For triathletes and open water swimmers, a good quality wetsuit is a part of your kit. In this guide we look at the range of ORCA Wetsuits; considering the different technology and which ORCA wetsuit is best for you.
Orca has been producing innovative and technical wetsuits for over 20 years. It is a leading brand in the sports apparel industry, and embodies a passion for performance and quality. Just as triathlon embodies the principles of endurance, stamina and versatility, so does every piece in the Orca collection.
The ORCA Wetsuit Technologies
Orca wetsuits are built from some of the most advanced materials and technology available for swim specific wetsuits. In the section below we will explain these exciting features to help you understand some of the performance benefits that come with the Orca product range.
Active Compression This is the height of wetsuit technology. Featuring in the top of the range ORCA suits. It provides graduated compression where it is really needed; improving blood flow and reducing lactic acid production, muscle oscillation and muscle fatigue during exercise.
Aero Dome 2 Aero Dome 2 is ORCA's buoyancy technology. Beneath the surface of the neoprene are hundreds of air cavities; adding 30% more buoyancy than a normal 5mm neoprene suit.
Nano Ice Technology This outer layer of the wetsuit produces an incredibly low drag co-efficient. Less drag means less effort; that means lower energy expenditure, faster swim times and more energy for the bike leg.
Infinity Skin "It's what is on the inside that counts". Infinity skin in used to line the ORCA high end suits; it is an ultra flexible, four way stretch nylon; allowing increased freedom of movement and faster, more dynamic movements.
Exo-cell Technology A neoprene fabric with superb buoyancy and flexibility properties. This is a great fabric to find in any wetsuit, and will aid speed, reduce fatigue and help you to the next performance level.
44 Cell Neoprene Technology The pinnacle of neoprene technology from Yamamoto Corporation. Orca uses 1.5 and 2mm panels of 44 Cell neoprene, plus high stretch Infinity Skin, on areas of significant movement such as the arms and shoulders.
Choosing your ORCA Wetsuit
There are over twenty wetsuits in the current ORCA range, how do you choose the right one for you?
- Budget: The first factor will likely be budget; the higher your budget the higher the specification suit you will be able to afford. This means that the higher end suits such as the Predator range contain more of the advanced technologies from the above list, such as Active Compression.
- Warmth: The second factor is the level of insulation that your suit will provide. There are sleeveless suits, which clearly offer less warmth than full sleeved suits. There are also differing degrees of neoprene thickness. A thicker material will offer more insulation but can reduce freedom of movement slightly.
- Flotation: Longer distance swimmers will appreciate the benefits of added buoyancy found in ORCA's suits such as the Enduro series. These contain more fabrics like Exo-cell technology, which help to raise your body in the water for a more efficient swimming stroke.
Wetsuit panelling explained
ORCA wetsuits use the pannelling of fabrics to tailor the suit to your requirements. Therefore a suit focused on buoyancy for long distance swimming will feature buoyancy orientated fabrics such as Aero Dome 2 around the hips to help to "lift" your body in the water, even with fatigue.
You don't need to worry about which panels are what fabric on your suit, the important thing to understand is that suits such as the 3.8 Enduro, which are branded as endurance or buoyancy suits, will feature a greater number of buoyancy panels to make them more suitable to long distance swimming events and training sessions.
Male and Female Options
There are both male and female specific wetsuit options, as well as a number of wetsuits that are unisex compatible. Aside from the more female orientated cut of the women's suits, they also tend to feature less buoyancy around the hips.
Sizing and Fit
Fit is crucial to getting the most from your wetsuit; too tight and it will restrict movement, too loose and you will add drag.
On every ORCA Wetsuit product page there is a dedicated tab containing sizing information. Carefully match up your measurements with the sizes detailed in the size chart and you can enjoy the real benefits of ORCA's performance technologies.