The sport of surfing has had to face the cold waters of places below the equator, as well as places in the northern hemisphere. This caused people to start to experiment with the idea of a wetsuit. When the wetsuit was first invented it allowed people to surf in places and at times that nobody thought possible, for as long as they wished. Once the wetsuit had become part of popular culture it was then in a position to be improved upon. Throughout time wet suits have been sealed and improved in many ways. Now the wet suit has had an element added to it. This new element allows people to surf in freezing conditions for lengthy amounts of time. It is a heating element in the back of the wet suit allowing surfers to surf the Antarctic. In response to this need other heating methods have been invented such as the hot belt.
The idea of a wetsuit was first thought of by a man called Hugh Bardner in 1951. Although all he did was toy with the idea of using trapped water to warm the body. This was discovered in a letter written by him. Although he never expanded his idea, he was the first person to think of the concept of how the wetsuit works.
Credit of the modern wetsuit goes to Jack O’Neil. The idea stemmed from living in San Francisco trying to prevent himself from freezing to death when ever he surfed in cold waters. Also he was getting in trouble with his job as an architectural aluminum seller due to the effect the cold water had on his health, in particular his sinus. This later lead to him getting fired.
The first wet suit was designed in the 1970’s. The first wet suits were made out of raw unprocessed neoprene which was uncomfortable on the skin. This resulted in lining the neoprene with nylon on each side.
Throughout the years wet suits have been modified in many ways making them warmer, more flexible, more comfortable, as well as different types. For example; a spring suit. Another example of innovation in the wet suit world would be the heated wet suit known as the H bomb which is distributed by Rip Curl.
The H-bomb is the world’s first heated wetsuit. It is a full length wet suit with a power heated element enclosed within the fabric. The idea of the H-bomb is to allow surfers to be able to experience surfing in conditions which would never have been previously possible. Rip curl have brought out the H-bomb as part of a long history that dates back to 1969 in wet suit design and innovation. The H-bomb is part of Rip Curls new bomb range. The bomb range consists of 4 different wet suit types. These are; the F the E and the G. Each specialising in a different area of wetsuit development. The G is marketed specifically at women. The F is marketed at being the ultimate in warmth. While the E-bomb is the ultimate in flexibility. The H-bomb is marketed by using its warming technology. Although the H-bomb is fronting as Rip Curls biggest new innovation, the F, E and G-bomb designs are all using innovative technology.