HIGH-TECH SWIMSUITS REDUCE PASSIVE DRAG

Keul, S., Bieder, A., & Wahl, P. (2010). Effects of new high-tech swimsuits on passive drag. A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 1619, 2010.

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This study investigated the effects of new generation high-tech swimsuits compared to conventional swimwear on passive drag. National league swimmers (M = 4; F = 4) repeated gliding-tests with a semi-tethered machine. Ss wore either conventional swimwear, shoulder-to-ankle Speedo LZR Racer, Bluesenventy Nero Comp, or Arena R-Evolution high-tech swimsuits. For each condition, Ss were towed in a 50 m pool three times at water surface and 0.5 m depth in a randomized order. Velocity was measured.

Under both water depths, the high-tech swimsuits reached higher velocities when compared to conventional swimwear. The Speedo LZR always reached the highest velocities followed by the Blueseventy, and Arena. The lowest velocities were reached with conventional swimwear. At the surface, significantly higher velocities were found for Speedo LZR compared to normal swimwear and the Arena R-Evolution. Underwater, the Blueseventy and Speedo achieved significantly higher velocities compared to normal swimwear.

Implication. The high-tech swimsuits reduced swimming drag significantly more than conventional swimwear under the condition of towing swimmers in a gliding position.

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