TYR’s Freak Of Nature Up Close…Read More
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The $1,200 Wetsuit
A lot has been made of the Tyr Freak of Nature’s hefty price tag. It costs about 50 percent more than the second costliest suit on the market, and the price isn’t due to the slick six-pack abs painted on the stomach. It’s mostly due to the type of neoprene used to construct the Freak of Nature.
The entire wetsuit is built with Yamamoto #40 neoprene _ the most flexible wetsuit rubber _ and, as expected, the arms are extremely mobile. While it isn’t the only high-end suit with flexible arms, the Freak of Nature’s ability to flex and move with the entire body (not just with the shoulders) is completely unique.
Lance Armstrong swam in a Freak of Nature when he raced Xterra triathlon last fall because it “felt the most natural” of the suits he had tried. Our testers had a similar experience. The Freak of Nature’s shape is identical to the rest of Tyr’s line, but this suit fits differently than the others. The Yamamoto #40 neoprene torso conforms to the swimmer instead of compressing the body to match the suit. Although other suits have exceptionally flexible arms, the Freak of Nature has an unprecedented ability to mold to the swimmer, which erases potential imperfections in each individual fit.
Most wetsuits, including the Freak of Nature, have thin panels of neoprene under the armpit to minimize resistance against arm extension, but these slender segments aren’t as buoyant as the thicker panels at the center of the body. As a swimmer rotates onto his or her side to start a stroke, these thin panels are pressed into the water, causing a suit to become slightly less buoyant. The Freak of Nature counteracts this buoyancy issue with incredible efficiency. It has large patches of ultra-buoyant aerated neoprene _ neoprene with small, sealed pockets of air inside the rubber _ on the outer thighs and hips. These panels plunge into the water as the swimmer rolls onto his or her side and maximize buoyancy during this all-important phase of a swim stroke. As a result, the Freak of Nature kept testers at the surface of the water through an entire swim stroke without any bobbing.
So what does $1,200 buy you? A wetsuit that conforms to _ and moves naturally with _ the swimmer and promotes superior buoyancy through an entire stroke.
A $1,200 wetsuit? TYR went there. The Freak of Nature is constructed completely from Yamamoto’s extremely flexible #40 neoprene built on the paneling and fit used in their current top-level suit, the Category 5. TYR says this change in neoprene allows Freak of Nature to stretch 40% further than Cat. 5. In addition to the materials change, TYR added patches of aerated neoprene, built up the catch panel and included other out-of-water value-add features. We will have to get one in the water to see if the suit’s swimming performance justifies the price tag, which is nearly double most brand’s top-level suits, but Chrissie Wellington is calling it, “far and away the most amazing wetsuit I have ever had the privilege to swim in.”
TYR is preserving the same fit and paneling used on the Hurricane Category 5 wetsuit. Triathletemagazine reviewed the suit in the July Swimsuit Issue. Here’s what Tech Editor Aaron Hersh thought about the suit’s fit that, at the time, was TYR’s premier model.
The anatomical precision of the Category 5’s torso is blatantly obvious once in the water. Of all the suits reviewed, the Cat. 5 was the only one able to keep water out by tightly wrapping the swimmer without creating pressure points. Since a swimmer wearing a wetsuit is positively buoyant, water that seeps between the suit and the swimmer reduces buoyancy. Many suits are designed to fit tightly for that specific reason, but the Category 5 was the best at blocking water without squeezing the swimmer…
The suit’s flexible shoulders complement the feeling of freedom created by its well-fitting chest. The arm, shoulder and back panels are all exceptionally thin and have few seams. All three of these regions of the suit pull on each other during a stroke, and the combination of flexible materials and clever design frees the shoulders of restriction. There is no outward tug that some tight suits can create.
Although the Freak of Nature’s paneling is identical to the Cat. 5, the fit will actually be slightly different due to the type of neoprene. The Cat. 5’s torso is constructed using a mix of neoprenes with different degrees of flexibility. Since Freak of Nature uses only Yamamoto #40, an extremely flexible blend, its torso is likely to stretch more and fit slightly differently than the Cat. 5. Chrissie Wellington describes the fit as, “light and snug without being restrictive.” TYR told a story about the subtle difference in fit from a product testing session with Andy Potts. His first reaction when wearing the suit was that it was too tight, and he asked for a bigger suit. TYR staff convinced Potts to try it, and the additional stretch in fact allowed the suit to conform to his body. Potts stuck with that original size.
