For competitive swimmers there are fewer better moments than putting on a brand new racing suit for the first time. Slipping into a $300 piece of fabric that has literally been designed by space scientists and that you know will help you swim faster is a glowing moment.

Here are three things that the fellas should be remembering when picking out a tech suit for men.

1. Comfort and fit.

This one seems obvious, but too often competitive swimmers get caught up in what the suit looks like, and how much it costs versus how it actually fits. Hit up your local swim shop and try on a couple of the new suits (provided they have display models for you to try on).

You should have a full range of motion with the suits. Make sure that you can swing your hips and legs, and that you can touch your toes without the suit giving you a serious case of plumber’s butt.

While you won’t be wearing the tech suit for all that long, you do need to be able to be comfortable and ready to swim at full power and velocity with it on, and this means being able to move freely.

A couple other notes on form and function:

·        The suit shouldn’t touch your knees.

·        Use the rubber grip strips to pull the suit on and off.

2. High waist vs. Low waist.

There’s one particular aspect to picking out a men’s tech suit that is unique to the fellas—you get to decide on how much butt crack you are going to show or not show.

Ultimately, what kind of suit that you end up choosing depends on how your hips and butt are built. A high waisted jammer is good for swimmers who tend to show a lot of butt crack with their swim suits.

Suit manufacturers will claim that the higher waist also promotes better core stability as well, but I am not sure that I buy this. The only thing that really promotes better core stability with men’s swim suits is stronger core stability.

High waisted jammers will sit around 1 to 1.5 inches above your hips.

3. Don’t forget to take care of it.

The shelf life of a men’s tech suit is not long. That’s the sad reality of these water-repelling fabrics that were quite literally designed by space scientists in a lab. For most suits the typical life is around 12-15 wears. That’s not much, when you think about it.

To get the most from your awesome new tech suit, make sure you are doing the following:

Rinsing it with cold water after wearing it. You might think that applying soap, shampoo, or throwing it in the washing machine is doing your suit a favor—it’s not. The chemicals will degrade your suit quickly. Take the suit off after your races and gently rinse out the chlorine with cold water.

 

Don’t ever put it in the dryer. The temptation to do so will be strong. Throwing it in the dryer for 15 minutes will be appealing, particularly when you have to be back at the pool for finals in a couple hours. The water-wicking fabric will wear out faster when you do this, and the suit will also become misshaped. Let it air dry on a towel—the suits dry rapidly on their own, and you’ll help to preserve it’s form longer.