Roka Maverick X wetsuit review
Jack Sexty scores this triathlon wetsuit from Roka an impressive 95%
While Roka’s Maverick Pro is already considered one of the finest wetsuits around, how could the American brand follow up (and justify) an upgrade that costs an extra $200 (£160)? The answer is the Maverick X, a suit set to revolutionise wetsuit design by virtue of its arms-up construction.
How much buoyancy does your triathlon wetsuit need?
The thinking is that the most crucial phase of freestyle swimming is when the arms are extended, so to limit restriction it makes sense to build the suit in an arms-up position, and then during the pull phase you’re aided in getting back to that position. The result is phenomenal – it’s as close as you can get to zero restriction, with all the buoyancy advantages of thick neoprene on the legs and torso to boot.
Our swim times noticeably improved compared to swimming in a high-end comparison suit over a 650m course. And though hard to back up with hard data, we think it’s down to greater comfort and fewer restrictions, which will undoubtedly result in quicker swimming. The neckline is better than Roka’s previously top-end Maverick Pro, too, which we found rubbed slightly – in three lake swims and one race without using lubricant the Maverick X proved chafe-free. Removal is fast, and the thick calf panels slide off your feet with ease.
As Roka only sell direct from the USA, you’d be looking at an astronomical spend to make this suit yours – but if you really want a faster swim split and have bottomless pockets, this is absolutely the wetsuit for you.
Verdict: Hands down, the best wetsuit we’ve ever tried… But one that comes at a massive cost 95%