So let’s chat wetsuits for a few minutes here.
There’s a really good chance you’ll be racing in one at some point. My first triathlon I swam sans wetsuit. We had a hot summer and the water was warm, less than a single degree away from making the race wetsuit illegal. Cue a cold winter to follow and colder open water temperatures the following season. I felt like I might need a wetsuit, but it was sort of a last minute thought. I was unsure of where to find a tri specific suit and knew it would cost me money I didn’t have on the fly. So I ran out to Bass Pro and bought myself this beauty.
Kept me warm-ish but man did my swim speed slow. Lots of drag, not my friend.
So for this season getting an awesome wetsuit was high on my priority list. And after the brutal, never ending, record setting cold and snow filled winter we endured, it became imperative. Our local lakes are still colder than usual and with a June race on the schedule I had to get into open water regardless of the temperatures.
So with a little help from my friends at all3sports.com, a shiny new wetsuit showed up on my doorstep a few months ago. And I say a few months ago because when it showed up my local lake temperatures were still in the low 50’s. Heck to the no I won’t be getting in when it’s that cold.
Enter the Blue Seventy Helix!
I was so excited to see such an awesome suit. It has some serious specs on it that made me really giddy.
Also, it’s quality that anyone can appreciate. All the seams were well taped to avoid discomfort. The TST panels offer increased range of motion that many full sleeved suits lack. And it’s the only wetsuit currently available that uses 1mm thick neoprene on the arms as well as water permeable panels along the forearms in the catch panel to increase water feel and breath-ability. If you’re concerned about being comfortable in what is basically thick neoprene sausage casing, this is about as amazing as it gets!
Plus they offer women’s specific fits, which many brands do not. And they have in between sizes, which is great for short little chubbos like myself. When looking at the sizing chart I fell into two different sizes, one based on my height, and one based on my weight. I went with the in between size and it fit’s like a glove!
The one thing about this suit that kind of got me at first was the reverse zipper. The zipper connects at the top by the base of your neck and then zips down instead of up like a traditional wetsuit zipper. This means it’s just about impossible to zipper yourself in. But it does mean no more awkward elbow bending to reach behind yourself, easier to get the zipper undone when coming out of the water, and reduced chaffing. A lot of wetsuits chaff the back of the neck and by having the zipper sit around your tailbone instead of your neck, this is no longer an issue. So even though I was a bit perturbed about not being able to zip myself in, the pros of this design feature far outweigh that.
So, how does it hold up in the water?
Awesome! That’s the answer, awesome!
I took it out for a few easy practice swims then I put it through it’s paces at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse to see how it faired in competition. And needless to say I am completely smitten.
I’m not the strongest swimmer and the suit helped me to keep my body position and correct form in the water, even during a practice swim where we were swimming against white caps. As for race day, the in water start meant I couldn’t touch while waiting for the horn to sound and I really didn’t even tread. This suit kept me almost completely afloat with barely any effort on my part. Which is great because the last thing I want is to tire myself out treading for three minutes waiting for a swim start.
I had no problem with feeling any strain in my shoulders during the 1.2 mile swim and felt buoyant the whole time with zero chest constriction. And to be honest, with a quick spray of Tri Slide to my calves, this thing pulls right off with almost no effort. I’m really not concerned about losing time in T1 trying to fight it off at this point.
So if you’re in the market for a wetsuit, I strongly suggest the Helix. Or any Blue Seventy suit because there’s a reason you see soooo many of them at triathlons. They are a great company with a solid reputation because they offer quality products at affordable prices. The Helix is a step above entry level wetsuits, but still affordable considering big time pro triathletes like Ironman World Champions Leanda Cave and Pete Jacobs, just to name a few, race in this exact suit.
Overall, I give this wetsuit two big thumbs up. The quality and craftsmanship of this suit can’t be beat. It’s a comfortable, fast, well made, race worthy wetsuit.
And don’t forget, if you’re in the market for a new wetsuit, or any swim, bike, or run gear, All3Sports has got you covered. And I’ve got your back with a coupon for 15% off your order at all3sports.com. Use code TRIGIRL15 at check out and make sure you have a great season at a great price!
Do you have a wetsuit? Tell me what you have and why you love it!