Endurance / Mobility – Testing : Xcel Infiniti Drylock 4:3 wetsuit
Here’s another example of genuine care and service. I went into see Andrew at RPS The Board Store (Elwood, Victoria) yesterday as his business partner, Warwick, had very kindly offered to bring his own wetsuit in for me to take a look at and check for sizing. After I checked it out (great fit, but maybe just a tad tight), Andrew casually offers “Why don’t you take it home today and give it a thrash around at the beach tomorrow and see what you think.” So here they are offering me use of their own personal kit to help me assess it for the race before I commit to any orders. There’s an example of exceeding customer expectations for you. They’ve got my business…I’ll happily buy the suit through these guys.
This wetsuit is a 4mm chest : 3mm legs/arms configuration. The suit I’m actually looking at is 5mm chest : 4mm arms : 3mm legs with a 3mm integrated hood.
So this afternoon, off I trotted to Brighton Beach with Warwick’s wetsuit in hand…sharing the strip with a bunch of kite surfers.
350m length of beach…about 5min drive from home. Had no car today, so had to lug the 16kg kettlebell in a backpack on the motorbike…wearing the wetsuit with a motorbike jacket over the top 🙂 Awkward, but got the job done.
Wetsuit Test Session
Conditions: Air Temperature 15.5°C (60°F) • Water Temperature 12.5°C (54.5°F) • Wind 31-40kph W
350m (water) Chest deep water 75% pace running, 350m (soft sand) Broad jumps, 350m (water) Chest deep kettlebell carry 16kg, 350m (soft sand) Single arm overhead kettlebell walking lunges 16kg, 350m (water) free swim, 350m (soft sand) run.
Well, let me tell you from the get-go that this wetsuit is really in a class of its own. The instant I hit the water I could tell that I should bring a cut lunch, because the idea of spending all day in the cold water was quite a pleasant one. For the full duration of the session, I did not feel one drop of water flush through that suit. I was diving under waves, falling over when carrying the kettlebell, freestyle swimming (shoulder hated that), breast stroke swimming (felt like a pussy, but shoulder much better) and generally flapping about. Not one drop. It’s important to remember that today’s 12.5°C water temperature is 275% warmer than the highest water temperature recorded at the 2011 World’s Toughest Mudder Series Final….hence my preference for the thicker suit with an integrated hood. I’m slightly torn between the ‘Medium’ size suit I wore today, which was like a second skin…versus a slightly larger suit that may help accommodate other layers….I’m favouring the Large at this stage as the Medium was a touch narrow across the shoulders and I have intentions of just putting on a bit of weight pre-race if I can….I’m running pretty lean at the moment.
Given my raving on about this wetsuit, you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you it has won the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) “Wetsuit of the Year” for 2007, 2008 amd 2010. If you are in the market for a new wetsuit please do yourself an act of kindness and get one from RPS The Board Store. You’ll be annoying your mates because you just won’t want to get out of the water.
The main lessons learnt from today’s session was that I need to conduct some R&D to search out a good solution to keep my hands warm without sacrificing dexterity…even in the warmer water today while wearing gloves that had caught hundreds of crayfish over the years, my hands did not like staying under. I used wetsuit booties today so there were no problems for my feet….I’ll be conducting footwear tests later on though, as I’ll need good solid runners. The other lesson was that I will need to ease the strain on my adductors…after this relatively short workout, I could feel the load directly on both sides…mainly caused by the extra effort required to move with any level of aggression with 3mm of rubber wrapped around your legs.
I’m not really sure how best to address this….might have a chat to the guys at 2XU to see if there would be benefits to wearing some compression tights under the suit.