Other than being constructed of only Yamamoto #40 neoprene, Freak of Nature has several other features that separate it from Category 5 and some other top end wetsuits. Carefully located segments of aerated neoprene are placed on the chest, hips and thighs to maximize the buoyancy of both the upper and lower portions of the swimmer’s body. TYR also extended the piece of super-buoyant material around the outside of the swimmer’s hips. These segments are plunged into the water as the swimmer rolls from side to side, and using thick neoprene in this location has benefited body position on other suits tested by Triathlete. TYR took this design a step farther than some brands by using not only thick neoprene, but aerated thick neoprene, which is the most buoyant variety. Freak of Nature also has a forearm catch panel covered with massive, nearly rigid plastic “V’s.”
The back and shoulder panels used in Freak of Nature utilize the pattern that has been proven in their existing suits to effectively isolate the shoulder and zipper to maximize arm flexibility. We found the Cat 5. to be very flexible, and the addition of #40 neoprene and extremely flexible inner jersey liner through the suit might further reduce restriction on the arms. TYR says the materials change allows the arms to stretch to 40% more than the Cat 5. Although we haven’t swum in Freak of Nature, TYR athlete Chrissie Wellington has. She says it’s, “allows for complete range of motion.” This extremely flexible construction can also effect the support the suit provides to the swimmer’s core by reducing the amount of pressure it applies to the torso.
TYR wants to create a wetsuit buying experience analogous to a luxury car buying experience. The suit comes in a wood, rubber and metal case inscribed with an individual serial number assigned to the suit. That number becomes the ID associated with the suit’s owner and TYR plans to connect with Freak of Nature swimmers to provide them with additional surprises after they have purchased the suit. It also comes with a silicone cap that graphically matches the suit and a care kit to wash it and repair fingernail cuts. The men’s version has a red and gold color scheme, the women’s is white and gold.
This week we noticed the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature wetsuit, the Rapha Embrocation, the Arcteryx Trino jacket, a Bespoke doormat, a Zippo hand warmer, interesting cufflinks and a bike versus blades battle.
TYR Freak of Nature
What: The TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature wetsuit was announced at Interbike, but was not yet revealed. Lance Armstrong showed up with one a few weeks later at the XTERRA USA championships in Ogden, Utah. Now you can own one of these soft and pliant $1,200 suits.
Sizes: S, SM, M, ML, L (men) S,SM, M, ML (women)
Meet the world’s first 100 percent 40-cell wetsuit…Read More
TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature Wetsuit Available Now…Read More
TYR have released a wetsuit made from Yamamotos neoprene #40. This type of neoprene stretches up to 40% further but comes at a cost of around ﾣ760 ($1200), almost double that of the current top brands premium triathlon wetsuits. Patches of aerate neoprene have also been added.
Established in 1985 TYR, pronounce tier and named after the Norse God of warriors, provide top quality triathlon and swimming clothing worn by the likes of tri champion Chrissie Wellington According to triathlon.competitor.com
The Freak of Natures paneling is is exactly the same as the Hurricane category 5 but beacause of the change in neoprene the fit will be slightly different with specifically placed sections of aerated neoprene on the thighs, hips and chest. TYR have even gone as far as using a thicker neoprene on the outside of the swimmers legs to aid balance as the triathlete rolls from side to side in the water.
The new suit is said to offer a complete complete range of motion by Chrissie Wellington herself while Andy Potts found the fit initially too tight but soon found the suit conformed to his body. In case you weren’t yet convinced the suit comes in a luxury wood, metal and rubber case along with an individual serial number assigned to the suit.
Responses online so far have applauded TYR for their ingenuity but many money concous tirathletes may find it difficult to justify the price tag and might relay on harder training and perfecting technique to get them to the front of the pack.
TYR is excited to announce the availability of triathlon’s new premiere wetsuit: the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature. Available on TYR.com and at select retailers, the “Freak” is constructed of 100 percent 40 cell Nano SCS Yamamoto neoprene and able to stretch over seven times its static state. Elevation panels throughout the chest, core, and thighs, along with a .17 specific gravity, enable triathletes to keep their body properly positioned in the water.
