LZR Racer

The LZR Racer Suit (pronounced as laser) is a line of high-end swim suits manufactured by Speedo using a high-technology swimwear fabric composed of woven elastane-nylon and polyurethane - Gore-tex. The suits are manufactured at Petratex, a textile factory in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal; the technology is patented in that country. The line was launched on February 13, 2008.

This suit has been developed in association with NASA, Ansys, Inc. (which supplied fluid flow analysis software and support), and the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the support of Speedo's sponsored athletes, and it is marketed as the world's fastest swimsuit. This is the focus of Speedo's campaign for the 2008 Summer Olympics, spearheaded by Michael Phelps of the United States. The line's cosmetics were designed in collaboration with Comme des Garçons. As of , 62 world records have been broken by swimmers wearing a LZR Racer, and 33 of the first 36 Olympic medals have been won wearing it. Like other suits used for competition, it allows for better oxygen flow to the muscles, and holds the body in a more hydrodynamic position, while repelling water. The seams of the suit are ultrasonically welded to further reduce drag. The suit reportedly can lower racing times for a competitor by 1.9 to 2.2 percent. Subsequently FINA endorsed competitive use of the suit prior to the Beijing Olympics.

The line includes suits for both men and women. As of , the male line includes a full body suit, dubbed "Bodyskin", a full-length "Legskin" pant and a knee-length "Jammer" short pant. Some swimmers, such as Phelps, took to wearing different styles for different races within the same competition, including at the 2008 Olympics. The female line includes a full-length zippered Bodyskin, similar to the male suit, as well as full length and knee-length versions of the suit with a strap-on back instead of a zipper, dubbed the "Recordbreaker" suit.

The impressive effects of wearing the suit led one of the coaches of Japan's Olympic swimming team to say "If swimmers don’t wear the LZR Racer, they won’t be able to compete in Beijing Olympics. This created a problem for the Japanese Olympic swimmers, who had exclusive contracts with swimsuit makers Mizuno, Asics, and Descente, preventing them from wearing the Speedo brand suits in the Olympics. However, the Japanese Swimming Federation subsequently decided to allow its athletes to choose their own suits freely.


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