(Wednesday) 12.12.12

Solspot 2012 Winter Wetsuit Review – Buell B1

The last suit we are testing this year is the Buell B1. Some of you may have never heard of Buell Wetsuit Co. But I can guarantee you have seen tons of pros using these suits. How so? Buell actually private label manufactures wetsuits for some of the industry’s most successful brands including Volcom, Nike 6.0, RVCA, Rusty, Reef, Fox, Monster, Oakley and more. Yeah, that guy rocking an Oakley sponsored wetsuit is in a Buell.

This is a big point of difference from other suits. Buell is really focused on making suits that are for the performance surfer. On Buell’s website they explain “every detail is designed specifically to increase the suit’s performance”.  The minute we took their suit out of the box we knew… super light and airy.  How does Buell keep it light? They are a no nonsense suit maker. The outside is stitched and taped/glued. Inside you can see the stitching and only critical points are double taped. They don’t overload the suit with extra tape and glue.

They also do things to keep weight down by keeping the material the same. The knee pads aren’t even really pads. Other manufacturers insert a special material at the knee. Buell offers a thin grippy overlay (it looks like an iron on grip sticker – not really sure what you call it) that gives the surfer grip but doesn’t add any real weight to the suit.

When we tested the suit it was a cold and balmy morning. Air temp was hovering right around 52 degrees. You know its cold when your feet start to go numb walking on the sand, you get to the water and it feels warm. In actuality the water was really cold too. I’ve got that rad skin type that starts to turn red then purple because of the chilly water. The good news is the suit kept me plenty warm. Not only could I feel the warmth but my buddies could see it. When I got out my hands/feet were a different color than my chest/arms.

I never felt restricted at any point in the suit. There was plenty of stretchiness in both the arms and legs. This is exactly what I would expect given all the pro surfers who wear Buell suits and how many of these guys take their surfing to the air.

There isn’t a lot of hype with a Buell suit. You go to their website and it’s no-nonsense. There is one important piece of product information on the site and that’s Buell’s guarantee. “Buell suits are sucka free– every suit we make is backed by our Sucka Free guarantee.  If you don’t like it, send it back…sucka!”

Overall this suit was impressive and if you look at their site right now it’s on sale. Typical MSRP is $360 and its available for $225. That is $135 off and is the biggest discount we’ve seen on any new suit in a long time. Check it out at http://www.buellwetsuits.com/collections/mens/products/mens-3-2-full-wetsuit

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  • Steve

    So you review a wetsuit but don’t say what thickness it is, (5mil, 4mil, ?) nor do you give the water temp?? I like Buell wetsuits but I couldn’t make any decision to buy one from this review.

    • BCS

      Steve, the first series of articles in the review are general overviews of the suit. There is an empirical piece to the review we are dropping soon. This particular suit is a 3/2. Your right, it should have been there. I’ve added it in the article. Stay tuned for the empirical data.

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