Solite S/S 2024 WETSUITS Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Wetsuits S/S 2024 Retail Buyer‘s Guide
Brand:  Solite
Interviewee: Maria João Abreu Web Retail Manager

After the delivery delays and poor sell-in of last summer, was 2022 a bad year for spring-summer wetsuits? And how is 2023 doing so far?

The market is adjusting and rebalancing after all the production and logistics issues that occurred as a result of the pandemic. Initially, there were indeed significant delays in deliveries, and then there was a high production and demand for neoprene accessories due to the increased number of surfers and other water sports enthusiasts.

At this moment, as I mentioned, the market is stabilizing again and returning to pre-pandemic values. As long as there are surfers, there will always be a demand for this kind of products. I believe the significant change lies in what people are looking for in a boot at the time of purchase.

What are the biggest trends in buying habits nowadays? Buy less often but high end, go for cheap options, wait for sales period…

Customers are becoming increasingly informed and demanding when making a purchase of a surf boot. Given the option, they always prefer a high-end boots or at least a mid-range one that guarantees comfort and thermal protection, but they also consider factors related to sustainability and ecology. That being said, from our experience, we can state that customers are looking for a good-quality boot, hood or glove at the lowest possible prices, so they often choose to wait for sales and promotions to make their purchases, especially in this particularly challenging moment from a global economic perspective.

The women category has energized summer wetsuit designs with the outbreak of multiple silhouettes (long jane, short john, wetsuit pants, etc.). Is this just a Insta fad or groundswell trend?

Which style are the customer favorites nowadays:

Customers are increasingly seeking items that provide comfort, warmth, and safety in the water. In this regard, we’ve experienced significant demand for Solite boots with straps – now featuring 3-point straps. These straps allow for better adjustment of the boot to the foot, providing greater sensitivity and security while surfing. This ensures that the foot remains stable within the boot, reducing the risk of sprains and other types of injuries, while also enhancing surfing performance.

The sensation of being barefoot when wearing Solite boots during surfing is highly appreciated by customers. This aspect makes them loyal to the brand, as they can feel the difference in fit, comfort, and performance.

Which are your key innovations in materials& constructions for SS24?

The new Solite Custom Pro 2.0 has been redesigned and engineered for precision fit and response. The innovations are reflected in:

  • New Solite 2.0 Thermo-foam sole with Mini-Split divider – Featuring moldable properties, offering an improved fit, comfort, and control.
  • New Solite 2.0 Molded 2-color rubber outsole – With enhanced durability and grip, the sole curves up at the front of the toes and the back of the heel.
  • 3 Point power strap – The strap is designed to be pulled from both the heel and the arch, ensuring a precise fit and responsive feel.
  • New Stealth Loop Tatex-coated heel pull – Boasting a low profile, it’s extremely lightweight yet exceptionally strong.
  • New Thermal Rebound plush neoprene lining – This lining reflects body heat back to the skin, dries quickly, and provides comfort and warmth.

Quick colors/graphics focus: will wetsuits mimick the surf apparel for SS24 with a comeback of bold colors?

Solite is perhaps the only brand that has added a touch of color to its range of surf boots, thus breaking the monotony of all black.

Apart from the material sourcing and production addressed in question #5, do you implement complementary durability campaigns? (partnerships, give-back actions, recycling…)

Key Products

Solite 3mm Custom Pro 2.0
Better than Barefoot
Solite changed the bootie-game again with the Solite 2.0 technology.
The 3mm Custom Pro 2.0 integrates the new 3-Point Strap with the 2.0 Sole for precision fit and instant response. Solite also upped the warmth even more with our new metal-grid Thermal Rebound plush lining. Simply put, our Custom Pro 2.0 is the best watersports boot in the world.

Solite Gauntlet 2:2 – 5 fingers
Solite glove line has been redesigned for improved fit and flexibility along with unmatched grip, durability, and warmth. The Solite 2:2 Gauntlet Glove is designed for moderate air/water temps to extend your sessions with bare-handed feel and dexterity. The Gauntlet features all of the top-end features for grip, durability, and warmth but substitutes a thinner, quick-drying inner lining material for reduced bulk and improved feel of rails, bars, and paddles.

Solite Heat Booster Socks
Knit from a Nylon/Poly/Spandex blend, the Heat-Boosters stay warm and comfortable when wet.
Makes boots easier on-off and reduces stress on seams.
Increases comfort by providing a soft barrier between the feet and the Thermofoam sole.
Adds warmth to extend session length and comfort.
Absorbs excess water from flushing to prevent puddling in the boots.
Absorbs bacteria to reduce bootie-stink.
Machine wash and dry for convenience.

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