>In order to complete a triathlon, you really only need a small handful of gear: goggles, bike, running shoes. Obviously, most of us have much, much more gear than this…we’ve got pull buoys, swim fins, helmets, glasses, cycle shoes, multiple pairs of shoes, race wheels… the list goes on and on.
Perhaps the single most expensive piece of equipment that a newbie triathlete purchases (besides a bike) is a wetsuit. Wetsuits can range in price from a couple hundred dollars to close to half a grand (or more). For a lot of athletes, it’s really difficult to chunk down that kind of coin without first trying a wetsuit. For others (thinking of us southeners), our need for wetsuits pales in comparison to our northern brethren.
This company has been outfitting triathletes with wetsuits on a rental (or purchase) basis for about five years.
Recently, Tri Madness sat down (via email) with Patty Stokes – proprietor of Wetsuitrental.com – and asked a few questions about the company.
Without further ado, here are “Ten Questions With…” Patty Stokes from Wetsuitrental.com:
TM: So your company started back in 2006 with a goal of assisting newbie triathletes by giving them an affordable option for wetsuits. Tell us about the most satisfying and most challenging things you have come across being a relatively new company in our sport.
PS: Most satisfying: helping the newbie, calming them and working with them so that they complete their first triathlon.
TM: Fitting a wetsuit is often a pretty individual thing. You’ve got a 97% fitting success rate…how on earth have you gotten so good at this?
PS: Going to events and fitting customers into wetsuits, talking with customers on the phone, listening to their feedback regarding the fit.
TM: There are a handful of other companies catering to wetsuit rentals. What sets Wetsuitrental.com apart from all the others (besides the best price and customer service on the planet)?
PS: No deposits, no charge for damage, no late fee
TM: What stands out as the best athlete-related story that one of your customers has shared with you?
PS: Customers return wetsuits with notes. We’ve had a handful of athletes tell us about the wedding on the lake right after the event, the marriage proposal at the finish line, the age-grouper who completed their first tri our one of our wetsuits and they took first place, the customer who was unhappy with the fit and after working with them, found out they were putting the wetsuit on backward
TM: You were founded by Jim McCann in San Diego. Now, you’re in Washington state. How’d that happen?
PS: My brother passed away suddenly from a stroke. I had been working with him so I knew how to keep it going. Keeping his memory alive is one of my driving forces.
TM: We all know of the common method of warming up a wetsuit. Hopefully people clean their suits before returning them to you. Do you clean them before renting them out again?
PS: We clean all of our wetsuits before renting them out again
TM: What tips do you have for newbies who have never swam in a wetsuit before? How should they best get acclimated to the suit prior to their race? Is swimming in a pool OK?
PS: Check out our website for more detailed info. Trying it out in pool is definitely ok. You won’t last long in a pool though since you’ll get too warm. Everyone should try the wetsuit out before the event to get comfortable and to confirm that fit is good.
TM: You sell a lot of other gear and supplies on your website. What are the best sellers?
PS: Body Glide is a must have. It really works.
For more information, visit http://www.wetsuitrental.com. You’ll find out how to rent or purchase a wetsuit, great videos, and tons of other stuff you can buy.
Editor’s note: I am proudly sponsored by Wetsuitrental.com. I can personally vouch for the outstanding customer service and product rendered by this great company. I first rented and wore one of their suits for Ironman Florida in 2009.