The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Orca Speedsuit vs Nineteen Triathlon Pipeline

Battle of the entry level triathlon wetsuits



Orca Speedsuit


Nineteen Pipeline
Last year, I had the opportunity to "demo" a Nineteen Triathlon Pipeline wetsuit. I blazed a 670m open water swim in 11:26 (1:42/100m as per my Triathlon Calculator. During the summer, I procured an Orca Speedsuit - comparable price, comparable features.

That 11:26 time has haunted me for over a year. As, I have yet to match it in my Speedsuit. A lot of variables come in to play; primarily fitness plus the initial enthusiasm for the Pipeline suit (it was my first rubber swim).

Last week, for the first outdoor swim of the year, I clocked an eager 13:12 (1:58/100m). Which, frankly seemd kind of slow to me. This got me wondering whether or not the suit was the factor.

This morning, I had another opportunity to try them both, "head-to-head". First trip was in the Speedsuit - 13:10 at a relaxed pace; Second trip in the Pipeline 13:30 (pushing a bit harder).

Clearly not a fair or scientific evalution, but it leads me to ponder - my first loop is always faster than the second; however, I took about 15 minutes between loops, so that might not be a factor.

I guess, in reality, we're splitting hairs. Both decent "entry" suits, both equally marginally uncomfortable (I'm not going to lie). I've worn more expensive suits, and the fit factor is undeniable.

What would a faster suit really be over a 1500m race? A minute tops? Could be significant to some, but it's not likely going to vault me out of the middle of the pack.

Bottom line for me. I'm not convinced my suit is the fastest. But at least, I'm confident, that it's not slowing me down too much. I guess in swimming, it's not about the suit.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: Racing tomorrow!