Since we are looking forward to Billabong Pro happening later this month (15-25 July at Supertubes J-Bay), I thought that this short article of mine which features in the khuluma mag this month may be of interest to all the local CT surfers.
Big-wave surfer Shane Dorian almost drowned last year after a massive wipeout at Mavericks in California. The experience prompted the US surfer to work with Billabong Wetsuits and Mustang Survival to make a wetsuit with a built-in, instantly inflatable air bladder. With a tug on a ripcord, the V1 wetsuit quickly lifts the wearer from deep underwater to the surface. 'We added a large zippered pocket on the back of the suit to contain the bladder, which is attached to an inflator and CO2 cartridge, which are docked between your shoulder blades so you don't even notice it,' says Hub Hubbard, wetsuit product manager at Billabong USA. Right now, Billabong plans to sell the V1 only to elite big-wave surfers. However, top SA surfer Grant 'Twiggy' Baker warns that 'this isn't a fast way to becoming a big-wave surfer. You still need to know the ocean and gain the experience before heading out there.'