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T1 Product Care & Frequently Asked Questions


  • Rinse the T1 Wetsuit with clean water after every use.
  • Hang the T1 Wetsuit to dry, but do not use a wire hanger as it can damage the rubber.
  • When the T1 Wetsuit is dry inside and out - store on a padded hanger, or by folding once, or laying it unfolded
  • Do not use petroleum lubricants, or Pam Spray!
  • Do not expose the T1 Wetsuit to direct sunlight or heat.
  • Do not machine wash or dry.
  • Do not dig your nails into the T1 Wetsuit
  • Do not use repeatedly in a chlorinated pool.


While rinsing your wetsuit after every use is important, it is very important to wash it regularly.  This is more important if you swim in salt water, chorinated water, or bodies of water where motor boats may be present.  We recommend a good wetsuit cleaner like what we sell, but a good non-detergent soap will suffice.  If you have nothing else, use hair shampoo.

  • Fill a bucket or container with cold water
  • Pour in wetsuit cleaner as per instructions on the cleaner.
  • If using shampoo, use about 3 ounces.
  • Stir the water well.
  • Soak your T1 Wetsuit and gently rub clean using a small towel or soft brush.
  • Make sure to clean both the outside and the inside.
  • Hang the T1 Wetsuit to dry, but do not use a wire hanger as it can damage the rubber.
  • When the T1 Wetsuit is dry inside and out - store on a padded hanger, or by folding once, or laying it unfolded

How to store your wetsuit for long term periods over 3 months:  The best place to store your wetsuit is by laying it flat and unfolded under a bed or on a cool dark shelf.  If you are limited in space, then fold it with tubes shown in our shipping instructions attached (please attach that diagram).  If you have unlimited space, use 3 x 6ft x1/2in foam pipe insulation and stuff each leg, each arm, the collar and the torso so that nothing is folded onto itself along the perimeter of the wetsuit. Each costs about $2 at Home Depot.


PUT THE BIBJOHN ON FIRST - The logo should be on the left front leg and the closed part of the bib is in back. The easiest way to put on the suit is with wearing socks or plastic grocery bags on your feet. Put one foot in the leg of the bibjohn until the foot goes all the way through, then put the other foot in. At this point the suit is gathered around the ankles. Carefully pull the suit up both legs, gradually working your way up covering the calves, then knees, then thighs, then the torso. DO NOT YANK UP FROM THE LEGS. You will want the inseam of the suit to fit snug against crotch. Lastly, pull the bibs on over the shoulders.

PUT ON THE PULLOVER OVER THE BIBJOHN - Once again, plastic grocery bags covering your hands simplify the process. The zipper goes in back. Put one hand into the sleeve so the seam under the arm of the sleeve aligns with your palm. Pull your hand all the way through keeping the seam aligned with the wrist, the humorous bone (funny bone), and where the seam splits into two. The two seams go in front and in back of your armpit. After pulling the sleeve up as far as possible, turn the palm of your other arm out, pull your hand all the way through and follow the same alignment of the seam as far up as you can go. Put your head into the torso and pull the top down. Once the pullover is down to your hips, hold the back of the waist while pulling the zipper down to close it. Practice makes this easier. Double check to make sure those seams align under the arms from the middle of your wrist, right over your funny bone.

A TIP FROM EMILIO - As you can see from the image on the left, the seam under the arm of the pullover runs from the middle of my wrist right over my funny bone, where my index finger is. The easiest way to be sure it lines up is to put your hand into each sleeve and feel the seam with your middle finger as you pull the sleeve on.


If you put both sleeves on as shown and pull it over your head, the rest of the pullover will be aligned properly. You will know it is aligned properly when you raise your arm up, the seam runs straight down your arm as shown in the image on the right.

Proper wetsuit alignment can make a huge difference in fit. A twisted arm will shorten the length of the rubber and limit your reach. This is not just the case with T1 Wetsuits. I am amazed at how twisted the legs and arms are on some people's all brands...and then they race with limitations. Putting a wetsuit on poorly can be compared to riding with a twisted saddle or with two different length crank arms. It makes that much of a difference!


