by Robb Bailey
I know we’ve all said it to ourselves while bobbing around with some buddies in cold, less than perfect conditions…
“We could make a million dollars if we invented a heated wetsuit!”
All our collective efforts were too slow. Rip Curl went ahead and made the impossible a reality with the core-heated H-Bomb wetsuit. Sorry guys–in the future, you’ll have to wain your fortunes on something other than toaster oven/neoprene fires in the garage.
After a few years of R&D, trial & error, and a little Tom & Jerry, the team over at Rip Curl has put together a pretty advanced system for heating your body’s core in the icy cold H2O. It’s functional, easy to use, and most of all, it’s hot. Really hot.
But the question remains: Will they make millions of dollars selling this wetsuit? Probably not. Not any time soon anyways… With a retail sticker of just under $1,000 (that’s one thousand, people), one might think they’re laughing all the way to the bank. Not exactly so. Although the price of the H-Bomb seems high compared to a brand new E-bomb wetsuit, almost all of the price difference between the two is invested in the heat technology. Neither South Coast nor Rip Curl are making more money on this suit than any other wetsuit, which leads us to believe that Rip Curl has made a huge initial investment in this technology.
Rip Curl is making very conservative moves with their waterproof toaster oven. They are rolling out a limited release of 100 H-Bomb wetsuits worldwide. Only 80 are being made available nationwide in the US, and South Coast Surf Shops is one of two SoCal retailers to carry the H-Bomb. It will not be made available for purchase online by anyone. Heck, the Rip Curl retail stores aren’t even carrying it… at least to start out with.
What does that mean for you and me? Hopefully Rip Curl has counted their ducks carefully and sells through every piece they made this go-round. Next time around, the technology will get better, the materials will hopefully get cheaper, and the cost of the suit will match what we can afford to pay a little better (Rip Curl corporate, take note).
South Coast Surf Shops will be one of the only retailers in SoCal to carry the H-Bomb wetsuit. Starting November 1st, put your tire-kicking shoes on and head on down to South Coast Windansea for a personal showcase by one of our lovely associates. The H-Bomb suits won’t be hanging on the rack–they’ll be stored safely in the back–so be sure to ask us for the H-Bomb skinny when ya walk in.
We’d be happy to show you all the features and get your questions answered!
That will be the run of the Rip Curl H-Bomb wetsuit until February of 2009. Don’t say we never do anything for you, folks. You heard it here first!