Saturday, 20 June 2009

Sailfish Attack -Wetsuit Review 2009

Sailfish wetsuits has four suits in their range progressing from an entry level suit through to the top end ‘G–Range’. I had agreed to test a suit with a view to racing in it but time was running out as I was off to Lanza in two days!! A suit arrived directly from Germany by express delivery the next day. I had gambled on the sizing and was hoping it would be right.

The first thing that I noticed when I unwrapped my delivery was that it comes in a really cool bag. It’s a little like a paper delivery/couriers bag with a shoulder strap. There’s mesh on one side for the water to drain out and enough room to put swim toys, or towels. It’s a great idea as I usually use a Sainsbury’s ‘bag for life’

Secondly the wetsuit looks cool…. and the seams are blind stitched and glued flat… There’s only so much that a wetsuit manufacturer can do with graphics, but I like what Sailfish have done and also the fact its named after the fastest fish in the ocean. Maybe this would create some good karma for my imminent race!!

The wetsuit I was testing was the ‘Sailfish Attack’ which is one of their mid range models. Upon examining it I noticed how light it was, much lighter than my previous suit, which I’ve had since 07. I followed Jan’s easy instructions on how to put it on. My current wetsuit takes me 15 mins to get a good fit, I had managed to put the Sailfish suit on in a couple of minutes.Once I had it on, I realised it was too big. I had learnt that the fit is more important than how much it costs. To sum up… a good fitting cheaper wetsuit may out perform a bad fitting expensive one. Faced with the dilemma of what to wear – I reverted back to racing in my current wetsuit.

Not to be put off, Sailfish sent me a smaller suit, this time it fitted ultra snugly. The collar sat neatly on my neck line and despite forgetting my body glide I experienced no chaff... This is especially good if you work in an office and don’t like attending meetings with what looks like ‘love bites’ on your neck. The forearm has what Sailfish call ‘Aqua reach zones’ which increase water resistance during the pull phase of the stroke. I must admit
it felt really comfortable and my range of motion across my shoulders was superb. The inner arm and shoulder area has this ultra super stretchy neoprene which is designed to aid performance by reducing any restrictions in the pull and recovery phase – It felt really good!

In the water the ‘Sailfish Attack’ felt very buoyant, correcting my body position. It has strengthened hip panels which optimise your body position to avoid hip rolling!! On my first swim I felt as if I was moving quite fast…. I was cruising along with very little effort. So I decided to test it against my current suit in a ‘head to head’.

I swam 400m warm up then did 200m all out in each suit, with 100m easy in between each 200m. I repeated the same test the next day but swapped the order I swam in each wetsuit. Now I know this is a really crude test but the results are evident, the Sailfish suit was quicker….

Test Day 1

Sailfish Attack – 2.31 secs
2007 Current wetsuit – 2.45 secs

Test Day 2

2007 Current suit – 2.40 secs
Sailfish Attack 2.32 secs

So how would this have affected my time at Ironman Lanza…. Well who knows? My swim split was 1.03 as I took off my suit before I went over the timing mat. Maybe I would have broken the hour??? Something I’m yet to do. I finished in 9.53 and although I qualified for Kona I’ve decided to make 2009 a build year, for a dream year in 2010 ;so I didn’t accept my slot. I want to attain a top 10 position in my age in Kona and I think I will need longer than 4 months to build for this

To sum up, it’s nice to finish first British Age Grouper, 20th Age Grouper overall, and it’s good to come away from a race believing that it’s still possible to go faster. Lanzarote is such a well organised race. Kenneth Gasque, the Race Director, makes all the competitors feel really welcome. I’ve already registered for 2010, but next time I’ll be in a Sailfish!!

1 comment:

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