What do you look for when you choose a wetsuit? We asked double-Olympic silver medalist, Commonwealth and European swimming champion and Speedo ambassador Jazz Carlin for her expert advice.
Getting the right fit for a wetsuit is the most important thing as it's so individual.
As a swimmer, I always look for a lot of freedom and movement around my shoulders.
This allows me to swim my normal stroke without adapting my movement for the wetsuit, which may cause injury.
Comfort is so important. There is nothing worse than feeling like your wetsuit is holding you back from your usual performance level because it feels restrictive. You'll end up feeling distracted thinking about your wetsuit rather than concentrating on your swim.
Think about the temperature of the water you'll be swimming in. When I’m training I wear a wetsuit that isn’t too thick because it makes me feel heavier in the water and makes me too warm.
I always like to put on my wetsuit when I am dry so it is easier to get on and I wear a comfortable swimming costume underneath to make sure my wetsuit doesn't rub.
I simply slip it on over my feet and move the material gradually up my body, being careful not to put my fingers or nails through the wetsuit. Some people prefer to use gloves to avoid poking holes through the suit.
There shouldn’t be any wrinkles in the suit, it should look smooth, so make sure you keep moving the material up your body as you go.
I always make sure that I pull as much material up my arms to my shoulders to allow me to have that flexibility.
Once it is on, I then like to use a wetsuit lubricant around my neck to avoid chaffing. Be careful to not get any of the product on your goggles or swimming cap, as this may cause your goggles to be greasy and fog up.
Once zipped in, I tend to swing my arms around in a swimming movement to check if there are any other areas of the wetsuit that may need moving and to check that I have enough movement around my shoulders before getting in the water.
Some people like to get the wetsuit wet before they dive in for a swim to allow the water to get into the wetsuit but I haven’t found this too effective for me personally. It might work for you, so it doesn't hurt to try.
Once I'm zipped in and happy with the fit, it's time to swim!
My preferred wetsuit to swim in is the Speedo Xenon. It has a 1.5mm neoprene chest panel, which increases arm and shoulder freedom of movement and allows me to have my most effective stroke. It also has a Core Stabiliser, which makes me feel higher in the water and my swimming stroke feels light.