How to put your wetsuit on quickly and so the fit is at its best

We walk you through a fundamental triathlon skill. Get it right and you’ll find race day morning much less stressful. Make sure your swim goes smoothly by starting with a well-fitted wetsuit.

Triathlon fundamentals: put your wetsuit on

Lube up

Before you step anywhere near your wetsuit, get busy with some lube. Specialist wetsuit lubes are best to preserve the neoprene, but baby oil will do. This is to help you get the suit off more than anything. Put plenty on your ankles and lower legs, wrists and forearms, and the back of your neck.

Wrap up

Getting the wetsuit nice and high above the ankle will help you work it into the right position. To make this easier, wrap your feet in carrier bags to help them slide through. If you’re on the short side, trimming your wetsuit slightly at the bottom will make getting it on and off easier.

Work it up

Work the wetsuit up your legs like a pair of tights, gathering it up and stretching the neoprene bit by bit. Mind your nails at this stage – it’s easy to cause a snag which develops into a full-blown tear. Make sure the tops of the wetsuit legs are right at the tops of your legs – a saggy crotch means it isn’t high enough.

Get your arms in

Now fold the top half of the suit up and work one arm in at a time. As with the legs, pull the arms right up, gathering neoprene at the shoulders if you can – this is where wetsuits are often tightest.

Zip up

Once both arms are in, zip yourself up. This might be impossible, in which case ask a friendly competitor to do it for you – you’ll need to push your chest out to close your shoulder blades together, as a well-fitting suit will always be on the snug side. Take the pull-cord and fix it in the Velcro at the neckline. Usually there’s a foldover flap to stop the Velcro or zip scratching – make sure you use it!