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Sun 21st Jul 2019
Review: sailfish ONE
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 7th September 2010

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Jack Allison from Tri-Wetsuits ( reviews the Sailfish ONE. Now of course, you would expect a wetsuit retailer to sing the praises of a wetsuit they may have in stock. However, Jack makes no claims that it is the absolute fastest - indeed, he names others that he would rank ahead for that - but this interesting report highlights just why this suit might well be a good option for you.

And of course, Saifish products are available at other stockist's too - check out for more information.

Sailfish ONE

Owning your own wetsuit retailer is a rather idyllic situation to be in if you enjoy open water swimming. As such I was like a kid in a candy store when 50+ demo wetsuits turned up at the lake one morning in April, every size of the best wetsuits that money can buy laid out ready to be thoroughly put through their paces by both customers and myself.

Sailfish ONEHowever I have found myself drifting more and more towards one suit on the rail as the year has gone on; the Sailfish ONE. This is not to say that Sailfish's other offerings are bad and there are other manufacturers that do produce some excellent wetsuits and when I'm racing over a short distance and looking for pure speed I would almost certainly choose the Orca Alpha or the Sailfish G-Range.

But I'm not going to lie, racing is hard and these super flexible suits with minimal buoyancy don't make the experience overly comfortable. Yes they are very fast in the same way that a Formula 1 car is fast, but I wouldn't want to tour Europe in a Formula 1 car. The Sailfish ONE makes swimming easy, it is very buoyant and unlike many suits this is noticeable all the way through the body and into the legs; nice when you have been round the lake a few times and are beginning to get tired.

I always tell our customers that there are just two things to look for in a wetsuit; the type of neoprene (and where it is used) and the quality of the liner. This is likely contrary to what you will have heard elsewhere that would instruct you to look for buoyancy and flexibility over anything else. This is of course correct but in all honesty buoyancy and flexibility are a product of the two aspects I mentioned earlier.

If you research wetsuits enough you will eventually hear of Yamamoto neoprene of various different grades; generally either #39 cell or #40 cell. Neoprene is essentially rubber that has air injected into it, hence why it is buoyant.

Usually the lower the number the thicker the neoprene has to be cut to achieve the same durability. This is why the Orca Alpha is more flexible and less buoyant than the Orca 3.8, because the Alpha is made with #40cell which is cut thinner than the #39cell neoprene of the 3.8 and is as such relatively less buoyant, buoyant suits tend to use #39cell because the thicker 5mm panels tend to be more supportive of a swimmers stroke than the more flexible #40cell.

The quality of the liner will dictate firstly how comfortable the wetsuit is against your bare skin and secondly how water repellent it is. Obviously if the liner of the wetsuit absorbs a load of water it has to take the place of air which will therefore reduce the overall buoyancy of the wetsuit and in the case of many poor quality wetsuits be responsible for them feeling very heavy and restrictive – because they are dragging you down instead of pulling you up as rubber with no buoyant air pockets will naturally sink. A lighter, better quality liner will also be more flexible and in the case of the Sailfish ONE is brushed to slide off easily.

Sailfish have thus combined #40 cell neoprene in the arms and shoulders with #39 cell neoprene through the body and legs to create a wetsuit that will swim comfortably for great distances due to its buoyancy and support yet feel weightless due to super thin, flexible neoprene in the shoulders. And it works, the ONE feels awesome in the water and swims so smoothly it feels almost effortless. The buoyancy on the front of the body means that your core is given a bit of a rest so you can concentrate on reaching for a longer stroke whilst the two buoyancy panels on the sides of the suit sort out any excess roll you may have by balancing the body perfectly. The liner is very comfortable and doesn't appear to loose buoyancy when wet whilst it comes off very easily out of the water. The coating on the outside of the suit is of a high quality too, out of the water it feels supremely smooth and in the water it appears to slide through like a knife making for a wetsuit that is all-in-all very hard to fault.

However the best thing about the Sailfish ONE is the sheer quality. When I first picked it up it felt totally different to any other wetsuit I have ever used; the rubber feels supple and soft as you would expect but it is also tough and appears to be well made. The seams too are also unlike any other wetsuit, Sailfish say that they are glued and blind stitched and indeed to this date I have not seen a single seam fail on any Sailfish wetsuit which is not something I can say of some other brands which will remain nameless!

The Sailfish ONE would appear to be very simple when compared to wetsuits from other manufacturers but it is so much more effective. The lack of marketing gimmicks stuck on the outside means both that the wetsuit leaves more space for movement and your money is spent on quality rather than ‘technology' that doesn't really work to any noticeable degree.

Needless to say this would be the wetsuit I would buy if it was my money; not only does it swim beautifully but it will last far longer than most other wetsuits. This wetsuit is one of those products that would appear to be very expensive like a BMW or anything that Apple produce but is in reality remarkably good value and makes you wonder why everyone isn't doing it this way.

For more information or to purchase a Sailfish ONE please visit

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