Ironman Triathlon Wetsuit Rules

Ironman triathlon wetsuits rules are updated annually and come into effect after March in Africa, the America, and Europe, and after July in China and Oceania.  Though specific rules can vary slightly at some events due to local rules, Ironman tries to standardize wetsuit rules, and all competition rules, across all events to make it easy for athletes traveling to international races.  

Wetsuit Cutoff

For age-group athletes:

  • Wetsuits may be worn in water temperature up to and including 24.5°C/76.1°F.
  • Wetsuits are mandatory if the water temperature is below 16°C/60.8°F.
  • If the water temperature is above 24.5°C/76.1°F, but is less than or equal to 28.8°C/83.8°F, then as some events, such as those sanctioned by USA Triathlon, athletes may wear wetsuits and participate in a separate non-competitive wetsuit wave/division.  Athletes who chose to wear a wetsuit will not be eligible for age-group or division awards, nor will they be eligible for World Championship slots.
  • The official water temperature will be determined the morning of the race.
  • Physically Challenged (PC) and Handcycle (HC) athletes may wear a wetsuit during the swim at all Ironman events at any water temperature.

Wetsuit Rules

For a wetsuit to be legal to be worn in an Ironman event the following rules must be followed:

  • Your wetsuit cannot cover your face, hands, or feet.
  • The thickness of any portion of the wetsuit cannot exceed 5mm. 
  • Neoprene or any other booties are prohibited unless the water temperature is 18.3°C/65.0°F, or colder.
  • Gloves may not be worn.

All deboer wetsuits are race legal for any Ironman triathlon or other triathlon race that is wetsuit legal. If you want to know which deboer wetsuit is right for you, you can check out our Fjord 1.0 vs. Flōh 1.0 article.  Additionally, if you have questions about any deboer product you can email us,