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MaxKatt

Billabong V1 Wetsuit (Inflation device built in)

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Saw this wetsuit profiled in December 2011 Popular Science magazine.

Might be a good lifesaving idea for a surfcaster who wants to wetsuit out to rocks in dark rough surf, but who also isn't that confident in his swimming ability.

http://www.billabong.com/us/blog-post/2640/2011-06-03-shane-dorian-at-jaws

 

If someone is not confident in their swimming ability they don't have any business swimming to rocks in the dark in rough surf.

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If someone is not confident in their swimming ability they don't have any business swimming to rocks in the dark in rough surf.

 

Absolutely true, but even someone who IS confident in their swimming ability could get into trouble, and a wetsuit like this might save their arse in the unlikely event they were wrong about either their swimming ability, or the conditions they were swimming in. I don't think MaxKatt was suggestion using it inflated to get to a rock, just as a safety net in case you get in trouble and need help getting back to the beach.

 

The problem with the design I see there, with the air bladder on the back, is that will not save a person who is in danger of losing consciousness and pulls the cord just before he blacks out. He will float face down in the water and drown anyway. Overall it is a good idea for what is was designed for, big wave surfers pushed too deep to swim to the surface on a breath of air. For wetsuiters in montauk, I believe it would need some mods, mainly moving the flotation to the shoulders, back of the neck, and chest area (like an inflatable PFD).

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No arguement here. If you have really poor swimming ability, don't go out. I'm talking about someone who's right on the edge of comfort and wants a measure of security. Personal call.

 

I'm an ex-life guard, swim in tri-athlon's, member of the swim team in High School, swam across Hudson river, but it's something even I'd consider.

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the typical northeast wetsuiter is already in 6 mil or more, which has quite a bit of floatation to begin with. But if more of a safety cushion is desired, I guess it could not hurt. I dont see this as such an innovative stretch, he could have worn a regular sospenders with a manul inflate which would have probably given him even greater lift.

 

Will be interested to see one in person. Wonder if its comfortable.

 

thanks for heads up

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I don't think I would feel any safer. Not designed for what we do. Keeping afloat in a 6mm suit is not the issue if consious. Trouble is we are so few in number commercially no market to give us a custom solution for floatation in the event we become unconsious and need what amounts to life jacket grade floatation requirements.

 

I wonder how many Big wave Surfers there are and how many would buy a suit like this. And some think we are crazy.

 

Mike

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