The American brand ROKA has taken triathlon by storm and sponsors some of the sport’s biggest names, including Javier Gomez. The ROKA Maverick Pro II sits just below the Texas based company’s flagship offering. We put it to the test.
|Product||Roka Maverick Pro II|
|Price||$470 ($420 + $50 shipping to UK), approx. £336 delivered
(Previously $700 + $50 shipping: approx. £537 delivered)
|Size tested||Small Tall|
|Colour||Black Acid Lime|
|Sizes and colours||See website and size chart|
The ROKA Maverick Pro II in action
ROKA is building a reputation for making sleek looking, high-end kit. Out of the box the ROKA Maverick Pro II looked packed full of tech and like it was going to continue this trend.
As is common in high performance wetsuits, the Maverick Pro II is constructed from neoprene of various thicknesses – with ROKA claiming the suit is made from the best quality neoprene from the Yamamoto Corporation in Japan.
The shoulders are 1.5mm thick with the aim of providing enhanced flexibility and reduced fatigue, whilst the 3mm chest paired with the 5mm legs (subject to below), are said to help you obtain a good position in the water.
The ROKA Maverick Pro II comes equipped with ROKA’s RS2 panelling technology – the theory is that by using different thickness of neoprene (1.5mm panels running down your side and a 5mm strip down the centre of your torso) there is greater stability at the centre line of your suit and less resistance on the sides.
The dimpled central 5mm panel (called the ‘aerodome’) along with the narrow 1.5mm strips are both visually noticeable, but it is harder to confirm ROKA’s claims re stability/speed – however, the proof is speed in the water and lack of fatigue, both of which were encouraging.
Further, ROKA claims to have another trick up its sleeve, its ‘arms-up’ construction first seen in its top of the range Maverick X. The Texan company asserts this increases mobility and efficiency throughout your stroke.
The suit’s neck-line sits flush and snug, but thanks to the lack of seams it was comfortable and I didn’t experience any real irritation (although I did use ‘glide’).
The forearm/wrist area is made from stretchy fabric-like material which is said to be a premium stretch woven textile from Italy, developed in the swimming super-suit era.
The driver for this design is improved feel in the water. Although nothing like the fish gill/blade forearms of several years ago (now banned), feel of the water is noticeable.
Obviously for a wetsuit the main factor is speed through the water, however for triathletes a not insignificant consideration is how quickly the suit comes off in T1. The ROKA Maverick Pro II has 2mm thick panels on the rear of the ankle to assist you in slipping out of the suit.
Being a slower swimmer I have become fairly proficient at getting out of a wetsuit at speed and this continued with the Maverick Pro II. I had no problems getting the suit off, especially when applying a copious amount of ‘glide’ around my neck, forearms, and lower leg.
If like me you prefer a slightly shorter cut leg, thanks to the tape seamed ankles you can customise the length with some scissors.
The rear zip is a classic design, it works well and there were no ‘jamming’ issues. However, for quick transitions (especially after longer swims with tired arms) I am fan of the HUUB exploder design (although, not everyone shares that view).
After testing the ROKA Maverick Pro II in the pool, in numerous open water sessions, race pace drills, and races, I can confirm this is an impressive suit.
Not only does it feel fast, I experienced less fatigue around the shoulders, and interesting to note for a high performance suit (originally retailing at north of £500), it is robust and durable – it has no nicks even after swimming over a shallow weir in France.
Irrespective of how well the suit performed, it would have been remiss not to acknowledge the original price tag. $750 (inc. shipping to the UK – circa £540) puts the Pro II in direct competition with the HUUB Archimedes II, and is a substantial outlay for a wetsuit – however, the current price of closer to £335 (inc. shipping to the UK), might make it an appealing proposition.
Very impressive. For this average swimmer, the ROKA Maverick Pro II was comfortable and quick.