Ask Ethan: Do Blue Skate-Suits Really Go Faster Than Red Ones?
“Ethan, I’ve been watching the Olympics, and I heard that it’s been proven that blue skate suits are faster than red. Is this true?”
There are all sorts of things one can do to improve their time in speed skating. Training is a good step; improved technique is an even better one. Keeping your back flat, your body tucked, your arms crossed and folded, and your legs pumping in a smooth, striding motion will give you a huge advantage over another competitor with a slightly poorer technique. But beyond that, there are advantages that equipment, and skate suits in particular, can offer. Aerodynamics plays an incredibly large role, as world record times have improved by approximately 15% in the past 30 years, while smaller effects such as friction and compression may play a role as well. But what about the claim that color matters? Norway recently touted that they’ve abandoned a century-old tradition of red suits for blue, under the assertion that blue goes faster.