The 3 Benefits of the Speedo FastSkin LZR Racer Swim Suit
The Speedo Fastskin has evolved quite a bit since the early 2000s, when it first made a splash at the Syndey Olympics. Since then the suit has changed, with new materials, new sizes, and new FINA-imposed regulations coming into play.
Here is how the Speedo FastSkin has evolved since then, the drawbacks of this fancy technology, and where we go from here.
Polyurethane Paneling. Speedo added a series of polyurethane pockets and seams after the 2004 Athens Olympics which greatly improved the ability of the swimmer to achieve a higher body position in the water. The paneling also helped to repel water. This was a big step in swimwear design — while swimsuits started out for modesty, they have evolved to the point that they produce less friction in the water than the skin. Other enhancements also included removing the seams from the stitching of the Speedo FastSkins, taking away another small source of resistence in the water.
Compression. Swimmers are always looking for a way to achieve a slimmer profile in the water, and this includes the suit they wear in the pool. The Speedo FastSkin is designed to help swimmers reduce resistence by moulding the swimmer’s body so that they can swim faster.
Increased efficiency in the water. Research performed at Speedo’s AquaLab found that the new generation of FastSkin Elite are 15% more hydrodynamic compared to other tech suits on the market. Additional research at the University of Iowa has found that the suits also increase distance per stroke in the water, meaning that swimmers are able to go further with less effort. In races that are designed by hundredths of a second, this marginal difference can mean the difference between first and fourth, particularly in the shorter sprint events.
Of course, the price of this kind of revolutionary technology is not cheap.
For males, who are now restricted to wearing tech suits that go from waist to above their knee, the cost is between $300 and $400. For women, the cost is even more excessive, with the newest generation of FastSkins LZR Racer costing just under $600.
For elite swimmers, however, the cost of the suit is simply the cost of doing business. In the never-ending arms race for the fastest suit repping a tech suit has become a prerequisite in the world of competitive swimming. Speedo and their flagship FastSkin line of suits will continue to lead the way.