Unlike other racing suits, it uses a full polyurethane coating, giving it the advantage of reduced friction. This coating also traps air, increasing the buoyancy of the swimmer and reducing drag. Underneath this coating, there are two layers – one layer of titanium alloy and a layer of high-tech fabric beneath it. The titanium alloy stabilizes body temperature. The innermost layer was engineered by a company known as Kinetech™, and is called the “Hydro Stealth” layer by Arena®. This fabric optimizes muscle compression, which reduces fatigue by preventing the muscles from vibrating. In addition, this fabric facilitates optimal blood circulation and slows the build up of lactic acid in the muscles. Another benefit of the suit is the Hoop Kompressor®, which delivers superior stability to the swimmer’s body during the stroke. Much of these innovations were made based off of studies of bio-mechanical movements in water as well as the skins of various sea creatures. The Powerskin® team used studies in the field of fluid dynamics conducted by the M.O.X Institute of the Polytechnic Engineering University to engineer the second edition in the Powerskin series, the Powerskin Xtreme®, and has continued on to produce the Powerskin Revolution® and now the Powerskin X-Glide®. Unfortunately, the X-Glide has been banned as a result of the new FINA 2010 restrictions, which claimed that these new petroleum based suits were making swimming a sport based on too much technology and not enough skill.
Thumbnail image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arena_X-Glide