The Zoot Prophet at a list price of $650 (but you can get it for as low as $520 through us) is the top-of-the-line wetsuit from Zoot, a trusted maker of high-quality triathlon gear and compression gear (in fact, they make some of our favorite compression socks).. We have long held Zoot in high regard, and the new Prophet is a very good wetsuit that helps them compete with some of the better wetsuits from Orca, Blue Seventy, and Xterra among others.
The Prophet is probably best suited for triathletes who plan to swim in longer endurance races – namely Ironman or HIM distance – or those who have budgets allowing them to upgrade from the typical Sprint or Olympic distance suits. At its price point, the Prophet competes with a couple other great wetsuits that we like, namely the Blue Seventy Helix, the Blue Seventy Axis (with improved leg buoyancy), and the Orca Alpha. Compared to those suits, the Prophet makes a strong case for avid triathletes’ consideration. It replaces the Zenith, a Zoot wetsuit that was discontinued and from our standpoint (and based on informal race counts) never got the traction that Zoot was looking for.
The Zoot Prophet is made with all the specs we would expect for a high-end wetsuit. It has no seams under the arms, and uses flexible paneling in the shoulder and back so athletes have maximum shoulder range-of-motion and little breathing restriction. We also like that Zoot incorporated their version of flotation and body balance technology so triathletes can focus on the power of their stroke rather than balance in the water.
Most wetsuits above the price point of $400 or so boast some sort of forearm swim stroke boost, a special skin or paneling helping to create for a better pull. Zoot did this in the prophet by adding what they call the EVA ridge, a special formation on the backside of the forearm. This is unique and we credit Zoot for coming up with it. The result is a more powerful, efficient stroke that should resemble the feeling of using swim paddles. We think that for serious swimmers, looking for this type of technology is worthwhile, as an open water swim has so many distractions and sighting that takes away from normal swim form, it is important to get everything you can from the quality strokes that you are able to squeeze in.
Field tests indicate that the Prophet has a great fit, as Zoot built the suit with paneling that helps racers feel more comfortable in the suit both at rest but also during the swim. Testers also indicated that the hips stayed in a high position (something we hear a lot about the Blue Seventy Axis, as well) to help provide the “swimming downhill” sensation and keep the body well-position, even when lifting the head for sighting. Testers also noted that the EVA ridge does make a difference, creating a strong swim stroke and giving the arms and triceps a significant workout on the pull. As a result, we would suggest that new Prophet owners do some open water training before race day. Remember, the Prophet and most other wetsuits are not intended to be used in chlorine.
The other comment our testers made about fit is that the suit is not restrictive through the shoulders, something we often see in wetsuits (but generally lesser so in high-end models). Swimmers with broad shoulders were very happy with the fit and overall range-of-motion throughout the shoulders, a testament to the engineering by Zoot and the intention for this to be a great endurance piece. The pre-shaped knees are a nice plus, helping your legs fit comfortably in the suit without a breaking-in period.
Overall, we recommend that endurance athletes or those with budgets for high-end suits consider the Prophet, especially those who place overall true fit as a high priority or those with wider shoulders who may benefit from Zoot’s construction in that area. We are confident enough with Zoot as a manufacturer to be able to put the Prophet in a class with some of the best wetsuits we test. Find the Prophet at a good through through a great vendor here.