ARENA Launches New Swimwear Technology: Powerskin Carbon- Ultra


In 2012, Arena introduced the Powerskin Carbon-Pro, which revolutionized the design and manufacture of racing swimwear by integrating a carbon fibre cage into the suit’s woven fabric.  This added a whole new dimension to the concept of compression by maximizing support and control when and where it’s needed. This concept of Intelligent Compression was the bedrock on which the new Powerskin Carbon series was built, and subsequent releases retained it as a fundamental feature, adapting the technology to the needs of every swimmer with the Carbon-Flex (2014), and the fabric and carbon configuration in the case of the Carbon-Air (2015).

Following unparalleled success of the carbon suits at swimming’s biggest competitions, arena’s R&D team – along with its international scientific network – decided it was time to pursue another quantum leap in swimsuit design. To do so they turned their attention from external to internal considerations, to the core of carbon technology, analyzing how the makeup of the inner components of the suit could maximize the effectiveness of the swimmer’s actions in the water, over and above the existing benefits of Intelligent Compression.

The result of these efforts is the Powerskin Carbon-Ultra, which incorporates a new level of support and movement management with an internal structure – the ULTRA-LINK SYSTEM – designed to optimize the athlete’s physiology. By connecting key muscle groups and isolating upper and lower body movements, this revolutionary system increases the swimmer’s efficiency and improves their body position in the water. And by targeting specific compression zones, it further supports and streamlines the body to reduce turbulence and drag.

In addition, the suit’s outer shell integrates an ULTRA-CAGE with three times more carbon than before, enhancing the range’s trademark intelligent compression without compromising reach and freedom of movement.


The Infinity-Loop

The Infinity-Loop design is based on a deep knowledge of the key muscle chains that help in keeping a streamlined body position.
It employs a continuous tape that:
→→ anchors on the muscle chain in the upper body for extra support
→→ links the ribs to the hips while still allowing freedom to rotate
→→ connects to the gluteus maximus, keeping the hips high and helping to reduce body tilt in the water
Together these features provide for the perfect distribution of tension, and enable them to maintain an optimal body position in the water, thereby increasing stroke efficiency.


Watch This Cool Video


The X-Pivot

The X-Pivot feature delivers intelligent compression and anatomical support without limiting freedom of movement. Its design draws on a fundamental grasp of body mechanics to isolate movement in the upper and lower body – strategically-placed tapes create a brace which keeps the lower body and core muscles firm and supported while still allowing the upper body to rotate freely.

This movement isolation increases athlete efficiency by allowing them to pivot mid-stroke with minimal additional rotation or loss of body position in the water. As a result, the core body position remains stable even as the upper body rotates and flexes during the stroke.


Ultra-Compression Panels

Ultra-Compression Panels are designed to work with the external Ultra-Cage fabric to deliver targeted areas of additional compression on the inside of the suit, supporting key muscles and aligning them with the
direction of movement.

The multi-layer panels also streamline body shape, keeping it stable and high in the water, which in turn reduces drag and minimizes water resistance, particularly in areas normally prone to turbulence. These factors all contribute to maximizing the swimmer’s efficiency.


Ultra-Cage (External Shell Fabric)

The Carbon-Ultra uses a new outer shell fabric, which delivers intelligent compression of the body, the hallmark of the carbon family of suits. Containing three times more carbon than before, the fabric is woven more tightly, which means it is able to more accurately conform to the athlete’s shape, distributing pressure uniformly to streamline the body. Intelligent compression is enabled by the anisotropic stretch of the fabric, which allows differential stretch in the horizontal and vertical directions, resulting in effective compressing of the body without restricting reach and freedom of movement.

When these technological design features are combined, the benefits for the swimmer are profound – they are able to channel their energy more efficiently by reducing any nonessential effort and movement. Simply stated: greater output (performance) for each unit of input (energy).

The Experts Arena Works With Arena

  • Innovia Technology of Cambridge, England, GBR
  • Kinetech Labs in Italy: a division of Tessitura Taiana. Lab chief Matteo Taiana has personally been working with arena for over nine years.
  • University of Bologna Faculty of Exercise and Sports Sciences: Professor Giorgio Gatta first started collaborating with arena after the Beijing Olympics, working primarily on the effects of water resistance and the drag that a swimmer experiences in the water.
  • University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne: Biomechanics Professor Redha Taiar first started working with arena and textile maestro Michel Joseph in 1994, at a time when the company was sponsoring Alexander Popov.
 Now in its 22nd year, Professor Taiar’s continuing work with arena has travelled the full gamut of swimsuit technology developments over that period, and there is arguably no-one outside the company that knows its technology and products as well as he does. Professor Taiar’s most focused work takes place at the Berlin High Performance Olympic Centre’s Flume, a specially constructed facility that directs water through a narrow channel. Here data taken from athletes swimming in the Flume is analyzed and interpreted, providing important information on the influence that different swimsuits have on key data such as body position, stability, and drag.


With four years of experience behind them, Arena has taken carbon technology a step further into the future with a whole new level of support and movement management based on an innovative internal structure designed to optimize the athlete’s physiology. The arrival of the Carbon-Ultra in 2016 communicates the strongest of messages – the carbon family is in robust health, and the arena DNA will continue to spawn swimwear at the leading edge of swimming technology.

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Jimmy Zhang
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Regan Peace

Jimmy Zhang
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Regan Peace

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Kalle Hoad
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Kalle Hoad
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