Not often a piece of neoprene raised that many eyebrows. At the start of the 2019, when Jan Frodeno and Daniela Rhyf revealed their newest wetsuit sponsor, only a few people had heard of the netherland-based trade that goes by the name of deboer. Fairly unknown to almost everyone, a brand-new piece of high-end wetsuit was born for the world of triathlon to enjoy it.
Premium triathlon equipment often comes with a distinctive price tag. The one that was attached to deboers top model, the Fjord 1.0, was quite remarkable. $1,499 for a wetsuit was somewhat unheard of. While triathletes are used to dig deep in their pocket to afford the latest super-bikes and carbon tuned running shoes, neoprene suits did not break the four-digit dollar barrier. Until now.
The founder and head of the company, Alex de Boer, is no stranger to the business. Since a couple of years he creates and distributes the low-budget triathlon brand „Dare2Tri“. His enthusiasm to create the ultimate wetsuit did not fit into the idea he is following with „Dare2Tri“. A no-compromise approach towards the construction of a wetsuit lead him to start all over again with a fresh marque that leaves no limitation in construction, material sourcing and pricing.
When deboer showed up with its small range of suits, the brand was the first one to cross the magic $1,000 mark that resulted in the apparent question: Why is this suit so expensive? I try to sum up the three biggest, and pricy differences when it comes to material and the actual process of creating such a suit:
- The most obvious change to a standard suit is the chest section. Deboer calls the Limestone neoprene material “Whaleskin”. For obvious reasons. Apparently the material was too expensive to produce so deboer decided to invest in two special presses to create this unique feature. The goal of the “Whaleskin” material is to lift the upper-body out of the water and create more buoyancy and rotation stability for the swimmer.
- deboer sourced a new material called „Duraflex“. It is used in the arm and shoulder segment of the suit. The 4-way stretch material is extremely durable (…my fingernails left no traces) but highly flexible. It creates some amazing zero resistance shoulder movement. With a mere of 0,3 millimetre thickness, it helps to maintain an unhindered stroke that almost feels natural. Just about. To me a brand new sensation while swimming with a full-body suit. The sleeves are glued with a special tape to provide the utmost flexibility.
- Furthermore new glide layer coating technology is used throughout the whole inside of the suit. The result is an amazing water absorption that leaves just enough water in the suits to heat up but feels “lighter” while swimming. Well, and a lighter suit obviously flows better in the water. It also benefits a faster transition as I felt it easier to take the suit off.
Tune of the day: HMLTD – The West Is Dead