This year I splurged. I decided to get my oldest child an elite suit for an important, upcoming meet. I heard the sizing was different from their standard suits, so I whipped out the tape measure to be sure the suit would fit.
I had to order the suit online because we don’t live anywhere near a swim store. There would be no trying it on beforehand and that made me anxious since they are pricey. To ease my nerves, I called the Speedo help line to make sure I was getting exactly what I needed and there would be no unpleasant surprises. I also wanted to know how they handled returns, so I would not be stuck with a large bill and suits that did’t fit.
I took the representative’s advice and ordered two suits. They arrived quickly but both were too small…can’t get past the knees kind of small…and they had to be returned. Disappointment for my swimmer. Frustration for me.
So, I ordered a few more suits, in a few more sizes, and this order-exchange cycle continued for over a week! By now I have charged thousands of dollars on my credit card (anything we don’t keep should be credited back to me when the merchandise is returned), but we finally have a suit that fits.
The take-away is that Speedo technical suits are sized much differently than their practice suits. For example, my son would normally wear a size 28 because his waist is 28 inches, yet in a Speedo LZR Elite 2 technical suit his waist measurement put him in a size 22. I know, it doesn’t make sense, right?
Just know that you really need to pay attention to the sizing guides, and even then, the recommended size may not be the best fit for your swimmer. Be prepared to order/try multiple suits, so start this process earlier in the season versus later. I found the whole thing stressful.
Also, there are many different kinds of technical suits available from other manufacturers including Arena, Nike, Dolfin, TYR, Yingfa, Blueseventy and more. It will help to familiarize yourself with the different levels of technical suits, compare different styles offered by the same manufacturer, review the suits’ benefits, and research customer feedback/ratings before deciding what to purchase.
Personally, I found http://www.toadhollowathletics.com/TechSuitsDummiesDec2015.pdf to be a great starting point for learning about technical suits. Maybe it can help you, too.
I’m still on the fence whether a technical suit is money well spent. When you have a minute, let me know what you think. Does a high-end suit really make a difference?