Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wetsuit Tip #7: Choose Limestone neoprene for warmth and longevity

What is your wetsuit made out of?

This may seem a basic question – all wetsuits are made from the same stuff, right? Well, not exactly. All wetsuits are made from neoprene, yes,  but not all neoprene is the same.
There are two types of neoprene - oil-based or limestone-based. Most brands of wetsuits are made from oil-based neoprene. All Seventhwave wetsuits are made from limestone-based neoprene.
Yamamoto limestone neoprene ready for use
So, what's the difference? 
Oil-based neoprene - invented in the 1930s and used in the first wetsuits made in the 1950s, has a closed cell content of around 64% - that means water can be absorbed by the other 36%. Not bad, but not anywhere near as good as limestone neoprene.
Limestone neoprene - which is based on the calcium found in limestone - was invented in the 1960s by  the Yamamoto Corporation. This revolutionary fabric has a closed cell content of 94%! That means only 6% of the fabric can be penetrated by water!
So what does that mean for me? 
In the water:  because limestone neoprene does not absorb water as much as oil-based neoprene it makes it much warmer for longer and it's much lighter. More warmth and less weight = more comfort and staying out for longer. 
Out of the water:  limestone neoprene dries out much faster. In fact if you hang it outdoors after use and in a breeze (out of the sun) it will dry completely in a matter of 2-3 hours. Compare that to an oil-based neoprene wetsuit that can take 2 to 3 days to dry out!

Low absorption Yamamoto neoprene in action

So now that you know the difference – the choice is obvious!

For more reading and information:

The history of neoprene visit Neoprene: The Inside Story or download the eBook here.

For the quickest way to dry your wetsuit check our wetsuit tip  How To: Dry your Wetsuit the fastest way.

Check our other Blogs for wetsuit tips, education and product combinations and information. 

Visit our YouTube channel for how to and product videos.

Seventhwave Wetsuits are made in New Zealand from Yamamoto Limestone neoprene. Seventhwave Wetsuits are different because we make each wetsuit Custom-Fit, to the customers measurements. We like to get your measurements and details and then custom make your preferred wetsuit model and thickness to your exact size and shape. We think that's why we get such good feedback from our customers, many of whom come back again and again. To own a Seventhwave wetsuit is to support New Zealand made, to stand up for quality and to experience water sports in a warmer way.

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