What a Techsuit?


Payton Baughman

Two people wearing a tech suit during swim finals.

Payton Baughman, Photojournalist

Your heart is beating, the crowd is silent, the announcer says, “take your mark!” and the buzzer beeps. All of a sudden, you are leaping into the pool – you feel faster than ever because of your tech suit, your turns are sharper and you are gliding smoother. You finally reach that last lap, and your arms are burning, but you work past the pain. You reach the wall, the recorder tells you your time, and you are shocked. Your time is five seconds faster. You ask yourself: was it your tech suit?

Ruby Bittner (12) states, “The suit makes me feel so much faster. Before wearing a tech suit I was swimming a 1:18 100 breast, at prelims with the tech suit I swam a 1:14, and at league finals I swam a 1:13.”(Bitner 12).

A tech suit is a technical racing suit, a highly manufactured compression swimsuit that helps you swim faster, glide longer, and reduce fatigue.

They feature the latest rigid stretch fabric technology to mold the suit to the body with maximum compression. If you pair a tech suit with shaving your entire body, your body is leaner than ever and you will move quicker in the water (semipro.com).

Tech suits are worn by both men and women, and they come in a full range of options. So what is the difference between a tech suit and a regular practice suit?

-Lighter textile fabric: repels water, reducing drag

-Flatter sticking: to have a better glide, the flat sticking helps avoid drag

-More expensive- 10 times the cost of a normal practice suit-Hard to put on: meant to be tight, allow thirty minutes to put on

Why do you need a tech suit?

Mainly, to be even with the other swimmers. Especially swimming varsity, I felt pressured to wear a tech suit. Yes, it made my fifty free originally a 29-second turn into a 28, but is a tech suit a great thing? Because for the meets where they allow you to wear them, the ones that can’t are at a severe disadvantage. 

Especially considering tech suits are so expensive costing in the $400 plus range. People who are unable to borrow or buy a tech suit tend to have a second or two disadvantages and have to deal with the drag of their suits. Causing many of them to not qualify for finals because everyone with a tech suit has a few second advantages.

Is this fair?

Being the person to be wearing a tech suit is amazing and feels great, yet if you aren’t wearing a tech suit you feel at an unfair disadvantage. Considering, most of the swimmers on varsity do tend to wear a tech suit. If they do not there is this stigma that they cannot win, leaving people to feel pressured into buying a suit.

But is the suit really that big of an improvement? Sure, it takes off a few seconds of your time because it causes less drag or are you dropping time because you think you are going faster? Is this suit all mental? Or does it really drop time? 

Do you think it is unfair to wear a tech suit if others can’t get one? What do you think?