The laps have been completed, you showed up to all those extra morning workouts (even in the dead of winter), you had your nutrition game on point, and know it’s time to pick out a racing suit to help you crush the competition and your personal best times on race day.
But what kind of suit should you get? What is the best swim jammer for the particular meet you are attending? In this quick buyer’s guide we are going to break down what to look for when picking the best swimming jammers.
1: Look for suits with silicone straps on the inside. Racing suits for swimmers are unbelievably delicate. And expensive. Combing those two things is generally a recipe for a depleted bank account, so look out for the suits that have silicone lining on the insides of the pant leg and waist of the suit. This gives you something to
2: Go 2-3 sizes too small. Tech suit sizing is basically a world of itself. As someone who wears a 34” training suit, but then wears a 29” racing suit, I can attest to the general confusion and lack of coherence that comes with buying a racing suit. Most swim companies do have sizing charts that makes this process a little easier, so make sure you consult them before picking one out. This piece of advice is especially critical for those of us (pretty much everyone, really) who buys their swim suits over the internet.
3: Rinse with cold water after use. Remember how I mentioned that these suits are unbelievably delicate and expensive? They only get a dozen or so wears before they start to fray and fade. You can easily lengthen the life of your suit by giving it a quick rinse in clean, cold water after each time you blister to a new best time in it. Note: If you are going to rinse off your suit in the shower, make sure you aren’t exposing the suit to shampoo or soap—just as chlorine degrades the suits, so do solvents and the chemicals that are in household soaps and shampoos.
4: Use older tech suits for prelims and in-season meets. Another way to extend the life of your jammer is to wear the older ones that have started to fade but are still wearable for the less critical and important races. For example, those early season duel meets, or the prelims sessions of meets where you should confidently advance to finals that night. By limiting the wear of your brand new suit you buy it a few more sessions worth of use in the long haul, and a heap more dollar bills in your checking account.
The big thing to remember is that your jammer is not a substitute for hard work, consistency, good technique and a killer mindset in the water. It should be treated as a the final and smallest piece of your preparation—something that may help you swim a little faster, but ultimately you are leaning on your months of focused effort to bring you forth to that best time, not that fancy new jammer swimsuit.