The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio on August 5, and although many of the swimmers haven’t even qualified to compete yet, last night in a warehouse in New York City’s Garment District, amidst flashing lights and booming audio, Speedo unveiled the 2016 Fastskin LZR Racer X, which the Olympians will wear. Speedo is calling it “the world’s fastest swimsuit” — and some of the best swimmers in the world, including Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte, were on hand to help support that claim.
Speedo’s Fastskin series isn’t exactly new. Olympic swimmers have worn iterations of the swimsuit series at the last four Olympics, in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012). Michael Phelps even wore a version, the Speedo LZR, when he won eight gold medals and broke seven records in Beijing. But the full-length, 50 percent polyurethane swimsuit that Phelps used has been banned since January 2010. The new Fastskin LZR Racer X promises to be the brand’s best swimsuit since, and it’s 100 percent race legal.
The Fastskin LZR Racer X swimsuit was designed by Aqualab, Speedo’s global R&D team, who used 3D scans of more than 1,200 elite swimmers to, according to the brand, “enhance the body’s muscle kinetic chain for maximum speed and performance in the water.” The suit is comprised of two of Speedo’s technologies: the LZR Racer CompreX, a fabric that that allows for vertical but not horizontal stretching, and LZR Racer PulseLite, a lightweight yet highly durable material. The suit gets its name from the X-shaped, ultrasonically welded seams at its sides, which are meant to promote powerful strokes without compromising the swimmer’s form.
If you’re interested in finding out just how fast the Fastskin LZR Racer X is before Rio, it’s available today on Speedo’s website in models for men and women, starting at $359.