SRFACE wetsuit materials
The ultimate wetsuit
SRFACE wetsuits combine high-end features, a-grade materials, a proven panel layout, and an affordable price into one ultimate wetsuit. SRFACE keeps the price low by applying a direct to consumer business model, not by cutting corners on quality, technology or materials. Find out below exactly what SRFACE wetsuit materials and technologies are used to make these high-end wetsuits.
The main neoprene compound for most wetsuits on the market remains chloroprene. But instead of using ‘dirty’ petroleum-based ingredients, SRFACE wetsuit materials use calcium carbonate from limestone to form chloroprene rubber chips. These rubber chips are melted down in an oven and go through a chemical process. The melted substance is infused with air bubbles and baked into a block of limestone neoprene foam. This block is then sliced in any neoprene thickness needed to make your wetsuits, ranging from 0.4mm to 10mm thickness and everything in between. Durability, flexibility and insulation characteristics of limestone neoprene are better than its petroleum-based neoprene predecessor. This makes limestone neoprene one of the most flexible and warm neoprene types out there. Read more
Eco carbon black
Neoprene foam as we know it is black. However, rubber chips, the neoprene raw material are yellow. One of the important ingredients of limestone neoprene is also what colours it black. This ingredient is called eco carbon black. This can now be harvested by recycling scrap rubber tires. It utilizes a new technology called tire pyrolysis. This significantly reduces energy consumption and CO2 emission during the neoprene production process.
Dope dyed yarns are new energy and water-saving environmentally friendly fabric dyeing technology. This process is used to colour the outside and inside nylon or polyester lining on wetsuits. Usually, the fabric is knitted first, then dyed into the colour needed afterward. However, this causes more pollution. Dope dyed yarns are created by adding masterbatch colorant to the polymer melt in spinning. This is done before the knitting process to save water, energy and polluted rinsing water (up to 80%). The dope dyed yarns are woven into a knit. Thereafter it is laminated onto both the inside and outside of neoprene sheets. The colour is deeper and fades less too. Dope-dye nylon lining is used on some high-end wetsuits, only available in black and a few dark colours. A bright coloures can’t be made with this dope-dye technology yet.
Aqua-𝛂 water-based lamination glue
Wetsuit lining is laminated onto neoprene foam by a special lamination glue. Remember the chemical smell of a new wetsuit? That smell will soon be a thing of the past. Traditional lamination glue for wetsuits is a dirty business. SRFACE exclusively works with a water-based lamination glue called aqua-𝛂 on all our wetsuits. This saves up to 600 grams of solvents per wetsuit. Don’t worry, aqua-𝛂, although water-based, won’t dissolve in water.
REACH compliant / PAHs free
PAHs, or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. PAHs generated from these sources can bind to or form small particles in the air and can form a potential health risk. All SRFACE wetsuits are PAHs free and 100% REACH compliant. You can find more information on REACH guidelines here. Good to know, but nothing to worry about when buying a SRFACE wetsuit.
360° stretch wetsuit lining
360° stretch wetsuit lining is a variety of super or hyper stretch nylon combined with spandex lining. Both the inside and outside of most wetsuits are laminated with a stretchy jersey. 360° stretch lining is the high-end version of this material and stretches in all directions. This material is laminated onto neoprene sheets. Resulting in a flexible, soft to the skin, comfortable wetsuit. It also makes it easier to take your wetsuit on and off.
Smoothskin chest and back panel
The Smoothskin chest and back panel of a wetsuit plays an important role in the fit of the wetsuit. It’s also a panel where extra insulation is preferred. Nowadays, you see a lot of wetsuits with a combined chest and front leg panel made with double lined neoprene. Although it might look cool, the fit and insulation qualities drop drastically. This is why SRFACE wetsuits feature a Smoothskin chest and back panel. Combined with a plush insulation quick-dry inside lining for added comfort and warmth.
Smoothskin is a type of single lined neoprene. It is similar to glideskin, but it’s more sticky. This helps to stick to the wax of your surfboard while paddling. On surfing wetsuits, smoothskin can be used on chest and back panels only to protect against the windchill factor. This means your sessions will last longer with insulation where you need it most. Glideskin is also commonly used in triathlon wetsuits. Smoothskin is flexible but can be more fragile than double lined neoprene, so be aware of damaging the suit with your fingernails.
Abrasion-resistant knee pads
Wetsuit knee pads protect your knees when duck diving. Therefore, strong material is used for the knee pads. They also protect the wetsuit in this area from wearing out. Kneepad outside lining is abrasion resistant. On top of that, the neoprene foam inside the knee pad has a high impact and compression rating to protect your knees from impact. The inside of the knee panel is lined with 360° stretch lining for flexibility and comfort.
A great way to add an extra layer of protection to make a wetsuit bulletproof. Melco dots are a Japanese reinforcement material that is heat welded on the inside of a wetsuit. Therefore reinforcing certain stress areas to make a wetsuit last longer. Melco dots prevent overstretching, which can lead to tearing the wetsuit. Melco material can be used as heat welded tape or heat welded patches or dots. This patch is found on the inside of the wetsuit where multiple seams meet in one place. Alternatively, where less flexible material are stitched to a more flexible material to create an even stress release area.
YKK zips are the standard in zip technology. This market-leading company makes high-quality zips that are specifically designed to be used in wetsuits. Therefore, they don’t corrode in seawater. These zips last forever and can take some abuse, such as ripping off your wetsuit after a long surf.