Friday, March 13, 2009

Wetsuits for Fat Guys and missing an X

I decided to get a new wetsuit. I currently have a sleeveless Quintana Roo UltraJohn that has served me well but I wanted to get a full sleeve wetsuit in case the water temperature is a little on the chilly side for EagleDay or even more so, TimberDay. There is a hope, and I gotta keep hope alive, that I will swim a little faster with a full wet suit than with the sleeveless. Also, a full sleeve should get rid of any residual armpit cleavage but that is less of an issue since I've lost some girth and I really don't care about making a fashion statement as compared to a potential increase of functionality or probability of survival.

I didn't do a lot of research when I originally bought my wetsuit. I was going to get one from TNT but was concerned that I would get it too late so I went to the Runner's Edge and got the biggest size they had. It sort of fit if you grease yourself up (with Body Glide and PAM) enough. I avoided the full wetsuits as they had more potential for issues for flexibility or fit when you stuff enough rock star into neoprene. Somehow the visual of Ferris Bueller as Abe Froeman, the sausage king of Chicago comes to mind.

I rationalized that since I wanted to buy a new wetsuit, I would buy a good one realizing that not all wetsuits are created equal. There is Yamamoto 39 vs Yamamoto 40, different panels, different thicknesses among other details. More importantly are the sizing charts. Normal sized athletes don't have this issue but I do (at least for a short while). In summary:

  • The max recommended weight for XXL QR is 251 pounds

  • The max recommended weight for XXL 2XU is 256 pounds
  • Zoot and Xterra top out at 230.

  • The Profile Design/Aquaman website says 230+ but I doubt anyone knows what the + really means.

  • Blue Seventy says 209+

  • DeSoto says that they go to 265 pounds but the two piece designed scared me with possibility of belly roll and muffin tops.

So I ordered a QR SuperFull XXL and it came in yesterday. Went into the changing room and found IT WAS TOO BIG. How could that happen? I was still on the high side of the weight guideline. Luckily The Runner's Edge had a new XL QR SuperFull down in the basement so I tried that one on even though it is supposed to fit 6' to 6'6" from 205lbs to 235. It was a bit of a squeeze but it fit me. As I'm only going to lose more weight I paid the bill and took it home.

XL. I lost an X. Wow.

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