Tech Tuesday: Preparing to Test Out Signature Products From FINIS

Photo Courtesy: FINIS

Tech Tuesday: Preparing to Test Out Signature Products From FINIS

At the recent World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, several athletes captured international medals while racing in the FINIS HydroX suit. Cameron McEvoy was the world champion in the men’s 50 freestyle while Shayna JackMeg Harris and James Guy all won relay gold medals. And in the leadup to the meet, numerous athletes utilized the FINIS Smart Goggle to master their pace and work on head position in training.

Now, I will have the opportunity to test out both products and figure out why both have debuted to much acclaim.

The suit I expect to be different than any I have worn before in competition. Typically, compression is the buzzword for best tech suit, with swimmers looking for a product that will best prepare their muscles to maintain their tone and avoid fatigue during races. But the FINIS team tried to think outside the box and forgo some preconceived notions about what made a suit “fast.” So they created a suit with less compression and fabric that would give athletes flexibility while maintaining its original shape.

Additionally, the suit is made from a “hydrophobic” fabric which prevents water molecules from attaching to the fabric, which is buoyant but thin enough that water can pass through the material. Dan Wiffen, the Irish swimmer who placed fourth in the 800 free and 1500 free at Worlds, called the HydroX “probably the best suit I’ve ever worn.” Wiffen added, “This suit has got the right compression and right buoyancy for a distance swimmer. I don’t kick my legs when I swim, so I will naturally sit lower in the water, but this suit gets hips right up there on the water line.”

I’m looking forward to seeing how this suit helps stabilize my lower body compared to other models. Of course, it’s impossible to judge whether a suit is the “fastest,” but swimming fast efforts in the HydroX will help provide a sense of what this suit does compared to other models.

But whatever my results with the HydroX, it’s not a product I can use on a regular basis in practice, of course. Doing so would wear out the tech suit over time. The Smart Goggle, however, is one I hope to add to my regular training regimen. Guy is among those to tout the Smart Goggle’s ability to provide paces and data to a swimmer in real time. I train by myself frequently, and I’m hoping that the Smart Goggle can help me stay on pace even when feeling sluggish during early-morning aerobic freestyle sets and 200-pace-type sets.

Nathan Adrian, one of the best sprinters in U.S. history, tried out the Smart Goggle on a whim and found immediate success with the product. “I loved that accountability piece,” Adrian said. “I loved having the running time right there in the goggle. I love how consistent it is. I love how it’s down to the tenth.”

Check back in future Tech Tuesday stories to learn about my experiences with the products.

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