Do wetsuits really make one swim faster or do they exist because of Americans simply not liking speedos?
American media and fashion have been after the speedo for years. Did speedo manufactures get their sales so bad they had to come up with a wetsuit?
A wetsuit is mainly worn by scuba divers and snorkelors in very cold waters and is designed to keep you warm and stay more buoyant. A wetsuit is made up of a thick layer of neoprene, a synthetic rubber material that imatates and acts as "blubber."
I think the suit you are aiming at, the full-body technical suit that speedo creates (Fastskin 2), does not keep you warm any more than your skin because it is made of an extremely thin layer of Nylon, Lycra, Titanium Silicone, and Spandex, with a very small percentage of other materials and special stitching, tries to imitate a sharks' skin and is more aerodynamic and eliminates more water drag (4%) than the next leading technical suit. But dont think that most people will buy this suit because it makes them go faster, one bodysuit can rack up a check to $400
Swimmers do wear this suit to to go faster in water (theoretically) and it was not designed to back up the marketing and income from speedos. The name: Speedo, is extremely decieving because Speedo produces a vast market of athletic equiptment and speedos are only a small percentageof the inventory. But let me tell you that in the swimming world, speedos are in very high demand and while most non-competitive swimmers dont wear speedos, many other competitive swimmers do.
I hope I have helped you and resolved your confusion between the full-body technical suit and the thick wetsuit.
You have apparently never been in cold water..
They can keep you warm in colder water.
The increase you ability to go fast, by at least two methods. The material of the suit is less adhesive to water than human skin, and the suit covers body hair, which is very adhesive to water and will slow you down. That is why you used to hear about swimmers shaving their body hair to decrease their lap times.
Full body swim suit: Actually increases speed by decreasing surface AREA and surface friction. You will see them more and more in the olympics and in national level swim meets. All things being equal, they will make you faster. They are expensive and tight.
Wet suit: a neoprene suit to protect you from cold water. I wear one in most triathlons. Why do you swim faster with these? Because the floatation effect lifts your legs higher and keeps your hips high...your body position is forced into being almost "perfect". The criticism is that a wet suit makes a bad or half way decent swimmer ALOT better...while only helping an excellent swimmer (who already has almost perfect technique) only slightly better. They do keep you warmer, although if you wear one in water above 78 degrees, the USAT deems you ineligible for prizes or awards in that race.
And, in answer to your second question...yes, American do not like wearing speedos. Look at the majority of Americans' bodies!! No wonder!
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