FASTSKIN SUITS REDUCE PASSIVE DRAG IN TOWED GLIDE AND KICKING ACTIVITIES
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.
A cross-sectional comparison between the buoyancy, passive and net active drag force characteristics of full-length, Fastskin swimsuits with that of standard swimsuits was completed with Open National level swimmers (M = 5; F = 4). Ss were weighed in a hydrostatic tank and then towed via a mechanical winch on the surface and 0.4 m deep at 1.6, 2.2 and 2.8 m/s. Ss performed a prone streamlined glide and maximum effort flutter kick at each towing velocity and depth.
Hydrostatic weight differences between swimsuit types were not significant. Fastskin passive drag values were significantly less than normal swimsuits during surface towing at 1.6 and 2.8 m/s: and at 0.4 m deep towing at 1.6, 2.2, and 2.8 m/s. Net active drag force values also were lower for the Fastskin suits when compared with those of normal swimsuits and a significant difference existed for surface towing at all three velocities of 1.6, 2.2, and 2.8 m/s.
Implication. The full-length, Fastskin swimsuits created less total hydrodynamic resistance than normal swimsuits while providing no additional buoyancy benefits in glide and kicking positions during towing. [This study does not replicate the major activity of competitive swimming, that is, full stroking. During full stroking drag characteristics change and the benefits attributed to passive drag are reduced.]
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