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March 28, 2008 – More than a dozen records have been broken since Speedo introduced the Fastskin LZR Racer earlier this year. Coincidence? Maybe.

The impact of Speedo’s new swimsuit is causing some serious waves in the sporting world. A recent article tells how this hi-tech swimsuit threatens to move the sport forward by seconds in the next few months.

Unbelievably, the LZR swimsuit, which uses technology developed by the rocket scientists at NASA, is the common denominator in all world record performances so far this year. This flurry of records has driven a lively debate, which seems to be polarizing former swimmers, administrators and coaches of elite athletes.

What is the big deal with the LZR suit?

According to websites and recent news articles, the suit appers to have three innovations:

  • A tighter, corset-like midsection that is reported to reduce fatigue at the end of races.
  • A new material that is water repellant and reduces drag by 5% compared to older, slower swmsuits.
  • Seamless construction, consisting of special panels of the repellant material that further reduces drag.

Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff told the Today Show audience that when wearing the suit she “feels like a bullet speeding through the water.”  Natalie Coughin, Dara Torres and Katie Ziegler are also fans of the new LZR.

Officials from the International Swimming Federation (FINA, the sport’s governing body), want to speak with Speedo even though the company apparently met with FINA and adhered to all the regulations for swim-suit design. With the Olympics looming you can expect the terms ‘unfair advantage’ and ‘performance enhancing’ to show up on the agenda.

What do you think?

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