Billabong V1 Big Wave Wetsuit Makes Waves

There is nothing more exciting than innovation and performance-driven technology when it comes to the Active Market, and it looks like we aren’t the only ones that feel that way, as Billabong’s V1 inflatable big wave wetsuit has been crowned with the “Best of What’s New Award” by Popular Science, and has also received “Gear of the Year” honors from the National Geographic Adventure Magazine. Bam!

Shane Dorian in the new V1 inflatable wetsuit. Photo: Dawe/Billabong via Transworld Surf

The Billabong V1 (for “vertical ascent’) wetsuit was conceived by Hawaiian big wave surfer Shane Dorian following a near-lethalwipeout last year at the notorious Maverick’s break near San Francisco, California. Billabong wetsuit product manager Hub Hubbardworked with the world’s top maritime safety product manufacturer, Mustang Survival, to develop a suit with an integrated inflatable flotation bladder and CO2 cartridge that can be activated with a tug on a pull-cord. By assisting a surfer to reach the surface more swiftly after a severe wipeout, Dorian has called the V1 suit a “game-changer” in terms of big wave safety.  The V1 wetsuit is now in limited production and being distributed to the world’s top big wave riders.  It is not being sold to the general public at this time. A patent on the invention is currently pending.

Your savvy Active editors at Stylesight also think the world of this wetsuit, as we called it out in our Surf Design Capsule this past summer. Congrats to Billabong and Shane Dorian for taking it to the next level in the performance and safety department! – Jeanine Pesce




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