What’s a Curvy Girl to Do?

So if you didn’t know, I have a triathlon on Sunday.  And we’re getting hit by the remnants of Andrea.  No major storms, just a lot of rain, from what I understand.

Sunday should be nice enough though, so I’m not too worried.  There is a chance that tomorrow’s practice open water swim will get cancelled, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

However, all this rain means that the water could be a bit cooler than normal.

Now, it’s only a quarter mile swim.  It’s not that far.  Less than 15 minutes and I’ll be done (I don’t actually know how long it will take me to do 400 meters, because I have never just done 400 – I always swim more, lowering my average pace).  So it seems silly to wear a wetsuit if it’s not going to be that cold.  I’m choosing to not worry about it.

Of course, I’m a professional panicker, so I had to consider a wetsuit anyway.  I bought one from Xterra.  I wanted a sleeveless wetsuit.  Seemed simple enough.  I went with the women’s XL.

Now, I know wetsuits are supposed to fit tightly, but this one wasn’t happening.  I managed to get it over my hips, but when I pulled it up to my chest, I just started laughing.  This thing was not going to cover my chest whatsoever.  “The girls” were going to end up squished outside of the arm holes (sorry, guys).

Clearly, it’s getting returned.

But now what do I do?  I checked out Xterra’s site, and they said that if a women’s XL is too small, go to a men’s size, but not in the sleeveless, because those won’t work on women.

So I guess I flip brands (I went with them due to a team discount).  But do any other curvy girls out there have suggestions?  Are there companies who make triathlon wetsuits for bigger women?

And if there aren’t, who wants to start one with me?  We need more good gear for bigger girls.

20 thoughts on “What’s a Curvy Girl to Do?

  1. I don’t scuba or do triathlons, so I’m not surprised I didn’t know that. Oh well. I tried.

  2. You ask Brett (http://www.zentriathlon.com/). Catch him on Twitter, maybe (https://twitter.com/ZenTriathlon); he’s fairly active there. 🙂 I can bet that he’ll probably tell you to skip the wetsuit, though, and not to worry about it, especially since you haven’t trained with one. He just did a 5K swim without one where the water was cold, and if I remember, his main concession to the cold was to do his warm-up on land. Have they said what they guess the water temp will be?

    (By the way, if you’re not listening to his podcast, START.)
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  3. And to actually answer your question, the water temps are expected at 68-70 degrees, which isn’t terrible at all. But at some point, I will need to get a wetsuit. A friend mentioned a local store to me that has all sorts of sizes.

    Thanks for the podcast rec! I’m not listening to it, but now I will be!

  4. If I recall correctly, I think he swears by the De Soto 2-piece wetsuits. I’ve never worn one, so I couldn’t say, but you might want to check out that brand.

  5. 2XU: http://www.2xu.com/product/1043/A1S-Active-Sleeveless-Wetsuit/90#fit
    QR: http://www.quintanarootri.com/_wetsuit.asp?content=w-ultrajohn
    Zoot: http://zootsports.com/womens/apparel/w-z-force-1-sl-wetzoot-s13
    Orca: http://www.orca.com/product/s4sleevelessfemale
    TYR: http://www.tyr.com/shop/sport/triathlon-69/triathlon-wetsuits/womens-hurricane-sleeveless-wetsuit-category-1.html
    Blueseventy: http://www.blueseventy.com/collections/2012-womens-wetsuits/products/2012-reaction-womens-sleeveless-suit

    De Soto does have a 2-piece system, and you can even purchase both a sleeveless and full-sleeve top just to have options. They are pricey, though.

    Out of curiosity, why do you want to go with a sleeveless wetsuit? That limits your options a bit in terms of model. It’s totally personal preference, though.

    I think wetsuit shopping sort of sucks for everybody. I’m tall for my weight, at least according to wetsuit manufacturers, so it took me almost two sweaty hours of trying on wetsuits that were alternating between baggy or so small I couldn’t get it over my calf, because those brands didn’t fit my body type. Finally, they were like, “we have this ONE other suit, and if that doesn’t fit, we literally can’t help you.” Fortunately, it did, and it fits so well it doesn’t even chafe at the neck. I was going to rent a suit at first, but I just bought that thing and haven’t looked back.

  6. Thanks, Lisa! My biggest problem is that I’m short and curvy.

    I want to go sleeveless mostly for comfort, but I’m willing to try sleeves. In general, I don’t like things pulling down on my shoulders or restricting shoulder motion (it can set off my claustrophobia, weirdly). A friend told me of a local shop that has a ton of styles. I’m going to check them out later in the year (hoping for end of year discounts).

  7. I just found your blog, and this post made me laugh so hard — I’m also a well-endowed triathlete, and I just tried on my first sleeveless wetsuit last week. I have a full-sleeve suit in the same brand (BlueSeventy) in the same size, but when the guy at my tri shop handed me the sleeveless, I took one look at the top and cracked up — like, you think THIS is going to fit into THAT?

    (I eventually decided I’d be OK with a lot of sports bra, uh, spillover. But let’s be honest, it’s a rubber halter top, and not a particularly flattering one!)
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  8. I’m so glad it’s not just me! But I’m thinking a full sleeve suit might be a better bet than sleeveless. However, you’re right, my sports bra is a work of amazing engineering and would probably be fine covering the… excess.

  9. Hi
    Came across your post during my wetsuit research- intrigued as to what suit worked for you in the end? I’m v tall & curvy- 6foot 1″ & hourglass figure- relatively small waist & torso width but big thighs hips & boobs! SO struggling to find suitable wetsuit- men’s are too tight on thighs & big on top, women’s aren’t made for my height. I found a women’s XL in blueseventy Athena & 2XU & ordered them to try on. I know you don’t have my height problem but dd you try either of these brands and find them suitable for your curves? I need a full sleeved suit.
    @Kirma- do you recommend your blueseventy full sleeve for curves & boobs? Many thanks all!

  10. Ali, I lucked out in that there is a shop within an hour of me where I could try on some suits. I actually ended up in a men’s suit, but it’s sleeveless, which I think is where I’m going to end up. I’ve heard good things about blueseventy though! That’s what my wetsuit is, but it’s a Men’s medium-tall. No, at 5’3″, a tall isn’t what I thought I’d end up in, but it fits. I can probably cut about an inch off the legs, but it’s certainly not necessary.

  11. Thanks Megan- I’m hoping the blueseventy will fit!…they sure ain’t flattering are they??!

  12. A friend recently said that she thinks wetsuits are sexy. Well, maybe hers looks good on her! Mine looks less than awesome. But the buoyancy is fun.

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