How Billabong Wetsuits Work
Lauren Collison February 16th, 2017 Posted In: Articles Tags: Surfing
In order to understand how Billabong Wetsuits work, we went straight to the man behind the designs. Scott Boot is Billabong’s wetsuit designer, so he totally gets all of the ins and outs of how Billabong wetsuits works. You can learn more about Scott and how his awesome career started from this interview he did with Billabong. So without further ado, here’s what Scott has to say about Billabong wetsuits:
Alright, so how do Billabong wetsuits work?
SB: A wetsuit is an insulating barrier between you and the elements outside. Billabong goes to extreme lengths to source new neoprene’s and laminates to a variety of different sponge’s to ensure the best thermal retention stretch and comfort is accomplished. Billabong has a range of wetsuits starting at our Absolute series which is a price conscious functional yet durable wetsuit for the everyday surfer. It then clicks up in price to the Revolution series which is all about style and flexibility, with a host of technical materials and features. We then take another step up to our Furnace Carbon series which uses premium exclusive materials such as a Furnace Carbon fiber lining that is the warmest material available.
Can you briefly tell us about the latest wetsuit technology with Billabong wetsuits?
SB: Carbon Fiber lining, Drymax entry system and a host of exclusive details.
Who or what is the inspiration behind designing Billabong wetsuits each season?
The constant pursuit to perfect the warmest most flexible and comfortable wetsuit available, the Furnace Carbon Ultra is our best example of this to date.
Do Billabong wetsuits differ from other brands in how they provide insulation?
SB: Unique materials sourced from exclusive vendors all combine to make our suits out-perform the competitors. We have two Billabong factories, one in China and one in Thailand. There is a lot of noise around one supplier that makes the majority of all major brands wetsuits, this may be true, but all wetsuits are light years apart based on the materials selected and sourced that go into each brand, Billabong’s are exclusive.
Are the wetsuit designs driven by warmth? Performance? Long-lasting?
SB: Depends what climatic region the suit is designed for. However, they’re all designed for performance first and foremost. We have three unique styles in our Furnace Carbon Series, the Comp, the X and the Ultra. the Comp is a lighter weight flexible suit designed for cool to mild cold water, the X is specifically designed for super cold water and the Ultra is designed for flexibility and warmth in cold water. All have unique features to keep you warm in cold water but at different levels to meet different price points. The comp starts at $300, the X at $400, and the Ultra our most premium at $500. I’ve attached a break down for reference:
What are the key features or ideas that go into creating a Billabong wetsuit?
SB: Lately it’s been our Carbon Fiber lining found in the Furnace series, it’s a unique carbon fiber yarn knitted into the jersey. Carbon Fiber is incredibly efficient at trapping and holding thermal heat. The Furnace Carbon Ultra has a Japanese carbon fiber material that has 60% carbon fiber yarns included into the material so it’s really light, really warm but a bit expensive, so only found in the Ultra. The X and Comp suits have 30% Carbon Fiber yarns included in the jersey to make it very effective at holding and trapping the body heat and super flexible, it’s also a double knit jersey meaning it drains water super fast making it dry in no time at all.
Any additional words on how Billabong wetsuits work and about the brand as a whole?
SB: Billabong has had many tag lines throughout its illustrious history but one tag line we all use internally is “Progression is our Obsession”. Billabong has always been a progressive brand in surfing from its roster of progressive elite athletes, stretch boardshorts back in the 70’s to the first patented zipper-less wetsuit. There’s also the first chest zip wetsuit, the Absolute, and the first inflatable big wave wetsuit with the Shane Dorian V1 and now the first wetsuit with carbon fiber lining.
And there you have it – an insider’s view on how Billabong wetsuits work. Thanks again Scott for doing this interview. Got a favorite Billabong suit? Let us know in the comments!
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