Triathletes seeking top of the line speed and luxury along with a unique customer experience will get the total package with this suit. Packaged in a TYR branded steel briefcase with a custom swim cap, wetsuit care kit, and a member card with an individualized access code, customers will be able to register at tyr.com/limitswillfall for exclusive benefits and contests.
Those who purchase and register their suit will also be eligible to win a slot in the Ironman U.S. Championship in New York City. After registering the suit, customers will be prompted to write a caption for the above photo. Captions will be judged on originality, humor, and the spirit of triathlon. (For more information on the official rules of the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature Ironman New York 2012 Contest, visit tyr.com/limitswillfall/officialrules.)
Top triathletes around the world are already praising the benefits of the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature. Andy Potts, who was first out of the water at the 2010 and 2011 Ironman World Championships, calls the Freak of Nature’s expanded ROM zones “otherworldly effective”, while 4x Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington has said it is “far and away the most amazing wetsuit I have ever had the privilege to swim in.” Racing in the Freak of Nature for the first time, TYR’s Amanda Stevens was first out of the water at 2011 Ironman Arizona.
In addition to Wellington and Potts, other key athletes that will race in TYR’s Hurricane Freak of Nature wetsuit include reigning 2011 Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander, 2010 Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, and Ironman Champions Julie Dibens and TJ Tollakson.
Limited quantities are available now at select retail stores and on TYR.com for the holiday season. Additional quantities will be available for Spring 2012.
TYR has confirmed the availability of its new flagship wetsuit: the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature. Accompanying the roll-out of its new suit, customers will be eligible to win a slot in the sold out Ironman US Championship in New York on 11 August 2012.
Available on TYR.com and at selected retailers, the ‘Freak’ is constructed of 100% 40 cell Nano SCS Yamamoto neoprene and is able to stretch over seven times its static state. Elevation panels throughout the chest, core, and thighs, along with a .17 specific gravity, enable triathletes to keep their body properly positioned in the water.
The wetsuit is packaged in a TYR branded steel briefcase with a custom Freak of Nature swim cap, a wetsuit care kit and a member card with an individualized access code. Freak of Nature customers will be able to register at tyr.com/limitswillfall for exclusive benefits and contests.
To enter the contest to win a slot for the Ironman U.S. Championship, Freak of Nature owners must first register their wetsuit at tyr.com/limitswillfall, where they will be prompted to write a caption for a competition photo (below).
Captions will be ‘judged on originality, humor, and the spirit of triathlon.’ For more information on the official rules of the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature Ironman New York 2012 Contest, visit tyr.com/limitswillfall/officialrules.
Top triathletes around the world are already praising the benefits of the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature. Andy Potts, who was first out of the water at the 2010 and 2011 Ironman World Championships, calls the Freak of Nature’s expanded ROM zones “otherworldly effective”, while four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington has said it is “far and away the most amazing wetsuit I have ever had the privilege to swim in.” Meanwhile, racing in the Freak of Nature for the first time, TYR’s Amanda Stevens was first out of the water at 2011 Ironman Arizona.
In addition to Wellington and Potts, other key athletes racing in TYR’s Hurricane Freak of Nature wetsuit include reigning 2011 Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander, 2010 Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, and Ironman Champions Julie Dibens and TJ Tollakson.
Limited quantities are available now at selected retail stores and on TYR.com for the holiday season. Additional quantities will be available for spring 2012.
The following North American multisport retailers have partnered with TYR on an early launch of the TYR Hurricane Freak of Nature, ahead of the full roll-out in 2012:
TYR Freak of Nature, $1,200
A wetsuit that costs $1,200? Yes, TYR has one. Taking the Freak of Nature into transition is guaranteed to set you apart. It begins with the special wood and metal case that is inscribed with a special serial number. (Oh, did we mention this is a limited model?) It continues with the super-comfy and snug fit thanks to the Yamamoto #40 neoprene that�s used throughout this suit. TYR has thrown in pretty much every bell and whistle they can, too. There are special elevation panels made with aerated neoprene to optimize your position in the water, stretch panels (ROM Zones, as the TYR folks like to call them) to provide optimal flexibility where you need it, quick-release ankle cuffs and V-GCP panels to improve your catch. (If you need to ask, this might not be for you.) TYR wants to make the process of buying a wetsuit like buying a car. This one will feel like you�re off to get a Ferrari. Look for our full review of the Freak of Nature in our March issue.