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trebuchet03 04-17-2008 01:54 AM

Speedo LZR
 
Okay, I don't know how "into" the Olympics everyone is... But I really like it... A friend of mine was telling my about the LZR suit kit Speedo released earlier this year - and it's a bit of a controversy with the Olympics because so many records are being broken (since the suit's release, all but one or two of the 30 or so record breaks were done with swimmers wearing the suit). It's so good that athletes are dumping their sponsors to get their hands on one (the price is ~$500 for civilians - competitors must wear a new suit ever 10 uses apparently).

So first, what do you think - is it in the spirit of the Olympics? Personally, I think the tech advancement is great - but I don't see it in the "spirit." I like the Olympics because it's human powered. Ancient Greece didn't have neoprene and polyurethane ultrasonically welded suits with built in girdle like midsection developed by Speedo and NASA :p I know, the same debate came up in 2004 about the shark suit - but world "records" are pretty much vestigial at this point. You just can't compare records from one year to another. There's a reason Pro baseball hasn't switched over the Aluminum bats.

And no, I don't see it as tech doping ;)

To bring this to topic.... any idea what it is? Anyone have connections with someone with the LZR kit? I really want to get my hands on a sample and throw it under a microscope (if I ask nice enough, I might be able to get it on a SEM - if it's really that detailed). If not an LZR - how about a shark skin (wasn't that made by Nike?)?


I think human speed in water is too fast to compare with car speed in air (medium fish at 6mph is about the corollary for a velomobile sized vehicle). But, I'm interested in seeing what's on the surface :D I'll totally cover my car in wetsuits :D

aerohead 04-17-2008 11:34 AM

Lzr
 
Sorry,don't know a thing about it,however,seems like its either got something to do with boundary layer flow,as the athletes morph during stroke and position recovery,or the material traps air and effectively reduces the wetted area of the swimmers body,kinda like the Russian,rocket-powered,full-cavitation torpedo.


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