Review: Orca Sonar wetsuit

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Five years ago I was completely unfit after abandoning all exercise following the birth of my daughter. If you’d told me in 2015 I’d be swimming miles every week I wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d told me I’d be posting pictures of myself wearing a wetsuit for all to see I would have laughed!

But I love my Orca Sonar wetsuit. It makes me feel like Superwoman!

I’ve had a few wetsuits in the past. When I was a kid I loved windsurfing, so the smell of neoprene brings back happy memories. When I first got a swimming wetsuit in 2010, it was a men’s Xterra. At 5ft 10ins tall and 12 and a half stone I thought that would be the best option. I’m not exactly a petite water baby!

But pulling my Xterra suit on again after a few years the rubber was definitely the worse for wear and, on it’s first outing I felt like my (wide) shoulders were not able to move freely enough.

I was planning for my first major outdoor swim event and wanted to feel comfortable in the water, not restricted. My swim friend Joe from Wednesday night training had recommended Bristol’s Trathlon Shop so I popped down there, with a plan to spend less than 200 quid.

Needless to say, the kind of suit I needed wasn’t as cheap as I’d hoped, but it’s in the sale now, so get down there and get a bargain!

The Orca Sonar suit has massively improved flexibility in the shoulders compared to the models on the market at this price just a couple of years ago, so you don’t feel restricted at all when you’re swimming. As the owner of a fairly generous booty I was worried about water leaking in down the back of my neck but that didn’t happen either. I do wish it was about 3 inches longer in the leg (I’ve got the XL size) but the arms are long enough to cover my wrists and it feels comfortable and warm on.

Recently I swam in it in fairly rough 15C sea water at Branscombe Mouth in Devon and I felt totally confident to plough through the waves and really put my shoulders into an exciting and challenging swim. If you’re thinking about getting a wetsuit try as many on as you can and, if you can’t swim before buying, swing those shoulders!

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