Articles

Adidas Pushes Further Into the US Swimming Market

Adidas is taking another step to position itself in the U.S. swimming market. Recently, the German-based manufacturer has signed sponsorship deals with elite swimmers, such as Josh Prenot (Olympic Silver medalist), Kyle Chalmers (Olympic Gold medalist), Madi Wilson (World Championship Silver medalist) and Michael Andres (World Championship Gold medalist.)

Now, Adidas is launching a dedicated US-based, swimming website at www.adidasswimming.com.

Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest globally. Despite that, they are a relative newcomer to the swim jammer world. Their tech suits include the Adizero XVI Freestyle jammer and the Adizero XVI Breaststroke jammer.

Phelps Looking to Grow the MP Swimwear Line

Michael Phelps is trying to make the transition from pool success to business success. He says that he admires how Michael Jordan was able to parlay his success on the court into the business world. Jordan turn his namesake brand into a billion dollar empire.

One area Phelps will focus on is his line of swim gear that launched with Aqua Sphere in 2015. (This is the partnership that brought us the MP Xpresso jammer.)

Phelps says, that he spent 18 months working with the company to create a suit with state-of-the-art fabric that delivers superior drag reduction.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Phelps says that the next job is to find a currently-active swimmer to serve as a spokesperson.

“That’s something that we’re talking about now,” Phelps explains. “I wanted to kind of finish my career wearing my own brand and then branch out to potentially having other swimmers who are still competing at a high level represent it.”

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Arena Waives FINA Approval on Three Models of Powerskin Carbon-Pro

Next Generation POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro (Mark 2) is already available.

Superior performance, quality products, transparency and ethical and fair business practices have been Arena’s key values since its inception forty years ago.

Consistent with these principles, all Arena products are designed and manufactured using the most innovative technologies and applying strict quality controls to ensure the highest consumer satisfaction for performance, quality and safety.

In February 2013, FINA, the international governing body for all aquatic sports, requested compliance information regarding one of the Arena POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro racing suits (woman full body open back – FINA approval code AR220993), purchased during routine testing.

Arena immediately launched an additional quality control investigation on a broad scale, showing that all raw materials used to manufacture all models in the POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro product family are fully compliant with FINA rules and regulations. Deeper checks suggested that a change in the manufacturing process, following a significant surge of market demand, may have caused an unintended – and unexpected – reduction of the permeability to air of some of the racing suits produced between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Only part of the production is affected by the anomaly, which has absolutely no impact either on the safety or on the performance of the products that are potentially non-compliant.

Nevertheless, as it would be impractical to test all POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro racing suits on the market, Arena wants to ensure that not even one non-compliant suit will be used in any FINA official competition.

Arena, therefore, advised FINA of its decision to withdraw the approval codes of concerned POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro models:

AR220993 – woman full body open back
AR220994 – woman full body closed back
AR141364 – man jammer

Consequently, as of May 7 onwards, all POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro suits to be used in FINA sanctioned events will have the following approval codes:

AR221039 – woman full body open back
AR221028 – woman full body closed back
AR141028 – man jammer

A complete list of all Arena racing suits approved by FINA can be found at fina.org.

Arena has already started delivering the new version of POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro suits (Mark 2) to Teams and Individual Swimmers, in view of forthcoming FINA events.

Arena apologizes for any inconvenience – said Cristiano Portas, Arena CEO – but its commitment to fully comply with FINA rules and, more broadly, its commitment to fair competition in the world of swimming must be given the highest priority”.

Additional details about this matter, including remedies offered by arena to all swimmers going to compete in FINA sanctioned events, are available at arenapowerskin.com.

Some Powerskin Carbon Pro Suits Banned

Some of Arena’s Powerskin Carbon Pro line of suit have been banned by FINA for not complying with the rules and regulations. Arena launched a quality control investigation and discovered that a change in the manufacturing process, which was necessary to meet demand, may have inadvertently caused a reduction in the “permeability to air” of some of the suits. The suits affected were manufactured between the end of 2012 and 2013.

Arena, therefore, advised FINA of its decision to withdraw the approval codes of concerned POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro models:

AR220993 – woman full body open back

AR220994 – woman full body closed back

AR141364 – man jammer

Consequently, as of May 7 onwards, all POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro suits to be used in FINA sanctioned events will have the following approval codes:

AR221039 – woman full body open back

AR221028 – woman full body closed back

AR141028 – man jammer

You can read the full press release, plus find out what Arena is doing to remedy the situation here.

Summer League Jammer Time!

It’s that time of year in the US. Summer League swim teams are starting to form all over the country. Kids are getting excited about winning their medals. :o)

But one lucky parent has probably been assigned with choosing the jammers for the boys team. Our advise:

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Choose a design that represents the team colors.
  3. Choose reputable brand. (See our post Choosing a Swim Jammer for Boys.)
  4. Consider partnering with an online store that has a dedicated team division, like Swim Outlet.

Good luck!

Speedo Sign Florent Manaudou

Speedo have unveiled it’s latest sponsorship deal. Florent Manaudou is now a Speedo swimmer and will help promote the brand.

The 22-year-old Olympic champion, who also has two World Championship medals and five European titles to his name, has signed a four-year deal with the swimwear giant which sees him following in the footsteps of the most decorated Olympian in history, America’s Michael Phelps, who retired following last summer’s Games.

