Speedo's Super-Fast, Shark-Skin-Inspired Fastskin Swimsuit Is Actually Nothing Like a Shark's Skin

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They feature a polyester liner inside the shorts.

Speedo's Fastskin line (including the banned-as-of LZR suit) of high-tech, high-performance swimsuits were inspired by the skin of a shark--shark skin's sandpaper-like texture is thought to.
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Swimwear is described by a number of names, some of which are used only in particular locations, including swimsuit, bathing suit, swimming costume, bathing costume, swimming suit, swimmers, swimming togs, bathers, cossie (short for
What a drag - beating water’s pull

A jellyfish is 95% water.

Experiments conducted in a Harvard lab reveal that, while sharks’ sandpaperlike skin does allow the animals to swim faster and more efficiently, the structure of some high-tech swimsuits has no effect when it comes to reducing drag as swimmers move through the water.

In water this means that water is sucked closer to the body and then passes over the swimmer far more effectively. The fabric also compresses the body to stop skin vibration and muscle fatigue to save energy and reduce drag by up to 4 per cent. The flexskin fabric provides a greater range of motion for the upper body. Its surface is smoother and allows greater flexibility while also reducing drag. Speedo also developed a neutraliser for the inner forearm panel on its full body suits. The smooth surface reduces drag but during the swimming phase it is a disadvantage as a swimmer loses 'grip' of the water.

This unique 3D titanium silicon scale neutralizes the effect. The panels and seams mimic the muscular system. The panels act like muscles, stretching and returning to shape while allowing a full range of movement.

The seams act like tendons providing tension in the suit. Each seam has an incredible 26 stitches per three centimeters. The seams are also flat-locked which eliminates drag. The super-stretch thread also allows for greater comfort and freedom of movement. Research and development has demonstrated that male and female bodies require different shaped patterns to fit like a second skin. The female bodyskin uses 'Flexskin' in the side panels. Test results showed this combination gave the fastest result.

For the male body shape Speedo has used the 'Fastskin' fabric in all the panels except the underarm panel. Here 'Flexskin' is used to allow freedom of movement. In addition there is a rubber groin seam for ultimate comfort and support. CyberFX, the Hollywood-based body scanning and special effects company who also worked on the Spiderman movie, was involved in the development process from the beginning.

Digital images of the athletes were taken from eight positions allowing CyberFX to create a 3-D body map. The CFD model allowed Speedo to mathematically build a water flume inside a computer. This produced highly accurate results. The CFD analyses, combined with the flume testing, enabled Speedo to evaluate a huge number of swimsuit design variables and eventually obtain a highly efficient design.

Speedo design and make a range of Fastskin styles to suit individual swimmers and specific strokes including the full bodysuit bodyskin , the sleeveless bodysuit Hi-Neck Bodyskin , the neck to knee length Kneeskin , the waist to ankle length legsuit Legskin and the waist to knee length short legsuit Jammer. Science in the news. Please click here to download the Flash plugin If you do not wish to download the latest version of Flash player please click here to bypass detection.

Strong abdominal muscles will help swimmers stay straighter and float higher in the water. With a strong upper body, there is less drag because of compensation with powerful strokes. Speedo, the swimwear manufacturer, has a research and development facility where they work with experts from diverse industries including aerospace, engineering, medicine, sport science, textile technology and garment construction to improve swimming performance even further.

Their fast suits are designed using data from body scans of hundreds of elite international swimmers. To virtually analyse the drag and flow of water around swimmers, they create virtual swimmers inside a computer. The technology is a fabric that is extremely lightweight. It is a high-density microfibre fabric woven from chlorine-resistant elastane and ultra-fine nylon yarn. The fabric is made from nylon which is a hydrophobic water-hating molecule. This means that very little water enters the fibre.

These fibres are then manufactured into fabric and a finishing or bonding process is applied that produces durable and long lasting water-repellent finish.

It has very low skin friction, and the result is a reduction of drag and muscle vibration, which increases productivity. As an additional feature, gripper fabric is now included along the forearm area. This friction is required for the swimmer to pull themselves through the water using strong arm movements.

Bonded and welded seams that follow the direction of the water flow and reduce drag allow comfort and freedom of movement by using super stretch thread. Here, the seams act like tendons and provide tension in the suit.

