Billabong Andy Davis Heritage jacketBillabong Heritage long john

Billabong Wetsuits for You Right Now

Billabong  gets creative by teaming up with avid surfer and artist Andy Davis! Andy Davis is known for his fluid drawings of surfers and waves. With Billabong by his side, they collaborated this spring for a collection that’s cool and functional! Get away from the standard black colorway for wetsuits and try these classic colors! Perfect for warmer water, the Heritage long sleeve jacket is the way to go!  Heritage is a [click to continue…]

billabong Skinny Jane wetsuit
Billabong Cheeky Spring Wetsuit

Spring Wetsuits have Never Looked Better!

If you looked at your calender today, you will see today is the official first day of spring! The water is warming up and those full suits just won’t cut it! Good thing Billabong has got you covered! Billabong has been a leader in ladies fashions, but now they can claim another title- super cute wetsuits! [click to continue…]

FREE Chipotle

Wednesday June 27th 11:30AM – 2:30PM

740 Felspar #A San Diego, CA 92109

Presented by Billabong and Subaru at South Coast PB.

Enter to win a surf trip for 2 with Donavon to Central America!

Donavon South Coast Subaru

Billabong Inflatable Wetsuit

Shane Dorian Billabong inflatable wetsuit to save lives.

That is something anyone would like to put their name on including Shane Dorian Billabong wetsuits athlete. When he first contacted Billabong’s wetsuit designers they had never considered the ideas of an inflatable wetsuit to bring you to the surface after a big wave hold down. The concept isn’t a new one and has been used by divers for awhile now. What is know to divers as a freedivers recovery vest(FRV) Billabong has named the Billabong V1 Inflatable Wetsuit. Although many FRV’s can be activated by a depth meter the new Billabong wetsuits must be inflated by the user who initiates C02 cartridges that can be replaced between sets to get you back in the line up. This could be problematic if the surfer is knocked out by the crash or somehow unconscious. Never-the-less after a few big wave trials Shane is very confident about this new technology for surfers helping to allow his core group of big wave surfer friends to return safely home to their families.

One concern about this new inflatable wetsuit from Billabong is the possibility of the equipment ending up in the wrong hands. Sure it is life saving equipment for a professional big wave surfer but it could also give false confidence to an amature to paddle out when it is too big or dangerous for them. Just because you have an inflatable air sack doesn’t guarantee it will save your life on the swell of the year. Billabong intends these suits to be used by surfers who are constantly risking their lives in big waves not inexperienced surfers looking to start charging big waves.

Another concern expressed in the big wave community is that Billabong designed the suit with the air bag on the back which could potentially put the surfer in a dangerous position if unconscious. Most floatation devices focus on keeping an unconscious persons face out of the water so they can still breath. This is achieved by having floatation on the front side of the person body which appears to be lacking from this new inflatable Billabong wetsuit. Obviously the suit was designed this way to allow the surfer to still be able to paddle their board out of trouble once at the surface which might be the greater good in this case.

Billabong Inflatable Wetsuit

Photo: Hilton Dawe/Billabong

In the world of big wave surfing two wave hold-downs are no joke. It is great to know that riders and designers alike concern themselves with the safety of the sport so that the it can continue without tragedy. Big wave surfing takes a certain level of dedication that not everyone posses. Obviously you should always be a seasoned waterman before attempting any sort of big wave surfing as the dangers are tremendous. Wetsuits like Shane Dorian & Billabong’s new V1 should never be the sole survival factor for anyone in the water. Instead, years of diving experience and the ability to remain calm while holding your breath is what will save your life. Please be aware of these risks and consult with a veteran before putting yourself in a position that could be dangerous for everyone in the water.

Best Budget Wetsuits of 2010

by Dan on November 22, 2010

Budget Wetsuits:

Looking for the best value on a new wetsuit? Don’t have an extra $500 for the latest tech gadgets? Then go back to the basics with the Best Budget Wetsuits of 2010. With everything you need and nothing you don’t, these suits are the best value around. So put that extra $350 back in your pocket and read on!

Billabong Budget Wetsuits

Billabong Foil – The first, but certainly not last of the Budget Wetsuits: Billabong packed the 2010 Foil to the brim with Furnace Lining throughout to keep you dry and warm. SuperFlex light weight stretch zones at flex points increase overall flexibility, while Ergonomic Performance Panels in the lower back to eliminate riding up and keep the Foil at the top of its flexibility game. Functional flexibility at the perfect price.

Xcel X-Zip - From the company responsible for the original front entry fullsuit, XCEL Budget Wetsuitscomes the wallet friendly 2010 Xcel X-Zip chest-zip full. Packed with many of the features found in suits twice the price, the X-Zip comes with super toasty Thermobamboo heat-retaining lining in the chest. Ultrastretch, Ultrasoft upper-body construction paired with SuperStretch lower body and Minimal Seam Design means you’re getting the most flexible suit for your dollar. Xcel tops it all off with reinforced stress points over glued and blindstiched seams for maximum durability.

O’Neill Epic IIO'Neill Budget WetsuitsThe completely redesigned Epic II wetsuits from O’Neill is not your everyday budget wetsuit. In fact O’Neill now incorporates many of the features found in the Psycho series such as: UltraFlex Firewall chest for superior heat insulation, double seal neck closure for flush protection, all new covert blackout zip, and LSD (lumbar seamless design) for ultimate flexibility. Krypto knee pads and an exterior key pocket with loop put this suit over the top as one of the best values around.

