UPDATE December 2017: Applications have closed and our women of the sea are now testing their suits. Look out for further updates in 2018.
“Exposure to cold water can slowly build the qualities of trust, patience, solitude, grit and resilience in us. These are also the qualities that have gone into making Finisterre's first cold water women's wetsuit. It's an important recognition of a growing tribe of women who often remain hidden within mainstream surf media. Wetsuit clad, alone, seeking solace in unforgiving seas and windswept lands.
The cold water also connects; even if our experiences are personal, solitary or intimate. These experiences are shared and understood amongst us. There’s no need to explain ourselves, what drives us, or what calls to us. This is the bond of cold water surfing.” – Finisterre Ambassador Easkey Britton
In the winter of 2014, we launched our 'Nieuwland Works' men's wetsuit tester programme, where we engaged the surfing community on home shores in order to build a wetsuit that focused on warmth and durability. We were searching for real field testers who could put our test suits through their paces for a whole winter before feeding back in preparation for the following season.
It was an industry first and over 2,500 people took the time to apply. From this, our testers were chosen - from farmers, mechanics and doctors to our athletes. The feedback was honest and essential; ultimately it was their involvement that helped us make a better product.
It’s been a long time coming, but the launch of the much anticipated women’s wetsuit tester programme has arrived. We’re asking you to help us redefine the cold water wetsuit for women. This piece aims to answer a few of the questions you might have about becoming a tester.
The wetsuit tester programme embodies everything we stand for here at Finisterre; drawing on our three guiding principles of product, environment and people. These suits are built from the ground up - our pattern, fit and innovation. We're looking for a varied range of female surfers to test our suits. From coastal dwellers to weekend warriors – a passion and commitment to cold water surfing is key.
Tom and the team will review all of the applications before narrowing down a final selection. As with the men, successful applicants will be contacted with further information about the process; at which point they will be asked to pay £100 towards the cost of the suit. Buying into the wetsuit tester programme serves as a commitment, and we hope that by doing so the applicants will invest more of themselves into the programme, which in turn will help us build a better product.
But what will you actually be testing? After reaching out to women of the sea, it was decided that this tester programme would focus on a 4mm hooded, chest zip wetsuit, designed for sea temperatures in the region of 9-14°C.
The wetsuit will include our hallmark higher internal pile in over 80% of the suit for greater heat retention, 50% wider seam tape to minimise water penetration, double needle blind stitching throughout and a custom neck pattern to reduce flushing and assist entry and exit.
Applications for the women's wetsuit tester programme have now closed for 2017.
Once the final applicants have been confirmed for the programme, a Facebook group will be opened. This group will allow and encourage applicants to discuss the pros and cons of the wetsuit with each other and the team here at Finisterre.
Together we can create a women's wetsuit to be proud of.
Applications for the women's wetsuit tester programme are now closed