Surf News – Billabong wetsuit designed to save lives

Big wave surfing has claimed the lives of too many surfers over previous years. Most recent being Hawaiian giant rider Sion Milosky who passed away after getting pitched on a bomb at Maveriks earlier this year.

This suit has been designed alongside Shane Dorian after he was nearly killed on a severe wipeout in 2010. Basically the simple tech behind the suit is that it includes a compartment between the shoulders, that stores a ‘bladder’ attached to a CO2 cartridge. When a surfer gets in a tricky situation and needs to surface fast one can tug on a cord which inflates the bladder and hopefully sends you shooting to the surface.

Its designed to effectively eliminate big wave ‘hold downs’. My only concerns are how easy is it going to be to pull this cord when a 40ft beast has just landed on your head. Also a problem with big wave surfing is that when caught within the ‘impact zone’, it’s often the 2nd, 3rd or 4th set wave which is going to give you the beating yet you have already used your trusty surfacing device.

Undoubtably inventions such as this one are welcomed within the surfing community. Designs will obviously develop and progress but I doubt wherever this new wetsuit will see us ‘ordinary’ surfers waxing up our guns and heading to some outer reef!


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