pro­claim the Brown­lee Agilis a ‘gamechanger’ in Huub’s slickly pro­duced video to co­in­cide with the launch. And while we’re in­clined to think they would say that, York­shire­men aren’t renowned for hy­per­bole, so we were ea­ger to try it out for our­selves.

The neo­prene is no­tice­ably thin and del­i­cate in the arm and shoul­der pan­els, and when putting it on we found a lit­tle more time and care was needed to get a per­fect fit. Com­pared to Huub’s Al­ba­core suit, which we per­ceived as feel­ing quite ‘tough’ and if any­thing a lit­tle boxy around the shoul­ders, the Agilis feels very dif­fer­ent; ex­tremely sup­ple in the up­per body, per­haps aided by the loss of Huub’s sig­na­ture bi­cep re­lease pan­els that ap­pear on the Al­ba­core and the Archimedes suits.

At the Brown­lees’ re­quest, Huub’s mis­sion with the Agilis was to cre­ate a suit that feels as if you aren’t wear­ing one while still lift­ing the hips and legs as high as pos­si­ble, al­low­ing you to em­ploy the same tech­nique you would use in the pool with all the ben­e­fits of high buoy­ancy. In terms of ful­fill­ing this de­sign brief, we think it’s un­doubt­edly a suc­cess as the suit pro­vides a highly nat­u­ral swim­ming ex­pe­ri­ence. We could swim with a free­dom in the Agilis that we’ve only re­ally felt on Roka’s Mav­er­ick X in the arms and shoul­ders, and Huub say they’ve man­aged to achieve this through their patented ‘Arms Neu­tral’ tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide ro­ta­tional free­dom through the stroke cy­cle.

Huub’s +43 buoy­ancy foam is pur­ported to be 43% more buoy­ant than stan­dard neo­prene, and it’s placed past the cen­tre of buoy­ancy (i.e. the thighs and hips) for an ex­tra lift. It didn’t ap­pear to hoist our body po­si­tion as high as some very high buoy­ancy suits we’ve tested pre­vi­ously, although for us that wasn’t a bad thing and we felt the place­ment of pan­els higher up the suit made it feel very well bal­anced.

We were highly im­pressed with the Agilis after nu­mer­ous test swims. It pretty much elim­i­nates any arm fa­tigue and the rea­son­ably high lev­els of buoy­ancy will be suit­able for a wide cross-sec­tion of swim­mers. We’d be hes­i­tant to train in it week-in-week-out as it def­i­nitely feels much finer than your stan­dard wet­suit. And, although that price seems high, the Agilis is very much a no-com­pro­mise of­fer­ing that’ll pay you back in spades come race day.

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