I never really thought of Patagonia as a surfing BRAND. Sure they sell water activity gear like swim wear, beach accessories and tools but a surfer probably would not list them as their “go to” surf brand… until now! Not only has Patagonia amped up their selection of wetsuit pieces but they are changing the entire wetsuit game as it stands.
Neoprene, as much as I adore its capabilities of keeping me warm in cold water, is a petroleum-based compound that is non-renewable and requires an energy-intensive manufacturing process. In 2008, Patagonia published a blog post about the environmental impacts of neoprene. Long story short, neoprene is not good for the planet.
But thanks to Patagonia, who has team up with Yulex, surfers have a more eco-friendly alternative .Woot Woot![pause for cheering]
The announcement of the new wetsuits was made in 2015 and in July 2016 the wetsuits were made available globally.
So here are 3 Things we love about these new wetsuits.
THEY ARE ECO-FRIENDLY
I mentioned earlier that the manufacturing process for neoprene is pretty gnarly and it wreaks havoc on the environment.
By swapping out traditional neoprene for Yulex, a renewable plant based natural rubber, Patagona is reducing CO2 emissions (that are normly created by manufacturing neoprene) by up to 80%. This means less harm to our beautiful earth and to our ocean playgrounds that we love so much (Source: Patagonia). Not only are CO2 emission reduced but the hevea tree plantations, which the rubber is derived from (located in Guatamala), are maintained in an environmentally friendly manner, and are certified as such by the Rainforest Alliance. Source: Surfermag.com
I am pretty sure tree huggers everywhere are singing “Kum ba yah” somewhere with a guitar made out of sustainable bamboo. And rightfully so.
#2 THEY ARE OBTAINABLE
Usually when something this innovative comes to market you can expect some crazy high price tags along with it right?! [cough – Iphones – cough].
But these new wetsuits start at $169 and the price range is pretty comparable to big surf brand name neoprene wetsuits like O’Neil, Hurley, Quicksilver, Rip Curl, etc. The entire 2016 Yulex Natural Rubber Wetsuit line has been rated for six different temperature levels, so you get options for everything from a sleeveless onesie to a full on winter hoody. You can get them on Patagonia’s online store.
#3 THEY ARE A SURF CULTURE GAME CHANGER
Being the first brand to bring this product to market also gives Patagonia a real opportunity to dominate this segment of the industry HOWEVER, being the rad company that they are, that is not the case. Patagonia is a great example of our mantra “BE THE RAD YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD” because rather than hoarding the technology to themselves they would rather cultivate change in the industry by sharing it with other companies. WooHoo!
Props to Patagonia for leading the charge to changing the way we surf. BE THE RAD believes that we should live a rad life but also do good. Our lifestyle encourages and cultivates sustainability. If we like something, we should do what we can to make sure that it is around for many years to come. #protectwhatyoulove
It is cool to see a big brand like Patagonia cultivating sustainability in the surfing world.
“Surfing has taken steps toward sustainability in everything from the manufacturing of its equipment to tourism, but giant leaps in creating a greener culture in surfing aren’t as widespread. As a group we still tend to choose performance over eco-friendly if we’re forced to take one or the other” (Source: Juan Hernandez as written in theinertia.com).
For the sake of the survival of the places we love and the outdoor activities that get us stoked, we need to think “sustainability”. Changing a culture does not happen over night but steps like the one Patagonia is taking is a step in the right direction.
Right on Patagonia, right on!
Leave a comment if you have tried out the new wetsuits. Let us know how you like them.
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