How to Zip it Up?
A design feature you will notice with a lot of great swim wetsuits is that the zip closes from the top to bottom as opposed to most other wetsuits which zip from bottom to top. Why ? Pretty simple really, it’s faster to undo and get out of your wetsuit. Secondly there is no chance of anyone accidentally pulling your zip cord and undoing your wetsuit while you are swimming.
This top down zip feature has been much discussed during our swim sessions this summer. It is a great feature but to zip top down you must first join the zip behind your back. I have had lots of swimmers ,including a former world champion, speculate that it is not possible to zip this style of wetsuit without assistance. A very good question if you are thinking about investing in a wetsuit. A big thank you to Steve at Blueseventy for providing the answer. First off please take note, the most appropriate way to do up a top down zip is to get someone else to do it for you. The risk of doing it yourself is that if you get it wrong you could damage the zipper or your wetsuit. With that said if you do want to go it alone here is Steve from Blueseventy putting on a Blueseventy Helix 2012 from start to finish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwi2B6s6vGM including a good demonstration on how to do up the top zipper. The trick is to hold the zipper in place together with your top hand before you pull down with the other, just like you hold together a jacket zip before you pull up.
For those of you with a competitive streak here is Steve doing it at speed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5SirvFbGvU
I think Steve thinks he’s pretty good at this so please let me know if you think you can do it quicker!
And finally some points to consider when shopping for a new wetsuit: Do plenty of research; on the internet, ask other swimmers and ask the wetsuit manufacturer. A good wetsuit manufacturer will have a Frequently Asked Questions spot on their website. Do try before you buy, if you can’t try it on before you buy or it doesn’t come with a replacement agreement if it doesn’t fit, don’t buy it! The fit is so important. You’re looking for good flexibility in the shoulders and it should fit snuggly to your body. The last thing you want is it filling up with water. There are different styles of wetsuit for different levels of swimmer, if you are new to the sport you’ll want a wetsuit with good buoyancy, if you are a pretty good swimmer already a more neutrally buoyant wetsuit is more suitable.
Happy zipping, Happy swimming. Dan