The 1 Palm Story
The development for the one palm suits started back in early 2007. Clint Reid and a bunch of his mates head up to Indo every year for a couple of months of deep pits and R and R. The boys were off to surf One Palm the remote left hander made famous by Timmy Turner and his mates in the 2004 movie “Second Thoughts”. It’s a ridiculously shallow wave, with a ridiculously long barrel and coupled with its remote nature Clint asked us about making some super lightweight steamers to help protect them from reef cuts / gashes. BODYLINE manufactured a 2/1mm super-lite ultraspan steamers went well but a couple of the boys still took some nasty hits including one ripped arsehole.
The boys came back with many a story to tell and the idea of reinforcing the suits in someway. We discussed a few possible materials, made a few calls and got in a few samples swatches. A kelvar lined neoprene seemed to be the best bet. The same stuff bullet proof vests are made from.
We started from the legs and moved our way up. Clint and the boys had some hell stories of smoking there shins while they were dry docked on the reef, trying to run away from 6 foot sets only to get stuck in coral pot holes. From there we moved up to the hips, full cover over the butt and lower back, shoulders and forearms. With the concept being you could curl into a ball and pretty much everywhere would be covered.
They next, step was sussing the ergonomics off the pads. With Kevlar having no stretch in it at all, it this was key. The pads had to be the right shaped and in the right places to allow plenty of movement, ease of entry and plenty of protection. This lead to a plenty of design changes, a bit of pattern work and plenty off developments to get an ideal placement and fit of the of the Kevlar pads.
Construction was the next problem, just cutting the Kevlar was a challenge which blunted our scissors. We settled on cutting the pads, stitching them to an ultraspan neoprene then stitching these pads to the suit. BODYLINE’S amazing machinist Jackie was up to the task and we got a working prototype. A few more tweaks were made and we had 5 working suits.
We branded the suits up with good Bodyline Kiwi logos, so the boys didn’t look like another bunch of Auzzies, rich Seppos or frothing Brazzos.
The boys were stoked with the final product and from early reports the suits were doing the business. It was something new and challenging for Bodyline’s design team.