Neoprene Advice: Flexibility

The flexible properties of a neo are responsible for material resistance, arm freedom and mobility. This can be a performance-limiting factor, especially over longer swim distances.

Flexibility - you have to know that

Flexibility primarily refers to the freedom of movement in the arm and shoulder area, as this is where the greatest movement activity takes place when swimming. How elastic and stretchable is the material? How well does the wetsuit support the stretching and gliding phase? How much force is required to work against the material resistance? The material and its processing have a major impact on swimming behavior. Flexibility is one of the most important criteria, especially for athletes who have set themselves the goal of middle or long-distance competitions.

The resistance behavior of a neo is mainly determined by two factors: material quality and material strength .

1. Material quality

The higher the material quality, the softer and more elastic the material. This is mainly due to the Yamamoto quality of the wetsuit. The differences do not only become clear when swimming, but also when putting on the neos - the suit is less rigid with increasing quality and can be slipped more smoothly over the body. In the water, the lower material resistance becomes noticeable, especially with increasing swimming distances. The effort required is less with each arm pull - with hundreds of pulls, the specific arm and shoulder muscles tire significantly less and are better able to work effectively in terms of propulsion.

2. Material thickness

The thinner the layer of material, the less resistance. But: thinner material also means less buoyancy and less protection against the cold. However, most wetsuits do not have a uniform layer of material, but are composed of different elements. Less flexibility is required in the hips, but more stability is required, ie thicker, more robust, more buoyant material (up to 5mm). In the shoulders and arms, on the other hand, freedom of movement plays a decisive role, which is why the neoprene layer is significantly thinner here (1-3mm). How thin the material used here is mostly depends on the neoprene category.

neoprene categories

Above all, the quality of the material and its processing is the key for categorizing the wetsuits into entry-level, middle class and top models. The more differentiated the layers of material are processed (from thick to thin) and the higher the quality of these elements, the freer the feeling of movement and the more the Neo fits like a second skin.

entry-level models

short description

    • Designed for short triathlon distances (popular/sprint/olympic)
    • less pronounced material differentiation & quality
    • greater effort in swimming
    • Mobility limitations over longer distances


short description

    • All-rounder models suitable for all distances
    • significantly softer material, more freedom of movement, high wearing comfort
    • less effort required
    • enables more efficient swimming over longer distances

top models

short description

    • maximum swimming performance at all distances
    • ultimate freedom of movement, highest material quality
    • natural swimming feeling
    • no noticeable restrictions when swimming

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