The only difference is in the fabric the costumes are made of. Flannel, however, was a common fabric for sea bathing costumes as many believed the warmer fabric was necessary in cold water. In the 18th century women wore "bathing gowns" in the water; these were long dresses of fabrics that would not become transparent when wet, with weights sewn into the hems so that they would not rise up in the water.

The men's swim suit, a rather form-fitting wool garment with long sleeves and legs similar to long underwear , was developed and would change little for a century. In the 19th century, the woman's double suit was common, comprising a gown from shoulder to knees plus a set of trousers with leggings going down to the ankles. In the Victorian era , popular beach resorts were commonly equipped with bathing machines designed to avoid the exposure of people in swimsuits, especially to people of the opposite sex.

In the United States, beauty pageants of women in bathing costumes became popular from the s. However, such events were not regarded as respectable. Beauty contests became more respectable with the first modern " Miss America " contest held in , though less respectable beauty contests continued to be held.

In , the swimmer Annette Kellerman from Australia visited the United States as an "underwater ballerina", a version of synchronized swimming involving diving into glass tanks. She was arrested for indecent exposure because her swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. Kellerman changed the suit to have long arms and legs and a collar, still keeping the close fit that revealed the shapes underneath. She later starred in several movies , including one about her life.

She marketed a line of bathing suits and her style of one-piece suits came to be known as "the Annette Kellerman". The Annette Kellerman was considered the most offensive style of swimsuit in the s and became the focus of censorship efforts. Despite opposition from some groups, the form-fitting style proved popular.

It was not long before swimwear started to shrink further. At first arms were exposed and then legs up to mid-thigh. Necklines receded from around the neck down to around the top of the bosom. The development of new fabrics allowed for new varieties of more comfortable and practical swimwear. Annette Kellerman in her one-piece bathing suit.

Due to the figure-hugging nature of these garments, glamour photography since the s and s has often featured people wearing swimsuits. This type of glamour photography eventually evolved into swimsuit photography exemplified by the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Beauty contests also required contestants to wear form-fitting swimsuits.

The first bikinis appeared just after World War II. Early examples were not very different from the women's two pieces common since the s, except that they had a gap below the breast line allowing for a section of bare midriff. They were named after Bikini Atoll , the site of several nuclear weapons tests, for their supposed explosive effect on the viewer. Through the s, it was thought proper for the lower part of the bikini to come up high enough to cover the navel.

From the s on, the bikini shrank in all directions until it sometimes covered little more than the nipples and genitalia, although less revealing models giving more support to the breasts remained popular. At the same time, fashion designer Rudi Gernreich introduced the monokini , a topless suit for women consisting of a modest bottom supported by two thin straps. Although not a commercial success, the suit opened eyes to new design possibilities.

In the s the thong or "tanga" came out of Brazil , said to have been inspired by traditional garments of native tribes in the Amazon.

However, the one-piece suit continued to be popular for its more modest approach. Men's swimsuits developed roughly in parallel to women's during this period, with the shorts covering progressively less. Eventually racing-style "speedo" suits became popular—and not just for their speed advantages.

Thongs , G-strings , and bikini style suits are also worn. Typically these are more popular in more tropical regions; however, they may also be worn at public swimming pools and inland lakes. But in the s, longer and baggier shorts became popular, with the hems often reaching to the knees.

Often called boardshorts and swim trunks, these were often worn lower on the hips than regular shorts. Since the early twentieth century a naturist movement has developed in western countries that seeks a return to non-sexual nakedness when swimming and during other appropriate activities.

The practice is often described as " toplessness " or " topfreedom ". In some places around the world, nude beaches have been set aside for people who choose to engage in normal beach activities in the nude.

As an alternative to a swimsuit, some people wear trousers , underpants or a T-shirt either as a makeshift swimsuit or because they prefer regular clothes over swimsuits. Using a T-shirt can also provide extra protection against sunburn. In some countries, such as Thailand and Philippines, swimming in regular clothes is the norm while swimsuits are rare. At beaches, this may be more accepted than at swimming pools, which tend not to permit the use of underwear as swimwear [28] because underwear is unlined, may become translucent, and may be perceived as unclean.

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