|Fastskin3 Swimmer Models (sponsorship=slavery)|
What is Fastskin3?It is a supposedly revolutionary swimming equipment composed from 3 parts of swim gear: swimming cap, goggles and a jammer suit for men and shorty suit for women. Not much innovation there in terms of type of equipment, is it? However, the main idea here is that by wearing the Fastskin3 equipment you eliminate or streamline certain contours of your body to make yourself more efficient in the water, therefore become faster swimmers. Sounds good so far?
Well, don't go celebrating an efficient swimming stroke just yet :). I have nothing against Speedo and am a great fan of people who try to promote swimming or bring swimming to the next level, which obviously Speedo's Fastskin3 racing system is doing, however, I just can't help and be critical in response to the video Speedo put out as an introduction to the Fastskin3 swim wear. It just seems that swimming is becoming more about technology than about the swimmer him/herself which makes the sport exciting (at least for me). However, who can argue with our society if this is what it takes to keeps people interested in the sport. Without interest, any sport is as good as dead, so introducing a new technology is unfortunately a necessity in today's world.
If I watch and listen to the Fastskin3 video (watch it below), I can't help but wonder what the hell they are talking about half the time. Perhaps this was their marketing approach to provide a video full of terms 99% of people on the planet do not understand and confuse trustworthy swimmers into thinking that by purchasing the Fastskin3 equipment they will become faster. Sure, we can't stop technology from entering our daily lives and we definitely cannot stop progress as that is a natural way of things. However, we can still wonder and question it can't we? :) Let's breakdown the Fastskin3 swim gear and see what we can get out of it for free.
Fastskin3 Swimming CapSpeedo indicates that the swimming cap was designed with 3d global head scan. Hmm, unless they are going to custom scan everyone's head, how does that help you, since everyone's head and neck are different. They also indicate that the cap features IQ fit profile. I can't even begin to understand what that is. Does that mean if you have certain IQ it works better for you? And don't even get me started on the Speedo hair management system which goes below the cap. It totally resembles a very old school Lycra swimming cap, nothing more and nothing less. However, I can see how it helps to keep your hair out of the way and smooths out the contours of the head. Finally, the Fastskin3 cap is designed to fill the curve in the shape of your neck, to make the back of your neck more streamlined. From the video, I fail to see this feature, but let's take their word for it.
So, how can you get the Fastskin3 swimming cap for free? Well, the cap helps to streamline your body, so let's focus on how you can achieve the same result with your head without a cap. No matter what slick and fancy bleeding edge swimming cap material you have on your head, you will not swim faster unless you fix up your head position. I discussed the high head position problem on this blog on many occasions, so next time you are working on your head position with nice and tall body line and flat neck, just imagine you have the Fastskin3 cap on your head and perhaps this visualization will help you get the right streamline effect. So in a way you will use the new Fastskin3 cap technology to your benefit without actually spending a dime. If you really would like to get even closer to the Fastskin3 streamline efficiency, you can opt into wearing two swimming caps. One latex and another silicone over top of it. Beware though, this will increase your head's buoyancy a little, so you will have to push your head down with a bit more effort, so get used to it before you race in it.
Fastskin3 GogglesThe goggles just look plain bizarre for my taste, but let's say we give them a futuristic chance. Again and IQ fit type of stuff with 3D seal. Can you imagine something else than 3D seal? How would a 2D seal work? :). The Fastskin3 goggles are advertised to improve contours of swimmers head. Ok, I can see how that would make some very small efficiency difference if the goggles were smoother, but then again, everyone's eye socket sizes are different, so not one size fits all solution here I am afraid. The next thing is the advertised hydroscopic lense with 180 degree field of vision. First, humans don't even have 180 degree field of vision and I am not so sure how something like that would help you in the swimming pool anyway. I've never heard anybody complain about needing more field of vision in the pool. In open water swimming, there it is a bit of different story and that is why those full goggle masks are quite popular. Speedo also says the Fastskin3 goggles have secure and confident fit. I say, any goggles have secure and confident fit if they are under a swimming cap, they match the swimmer's face and the swimmer feels good about them.
|Put goggle strap under your swimming cap|
Fastskin3 SuitSpeedo is definitely onto something when they say their Fastskin3 suit is a network of bonded seems and panels. In fact, majority of newer swimming suits are just that. :) The Speedo Fastskin3 suit is uniquely zoned and graduated body compression system, it offers precision support and greater stability in the water. Ok, now this makes sense, the more you compress your body the more streamlined you will be in the water, right? However, what is precision support and how can you get greater stability with a swimming suit in the water? What you will get is your butt and thighs not flopping around while you swim, thus reducing a bit of a drag, which is a good thing of course, but unless it is a flotation device you will not get any extra support nor will you feel more stable. And we all know what happened to the full body suits, last time swimming companies tried to change the swimming rules. Speedo also claims that the suit enhances the speed of starts and turns which I actually believe, as your body is in the highest speed during the start or turn activity and it is fully submerged under water, so any small extra wiggle will slow you down.
So, how can you get the Fastskin3 suit for free? How about improving your core body muscle strength in order to be able to hold better streamlined position when your feet and arms are forcing your body in all the directions. Also, what about not swimming on your stomach during freestyle, but practice a proper body roll, so your body glides better. Finally, improving your freestyle kick efficiency by making sure your kick is small and compact as if you were kicking in a bucket and paying close attention to what your legs do when you take a breath. Do they go into scissor like motion? If it is a yes, then just keeping your feet in line with your body instead of doing a scissor kick trumps any drag reduction by utilizing a Fastskin3 suit or any suit as a matter of fact.
Speedo is a pioneer, but not for everyoneI don't doubt that Speedo has done a great job on their research when producing the Fastskin3 cap, Fastskin3 goggles and the Fastskin3 suit and the claimed 16.6 passive drag reduction, 11% improved oxygen economy, 5.2% active drag reduction is probably true. However, this only applies to the top of the crop Olympic swimmers such as Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, Jessica Hardy, Rebecca Soni, Ian Thorpe or Sun Yang. It is not an accident they mention the following sentence "the world's fastest racing system combined with the world's fastest swimmers". Without the world's fastest swimmers, it is just another ordinary cap, goggle and suit combination, so don't be fooled by marketing and swim smarter instead of more expensive. On the other hand their marketing probably works well since I spend the time writing this article :). If you want to find out more about the Fastskin 3 equipment visit for men and for women.
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