If the names Gina Crawford and Lucy Hall mean anything to you, you're probably already familiar with the Washington-based Blueseventy. But, if you're not familiar with the names, perhaps you're familiar with one of its products, the Nero. Yes, the swimskin that was shortly banned from competition for essentially being too fast. This is a sample of the directive taken by the engineers at Blueseventy -- 70% of the world is covered in water, let's get through it as fast as possible. A not surprisingly, this ideology has carried over to its wetsuits. Case in point is the new Reaction Women's Wetsuit.
Blueseventy produced the Reaction with a buoyancy ratio of 4-5-4. This means that the cell density of the suit's buoyancy sectors varies throughout its construction, from 4mm to 5mm. At the chest, you'll find two lateral panels of 4mm Yamamoto C38 neoprene. Additionally, the torso runs 5mm down to the lower legs. This maximizes buoyancy by keeping the hips high in the water, creating an efficient, 'downhill' swimming position. At the lower legs, where articulation is less frequent, you'll find that Blueseventy incorporated a 4mm Yamamoto C39 neoprene.
So, you might be asking yourself, why is any of this important? Well, just as curvy, sleek shapes minimize your drag coefficient on land, a wetsuit's level of buoyancy is the minimizing variable in the water. The supporting science behind this claim is fairly elementary -- water is around 1000 times denser than air, and it produces a potential drag coefficient 10 times that of air, as well. So, minimizing your body's submergence is vital to optimizing hydrodynamics. Accordingly, Blueseventy awarded the Reaction with the maximum thickness allowed under IFR, 5mm. Additionally, by placing 5mm panels along the back of the hips, you'll experience less body roll through your stroke, maximizing the efficiency of your movements.
However, buoyancy amounts to nothing if your flexibility is inhibited by dense neoprene. And, not surprisingly, this is where the Reaction truly shines. In fact, you'll find that the Reaction features a thin 1.5mm neoprene in the arms and underarm gussets. In addition to this, Blueseventy carried this flexible construction throughout the Reaction. The central split chest panel features a 3mm density, while the back panel uses a 2mm density. More impressively, the Reaction features Blueseventy's Orange A-Flex inner jersey, providing a quick-release from the suit heading into T1.
It's also worth noting that all of the aforementioned panels are constructed from SCS-coated Yamamoto neoprene. And if you're wondering what SCS is, it's a hydrodynamic, silicone coating that provides an added level of buoyancy, while lowering the suit's coefficient of kinetic friction. Without entering into a physics lesson, the coefficient of kinetic friction is most simply described as the ratio of the force of friction between two bodies, and the force pressing them together. And in this case, the two bodies are your body and the water and friction occurs concurrently with their motions. So, in the real world, SCS acts almost like an accelerant as it reduces the friction between yourself and the water, ultimately requiring you to exert less force in order to gain more speed.
The Blueseventy Reaction Women's Wetsuit is available in one color and in the sizes WL, WLA, WM, WML, WMS, WS, and WXS.