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Eney Jones in a Blueseventy wetsuit made of neoprene
Say Yes To Life wetsuit swimmer emerging from an excursion swim

noun - Neoprene is the DuPont trade name for its brand of polychloroprene. Neoprene or polychloroprene is a family of synthetic rubbers that are produced by polymerization of chloroprene. Neoprene in general has good chemical stability, and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range. It is used in a wide variety of applications, such as laptop sleeves, orthopedic braces (wrist, knee, etc.), electrical insulation, liquid and sheet applied elastomeric membranes or flashings, and wetsuits and tech suits used in the swimming, scuba diving, surfing and triathlon worlds.

USA Triathlon Rules

USA Triathlon has the following rules related to Wetsuits:

  • competitors may wear wetsuits if the water temperature is 78°F (25.5°C) or lower
  • if the water temperature is between 78.1°F (25.6°C) - 83.9°F (25.8°C) degrees, competitors may wear wetsuits but will not be eligible for awards
  • if the water temperature is 84°F (28.88°C) or above, participants may not wear wetsuits

World Triathlon Corporation Rules

All Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events sanctioned by the World Triathlon Corporation abide by the following wetsuit rules:

  • Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick. A standard variance will be allowed to account for seams and jersey material (non-buoyant).
  • Wetsuits are permitted if the water temperature is up to (and including) 76.1°F (24.5°C) or colder.
  • Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures greater than 83.8°F (28.8°C).
  • Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures between 76.1°F - 83.8°F (24.5°C - 28.8°C) will not be eligible for awards, including World Championship slots.
  • Full wetsuits are permitted (arms and legs covered)


Bioprene, skins, wetsuit, wetsuited & buoyant

The Highest Swim

Madswimmers doing high-altitude swimming at 5909m (19,386 feet) in a frozen lake on Mt Tres Cruces, a volcano in the Andes Mountains along the Argentina - Chile border in South America with the water temperature between 0.5 - 2ºC (32.9ºF - 35.6ºC). Jean Craven, Herman van der Westhuizen and Chris Marthinusen completed the 5-minute neoprened wild swim while Evan Feldman and Milton Brest swam in wetsuits and Robert Graaff and Juandre Human were unable to partake in the final swim due to medical restraints after a 6-hour hike up the volcano and a laborious creating of the small area to swim through the 20 cm thick ice covering.

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