DeSoto Water Rover Wetsuit Test

21 01 2010

The Water Rover is the latest wetsuit offering from DeSoto. The suit uses varying thickness of neoprene in each panel with the goal of maximizing floatation, comfort, fit, and most of all – speed. The thigh area and arms are a whopping 10mm and the chest is a much thinner and flexible, 3mm. When asked why the arms are made so thick, Emilio DeSoto explained that it was an attempt to make the swimmer’s arms bigger round, providing more surface area to push water.

first impressions

The first thing I noticed when I jumped into the pool with the Water Rover for the first time, was how much floatation the leges have; So much in fact, it’s almost hard to tread water and stay vertical. The suit wants to bring the legs to the surface putting the body horizontal. When swimming, I felt the hips riding much, much higher than usual which made me feel like I was truly swimming downhill.

the test

I did three “all out” 400 yard time trials in the course of two days at my local indoor pool which keeps a water temperature at 79 degrees. Time trial number one was done in the morning of day one, wearing only a square cut, “endurance” Speedo swim suit. The second time trial was completed that same afternoon wearing a 2005 vintage 2XU full wetsuit. That evening I swam yet again at a tough masters swim team practice. The next afternoon, I did the final 400 trial wearing the Water Rover. Keep in mind, I was very motivated to go all out for all the tests and by the time I got to day-two (fourth hard swim in two days), I was getting a bit tired but still had the fastest time.

results

400 yard timed swim
Speedo            6:05
2XU                 5:35
DeSoto             5:25

summary

By my figuring, for me the Water Rover is around 10 seconds per 400, or 30 seconds faster than my 2XU wetsuit for a 1600 yard swim (approximately 1500M).

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