How are SRFACE wetsuits tested?
What is wetsuit testing?
Before any product can be produced and sold, it has to go through a number of tests. These tests ensure a wetsuit’s quality, performance, fit and durability. How are SRFACE wetsuits tested? Any new high-end wetsuit model is well tested before it can be sold. Firstly, a wetsuit sample is fitted on a testing model with the right size. This makes sure the fit is correct. Secondly, the sample is tested for its performance and durability. This is tested in real-life surfing conditions. An improved sample is made when possible things to improve are found. Therefore, potential problems are picked up before production. This process is repeated until the perfect wetsuit has been found.
After the wetsuit designer has finished the first design, the design is translated into wetsuit patterns. This includes things such as material specifications, colours, logo placements and seam constructions. Thereafter, the sample phase starts at the wetsuit factory. A sample is made, based on the final design. The designer works closely with the factory to ensure the correct outcome. After the wetsuit sample is finished, it is reviewed by the designer. The designer ensures the result matches their design. If any problems are found, the design will be changed. This results in the best possible product that is ready for future bulk production.
How are SRFACE wetsuits tested? Testing the wetsuit’s function is an important next step. To do so, a team of wetsuit testers are put to good use. The fit is tested by test fitting models where the fit and size are perfected. This is followed by a number of functional tests. The wetsuit is used as you normally would. This includes taking it on and off, duck diving, wiping out and of course surfing. The wetsuit tester checks for water leaks, seam irritations, excess materials or tight areas, etc.
You can’t pick up all problems during a normal test. Therefore, the wetsuit will get tested for long term durability. This ensures the wetsuit will last over time. The test team makes sure the wetsuit doesn’t show any problems that would only develop after intense use. Often an A B test is done to find out if wetsuit A works better than wetsuit B. 2 of the same samples are made, but one has a single difference to be tested and compared. For example, an extra seam or different material is used to test the difference in fit and performance between the 2 prototypes. The best one of the 2 models will be used for further development.
Improvements and revisions
After all prototypes are tested, all test results are compiled by the wetsuit designer. Improvements to the wetsuit that need to be made are discussed between the team. This includes the wetsuit test team, the designer and the manufacturer. Thereafter, a new prototype will be made which includes the improvements. This sample will undergo the same testing phase. This process will be repeated multiple times until all potential problems are solved. This results in a perfect prototype wetsuit, ready to be produced and sold to you.
Wetsuit performance and comfort
Wetsuit testing has a high focus on fit. This contributes to a wetsuits’ comfort and performance. Wetsuit performance is partly determined by the amount of flexibility. Another important factor is the amount of insulation that keeps you warm. A high-end wetsuit is extremely flexible. Therefore, it doesn’t restrict you in your movements in the water. Even when thicker neoprene is used to retain body heat better. The more flexible and soft a wetsuit is, the higher the comfort. But the right fit, thickness and panel layout of your wetsuit are important factors too. During the wetsuit testing process, the ideal combination of factors is determined. This includes the type of materials, seam construction, panel thickness, seam placements, and fit.
Proven panel layout, a continuously fine-tuned design
Over the decades, wetsuits have come a long way. They have been perfected and redesigned. Including, styling, function, materials, and durability. We have learned from previous generation wetsuits. Testing, trial and error and hours spent in the water has perfected a certain panel layout. Any new wetsuit should learn from its predecessors. Evolved by making them better. Thus resulting in a continuously updated design, with a proven panel layout. You as a surfer can give valuable feedback to the brand by sharing the experiences. Positive or negative wetsuit feedback, we can use it to improve our products. This creates an ever-evolving wetsuit design. It will keep getting better and better by utilizing customer’s feedback. You can make a difference in how SRFACE wetsuits are tested. Take part in the development of future wetsuits.