Ben’s Anti-Shark Suit Unveiled!
With the clock ticking steadily down, things are hotting up for Ben. The latest buzz in his hectic schedule is all about his Anti-Shark Suit, our custom-made wetsuit for his cross-Atlantic swim adventure that kicks off in January. He’s been involved in the suit’s development process, including giving the suit a test-run of his own, with his feedback being channelled back to the arena team for further refinement of the design. Now everything’s come together in the final result: the first ever swim/triathlon brand product on the market using SAMS Technology.
SAMS stands for Shark Attack Mitigation System, which was developed in partnership with the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and School of Animal Biology, with the aim of reducing the risk of shark attacks. It’s based on in-depth research into shark vision, neurology and behavior, which amongst other things analyzes what they can see at certain depths and distances under different light and water conditions. By playing with the colour/contrast and size/shape of the suit’s design, the aim is to put off the shark by making the swimmer appear less desirable (or even dangerous) to attack as possible food. Initial testing of SAMS with the dangerous tiger shark off the coast of Western Australia produced very positive results. The system will continue to be refined through the project’s ongoing research and testing.
The wetsuit also uses carbon technology with all the benefits of the carbon cage, including greater core stability and crucial support when and where it’s needed at specific points on the body. Core stability is also taken a step further with the help of the suit’s buoyancy, which is evenly-distributed across key areas of the suit – it helps keep the swimmer’s body position level in the water. These are some of the first things that Ben noticed: “It has good buoyancy around the waist, in fact it’s just right. There’s also great support around the central hip and lower back area, and it’s helped to improve my body alignment. I’m really impressed.”
With many hours a day in the water ahead of him, comfort is obviously also important to Ben, and once again the new suit delivers. Using high-end Yamamoto Neoprene, the suit is super comfortable, and with varying thicknesses on the stomach, back and shoulders/arms, it’s also flexible just where it needs to be – most importantly around the shoulders where it offers complete freedom of movement. His comments echoed the benefits of these features: “It’s a snug fit and very comfortable, especially around the shoulders, and when I swim, there’s no restriction, my shoulders move completely freely. It’s really streamlined and effective, somehow I actually feel faster in the water.”
Of course it wouldn’t be an arena suit if it didn’t have a really cool design. While the colours and patterns are clearly functional, their curves, contours and shiny panels make their own slick “marine” statement, as well as being almost futuristic in a kind of space-age way. Not only that, the design also sends a warning message to curious sharks. In short, it’s just perfect for the open ocean.
Super-cool and ultra-functional – ideal for someone who wants to be safer and efficient in the open ocean, while looking good at the same time. For those that fit into this category, the new wetsuit will be available on the open market in the spring of 2016.