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t1 FAQs

What is the difference between the First Wave and the Black Pearl?

The single difference between the FIRST WAVE and the BLACK PEARL is the type of the rubber. All other features remain the same: the fit, the construction, and the rubber thickness.

The FIRST WAVE is made of Yamamoto #39 and the BLACK PEARL is made of #38 rubber. Both are coated on the outside with Yamamoto SCS™ Super Composite Skin. The #39 rubber is more closed-cell and is slightly lighter in weight. Because of this, you float better. Also, the #39 rubber is a slightly more flexible, however this does not imply that the #38 is not flexible. The #38 is more flexible than the rubber used by many of our competitors. Combine that with the way our wetsuits are designed to fit, in addition to our new innovative zipper, and you likely have the best and second best wetsuit on the market.

What is a Speedtube?

The Speedtube™ is a 3/4-length wetsuit pant that ties at the waist and comes in either 2 mm (#ST2) or 5 mm (#ST5) thickness. Made of #38 Yamamoto SCS™, the Speedtube can be worn alone or combined with any of the T1 tops. It is a great piece to wear in wetsuit-legal races, but the water is too warm for a full wetsuit. If you overheat easily, this is the perfect alternative to a fullsuit without losing the wetsuit-flotation advantage.

The Speedtube 5 is a great piece for open water swims or even pool training. It lifts the hips and allows for quality swims without losing torso rotation, which often occurs when wearing a pull buoy.

Will water seep in between the Speedtube and any of your tops?

Yes, but that is what helps keep you from overheating. Remember even in races where the water is warm, as long as the race permits you to wear a wetsuit, you should so to reap the advantage of the buoyancy!

What is the story behind the Smart1™?

A lesson from the insideout: All wetsuit rubber has some sort of fabric lining the inside. This fabric has a number of functions. First, since it is laminated to the rubber, it strengthens the rubber to keep it from tearing; second it gives the thread used to stitch the glued seams something to grab on to; and third it offers comfort and reduces abrasion while wearing it.

While higher quality and more expensive rubber like our Yamamoto #38 and #39 are quite durable with the SCS (Super Composite Skin) exterior coatings, lower priced rubber will typically have a smoothskin on the outside that is not as slick as SCS and will tear quite easily. Anyone that has spent time around wetsuits knows that almost all tears in wetsuits start on the smoothskin side. Simply put, the jersey side of a wetsuit hardly ever tears first, since the laminated nylon/spandex fabric is what gives rubber its strength.

How we apply this lesson to The smart1™: The smart1™ Pullover and 3/4-Bibjohn are made of nylon/spandex laminated to the rubber on both sides. We use a very strong and non-absorbent fabric so that the suit moves with ease through the water and removes even easier off your body. We do this to offer, as we spoke of above, a more durable wetsuit.

So, the final result is a great entry-level wetsuit, that will keep you warm, help you swim faster, is very durable, and is very affordable...the entire suit is about $250.00.

Will Bodyglide help in getting the wetsuit on and off?

No. Body Glide does not help in getting it ON and OFF. Body Glide only helps in keeping the wetsuit from chafing you while it is on. It will not make removal any easier.

Why do you claim the T1 is faster than other wetsuits?

All well-made wetsuits employ top-grade rubber and have good patterns. As such, they all allow for flotation, hydrodynamics, and reduced entry of water into the suit while swimming. All suits are not create equally, however, as regards stroke rate. A well-made two-piece suit grants the user maximum flexibility and minimal impedance. A one-piece suit guarantees a level of restriction that governs stroke rate. For years you've heard the mantra: "A fullsuit is the fastest suit, but it wants to be used in a certain way, namely, long, slow distance freestyle technique." Swim in a one-piece fullsuit in any other way and your arms will load up and you'll go anaerobic. This is the case with ANY one-piece suit. In a two-piece fullsuit, you can swim in it however you want, at whatever stroke rate you prefer, and this just makes you faster.

Why are the legs on the T1 thicker than the torso?

The body is cantilevered in the water. If you float the legs, the torso will sink, and if you float the torso, the legs will sink. We designed the T1 to float the most dense part of your body: the legs, thighs and hips. In doing so we engineer you into the swimming position most recommended by swim coaches. Some call it "swimming downhill," or "swimming over a barrel." This keeps your hips up (and thus your legs) and your shoulders down. We were the first company to do this...others have now caught on.

I have heard two-piece wetsuits are less buoyant and recommended only for faster swimmers. Is this true?

NOT TRUE. It is said that, "If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth." This is the lie told by another wetsuit company, worried that you will buy a wetsuit other than theirs. Don't fall for it. An examination of the T1 will yield the truth: The flotation characteristics of the T1 are not only equal to one-piece suits, they're better.