The new T1 wetsuits are easier than ever to exit, as is demonstrated in these videos. The entire wetsuit will come off faster than you think!

REMOVING THE PULLOVERS AND SPEEDVEST – At the waist or either side of the zipper, grab the end of the pullcord and lift up while holding down the back of the Pullover or Speedvest. With the zipper completely up grab the bottom of the pullover with your hands crossed. Wherever you grab the pullover at the waist, DO NOT LET GO OR RE-GRIP. In one motion raise your hands and elbows, pulling it off your head. Grab the body and pull each sleeve off. You will see it slips right off when dry, even faster when wet. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE ZIPPER PULLOVER or VEST BY PULLING FROM THE NECK.

REMOVING THE BIBJOHN - After pulling the bibs straps off, grab the waist and pull it down to your ankles turning the suit inside out. Lift one foot, grab the suit and pull if off. Lift the other foot and do the same. You will see you no longer need to stick your thumbs between the suit and your ankles. The suit slips off you if you let it go inside out!


We have answers!

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 GreenGoma #9 and the BLACK PEARL is made of GreenGoma #8 rubber. Both are coated on the outside with a Slick Composite Skin. The #9 rubber is more closed-cell and is slightly lighter in weight. Because of this, you float better. Also, the #9 rubber is a slightly more flexible, however this does not imply that the #8 is not flexible. The #8 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 innovative zipper placement, and you likely have the best and second best wetsuit on the market.

What is a Speedtube?

Just another De Soto Innovation! The Speedtube™ is a 3/4-length wetsuit pant that ties at the waist and is 5mm thick. Made of GreenGoma #8 Rubber, 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!

Will Bodyglide help in getting the wetsuit on and off?

No. Bodyglide and other lubricants do not help in getting it ON and OFF. They only help in keeping the wetsuit from chafing you while it is on. It will not make removal any easier.

Why do you claim the T1 Wetsuits are superior to 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 created equally, as it regards to 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 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.

Why do so many fast swimmers use one-piece wetsuits?

Most are paid to wear the suits they wear.  The difference between most fast swimmers and the rest of us is that most of them will swim just as fast in one wetsuit brand as another.  In fact it is very common for them not to be much faster with a wetsuit than without.  The reality is that the slower you swim, the bigger the difference you will find between T1 Wetsuits and other brands.

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 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 put on my pullover and it feels like the sleeves are too short...or is it that I have long arms?  

We urge people to make sure the wetsuit is on properly first which is why we direct them to watch the videos.  Getting the pullover nice and snug against the armpit and the bibjohn snug against the crotch is fundamental to the fit and helps keep the top from bunching up at the neck.  The natural tendency is to believe the sleeves should come to the same point as a long sleeve dress shirt, when in reality it is common for the sleeves to finish higher than a person’s watch band.  We wanted to make the openings of the sleeves such that they would be large enough so the pullover comes of quickly, but we did not want them to be too loose, such that water would flow up.  So instead we shortened the sleeves a bit. 

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.

If I get the Speedvest, could use it with the First Wave bibjohn I already own?

YES.  The Speedvest + Bibjohn is actually faster than the Speedvest + Speedtube. The only real advantage of the Speedtube is good buoyancy for those who overheat in the Bibjohn with either the Speedvest or the Pullover.
I heard someone say he sometimes just swims with the Speedtube if it is very warm just to gain the buoyancy advantage it offers in the hips and legs.  Is that a reasonable do and could it be done with the bibjohn as well?

YES, It is a reasonable thing to do.   Most people can wear the Bibjohn alone, but not everyone.  Some experience scooping of water if the Bibjohn in on the loose side on their upper body or if they have a rather short torso.  But if you swim a Bibjohn alone without overheating, you can probably swim in a Speedvest + Bibjohn without overheating as well, and reap faster speed benefit from the additional buoyancy of the Speedvest.

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?

We want to 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. 


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