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Wetsuits - how long does yours last?
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Wetsuits, how long do yours last?
1-3 years
11%
 11%  [ 3 ]
3-6 years
44%
 44%  [ 12 ]
6+ years
44%
 44%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 27

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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 16101
Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:33 am    Post subject: Wetsuits - how long does yours last? Reply with quote

Okay, so I'm constantly banging-on about about how good I think mine is and lamenting on some of the misinformation out there on the Internet about using & caring for them. When I browse Ebay for example, I see a lot of modern top-end suits in bad repair given their age; is this poor quality or poor care? I'd be interested to know what suits you've had over the years, how you care for them, and how long they've lasted until you bin them or sell them on.

There's no hidden agenda here, it's just a pet-topic of mine.
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FatPom




Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my previous IM brand sleeveless one for 11years. Used Vaso on every race, not even close to wearing out. Just bought a FOOr sleeved, so we'll see.

Last edited by FatPom on Thu May 11, 2017 9:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1242

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my 2XU R2 since I started in the sport in 2013. Decided I needed something new half way through last year, so that was about 4 seasons of use. It was less that it's worn out, and I'm contemplating hacking it up as a swimrun suit, but I just had progressed to the point I wanted something better.

It has a number of nicks, but I've repaired them as they've arisen and it's been fine. It does seem to have got slightly stiffer with age though.

I've now got two HUUB suits. I got an old Archimedes I initially, off sport pursuit, but that came with a load of issues. Managed to get them to agree I could race Weymouth 70.3 with it before sending it back, and eventually they just refunded. Meant I was able to get the Archimedes II off Wiggle in the Black Friday sales for basically the same price. I love the suit, and the neoprene is like a soft compression top in terms of comfort, but I do think it will be more fragile.

For that reason I also got a HUUB Aegis II. I got that at half price too, so £125. That's now my "training" suit. It's a bit thicker that the other one and feels more sturdy, but is still so much more comfortable and "free" than the 2XU.

Instinct tells me there must be a compromise between fragility and comfort. For a race suit, I'm prepared to accept some fragility if it feels super comfortable, as I'll only wear it a few times a year. It remains to be seen how long I do actually get out of these two HUUBs.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FatPom wrote:
Had my previous sleeveless one for 11years. Used Vaso on every race, not even close to wearing out. Just bought a FOOr sleeved, so we'll see.


I find the point of greatest stress are the under-arm lat panels/joins; so I would expect a sleeveless to be free of these issues and hence have a very long life.
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FatPom




Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
FatPom wrote:
Had my previous sleeveless one for 11years. Used Vaso on every race, not even close to wearing out. Just bought a FOOr sleeved, so we'll see.


I find the point of greatest stress are the under-arm lat panels/joins; so I would expect a sleeveless to be free of these issues and hence have a very long life.


Yeah, I just made an edit to say it was an old IM brand one (which I think went on to become Blue Seventy?) Both my shoulders are pretty stuffed, so this will be interesting! A trip to Mychett could be in order Smile
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The added benefit of sleeveless, is you'll look like one of the überswimmer Sansome brothers Cool

I did my first OW swim on Tuesday and it was a surprisingly pleasant 15 deg. In fact my swim caps started to come off (as always) and I stashed them down my wetsuit, and my balding head was fine for the final 900m or so. My swim cap has come off in my last 3 Iron distance races; in Austria & Frankfurt it didn't make it past the first turn at ~1500m iirc Rolling Eyes Even with goggle strap over the caps they won't stay put (always race goggles under cap).
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Orca I bought 5-6 years ago is still going strong. the first season I treated it very well, cleaned and dried after every use. The following seasons its not seen the love, just left in a heap.

But as said its perfectly serviceable, however it looks its age.

My Huub Ageis was treated with kid gloves. And Subsequently Fell apart after 2 IM races! Think I had used it about 15 times. But these were spread over a year off so out of warranty. I was pretty unhappy!

I managed to patch it up and get another IM out of it and may still use it in wales if it survives Open water season, but I will only use it periodically and most heavy sessions will be in the trusty Orca.

My assessment is modern High End suits are fragile, yes they are super fast but this speed comes at a cost.


PS My head also has an aversion to Swim caps, which is annoying as I do like my memento hats Laughing
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FoulOleRon




Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brought my blueseventy about 7 years ago. Have found that only racing open water two or three times in that time has really helped with longevity.
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bought mine 8 years ago or whatever (from the IM Frankfurt road show) used it the once, and it's been hanging ever since, I assume it's still awesome!
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I should have stipulated that people actually have to use their wetsuits more than once a year; I was surprised when I saw Jim had posted on this thread!
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought an AquaSphere Ironman Racer second hand off Ebay about 4 years ago. I have worn it regularly every year and its still fine. I use vaseline on my neck, I piss in it. I got one small knick which I fixed with black witch. I was it once a year in Piss Off but other than that not real care taken with it.

I upgraded to a Huub Archimedes II last year because it was half price and well I'm worth it but I still use the aquasphere as well.
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Bluepoolshark




Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 1252
Location: Swimming with icebergs

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mid-range Foor Quantum 2 lasted me around 8 years before a massive split round the waist area consigned it to the bin last year.

My replacement mid-range Zoggs FX2 is in it's second season and is still in perfect condition

I always rinse mine and hang to dry after every use, so possibly that helps

The fragility of high end suits makes me go a step lower as I'm not dropping a few hundred quid every season on a new wetsuit
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FoulOleRon




Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
Maybe I should have stipulated that people actually have to use their wetsuits more than once a year; I was surprised when I saw Jim had posted on this thread!


I gimp in mine quite regularly - does that count as usage?
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Jan




Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 881
Location: Marlborough

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the last 20 years I have 4 or 5 made to measure Snugg Slipstream wetsuits as I find it hard to get a good fit with any off the peg wetsuits. I do look after them and only change them when my body shape changes or if they have got too many nicks or tears. Snugg are also very good at making repairs at a reasonable cost. They wear well and are really easy to get off. I also get them made with zips which fasten downwards as they are easier to remove. As I swim at least twice a week in a lake I also have a cheap Orca which I wear but it is slightly too big for me so I wouldn't race in it.
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antht




Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 814
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4 years on and still in perfect condition
I try hard to look after my kit

It's stored hung up on a nice wide shouldered coat hanger
It's always cleaned after a race
I pre-soak it after long term storage
I never use petroleum jelly or anything that will degrade the neoprene
I put it on and take it off carefully (expect in races)
I occasionally rub the zip with bees wax
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