Endurance. It’s something I used to have back when I thought of myself as a “proper” swimmer rather than the land-lubbing has-been I am now. So when Speedo posed the “Keep Going Swim After Swim Challenge” to try out their new Endurance+ suits, it was a good excuse to dust off the goggles and get back in the pool on a more regular basis.
Back in the day suits that lasted under the demands placed on them by competitive training were in the minority. Indeed in my squad the further down the saggy bottom of your trunks hung the better, almost like a badge of honour. And then when the Lycra was see through you just added another pair underneath like some sort of tree growing rings of bark – you could almost tell how long a swimmer had been training by the number of suits they were wearing. Nowadays you’d just wear a drag suit, but then the drag was provided by a parachute made of 3 pairs of baggy trunks. Sure there were nylon suits available and they lasted but they were dull and itchy and they never came in the cool colours and styles that you got in Lycra so they were always left in the bottom of the drawer.
Now it should be said at this point that I’m not a blind Speedo devotee – over 25 years my swimming wardrobe has encompassed almost every major brand from Adidas to Maru, via Diana, Kiefer, Tyr and Arena, but the fact remains that in my experience, the Endurance range has lasted the best. My Endurance trunks also withstood the corrosive effects of the chlorinated salt water at North Sydney pool for two years, an environment that seemed to dissolve other materials in a matter of weeks.
So I had high hopes for the Endurance+ range, even if some of the claims seemed a little spurious, for example improved colour fastness – possibly a factor for a leisure swimmer, but not normally top of the competitive swimming agenda. The other claims were perhaps more interesting. Quicker drying – useful if you’ve got two sessions in a day perhaps, but any difference was marginal to be fair, and they still don’t dry if you leave them wrapped up in a wet towel in the bottom of your bag. Now that would be an innovation worth having.
But the main thing, is do they last? After only a month it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusions, but the suit does look like new and is still stretchy. Based on my experience with the predecessor range, I’d expect the new suits to last for ages – given the prices they need to – and that for the regular swimmer has to be the biggest consideration. If you’re buying your own training suits, you could do far worse than Endurance+, and if you’re training daily they’re almost essential kit. As for my endurance, it still has a long way to go to to catch up with the trunks