Can You Swim Breaststroke in a Wetsuit?

This is one of our most frequently asked question!

Why is it impossible to swim breaststroke in most wetsuits?

We don’t like to think of it as impossible but it will definitely make your life more difficult and lessen your enjoyment if you swim in a wetsuit which is not recommended for breaststroke. Most 'Triathlon wetsuits’ and others such as surf, sailing, hanging around the beach in, are not specifically designed for swimming in and have too much buoyancy which means the swimmer and in particular their legs and chest float too high in the water. Buoyancy looks like areas of thicker neoprene, which is great at keeping us warm but not so great for easy swimming. 

Sarah from Tri Wetsuit Hire, explains what this means for someone wanting to swim breaststroke:

“Breaststroke is difficult in a wetsuit as it alters the position of the body and causes the body to float higher on the waterline. This means that the kick and arm stroke do not work as well as the swimmer floats too high in the water. It can feel like when you kick your feet are coming out of the water rather than pushing underneath the surface. 

It is also harder to get your head under for the glide part of the stroke, which is where a swimmer carries speed and momentum forwards. The wetsuit cuts this short by floating you to the surface.

The result is that someone doing breaststroke in a wetsuit will not move forward as much as if they were wearing one with less buoyancy or non at all. This can be very frustrating and also very tiring as more effort is needed. 


Is there any wetsuits which allow you to swim breaststroke?

The answer is yes but there is only a few wetsuits on the market which allow you to swim breaststroke comfortably, here is a pick of our favourites:

  • Orca Vitalis Breast stroke wetsuit- link here
The Vitalis Breast Stroke is the first Orca wetsuit specifically designed for breaststroke swimming. Its pattern was designed for the movements of the breaststroke and the distribution of materials of different thicknesses allows you to maintain a natural swimming position without lifting your legs excessively. It is made with the most elastic materials, such as Yamamoto 39 FS technology, so that you can enjoy maximum flexibility and a feeling of complete freedom.




Other wetsuits which can be used for breast stroke

  • Orca TRN - link here
  • Orca SW - link here
  • Orca Athlex Flex - link here
  • Yonda Spook - link here 
  • Aquasphere Aquaskin - link here


 All our breast stroke wetsuits can be found here - link here 


I hope you find this blog useful. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. You can call us on 01737 823771 or email


Sporting Regards

The Tri Wetsuit Hire Team 

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