As the announcement of the battery heated wetsuit from Rip Curl generated quite an interest we have another story to share. Rip Curl decided to test their H-Bomb wetsuit in what better place than cold waters of the Arctic Circle.
Testing the new Rip Curl Power Heated H-Bomb wetsuit in Freezing Conditions of the Arctic Circle
As the world of surfing was focused on the Hawaii’s North Shore where the last event of this year world cup tour was held, two surfers from what we could call warmer places on Earth – Adam Wickwire from Florida and Elise Garrigue from Hawaii went out of their environment and warm water to test the new Rip Curl H-Bomb battery powered wetsuit in the cold and unexplored waters of the Arctic Circle and Northern Atlantic. Wickwire and Garrigue spent eight days searching for waves in the freezing North Atlantic Ocean. The H-Bomb is the world’s first power heated wetsuit, designed to keep a surfer super-warm (despite the chilly temperature of the water they’re surfing in) by positioning two fiber-heating elements, which conduct electricity that generate heat and warm the blood.
Although there was lots of testing done in the lab before the wetsuit went in production there is no substitute for the real thing – surfing in cold water. H-Bomb and its new technology were put to the most extreme test you can think of. The air temperature averaged between –5 to –10 degrees Celsius (23 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) during the trip, with wind chill temperatures reaching as low as –20C (-4F). The water temperature was measured as low as –1C (30F) during the surf sessions. Sound like a perfect conditions for H-Bomb, or for hypothermia.
Wickwire explained: “It was so cold, it’s kind of hard to explain how crazy the trip was. It was so cold that when we went surfing we couldn’t even get changed into our wetsuits outside – we’d have to get changed in the car and then sit there until the H-Bomb started to heat up. Once the rubber heated up it was easy to get into the water with our hood, booties and gloves though.”
“It was the most amazing adventure,” added Garrigue, who spends the year travelling the world with Rip Curl’s Search team. “I have never been to a place that cold, but it was so beautiful. The waves were awesome and the H-Bomb wetsuits allowed us to surf in places people have never been able to experience before.” There is also a VIDEO OF THE ADVENTURE with some sick waves.
This is not the end of testing for the new wetsuit which is to be released on to the market in mid-2007.