Quiksilver SynchroQuiksilver Budget WetsuitsThe 2010 Synchro from Quiksilver wetsuits is here to compete with a great lineup of features and new color ways. Constructed from 100% Hyperstretch II neoprene lined with HFT heating system in the chest to keep you warm and loose. Vaporstretch mesh chest panel offers high end warmth at a great price point, while the Hydroshield water barrier and Hydrowrap adjustable neck closure keep the dreaded flush at bay. Easy access external key pocket on leg allows you to get the car warmed up before you take off half your suit trying to find the poorly placed internal key loop used by some other manufacturers.

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol - Rip Curl Budget WetsuitsLast but not least one of our favorite budget wetsuits: 100% Ultralight Elastomax 3 neoprene construction puts the Dawn Patrol on top of the budget game with the lightest, stretchiest material available in a budget suit. Rip Curl Fireskin lining throughout guarantees you’ll outlast the lineup on those chilly morning sessions, while S-Flex knees and reinforced glued and blindstiched seams ensure long lasting performance. All in all, one of the best values around.

South Coast’s Best Budget Wetsuits

Looking for something a little nicer? Warmer? Stretchier? Be sure to also read our 2010 Connoisseurs Wetsuit Guide.

Need Booties? We got you covered there too! The South Coast Bootie Buyer Guide.

By Robb Bailey

Buying surf clothing and accessories for a living may sound like a dream job for most surfers. The job seems simple on the surface: preview big-name surf apparel lines like Hurley and Billabong months before the general public sees them, choose what will be sold in the stores, and use the shop’s cash to make it happen. Sounds like a cake walk right? Think again. Factor in yearly budgets, floor space consideration, and shipping logistics, and the job quickly turns into a calculated fine art.

The South Coast buying department boasts 32 years of collective retail experience to get it done right. With four booming shop locations plus a closeout store to consider, South Coast buyer Heather Lamb runs a tight ship. Her day consists of scheduling appointments with reps, viewing upcoming seasons’ clothing lines and submitting purchase orders to the vendors with her choices. In an industry where it’s common to have an open door policy, South Coast’s buying department requires reps to show their line at a scheduled time.

Similar sized retail operations may employ as many as five buyers to fill the role of Heather’s single position. Her day is busy and time management is essential. “On a typical day, I will have a rep come in with their rolling rack and show me the upcoming line around six months before they’re ready to ship (our order).” Pre-booking orders ensures the vendor makes enough of the designs Heather selects, so when the order ships from overseas, the quantity she specified is already set aside for South Coast Surf Shops to sell in their stores. That doesn’t mean the South Coast veteran just gets to shop all day long. Some days are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make the business succeed.

Leading the department means doing everything from cleaning out the receiving warehouse to sale tagging, to sending returns back to the vendor. You can even find Heather working the floor and helping customers during the holiday season, which is where she got her start 19 years ago. She can’t do it all herself, so she oversees a team of assistants to help the buying department succeed.

Kimmy Lamb (Heather’s sister) came to South Coast two years ago in a position handling transfers between South Coast stores. She now spends her time acting as the Credits & Returns Manager. Another addition to the South Coast family, Ashley Bilsten, came when a Purchase Order position opened up about a year ago. Both girls’ positions are essential in the buying process. “After Heather writes what she wants to buy from each line, I enter it all into the computer. Then we submit the purchase orders to the rep,” Ashley commented on her role. In addition to their support roles to Heather, Kimmy and Ashley split the Assistant Buyer responsibilities. As a team the two oversee purchasing of all sunglasses and accessories.

All three girls seem to have an acute sense of what sells in the shops. “Sometimes we order depending on demographic,” Kimmy Lamb remarked on product placement. “Like in our Wahines store–our all-girls store–there’s more of a tourist crowd, and we can put more fashion forward stuff in there; it does well.”

Likewise, Heather and company are putting more organic products in their Ocean Beach locations. Companies like Sector 9, Simple, and Eco-Lips are creating eco-friendly products that South Coast is carrying to cater to their earth-concious customer base there. When asked about emerging trends in the surf apparel industry, Heather noted that five years ago the major lines pretty much consisted of men’s boardshorts, some tees, and that was pretty much it. Now everyone is moving fashion forward, and every men’s line has added women’s clothing because more women are identifying with the surfing lifesyle. The vendors are paying attention to that.

With companies like Nixon (who sells a $1400 ruby-faced watch), and Volcom (who now sells men’s dress suits aimed at prom-goers) leading the movement, more of the same is coming. Heather sees this fashion trend growing in the future because surfing has become more mainstream. “People want to dress like surfers. Five years ago you could tell who the surfers were by the way they dressed, but now it’s a lifestyle thing for more people. People want the look. Even more guys are starting to pay attention (to fashion).”

It’s not always about work with these three though, and they enjoy the social aspect of their jobs just as much. With guest invites to various surf industry events, such as the Billabong XXL Awards, the girls get perks. Good perks. Ashley added, “We get the treatment from the reps sometimes. They want you to get excited about their product. They love us because South Coast always shows up!” And show up they do. To show their appreciation, Reef invited the South Coast employees to a cruise around the bay with Rob Machado and other Reef team riders. South Coast showed in good numbers.

Heather summed up her love for the work that she’s been doing for nearly 20 years, “The best part about my job is making friends with the reps and the people I work with. It’s just so much fun. After awhile it becomes like one big family.”