The most common racing suit styles are 1.5 inch to 3 inch paneled briefs (as measured by the height and length of the suit's side panel). The racing suit's main function is to reduce the drag of an athlete in water, thus improving his time. For this reason racing suits are made of materials that hug the body, minimize friction and minimize water retention. Spandex (Lycra) suits generally produce less drag, but are also more vulnerable to prolonged exposure to chlorine than nylon. Therefore, nylon suits are preferred for training and practice, where the increased durability is required for the long periods of usage and the extra resistance brings a training benefit. Lycra suits (and composite hi-tech swimwear fabrics) are preferred for actual racing. In water polo and sometimes in diving, suits may have panels greater than 3 inches.
Water polo players generally wear racing suits. This is to minimize the fabric available to grabbing and pulling by opponents - actions that are illegal yet often happen underwater - while not compromising the strength of the fabric. High-level players wear specialized suits, usually of a very tight fit and made of thicker, tougher and more slippery fabric, intended to thwart pulling and grabbing during rough play; they often wear two suits on top of each other.
Famous quotes containing the words suits and/or racing:
“They are actions that a man might play,
But I have that within which passes show,
These but the trappings and the suits of woe.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“Upscale people are fixated with food simply because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they dont get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure. The very same people whose evenings begin with melted goats cheese ... get up at dawn to run, break for a mid-morning aerobics class, and watch the evening news while racing on a stationary bicycle.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941)