Some of wetsuit brands have special textured rubber on the arms that they claim helps get better pull in the water. Why do you not have this?

Years before any current company brought this feature to market Dan Empfield, then owner of Quintana Roo, employed this method and, before bringing it to market, investigated it. The reason QR didn't bring textured or ribbed pulling surfaces to market under Empfield's tenure was that they tested slower than smooth rubber. Why? Because ribs or dimples trap air during the catch. It has been well-known for decades that one of the characteristics of successful elite swimmers is their ability to shed air from their pulling surface during the catch. Smooth rubber simply tests faster as a pulling surface than ribbed or textured rubber.

Is the T1 is hard to remove?

Once you learn how, no, it is not. Like many things in this sport there is a learning curve to removing the T1. It is a quick one at that, and it really becomes a non-issue after you have learned the process.

Does too much water get into the suit?

Just like any other wetsuit, if you are in the wrong size, then too much water will get in. If you are fitted properly, no more water will get in than is necessary. Indeed, a common experience is to feel the first, cold trickle of water enter the suit well into the swim leg instead of after immediately entering the water to warm up.

Is the T1 warm enough for cold water events?

Yes it is. While one might think that a top of 2 mm is not going to keep you warm, remember that the Bibjohn extends up your torso almost to your rib cage. The back part of the bibs covers your spine which is where (next to your head) most of your body heat is lost.

What is the Temperature rating of the T1 Wetsuits?

It is not realistically possible for any wetsuit company to put a temperature rating on a wetsuit as so much of a person's ability to stay warm for any period of time is based, not just on the wetsuit, but also the individual's tolerance to cold.

That being said, I will tell you that many people have used the T1 Wetsuit in water temps of 50 and below. The low 50's in SF Bay for Alcatraz, the Puget Sound in Seattle, and even in the Milford Sound in New Zealand where the temps drop below 50. Nobody has ever complained that our wetsuit is not warm enough. We have sold thousands of T1 Wetsuits and the biggest concern is being too warm. But the nice thing when the water is too warm you can wear just one of the two pieces. So get the T1 and swim in the cold water, and see for yourself.

Some wetsuit companies have special panels that have more stretch that others (such as under the arms). Does that work?

Yes, it does, but here is my question. If you find a rubber that stretches more that the rest of the rubber of your wetsuit, why not make the entire suit out of that "stretchier" rubber? That is what we do.

Can I shorten the legs or arms of my T1?

If you want to cut the legs/arms of any wetsuit, go for it. It is not rocket science, and if a suit is well made, it should not cause any additional damage to the suit. Keep in mind that shortening the legs reduced the speed...

1. Decide how short you want the legs.

2. Turn the suit inside out and draw the cut-lines with a piece of chalk.

3. Use sharp scissors (no razors or exactos) and cut with smooth long scissor strokes.

4. If you cut through any seams — and this depends on how much you cut, take some wetsuit glue, or clear tubular tire glue, or tire-patching glue, or any kind of waterproof rubber-cement type of glue, and dab some on the end of the seam so the stitching does not unravel. Let this glue dry for 24 hours before using. Your wetsuit is ready.

I am having goggle issues...I don't know what to do with them. How do I remove the Pullover during a race?

OPTION 1: take you pullover off leaving your goggles on your face.

OPTION 2: take off your stuff, lift the pullover up but do not remove it, stuff everything down the front of the bibjohn, then remove the pullover. When you get to your transition spot, take the bibjohn off and everything will fall out right by your bike.

OPTION 3: take your goggles and put them in your swim cap, fold the swim cap so the goggles don't fall out. Put the swim cap between your teeth keeping the goggles inside.

OPTION 4: do what Emilio does for most of his races...swim without goggles!

Can I swim in just the Bibjohn?

Most people can, but it depends on how snug the Bibjohn fits you. I would recommend you test it in training first. Many people, including me, have raced in just the Bibjohn quite successfully. But I invented the Speedtube specifically to be used in warm water races where wetsuits are permitted to keep you from overheating, but to still allow for the speed advantages of the float.

What is lacking in the T1? What are its weaknesses?

The T1 looks very mortal sitting folded on a shelf or displayed on a hanger. There are no superfluous designs or gimmicks intended to convey speed when speed doesn't exist. Is the T1 the perfect wetsuit? No. In the future the T1 will employ materials and features that really do have utility. But these haven't been invented yet. It's just the best surface swimming wetsuit made as of today.

What if I do not like the T1 Wetsuit I just bought?

I want to personally invite you to try the product out and form your own opinion. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so you risk nothing but the time to test it. Please read our guarantee below:


De Soto Sport offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our wetsuits. If you are not satisfied with one of our wetsuits at the time you receive it, or if it does not perform to your satisfaction within the first 15 days of the purchase date, return it to where you bought it for a different size, different model, or for a complete refund.


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