I’ve been encouraged by my team mates for some time to embrace a racing suit (everyone seems to have one for racing and you feel totally under-equipped without) so I jumped at the opportunity to try the Head Liquid Fire Pro. I opted for the open back design as this is comfortable for the dive and allows for good upper body movement. This suit stands out even though it is mainly black as it has a swirl of blue adding a splash of colour to the chest. Sizing, however, was a little bewildering as there seems to be a lot of variation between brands, and Head uses continental sizing. There are four measurements to provide and your suit should look worryingly small – it needs to be to provide the compression benefits. That said, ‘long’ sizes are available for taller swimmers.
You have to hold the faith while putting it on. It takes time. You have to shuffle it up slowly and don’t panic if the straps feel like they’re cutting you in half. You have to wiggle the bottom half right up before attempting to get your arms in. The Liquid Fire Pro incorporates some internal bonded seams that take the shape of a high cut costume and you need to make sure these sit snuggly on your hips.
I confess I was initially sceptical about the benefits of a racing suit as I am naturally very buoyant and couldn’t see how a tight bit of fabric would make a difference but I can honestly say it feels amazing in the pool. Your bottom and legs feel incredibly high in the water. Streamlining feels great off the dive and the turn and you feel the benefits with every stroke. The evidence from the pace clock can’t be denied either: this suit is fast. It’s not just for freestyle either. On fly, the extra height in the water helps your arm recovery and on breaststroke it encouraged my legs to snap back together with speed and ease. I shall happily pack this suit into the handy ventilated bag it comes with to wear at my next gala.