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Billabong Takes Their Wetsuits to the Next Level

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 Read more

Billabong & Shane Dorian Introduce V1 Inflatable Wetsuit for Big Wave Safety

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

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.