Hogeschool van Amsterdam

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Maximal propulsion depends on the maximal muscle forces and the technique of the swimmer. To improve upon these factors is rather difficult when top-swimmers are concerned. In theory, improving speed can also be achieved by reducing drag. Recently, manufacturers of swimming attire have developed a series of suits made of a fabric, which was designed to mimic the properties of a shark's skin. The drag reducing effect of these suits were claimed to be up to 7.5%. However, there is still doubt whether 'hydrodynamically' designed swimsuits do aid in faster swimming. So the question is whether the approach to reduce drag by tweaking the fabric of swimming attire has some theoretical underpinning. In this paper the possible effects of changing the characteristics of the swimmer's body surface on the friction drag, pressure drag and wave making drag is reviewed.

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Toussaint, H. M. 'The Fastskin: Hip, hype, but does it work?' In: FINA Coach Clinic, European Short Course Championships 2001 (pp. 1-7). Antwerp, 2001.

Gepubliceerd door  Kenniscentrum Bewegen, Sport en Voeding 1 september 2001


sep 2001


Lector Huub Toussaint