Sharkskin-Style Swimsuits

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Fans of swimming will recall the controversies of the now-banned sharkskin-style swimsuits that helped break so many records in the past few years. The suits decrease drag on a swimmer both by making them more hydrodynamic in form and by drastically reducing skin friction where the water meets the swimmer’s body. In addition to decreasing the two major sources of drag on a swimmer, the compression provided by the material can help increase blood flow to muscles. These improvements came at a high material cost, though, and, since the technology was not viable for all athletes, it has since been banned.

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