Went with an Orca 3.8 (or something like that). <b>Is there a trick to getting it on and off?</b> I'd lose about 14 minutes easily during T1 struggling to get the thing off. It does feel very funky and I am anxious to try it out in the nearby lake.
I got an xs, though I am on the higher end of the weight requirements, which will, of course, motivate me to lose just a little bit of weight (that's a goal of mine anyway). I'm going to practice. Getting it on was a bit easier than getting it off, but partly because I worried I'd tear it. I did find an awesome tri shop (though it's an hour away) and everyone there was very helpful and friendly. I'm so excited! Next up are clipless pedals.
My favorite trick is to use a plastic grocerybag.<br><br>
Fo the legs, put it over your foot like a sock, this should get your foot and calf through the ankle portion of the suit with ease. I also use it for the arms by putting it over my hand and sticking it through the opening. Women do have more than an issue with the hips than the guys however. You have toe get the suit kind of bunched up so that you can use that extra material to pull it over your thighs and up and over your hips. You also want to work the suit up so that you have a bunch of material at your waist so that when you get your arms through, you will have slack material so that you can close the back and not feel as though you are bring pulled into a hunchback position.<br><br>
The better suits have a silky kind of liner that makes it much easier to get the suit on.<br><br>
Also never use vegtable spray, it breaks down the rubber in the material.<br><br>
You can use body glide on your lower calfs when you put it on, this will help to make the suit easier to take off. Be sure to use the body glide on your neck to prevent chafing, also around the arm openings if it is a sleeveless.<br><br><br>
Congrats!!<br><br><b>On:</b> Is always a tough process. But you're not racing so just take your time and slither in there. Body Glide can help - a friend pulling here and there can help too. The suit won't feel "right" until you get in the water. Once you get in and get it full of water, it works its way around to the right spots and becomes comfortable.<br><br><b>Off:</b> In a race, you just step on a leg and pull. It feels abusive to the suit and gets it muddy/dirty/sandy - but you can clean it later. Better yet, you get a "stripper" to grab the ankles and left your feet over your head. It's a rush!
Are you trying to get it off dry? That's the way I read your post because you say you are anxious to try it in a lake. If I'm reading that wrong, then never mind. If you are trying to get it off dry (just trying it on at home for example) remember it is MUCH easier to get it off when you are wet. In a race lots of people will take a suit off completely before they are out of the water. At the very least, you want to get the top off asap so that the water in the suit aids in the removal process.<br><br>
To get on, try the plastic bag approach Jon suggests. Also apply plenty of body glide to your lower legs wrists, and neck.<br><br>
one who's never worn a wet suit has a lameo question....<br><br>
If you use the plastic bag to help get it on....what happens to the bags? Do they stay tucked inside the sleeves/legs? <-- confused person
No, you pull them off. You put them over your hands like mittens and once the suit is on you pull them off. Save them for another day, or if you are like me and you rip them then just toss them.<br><br>
The sticking point for me is my, ahem, voluminous calf muscles. Even with the zippers on the lower leg, I can't peel the dang wetsuit off of my gams.<br><br>
Triguys in my hometown have recommended "Bag Balm" (available at your nearest farm supply store). Rub this on your calves. (It won't rub your number off.)<br><br>
I also read that I should also put bag balm on the lower legs -- outside of the wetsuit. I haven't tried that yet.
<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> They don't stay in the suit; they come out the end of the sleeves or legs. Though I suppose you might get a better catch if you left the bags on your hands... it'd be almost like having webbed fingers. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
Besides BodyGlide and Aisle 5-type products (i.e. Sport Slick or other silicone based lubricants), I saw someone using baby shampoo as a lubricant for getting their suit on. I don't know for sure if it would be bad for neoprene, but I doubt that it would be. BodyGlide, silicone lubricants, and plastic bags are all known safe options.<br><br>
Another tip for putting your wetsuit on is to turn all but the lower legs inside out. Pull it on past your calves, then, you sort of unroll it up your body as you turn it back right-side out. This seems to lesson the chance of fingernail holes and tears... at least for me. My suit is lower end, so it tears pretty easily. Thankfully, neoprene repairs are easy, too.<br><br>
The suit will be much easier to get off when it's wet. I usually try to avoid the step-on-a-leg move since the manufacturers tend to frown on it. Though, in my first race, I was so completely thrashed by the time I got out of the water, that I was all for the step-on-a-leg removal procedure. It is quite fast and effective.
I have an Orca Apex 2 which came out with the same time the 3.8 did, its a very similar suit. I got one where my weight fell right into the middle of their range. In the end It was really too tight. All3sports.com actually recommends you add 10 lbs to your weight then go with the size you end up at for the Orca suits. I eventually went up a size.<br><br>
Not saying you should, but its something worth looking into, because I used it in an open water swim thinking it would expand and be comfortable, but the suit never did.
Great, now I find this out. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> With the suit on it actually felt comfortable. I am 5' and weigh 116, so I still have a good 5 pounds to hit the maximum weight on the suit's requirements. But I definitely struggled to get it off over my calves (I have bulky calves...but then again, don't we ll???) Great range of motion in the arms and pits.