You know the saying about sometimes you don't see the wood for the trees? Well, in this case the Reef designers didn't see the stockings and the thong in the suit!! One of our readers Jamie Bell picked up on the funky interior of the suit in the ad on the inside cover of his Bomb Mag, and posted it to FB. Loving nothing more than to stir the pot I shot off an email to the Reef peeps to see if they were up for an interview! Thanks to Grant Stringer, Director at Reef, for taking it on the chin!
ML: Before we get down to finding out about the nitty gritty of the suit –we’re just dying to ask what’s up with the rather porno look of the inside! There’s a full-on thong and fishnet stocking action going on there! You guys catering for the closet cross-dressers or what’s the story? J
Grant: Haha, well to be honest we never saw the fishnet stocking or the thong while designing the suit, but guess everyone looks at things differently. The Diamond pattern or fishnet in your case, was actually designed for water flow.
Ok, so now we’re pulled your leg about what it looks like, how’s about telling us a bit about the technical aspects of the fishnet stocking interior – cos if it looks good I’m guessing it works pretty good too!
It’s called the Diamond Pile Flex Jersey – it dries faster than other Jersey’s, Double Knit, 20% lighter, absorbs less water and has a internal flow system for faster drying and warmth.
When you are wearing the wetsuit the Diamond pattern holds a thin layer of water inside the wetsuit, this layer is then heated up by your body temperature and insulated by the neoprene. When you are drying the wetsuit the pattern helps the water flow out of the wetsuit, decreasing the drying time.
Says in the ad it dries 87% faster – so in real terms how long would it take to dry – assuming a “normal” day – not mid-winter or boiling hot summer.
Well this is always a rather tricky debate and can have many different outcomes. We have tested the drying time of the wetsuit in the direct sun (not recommended!), hung inside out and within 15 to 20 minutes the Diamond Pile Fabric was dry with exception of the cuffs about 5cm up the wetsuit, they were dry within 25 minutes on average.
What’s the deal with the neoprene you’re using in this suit – you call it “superlight”. Do you still get the warmth of the traditional 4:3 but just more flexibility?
The Diamond Pro is made with Superlight Neoprene rubber which makes the wetsuit lighter and more flexible, which makes the suit more comfortable and allows for a more snug fit. This in turn will make the wetsuit warmer, as it decreases the water flow inside the wetsuit while surfing.
How does the neoprene you’re using stack up against that new limestone-based Neoprene that’s on the market – that when wet weighs just about the same as when dry – versus the normal suits that when wet get a helluva lot heavier.
Yes all our Neoprene products are made with the “New” Limestone based Neoprene, but to be honest it is not that new, we have been using the Limestone based Neoprene for a few years already.
Is the neoprene locally manufactured, or is it imported?
All our Neoprene is imported from one of the world’s largest Neoprene and wetsuit manufacturers.
Tell us a bit about the seams…any stitching in there, or welded and liquid taped?
All the Seams are glued and Blindstitched with a Neoprene tape on the inside. We do not use the Liquid tape seam as it gets brittle in the sun and cracks or flacks, it is a major problem to find a manufacture to fix the wetsuit if it gets torn or cut.
How easy is the neck entry – with some suits you have to be a yoga guru to get into the damn things……and then have a Degree in either Patience or Pure Luck to get the chest zip functioning. I’ve tried on a coupla of different chest-zip suits and have yet to buy one cos just struggle to get the damn zip closed!!
Yes your chest zip entry is a lot more difficult to get in and out of, however when it is on the comfort and flexibility is well worth the struggle. However if a person has really broad shoulders I would not recommend the Chest zip entry.
I guess the big question is ….. how much? What’s the recommended retail price for this suit, and what range of suits would it be competing against in terms of the other surf brands. Is this something to rival Billabong, Xcel, Ripcurl or ONeill’s top suits?
The Reef Pro Diamond competes with all the top end international brand’s, however our wetsuit only sells for R2800 incl. vat
We totally support Local is Lekker – so how much of a REEF wetsuit is local – are all the materials imported and then just manufacture occurs in SA, or are some local materials used as well? And are the suits designed locally?
To be honest over the years we have started purchasing more products directly from overseas, this is due to the size of the South African market vs the viability of manufacturing products in SA at the high cost of Technology. Our manufacturer is also our Neoprene supplier who manufacturers majority of the international brands that you see in the water.
If we want to keep up to date with modern technology, we have to look overseas as it is not viable to produce our top end wetsuits here in South Africa.
All our wetsuits are however designed and tested here in South Africa, and produced according to our specifications.
Shot Grant; so there we have it ou’s…. despite our warped minds picking up on the fishnet stocking and thong combo, it looks like this suit is the real deal. I for one will vouch for the absolute awesomeness of limestone rubber – I have a Matuse suit from the US made with this, and it’s nuts. Ridiculously light and sucks hardly any water – so your suit is the same weight wet as dry. Guess I’m gonna have to try one of these suits out next winter…
Chat to John at Surf Centre if you'd like to get your hands on a Reef Diamond 4:3 .