Women's Suit Drag
Waterlogged United StatesMember
Hey Ladies Only with Experience Here: I am having a problem with drag issues when greasing up for long swims. I find when I use any vaseline or other grease for long swims to prevent chaffing, my suit slides down in front causing significant cleavage drag which is really annoying. I am by no definition well-endowed, so it is not a support issue. I love the Dolphin Uglies suits for training and long swims, but it seems a higher necked suit could solve this? Never happens when I don't grease up. Wondering if others have thoughts on this issue?
Suit drag has always been a problem for me, though I haven't noticed that it is any worse with greasing. The very few suits I have found with higher necks aren't meant for real swimming. I have never tried a water polo suit because of the zipper in the back. I did, however, try duct tape (taping top edge of suit to skin on chest) - I don't recommend it A higher necked suit may well solve your problem but I don't have any suits to recommend. Perhaps even a smaller, tighter suit (one or two sizes down from what you normally wear) would work for you. I'm eager to see anyone else's recommendations on this issue.
I usually wear Uglies for long swims but I've never experienced this. I do find the Vaseline destroys the elasticity of the shoulder straps after a while, however, so this could cause the front to gape, thus causing drag. Once my shoulder straps go, I get rid of them. I couldn't wear one with loose straps for a major swim.
Good Morning Ladies. I'm not a woman with experience, but I will politely chime in here. Have any of you considered using a two piece suit and discarding the upper piece once you are under way? It has always seemed to me that women are at an extreme disadvantage with those straps on your shoulders which probably really start to grind after you've put some mileage in. I would think that once you are semi out of public view you could probably swim very comfortably topless. Depending on your kayaker, you could have a confederate that holds your top in the kayak until modesty requires it. Even a mixed sex crew of trusted people are not going to be treating this as a night at the club.
I don't know. Just musing out loud here. Swimmers are generally more comfortable with near nakedness than the general public might be. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
I have had this problem (and I am small chested). I find that applying grease strategically (trial and error) and wearing a tight suit for official swims helps.
@curly I think removing the top would fix the "bagging out" of the suit but also create other drag issues.
I would enthusiastically recommend the Speedo Aquablade as a higher-necked suit for marathon swims. They can be a bit pricey, but you can find them on sale from time to time, and, factored into the cost of a marathon swim, I think it's worth never having to think about this issue mid-swim.
You didn't mention the age of the suit. I usually wear one that is relatively new/snug. I know some ladies swear by wearing an old suit because it can be more comfortable and thrown out once saturated with channel grease. Lycra suits tend to chafe less, (requiring less grease) but they also stretch out faster and can suffer from sudden loss of elasticity, especially in a strong current. Fiberglass suits hold their shape/support better but some of the varieties of poly are like a hack saw, especially in salt water. I think there's a sweet spot between finding a suit that is comfortable enough that one doesn't need a ton of grease and wearing a 60-grit suit that is two sizes too small, requiring a tub of grease to save one's skin. If you can avoid over-greasing the torso-area, that should help. I've heard some funny stories about over-lubing boobs. Curly's idea about a two piece could also work and if you wanted to keep the top on, I think there are more choices of higher necklines available or you could sub in a higher coverage sports bra for the top.
It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
I haven't commented in so long... but you struck a nerve here. :-) Women's suits are the absolute worst. I've done battle with so many different kinds over the last few years. I keep coming back to the Speedo Endurance+ suits, in the more traditional/conservative cuts. And of the more modern/cuter suits all seem to have loser straps that, grease or not, lead to all sorts of boob chaffage. And seriously, who wants that? I need a suit that stays in place and does it's job, not one that's adorable. So, that's my advice. Practicality over fashion. I also prefer the polyester suits because they last longer- while lyrca is more comfortable, it just doesn't hold up. Also, I know lots of girls who like a 2 piece, but I can't keep those on either! Why is it so complicated to find a good suit? Good luck to you all.
I'm essentially flat chested (AAA) and the Sporti brand "thin strap" model works for me. It's a little higher necked than most brands without looking too grandma-ish. They don't last super long, but I usually just buy a handful at a time when the price drops to the $15-$20 range with sales.
I am using Uglies now, and I love them. I am taking a new one for my EC swim, and have tried to reduce greasing under straps, but rather greasing above where they rub my traps on my neck may be helpful.
Thanks for all the comments. I had a friend in college who had a teammates mother who made suits, I almost think I will eventually figure out how to make my own. I know exactly what I want, the higher neck with slim straps and low profile bottom half, and myself have that flyback support to keep everything feeling solid...but that combo doesn't exist. I have been looking at some of the suits suggested here and so appreciate the input for a very real problem.
I am a definite like to have the full suit on. I have trained, years ago, in training bikinis (with tied bottoms), but I find I want to minimize all drag ad the waistline would be another place to feel drag for me even thought it wouldn't be a chaffing issue. I am headed for the English Channel in several weeks so, with a fishing boat as my support, onboarding/offboarding a suit piece would likely be awkward.
Your suggestion may be a good one for warmer water swims for some people though. I say everything is worth a try to see what your own preferences are when you will be living with the consequences of your decisions for hours on end!!!