INTERVIEWEE: YANN DALIBOT, MANAGER OF SOÖRUZ AND PRODUCT MANAGER
How has your winter wetsuits segment evolved since last winter? What are major changes in terms of products, categories and SKU?
Our range of wetsuits will be segmented into five men’s options:
- B.I.G. NATURALPRENE: The most eco-friendly wetsuit
At SOÖRUZ, we believe in achieving sustainability and durability by using the new natural rubber Naturalprene, 100% petroleum free. There is a high level of insulation, stretch, it is fast drying and it’s more sustainable.
All prints are water-based and we also use an aqua-based lamination glue, eco friendly and solvent free. BIG is the perfect combination between Nature and Technique with Naturalprene and our most innovative zip-free entry system which gives it more stretch and makes it easier to slide-on.
2. HEAD: The perfect mix between eco-responsibility and high performance.
Fully built with naturalprene (foam without neoprene) with our high ranges features: zip free entry, inside storm dry lining (warm and fast lining) with G4ultraflex neoprene, big seamless panels in the front and on the back increase flexibility. Seams are glued and blinded stitched perfectly waterproofed and strengthened by a glued inside edging.
3. GURU: Our pro-riders’ first choice.
Performance is the main goal: flexibility, lightness and comfort.: zip free entry, G4utlraflex neoprene and warmth zone in storm-dry. Glued and blinded stitched and fully neo-taped.
4. FIGHTER: Efficient in all conditions.
Fighter is built with our famous G3 flex neoprene. The full suits also have the exclusive Soöruz storm dry lining on the chest and back. The seams are glued and blind stitched and neo-taped inside on wear zones or in flat lock stitches on steamers. The knee protections are in duraflex and the fitted shape offers a better freedom of movement.
The very wide and diversified range is available in zip free, chest-zip, front-zip and back-zip. Riders looking for the best multi-function wetsuit should choose a fighter.
5. FLY: All Soöruz skills at the best price.
With G3-Flex neoprene, the shape and specific positioning of its seams offer a perfect freedom of movement. Knee protection, seams are glued and blinded stitched on 5/3mm and flat lock on 3/2mm.
There are two women’s options:
- ABYSS: The perfect mix between eco-responsibility, high performance and look.
Fully built with naturalprene (foam without neoprene), with a shape dedicated to girls. our chest zip and back zip entries bring more comfort, flexibility and waterproofness. The inside storm-dry lining brings comfort, warmth and fast drying. The inside lining built with g4 ultraflex neoprene, on lower legs, arms and shoulders mixed with big seamless panels on the front, back and on scratching zones increases the flexibility and the freedom of movement to the maximum. Seams are glued and blind stitched and perfectly waterproofed and strengthened by a glued inside edging. You will get the highest wetsuit performance.
2. DIVINE: Efficient in all conditions.
Divine is built with our famous g3 flex neoprene. The full suits also have the exclusive Soöruz storm dry lining on the chest and back. The seams are glued and blind stitched and neo-taped inside on wear zones or in flat lock stitches on steamers. The knee protections are in duraflex and the fitted shape offers a better freedom of movement.
The range is wide and diversified, from the full suit to the body, available in back-zip. Riders looking for the best multi-function wetsuit should choose a Divine.
Is the demand for frigid waters’ wetsuits still growing?
Yes, demand increases with participation. There are more and more people who practice watersports in the winter. Wetsuits have grown tremendously over the last five years and you can now find a very good mix of comfort, heat and performance. Sales are expected to increase by 30% over the winter of 2017/2018.
Which new trends do you see in the 2017/18 wetsuits market?
Eco friendly wetsuits like Naturalprene become efficient and affordable. The “zip Free” is also progressing. We offer a new “2WS” outer liner that absorbs less water, protects from wind, is warm, flexible and resistant.
How have price points evolved and what are the main price hot spots?
We make a great effort to not increase our rates. Our top-of-the-range wetsuits remain under €400, even in Naturalprene. The bulk of sales is on the FIGHTER range at €219 for a 4/3
Regarding the rubber specifically (neoprene or not) any major improvements?
NATURALPRENE leads the way of the wetsuits of the future.
Tell us a bit more about the linings’ benefits of your wetsuits?
For winter 17/18 we offer a recycled polyester version of our exclusive “Storm Dry” lining: heat, great comfort, flexibility, and fast drying. Plus, it’s eco-friendly! This new lining is largely responsible for the progress of winter wetsuits. Today we use a 4/3mm when we needed a 5/4mm five years ago.
What’s new in terms of fit and panel construction?
The cuts must be adapted to the new soft materials and the Zip Free input systems. Remove seams when possible. Ideally, it would require a moulded wetsuit.
Please list some of the best selling arguments for a wetsuit?
-Match the wetsuit to the sports practiced by the client. A kitesurfing wetsuit does not have the same characteristics as one used purely for surfing. The details make the difference.
-Value for money. Both on an entry-level and on a high-end.
Please take us through three key products that retailers should put on their order sheets.
FIGHTER Zip Free 4/3
B.I.G. 4/3 Naturalprene
Tell us more about your approach to eco-friendliness.
We have been working since 2012 on eco-responsible wetsuits. Our B.I.G. wetsuit (Black Is Green) Naturalprene is a great advance and will continue to progress. We use as many recycled products as we can, such as our new “Storm Dry” model. By 2017, we are extending the use of Naturalprene to our HEAD and ABYSS ranges. We must reduce our ecological impact by all means at our disposal.