We’ve been pretty excited about the launch of the Finisterre wetsuit since we saw an early model at a press launch a few months ago. Why? Well, firstly it’s designed specifically for use in UK and Northern European waters, which, as you’re probably aware, can get pretty cold. Secondly, it just looks really nice. Seriously. We’re talking secret agent kind of nice.
The R&D and testing process used to create the finished product was crowd-sourced using ordinary British surfers. 250 of them in fact, all choosing to spend their winter putting sample test wetsuits through real life cold water surfing scenarios. After they’d given the suits a go they fed back to the Finisterre development team so further adjustments could be made to them. Pretty cool huh?
“A wetsuit has to stand up to a lot of abuse,” says Finisterre founder Tom Kay. “It has to be your second skin and keep you warm and dry in ferocious conditions, and surfers treat them really badly. They take them off on the tarmac, pee in them, leave them to dry in the sun, and then when they’re damaged send them back to be repaired. That’s why we took such a long time developing our suit with the help of the surfing community. Their input has really helped us make the best wetsuit we can, and one that we’re very proud of.”
“This is the first time I’ve designed a suit while releasing the prototype directly to a paying customer at the same time” says suit designer, Mat D’Ascoli. “It’s unheard of, but to me is a genuine surf industry innovation and probably the best idea I’ve ever come across. Why? Because wetsuits are usually tested by sponsored athletes, who rarely pay for their suits, let alone give comment while surfing in cold waters. Being able to directly access our customer base and ask them the meaningful questions was the ultimate R&D resource, and actually made designing the wetsuit quicker and easier.”
Features on the new suit include:
- Double needle blind stitching for increased durability and improved warmth
- Higher internal loft throughout the suit for greater warmth
- 15mm seam tape for added warmth and durability
- Higher grade neoprene through the upper body for improved flexibility
- A custom neck entry system for reduced flushing.
- Elongated back panel and kidney patch for warmth.
Here’s a nice little video from filmmaker Chris McClean where you can see the wetsuit actually moving around and stuff.
The suits are available in 5mm hooded (£390) and 4mm (£360) non-hooded models and are available online or in their flagship London store as well as at the Finisterre workshop in St Agnes.
We haven’t tested them out yet, but when we do we’ll let you know. The pictures will probably look pretty similar to these ones.
Picture Info: Surfer – Matt Smith. Photo credit – Ian Mitchinson