TIKI-Mens-Wetsuit-FW1920

TIKI FW19/20 Wetsuits Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Wetsuits FW19/20

Brand: TIKI Wetsuits
Interviewee: Phil Bridges, Designer.

TIKI-Mens-Wetsuit-FW1920

Never before the surf breaks have been so crowded in the coldest, harshest month? Hence, the winter wetsuit market is booming?
Yes, for sure. Relative to the number of winter suits that we were selling 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago, the winter segment is much larger. The advances made in neoprene technology means that winter surfing is no longer just for the hardy few. And increasingly people are realizing that the winter is the time for consistent swells.

Wetsuits brands are multiplying, with many niche brands and D2C strategies. Is the ol’ wetsuit market segmentation at stake, for the better or the worse?
It’s excellent. The wetsuit market needed a shakeup. We’ve always been quite a niche so we welcome it.

Please help us understand what differentiates the sub-ranges within your collection? (warmth/flex, technologies/constructions, price-points…)
We have 3 main product areas: Premium surf, Value surf and surf rental/adventure.
Premium surf is our flagship model; the Zepha – the best neoprene, features and fit. Tested and proven by Andrew Cotton, these are the warmest and most flexible, and naturally the highest priced in our range.
In Value surf, our TECH model uses the same patterns (a good pattern is a good pattern regardless of price!) but with fewer features and uses our premium neoprene in key stretch areas only. The overriding benefit is what you lose in the stretch you gain in durability, so as well as being exceptionally well priced they offer even better value through longer product lifespan.
Surf rental/adventure is a key area for us. We pioneered a wetsuit model specific for this market 10 years ago, the ADV. It’s widely considered the benchmark product in this sector with a number of very specific design features and innovations.

TIKI-Mens-Wetsuits-FW1920

Can you reveal your latest innovation for fall-winter 2019/20; e.g. rubber sourcing/tech, panelling, seams and closure system etc.
The formula hasn’t changed – the best neoprene, the best pattern. We focus on these aspects above all else. Our Zip free model now has 2 seasons of testing with Cotty at Nazare so we can be very confident in the closure!

Is the black on black almost mandatory on thicker wetties? (for both technical issues and customer habits)
For one reason or another, it’s what people ask for.

Are you into alternative eco-sourcing? (limestone and eco-friendly rubber, solvent-free glues, recycled polyester…)
Yes always. But what is critical in this area is correctly assessing the gains from any new ‘eco’ product. Bamboo fibre was a classic example that caught a lot of companies out.  When you look deeper into Bamboo there are a lot of concerns in the chemicals used to process it. We embrace any genuine eco-sourcing but approach it with caution!

Finally, for the sake of brainstorming, what could be the wetsuit’s future quantum leap? (disruptive materials, custom bodymapping, longer lifespan, etc.)
3D printing. As long as wetsuits are made of sheet neoprene whether oil, limestone or plant-based, the same limitations in manufacture and supply will prevail and we will see incremental changes.
With 3D printing wetsuit designs could be bought as digital files, uploaded to your local surf shop, then printed to fit your body shape. There would be no wastage in materials, no stock holding, no shipping. In an ideal scenario, the 3D printer uses recyclable neoprene chips so used suits can be chipped and fed back into the printer creating a circular, sustainable process.

Brand Previews

Advert

95 Tiki wetsuit

Retail Buyer’s Guides

Great Outdoors SS21

Hanging Shoes SS21

Boardshorts SS21

Bottles & Flasks SS21

Backpacks SS21

Skate Hardgoods SS21

Swimwear SS21

Skate Shoes SS21

Foamies 2020

Kiteboards 2020

Kites 2020

Longboards 2020

Sunglasses 2020

SUP 2020

Surfboards 2020

Impact Vests 2020

Powsurfers FW20/21

Cruisers 2020

Wetsuits FW20/21

Beanies FW20/21

Snow Helmets FW20/21

Base Layers FW20/21

E-Boards 2020

Facemasks FW20/21

Snow Safety FW20/21

Goggles FW20/21

Snowboards FW20/21

Skate Shoes FW20/21

Longboards SS20

Watches SS20

Sunglasses SS20

Kiteboards SS20

Kites SS20

Wetsuits SS20

SUP SS20

Sun Cream SS20

Hanging Shoes SS20

Boardshorts SS20

Surfskate SS20

Backpacks SS20

Skate Shoes SS20

Eco Textiles SS20

Longboards 2019

Surfboards 2019

Underwear 2019

SUP 2019

Sunglasses 2019

Facemasks FW19/20

Powsurf FW19/20

Beanies FW19/20

Wetsuits FW19/20

Cruisers 2019

Goggles FW19/20

Snow Safety FW19/20

Socks 2019

Snowboards FW19/20

Snow Helmets FW19/20

Longboards SS19

Magazine

ENGLISH_102-cover
Send this to a friend