If you have ever struggled to put on a wetsuit, you are not alone. Having worked in a tri shop that sold wetsuits and spent some time at the starting line of races, I have seen many triathletes–from beginners to advanced–struggle to put on their wetsuit. By the end of the sometime 5 minute ordeal, I would see them flushed, sweaty, and exhausted from the exertion of putting it on. I struggled for years and put many a tear in my wetsuits, until I learned this one trick:
Use a plastic shopping bag.
Yep, it is that simple and that easy. No special equipment needed. No extra expense. Just a regular plastic bag that you can get at a gas station convenience store.
- Put one foot into the plastic bag.
- Slide your foot with the plastic bag on it into one leg of the wetsuit and pull up until the wetsuit is above the ankle.
- Remove the plastic bag and put it onto your other foot.
- Repeat step 2 with the other leg.
- Hoist the wetsuit up your waist pulling from the inside of the suit to avoid a puncture.
- If a using a sleeved wetsuit, put your hand into the plastic bag and slide it through the sleeve until the wetsuit is over your wrist.
- Pull the plastic bag off and repeat for your other arm.
- Zipper up and warm up for your swim.
There you have it. Although the time it takes to suit up is not calculated into your overall race time, it should not be a struggle. Recycle those plastic bags and keep a spare in your race bag.