Marine

WaveWrecker turns you into an Oompa Loompa-like surfboard

WaveWrecker turns you into an ...
A WaveWrecker user in the surf
A WaveWrecker user in the surf
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The WaveWrecker has 11 foam fins to increase buoyancy and performance
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The WaveWrecker has 11 foam fins to increase buoyancy and performance
WaveWrecker offers a kids' version, too
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WaveWrecker offers a kids' version, too
The WaveWrecker suit is designed to make catching and riding a wave easier and more fun
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The WaveWrecker suit is designed to make catching and riding a wave easier and more fun
WaveWrecker front and back
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WaveWrecker front and back
A WaveWrecker user in the surf
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A WaveWrecker user in the surf
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Wearable tech has had a variety of interesting twists and turns over the years. Perhaps the most interesting is the category of wearables that turns you into a piece of action sports equipment. Jetpacks and wingsuits are a couple common examples, and we've also seen a wearable sled and underwater jetpack in recent years. The WaveWrecker joins the category as a wearable surf suit that turns the bodysurfer into his own board.

California-based WaveWrecker classifies bodysurfing as the "purest and most original form" of surfing. Indeed, while many folks prefer a surfboard or boogie board, it can be fun to go without and catch waves with nothing more than your skin and bones. The company admits that the sport's pure, free "synergy between man and nature" is part of its allure, but it also sees some room to improve the experience by sliding a special suit between that man and nature. In other words, it wants you to "be the board."

Creator Nick Gadler feels like the introduction of the boogie board all but killed off bodysurfing, and he decided to use some of the board's buoyancy advantages in attempting to bring bodysurfing roaring back. He set to work and some six years and 27 prototypes later, he has something he believes might shake up the world of water sport.

The WaveWrecker has 11 foam fins to increase buoyancy and performance
The WaveWrecker has 11 foam fins to increase buoyancy and performance

Gadler's WaveWrecker suit is basically a wetsuit-style garment with 11 flexible closed-cell foam fins popping out from strategic locations. WaveWrecker says that the fins provide the buoyancy to make it easier to stay afloat without preventing you from duck-diving into waves. With float coming more easily, you can focus more of your attention on finding and catching the perfect waves. The suit is also designed to increase glide and directional control.

WaveWrecker uses a targeted blend of 2-, 3- and 4-mm neoprenes for a mix of durability, mobility and comfort. The specially designed neck and O-ring-style wrists help to keep water out. The suit works best when paired with swim fins for proper propulsion, and we'd guess a pair of Wave Blades wouldn't hurt, either.

Assuming you don't mind navigating through the fit, bikini-clad hordes in a lumpy, unflattering suit, the WaveWrecker looks like an intriguing way to catch a wave. The price, though, is not as intriguing. At US$399, it's much more than an average boogie board, which takes away the free, simple attraction of diving into the ocean and catching a wave without spending hundreds on boards, fins and other equipment. If an entry level boogie board cost $399, a lot of boogie boarders might still be bodysurfing.

WaveWrecker introduced its suit at Florida's Surf Expo last week and has launched a $10K Kickstarter campaign to raise development funding. The kids' WaveWrecker suit is available at the $250 pledge level and the adult version at $350. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in March.

Bodysurfing Gear by WaveWrecker

Source: WaveWrecker

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6 comments
Stephen N Russell
Test in HI, Australia, Fiji, with pro surfers. Huge market for in HI due to hosting surfing events. PR & sales alone.
MQ
Additional webbing between the lags and upper arm may increase "glide performance. (like a wingsuit). Would need optimisation to not hamper swimming or walking (waddling).
It would also make you look more like a douche too I suppose, though does that matter, it doesn't stop wingsuit pilots.
MQ
Additional webbing between the lags and upper arm may increase "glide performance. (like a wingsuit). Would need optimisation to not hamper swimming or walking (waddling).
It would also make you look more like a douche too I suppose, though does that matter, it doesn't stop wingsuit pilots.
Mihai Pruna
Several problems: -Price is too high -Different thickness wetsuits are worn for different water temperatures, and you can't expect someone to buy several of these at that price. -I can glue closed cell foam pads to an old wetsuit by myself :)
wavelover42@gmail.com
Holy hamburger! All you really need is a good pair of swim fins and good handplane, and your are set. Hell just use a small plastic lunch tray, they plane so well. I hope this does not come across as insulting, It is a interesting idea tho. If you go somewhere tropical; you do not want to be in full or spring suit.
sdcal19
I actually tried this suit out in 2-3 foot surf. A guy was letting people demo it in Del Mar. It works remarkably well. I was able to catch pretty much every wave I tried for and I am not very good at body surfing. The water was maybe 70 and I was comfortable in the suit. The cool part is you can almost float just sitting there.