This section of the Swimming Science Journal presents information on the bodysuits that are being used in competitive swimming. This is a complex issue that focuses on several features, namely:

Competitions are unfair:

  1. When bodysuits are supplied to some in fitted form, and to others in unfitted form.
  2. Because, even for those who wear fitted suits, some will benefit more than others [body shape, body composition, etc. determine the potential effects].
  3. Because, even for those swimmers who wear unfitted suits, some will benefit more than others [better body shapes fit the "off-the-rack" suits -- not all swimmers are the same shape and consequently, do not have the same potential for effect even if the suits were selected through a lottery.]
  4. Because women seem to benefit more from full bodysuits than men. Consequently, men "supplied" with bodysuits, that is, pressured to wear them by manufacturers or national bodies who are paid by manufacturers, could actually be disadvantaged (slowed).
  5. Because the effects of each manufacturer's designs/materials are not the same. Thus, if it is shown that one supplier has better suits than the others, an unfair advantage will be gained.
  6. Because, as new generations of bodysuits are developed, which already happens frequently, "improved" suits will have greater benefits than "older" models/versions.
  7. The Speedo Fastskin is very helpful when it is dry. When it becomes wet, which could take as much as 3-5 minutes in a race, it is slower than an "old" Aquablade. The Fastskin is not a suit for distance (more than 200 m) swimmers.
  8. The main advantage of these suits is that they assist flotation while they remain dry.

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  1. Rushall, B. S., (Spring, 2000). Submission to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  2. Rushall, B. S. Condom suits legal!

  3. Rushall, B. S. What is known about these devices.

  4. Dr. Larry Weisenthal [06/11/00] Bodysuit issues.

  5. Coach Ira Klein [06/13/00] What suits you may not suit me.

  6. Testimonies about bodysuits [07/20/2000].

  7. Rushall, B. S. [07/01/2000] Simply stated: What should be done.

  8. What the scientists report [10/31/2000].

  9. Rushall, B. S. [07/12/2000] The problem with modern bodysuits.

  10. Rushall, B. S. [07/17/2000] How to win without actually cheating.

  11. Rushall, B. S. [09/05/2000] How bodysuits help some swimmers.

  12. Coach Charile Yourd. [09/08/2000] A Midwestern viewpoint -- USAS easily duped by Speedo -- Swim parents disappointed.

  13. What the Champions Are Wearing [10/31/2000].

  14. Rushall, B. S. [01/10/2001] A Practical Guide to Swimsuits/Bodysuits.

  15. Bergen, P. [01/28/2001] Coach Paul Bergen's Test of Bodysuits.

  16. Rushall, B. S. [02/28/2001] The Latest on Practical Implications of Bodysuits.

  17. Rushall, B. S. [03/27/2001] Why Floatation Bodysuits are Unfair.

  18. Sanders, R., Rushall, B. S., Toussaint, H., Stager, J., & Takagi, H. [04/24/2001] Bodysuit Yourself: But First Think About It.

  19. van Manen, J. D., & Rijken, H. (1975). Dynamic measurement techniques on swimming bodies at the Netherlands Ship Model Basin. In L. Lewillie & J. P. Clarys (Eds.), Swimming II (pp. 70-77). Baltimore: University Park Press.

  20. Taimura, A., Matsunami, M., & Sugawara, M. (2003). Thermal responses to swimming: The influence of bodysuits. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 147.

  21. Smith, J. W., Molloy, J. M., & Pascoe, D. D. (2003). The efficacy of body suits at reducing drag and oxygen cost in competitive swimming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 537.

  22. Henrich, R. (2003). Body suits and performance. A paper presented at the American Swimming Coaches Association 35th Annual World Clinic in San Diego, California.

  23. Taimura, A., & Matsunami, M. (2006). Effect of swimsuits and water temperature on thermal responses during submaximal swimming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2055.

  24. Toussaint, H. M., Truijens, M., Elzinga, M.-J., van de Ven, A., de Best, H., Snabel, B., & de Groot, G. (2002). Effect of a FASTSKIN™ 'body' suit on drag during front crawl swimming. Sport Biomechanics. 1, 1-10.

  25. Mollendorf, J. C., Termin, A. C., Oppenheim, E., & Pendergast, D. R. (2004). Effect of swim suit design on passive drag. Medicine & Science in Sports &Exercise, 36, 1029-1035.

  26. Benjanuvatra, N., Dawson, G., Blanksby, B. A., Elliott, B. C. (2002). Comparison of buoyancy, passive and net active drag forces between Fastskin and standard swimsuits. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 5, 115-123.

  27. Roberts, B. S., Kamel, K. S., Hedrick, C. E., McLean, S. P., & Sharp, R. L. (2003). Effect of a FastSkin™ suit on submaximal freestyle swimming. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35, 519-524.

  28. Starling, R. D., Costill, D. L., Trappe, T. A., Jozsi, A. C., Trappe, S. W., & Goodpaster, B. H. (1995). Effect of swimming suit design on the energy demands of swimming. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 27, 1086-1089.

  29. Matsunami, M., & Taimura, A. (2007). Influences of swimsuit design on swimming performance in competitive female swimmers. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1431.

  30. Chatard, J.-C., & Wilson, B. (2008). Effect of fastskin suits on performance, drag, and energy cost of swimming. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40, 1149-1154.

  31. Rushall, B. S. (July 6, 2008). 2008 BODYSUITS - DÉJÀ VU?

  32. Rushall, B. S. (August 16, 2008). 2008 BODYSUITS - Evidence of a Hoax?

  33. Rushall, B. S. (May 25, 2009). Swimming continues to burn while FINA continues to bungle.

  34. Rushall, B. S. (September 29, 2009). FINA doesn't quite get it right.

  35. USA SWIMMING RECORDS HAVE PROCEEDED CONSISTENTLY DESPITE THE INTRODUCTION OF "PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING" SUITS. Johnson, M. B., Edmonds, W. A., Jain, S., & Cavazos Jr., J. (2009). Analyses of elite swimming performances and their respective between-gender differences over time. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 5(4), Article 2, pp. 18.

  36. Rushall, B. S. (July 1, 2010) What Are the Reasons for Wanting/Allowing more Material in Competitive Swimsuts?

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