TYR Hurricane Wetsuit Review
I’ve been getting back into swimming recently. Swimming in a pool is great, but as I have to drive 10 miles to get to the nearest pool just popping in for an hours session takes over two hours and therefore isn’t very economical as far as time or money goes. I therefore decided to try some open-water swimming and recently bought a TYR Hurricane wetsuit specifically for this purpose.
As a windsurfer, surfer, kite-surfer who lives on the beach I spend most of my time in a wetsuit and have quite a collection of them. The TYR Hurricane is specifically designed for swimming, particularly Triathlons. It is essentially a full smoothskin suit with short legs, flexible thin neoprene on the arms and shoulders and a 5mm torso and legs. It is the bottom of the range of the TYR suits which should be fine for someone just starting out in open-water swimming without any huge competitive aspirations. In fact, even if I was to start competing I’d probably use such a suit for training and then have a better one for competitions.
According to TYR it has:
Free R.O.M. Zones that eliminate constriction, allowing the swimmer to achieve a long reach while placing no strain on the shoulder.
Speed Wrap Paneling which employ the lightest Yamamoto Nano SCS Coated 5mm neoprene panels throughout the entire leg, chest, and core to raise the swimmer in the water to reduce form drag.
Form Fitting Wrist Cuffs that allow powerful strokes while keeping water from entering the suit.
Quick Release Ankle Cuffs allowing the ankle of the suit to reverse and open for a quick and effortless removal during Transition in a Triathlon.
I’ve tried the suit a couple of times now and it certainly feels as though it makes me quicker in the water.
First though, the fit. I bought the suit online from Wiggle as there isn’t anywhere nearby to try one on. I checked the sizing guides both on Wiggles site and the TYR website. I’m 5’6″ and about 72kg. According to the sizing guides that puts me in the middle of the ‘Small size’ which should fit someone 5’5″-5’9″ and 62-75kg. I’m not usually a small, I’m usually a medium but fit in a wetsuit is important so I took the sizing guides word for it and ordered the small.
That was a mistake as I just couldn’t get into it. So, I sent it back and ordered the next size up, a ‘Small Medium’ which according to the size guides will suit someone 5’7″ – 6’0″ and 66-78kg. As always Wiggle’s returns procedure and delivery was quick and efficient, but even the Small Medium still feels very tight, I don’t see how some one 6’0″ and 78kg could get into it. In fact, the tightness of the suit means that I’ve so far been unsuccessful at doing the suit up on my own. I probably should have gone with my first instincts and just bought a ‘Medium’ but according to the sizing guide that sounded far too big. I’ve now used the Small Medium so will have to keep it – maybe it will be an incentive to get down to the 66kg!
So, if you’re buying such a suit I highly recommend going to a shop and trying them on for size. They are supposed to be a tighter fit than a surfing wetsuit but you still need to be able to get it on on your own and too tight will restrict your movements which will probably lead to bad form in your swim stroke.
In the Water
Once I’ve got into it and I’m in the water it feels good. Yes, it’s still a little tight but it helps keep my body in a good position with my legs floating high in the water. It seems to slide through the water really well and the suit doesn’t appear to restrict my shoulders too much whilst swimming. It also encourages me to roll when breathing rather than turning my head. There are two reasons for this, the first is that the suit helps maintain some lateral stiffness in your body, the second is that I went out without a rash vest on first time and the suit rubbed my neck really badly – It was so sore that I didn’t want to twist my head at all as that made it worse – I guess that’s one way to encourage a good body roll when swimming
I do suffer quite badly from this with most suits though and always wear a lycra rash-vest when in other wetsuits. I shall now wear a rash vest with my TYR Hurricane which will hopefully eliminate this problem. However I wouldn’t want to wear a rash vest in a Triathlon as that would be an extra garment to get out of during a transition.
Talking of transitions, the suit is really easy to take off making for a very quick transition from the swim to the bike. The super-slick smooth-skin exterior of the suit just glides over itself when wet making it slip off. The thin arm and stretchy cuffs allow the sleeves to peel off your arms really easily and the short legs and extra thin panel at the bottom of them allow the suit to stretch over your ankles and heels and pop off your feet without any problem whatsoever – I’ve never got out of a wetsuit so quickly!
Overall this seem like an excellent entry level suit. It has many features of the higher level suits and will be the perfect training suit for all levels of swimmer. It will be a fine competition suit for most people too. It is well made, although only time will tell as to its longevity – Completely smoothskin suits never last that long. It will certainly make you quicker in the swim than not wearing a wetsuit and it looks good too. Just watch out for the sizing issues and if possible try before you buy.