Speedo designed a new state-of-the-art suit (LZR) that has had amazing results. A high number of World Records have been broken since the suit was introduced in the last year. The suit is supposed to create less drag and has reduced swimmer's times. I've read comments by swimmers saying it feels like they are wearing nothing at all in the pool.
A few other important points for us non-swimmers:
the material is water repellent, and the seams are sealed, which means it neither allows water in nor absorbs a single drop (read: near-zero drag);
the cut and placement of the elastic material contours a resting/tired body into the correct position for swimming;
the dasm thing is bouyant; that's right, it floats.
(Hope I got all those right, I read a piece of this suits in Sporting News a while back.)
EDIT: I believe it's TYR who also makes a version of the suit that's been very successful as well. Hilarity and law suits ensued.
Nike-sponsored swimmers are allowed to wear the LZR in competition (that's how badly Nike values its swimmers' WRs).
Many world class swimmers switch between the brands/suits, depending on the stroke. Cost is $500-800, and AFAIK they are not yet for sale to the general public.
As I understand it, the suits caused a huge freakin' broughhaha within the swimming community, as one might expect from a racing suit that FREAKIN' FLOATS......
Edited by Omar's Wacky Neighbor, 10 August 2008 - 06:06 AM.