Read the article…

A Comparison of Team Australia and Team GB at the London Olympics

Have recently commented on the lackluster performance of the Aussie swim team at the London Olympics. The British team had an equally-dismal showing. Mike at Simply Swim wrote a nice comparison between the two teams, including some of the major changes that each team has implemented since the games in an effort to turn the tide

One positive from London was that the British swimming team has never had so many finalists in Olympic finals. Half of Britain’s finalists also finished fourth or fifth in their events. Overall, in London, on 20 occasions a British swimmer finished between eighth and fourth, and that was apart from the three medals won. None of this however was enough to stop a £4m drop in swimming funding in the build-up to Rio in 2016.

Australia is a traditionally strong swimming nation, but London saw their worst performance in an Olympics since the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. The Aussies won just one gold medal and ten medals overall. The perceived failure of the Australian swimming team has led to accusations of disharmony within the team in one review.

Read Mike’s full article here…

Japanese Women Beat Own National Records

Japanese swimmers are having a record-breaking short course season. Aya Terakawm broke her national record in the 50 free (26.05) and moved closer to becoming the first Japanese female to break 26 seocnds. Meanwhile, teenager Kanako Watanbe beat her 100 IM national record by .4 seconds, clocking a 59.34.

Terakawa swam a 26.05 in the sprint event to shave .08 off her record, which she had previously set in 2009 at the Stockholm stop of the FINA World Cup. This was Terakawa’s first official meet since the 2012 Olympics, where she won two bronze medals in the 100 back and 400 medley relay.

Terakawa, 28, still has a way to go to reach Sanja Jovanovich’s world record of 25.70, set last December at the short course world championships. Terakawa also put Shiho Sakai’s world record of 55.23 in the 100 back with a 55.76.

Watanabe, just 17 years old, swam a 59.34 in the 100 IM to lower her own national record, which was a 59.74 from a prelim swim at the December short course world championships. Watanabe placed 10th overall in Istanbul in the event.

Read the article…

Aussies Return to the Golden Cap

No stone has been left unturned as Australian Swimming tries to understand why they had the worst Olympic performance in many years. Even the equiment is being questioned. Apparently, the team had two types of swim caps — one white, plus the iconic golden caps.  However, the white ones were made from the latest technology — Speedo Fastskin3 — while the golden caps used silicone.

The team chose performance over looks:

THE gold cap is back. On the eve of the London Olympics, The Australian revealed the nation’s swim team would largely abandon its iconic gold caps and compete at the Games almost exclusively in white caps.

It was as much a revelation to Olympic team head coach Leigh Nugent as it was to the Australian public. The first Nugent knew that Speedo had not prepared its new Fastskin hi-tech caps in gold was when The Australian questioned why the traditional colour had given way to an all-white cap, save for thin swirls of green and gold.

Read the article…

Arena’s Powerskin Carbon-Pro suit is simple, but effective

Source: NBC
There’s a battle going on behind the scenes of the world’s swimming elite, and it’s not Michael Phelps versus Ryan Lochte or Brendan Hansen versus Kosuke Kitajima.

It’s a battle that seems possibly more fit for the red carpet because recently who you are wearing has become quite a topic of conversation. This puts suit manufacturers, including, Speedo, Arena and TYR, at the center of the debate and leaves them with a lot to lose, but even more to gain heading into the summer.

Earlier this year, Arena unveiled their newest swimsuit, the Powerskin Carbon-Pro, which will be worn by a list of elite swimmers that include Rebecca Soni, Eric Shanteau and Brazilian sprinter Cesar Cielo. This means remarkable exposure for the brand, but also tremendous expectations from their athletes that the equipment they are wearing is the fastest in the world.

Leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games, Speedo created the most buzz around their “LZR Racer” suit which had polyurethane (an impermeable and buoyant material) panels that may have contributed to the 23 world records that were broken in Beijing by athletes wearing the suit. But in 2009, Arena’s entirely polyurethane full-body “X-Glide” suit stole the spotlight, proving faster than the LZR. The tech-suit age climaxed with 43 world records being broken at the 2009 World Championships, and then fell just as quickly as FINA banned the full-body suits and the polyurethane material by the end of the year. Now it is jammers for men, and suits ending at the knees for women.

We had a chance to try on the Arena Powerskin Carbon-Pro jammer to see how the Italian-based company has adjusted to the new regulations while still keeping their athletes happy. Having already tried the Speedo FS3, we were interested comparing Arena’s approach to the trifecta “racing system” put together by Speedo.

At first look, it appeared Arena opted on a fairly simple approach in constructing the Carbon-Pro, reminiscent of the light-weight paper-thin texture used before polyurethane. But while the material is thin, the fit is very tight, and the emphasis is on muscle compression as an athlete tires in a race. Arena trumpets that the carbon-fiber fabric they use “offers unprecedented compression.” That translates to a very secure but not uncomfortable feel; that is, after spending 10-20 minutes tugging and pulling to get the suit up above your waist.

In the water you feel the lift in your hips and quads, and notice that the material is light and water repellent. This is different from the Speedo suit, which probably does do a better job of keeping your hips in place with its “stability web,” but at times feels a bit bulky and absorbs water, causing some swimmers to second-guess its effectiveness.

While Speedo earns points for innovation, Arena earns points for familiarity. The Carbon-Pro has a nice smooth feel to it that doesn’t take much getting used to. The importance of the familiar cannot be overstated, especially if you are in the finals of the 200m freestyle with an Olympic gold medal on the line.

While the Arena suit is not going to be the deciding factor that earns an athlete gold in London, it certainly should not cost anyone a tenth or even a hundredth of a second either. Armed with the new Carbon-Pro suit, it would seem any athlete supporting Arena should have all the comfort and confidence they need to let their swimming speak for itself.