I have never done a product review before because I was not sure who would care about what I had to say about a certain product. That’s a funny statement because I LOVE reading product reviews from “normal” people before buying something. But what changed my mind was this wetsuit. It changed my mind because it made swimming in a wetsuit feel good.
So a little background on my swimming. I am not a swimmer in the least, I picked up swimming in 2010 when I signed up for the Chicago Sprint Triathlon. That is also when I rented the wetsuit I had been using for the last few years in races. It was an entry-level suit and was very tight on my shoulders. I just figured that’s how a wetsuit was supposed to be, it was just the price to pay for the buoyancy of the suit. And having said that I was happy when races were not wetsuit swims. And given my swimming background you might think I am crazy, no one besides really good swimmers want non wetsuit swims but I hated my wetsuit so much I would prefer to lose speed and go without it than wear it.
But after one particular swim in the lake a few months ago I realized that I needed to figure out if it was my wetsuit or all wetsuits that were not comfortable. It was coming down to crunch time for Ironman Wisconsin and I knew I did not want to wear that wetsuit for an hour plus because I am not sure if my arms could have made it. Luckily being a part of the Snapple Triathlon Team I got an amazing discount on the Xterra Vector Pro Wetsuit. My first swim was amazing. The neoprene felt very flexible and the arms and shoulders fit great. The suit felt very fast in the water too and allowed me to swim the way I wanted to swim without putting too much pressure on my shoulders. That was key because burning too many “matches” during the swim of an Ironman just leads to a long, long day.
Yesterday I went for my last longish open water swim, 1.5 miles. I swam my usual route in Lake Michigan. I have my Garmin beep every .25 miles so I know how far I have gone. After the first beep I looked down, “nice, faster than usual”. Then came the second beep, “still on that same pace”. Then third and forth beeps. So my pace was faster than it has ever been and I cannot say it was the wind causing a current in the lake since I was going north and south equally. I finish and look at my watch and for the 1.5 miles I swam it in 38 minutes and change. That pace is 1:28 minutes/100 yards which would put me at around a 1:02 for the Ironman swim. That was a great confidence booster with under 9 days until Ironman Wisconsin.
So moral of the story is, find a good wetsuit! I am lucky enough to have great sponsors with Snapple so I was able to get this great suit. The one thing I will say is that Xterra has an AMAZING return/exchange policy so if you try a suit and it’s not right for you, you can return it and get your money back. So thank you Xterra for making me enjoy swimming in a wetsuit!