Available for sale in February 2011, Aqua Sphere is posing a simple question with its new Phantom wetsuit: what’s the point of a high-tech wetsuit if it doesn’t live up to its claims?
“There’s a lot of complex sounding wetsuit technology on the market that we feel simply doesn’t live up to its claims,” said Aqua Sphere’s Martin Newton. “That’s why we consulted stroke experts and, through trial and error, believe we have come up with game changing technologies that will help swimmers perform better.”
According to Aqua Sphere its new Phantom wetsuit is the result of in-depth research on stroke mechanics, human kinetics, hydrodynamics and general functionality.
By examining, ‘what makes good swimmers fast,’ Aqua Sphere has developed three technologies supported by the science of swimming that improve upon a swimmer’s strength, flexibility and power – all main factors in optimal performance.
Strength: Core Power System
Research: good posture in the water translates to a stronger stroke and increased propulsion per stroke.
Result: Aqua Sphere designed the core power system (CPS), an integrated wrap-around Velcro brace that stabilizes the core muscles (abdominal and back) to improve posture and provide a streamlined body position in the water, allowing swimmers to generate more powerful hip rotation, increase range of motion in the shoulders and lengthen arm extension.
So rather than wasting energy to correct poor body position, the CPS is aimed at helping swimmers generate more power and increase their distance per stroke.
Flexibility: Bio-Stretch Zone
Research: good flexibility eliminates restriction around the shoulders, maximizing a swimmer’s reach and extension. Additionally, good flexibility enables swimmers to hold a better streamline position in the water, allowing the body to move forward with less resistance.
Result: to maximize a swimmers range of motion, Aqua Sphere developed Bio-Stretch Zones that enhance performance by increasing flexibility and decreasing buoyancy at specific points along the sleeve and shoulder in order to minimize resistance during the pull phase.
Purposely constructed panels provide maximum buoyancy at the top of the chest and taper down to 1mm bio-stretch panels (the most flexible in the industry) around the shoulders, arms and lower back to follow and aid the natural movements of a swimmer in order to eliminate any restriction and ensure maximum reach for a greater distance per stroke.
Aqua Sphere notes that by increasing the range of motion in the arms, shoulders and torso – vital energy is saved, technique improves and the swimmer is able to swim faster, harder and longer
Power: Auto-Positioning Sleeve
Research: one of the most common mistakes in swimming mechanics is dropping the elbow during the catch and pull phase of a stroke. By dropping the elbow, swimmers decrease the surface area of their ‘paddle’ resulting in loss of power and propulsion.
Result: Aqua Sphere says that it puts an end to the dreaded dropped elbow with the advent of the Auto-Positioning Sleeve, which ensures that a swimmer’s arm is in the optimal position – perpendicular to the water – throughout the catch and pull phase of their stroke.
A strategically placed 5mm thick band positioned above the elbow automatically promotes high elbows, while a visual cue on the forearm reminds swimmers to maintain proper hand and arm rotation for maximum power and propulsion.
In addition, the Phantom wetsuit is constructed utilizing full 5mm panels through the entire core, waist and legs to maximize buoyancy and body position. Other advancements include Asymmetrical HydroGrip Power Panels on the forearm, internal wrist gaskets to prevent water from entering the suit, quick release ankle transition panels, and an extended length reverse zipper for quicker and easier removal.
Created in a ‘head turning stealth black/green design’, the Phantom is at the premium end of the wetsuit market. From February 2011, the Phantom is available in the full size range for men and women for an SRP of £539.99.
The Aqua Sphere Phantom will be formally unveiled at the TCR Show, Sandown Park, UK on 11-13 February 2011.