The Adidas Adizero XVI Breaststroke Jammer is — as far as we know — the only stroke-specific jammer currently on the market. In addition to this breaststroke jammer, Speedo offers the Adizero XVI Freestyle jammer.
The primary feature that makes this suit uniquely designed for breaststrokers is the Polyurethane bands which run on the inside and outside of the legs. The bands are strategically placed to help the breaststroke kick motion. The bands give swimmers the freedom of leg movement required from breaststroke, while helping the swimmer to snap back into a streamline position at the end of each kick. The bands on the Adidas Adizero XV! Freestyle jammer, however, run up the thigh and cross around the back. This placement helps support a freestyle kick technique. Adidas calls these strategically-placed bands X-TRA Fit.
The Adidas Adizero XVI Breaststroke Jammer is made with a blend of Nylon (76%) and Spandex (24%). The Spandex (AKA Elastane) is used to deliver good muscle compression, which helps keep the swimmer hydrodynamic and in a streamline position. The nylon content of the fabric helps make the suit comfortable, which is good because Spandex by itself is not a particular soft fabric.
Also, neither Spandex nor nylon are very resistant to chlorine. Over time, they will be brake down and the suit will start to fail. This is the case for most technical suits. Wearing the suit only at race time, then rinsing in non-chlorinated water immediately after the race is essential to getting the most from the suit.
In addition to strategically-placed bands and the compression fabric, Adidas have placed “fabric texturing” to help to reduce the swimmer’s drag coefficient. They call this texturing X-TRA FLOW and is the result of rigorous research and development in the pool and wind tunnels. The suit is constructed using a bonding process, which creates lower-profile for the seems, compared to traditional stitched seems.
While Adidas are not typically known for the swim equipment, they have created a technical suit that rivals Speedo, Arena and other top manufacturers. Also, to their credit, they have thought creatively about how a suit might be constructed differently, based on the stroke.
The FINA guidelines are quite restrictive, in terms of the suit’s fabric. Manufacturers have creatively thought about how to construct a suit which provides support and compression for the swimmer. We’d expect other swim jammer manufacturers to follow suit (pun intended) and start developing stroke-specific jammers.
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