Tag Archives: high end wetsuits

Helix Wetsuit Review

The Helix. Crazy. Fast.

Finally, a high-end wetsuit designed for an elite level athlete. The Helix wetsuit is designed for athletes who understand that certain wetsuits may increase your buoyancy to the point where the suit counteracts a strong swimmer’s stroke, forcing them to float too high in the water, interrupting a memorized motion that’s been practiced and refined for years. Blue Seventy’s top-tier design keeps athletes neutrally buoyant while strategically placed buoyancy panels deliver float in all the right areas.

In addition to a high-performance body position the Helix offers a rare and dangerously thin 1mm thickness in both the shoulders and arms, giving the athlete serious range of motion but also allows for a greater “feel” of the water. This means that the athlete is more aware of their arm position, encouraging better technique and a more efficient overall stroke.

This is a great thing if you’re a serious swimmer looking for a serious suit, but for the serious triathlete the Helix not only offers full graduated compression in the legs of the suit, improving blood flow; the back of the knee is composed of special flex panels to keep your transition bound legs pumping up the beach without added resistance.

The reverse zip design is yet another advanced attribute that is designed for a more masterful athlete. What it means for you:

  • Faster suit exit
  • Can’t be pulled down by other swimmers
  • Thinner neck results in greater comfort and improved sighting

This is far and away the Helix’s greatest design triumph and tragedy. Honesty, I can’t zip it without help, period, which is where for me the suit looses some of it’s luster. If you’re a strong swimmer, advanced triathlete or swim stroke nerd then the Helix will be the fastest suit you’ve ever worn or will ever wear and if you’re not, you have a suit to look forward to wearing when all that training and coaching pays off.

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Orca Alpha Review

My first impression on the Alpha is that it’s another flagship wetsuit from a quality manufacturer, and it is. What I’ve discovered is that reviews or outside industry impressions are scarce and far-between for the Alpha and that the majority of the copy on the internet comes straight from Orca’s marketing department. Allow me to fill in the blanks.

You can expect the standard top of the line qualities from the Alpha: 40 cell Yamamoto, Nano SCS coating, quick out ankles etc. These are all features that have become commonplace most of the uncommon top tiered suits but what sets the Alpha apart from the rest of the pack are three key features.

  1. The Alpha’s shoulders are ridiculously thin. 1.5mm thin to be exact. The idea is that you want a balance between form and function and the 1.5mm thickness gives your body the range of motion needed for your swim stroke without sacrificing buoyancy.
  2. Instead of simply adding a gripper or pattern for the catch panel the Alpha instead features a 3mm thick contoured catch panel, branded as “AquaTread”. The added thickness layered on the super thin 1.5mm shoulders/arms gives the suit just a bit more buoyancy positioned in the perfect place
  3. “Aerodome” 5mm neoprene.  Orca took a 5mm cut of it’s 40cell Yamamoto neoprene, put a bunch of holes in it and then sealed it. The holes increase the buoyancy of the paneled areas by 30%, trapping air and using it to keep your tired rear afloat.

After looking over the suit I can’t wait to take it out for a test swim and as far as flagship wetsuits go, the Alpha is now at the top of my list.