Orca 2015 tri range – first look
Yesterday saw the official launch of Orca’s new wetsuits, tri-suits and apparel. 220 went along to find out what athletes can expect from the brand…
Arriving in Fuerteventura for the launch of the 2015 Orca range, it’s windy - very, very windy. So windy in fact that you can see why triathletes choose the Playitas resort to bash out some serious training for the season ahead.
Luckily for us though, we’re here to see what Orca has up it’s neoprene sleeve for the season ahead – and with a 50m Olympic pool and the sea on hand to help us test the kit, as well as Orca athletes including Sebastian Kienle, Non Stanford and Phil Graves here to train and talk us through what’s new, 220 are in for an exciting couple of days.
Orca start their 2015 launch by telling us “we want to deliver confidence to our athletes. Both to reach their goals, but also to try”, and their mission is to make sure that professional athletes and age-groupers alike can benefit from the same technology and product development. So what’s new?
Orca have divided their triathletes into two categories: those that are strong natural swimmers and would prefer not to wear a wetsuit, and those that want the support and benefits a wetsuit can offer. This has driven the thinking behind key new updates and although there is some crossover between the different models, there are also marked differences.
First up is the new incarnation of the Alpha. The aim is to give ‘total freedom’ and as such, the suit is light and designed to offer Orca’s best no-wetsuit feel. They want it to offer freedom of movement, a good feel for the water, fatigue reduction and speed. The new Alpha features a graduated collar with a gradiant of pressure from bottom to top to avoid restriction around the neck and 5mm exo-cell buoyancy ‘dots’ across the back to lift the lower part of the body slightly should it be needed.
Key to this suit is a new 0.88mm Free fabric used on the arms and shoulders. This is made up of 0.5mm neoprene backed with a layer of titanium alloy for warmth and then the lining. So thin is this material in fact, that it cannot be sliced in manufacturing and instead has to be compressed. Orca claim this gives unrivalled flexibility and forearm feedback in the water. In testing, Orca tell us the new Alpha gave a 1sec/100m speed increase against the previous version.
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