A Premium Wetsuit And Accessories Brand’s Perfectly Timed Entrance Into The Surf Market  - Stab Mag
Conor Maguire, fighting both the cold and the survival instinct that tells you to avoid swinging on a wave like this — and winning. All Photos: Mystic

A Premium Wetsuit And Accessories Brand’s Perfectly Timed Entrance Into The Surf Market 

Mystic has a history of innovation in other water sports. Now, they’re focusing on surfing.

features // Aug 3, 2023
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In partnership with Mystic.

Surfing is generally a pleasant and sensible thing to do when it’s warm and sunny and the waves are good. 

Remove any of those variables and you can expect some degree of motivation to disappear. Take away all three and surfing is only pursued by those who really, really want it. 

Which brings us to the Netherlands.  

With a limited swell window in the North Sea, the best days of waves often come with a serving of cold wind. And, they tend to be in winter, when the days are less than eight hours long and often freezing by water’s definition of the word. 

Pardon the cliche, but you do in fact have to want it.

It ain’t as easy as picking up a board in, say, Hawaii — but plenty of people fall in love with it nonetheless. Swells can be rare, so you’ll find that many surfers explore other ways to get their fix when the conditions don’t allow for one to get out there and smash a few on a thruster. The choice is simple: Either you go out and enjoy whatever the waves are doing on whatever tool makes the most sense, or you stay home. 

You tell me if you think someone putting on a 6/5/4 to foil in The Hague is less “core” than mindlesly riding whatever board fits you nicely into the pack at your local. 

Which brings us to Mystic

Mystic has roots in both the air and the sea.

When Max Blom was 18, he was interning for a windsurfing brand called Maui Magic and noticed the surging popularity of kitesurfing  — shoutout Laird Hamilton and Buzzy Kerbox. He convinced the owners to create a kitesurfing  sub-brand called Mystic. 

They went on to invent the world’s first kitesurfing harness. 

“We were lucky because Maui Magic was already an established brand. They had factories and a salesforce that we could tap into. But I think the harness was the game changer. Everyone was wearing windsurfing harnesses — with the straps over the shoulders — and we introduced the waist one, which revolutionized the sport.” 

Between a rock and a cold place.

Max and the team  created a deeper range of necessity-driven products and began to own the space. In the last 20 years, they built Mystic into all that it stands for today. Last year, they decided it was time to have a go at surfing. 

“We all love to travel and surf, so surfing was always part of our DNA at Mystic. But we thought it could be hard for a brand from the Netherlands  to become credible in surfing with so many big corporate players. Last year, we got to a point where we felt like we have so much innovation going on in the company, so why not?” 

They started strong, quickly picking up two of Europe’s most respected freesurfers: Ireland’s Conor Maguire, who exhibits zero fear, and Sweden’s Freddie Meadows, whose style delights the eyes. They also signed a CT competitor in Caio Ibelli. And they tapped Stab favs Ryan Miller to shoot some photos and Morgan Maassen to help create a film, which we’ll share with you next week.

CT approved. Photo: Thiago Diz/WSL

“I’ve known Mystic for most of my life because I’ve been kitesurfing ever since I was young,” says Caio. “They’re massive in that space and work with the best athletes. I think they bring a different approach because they come from such a cold place. I’ve been really happy with not only their wetsuits but also their boardbags — which I think are the lightest and most functional in the market.” 

One of their boardbags — called the Helium — utilizes  self-inflating technology that you’re used to seeing in camp mattresses. We’ve got an in-depth review of it coming soon. They’ve also got a range of suits made with Japan’s Yamamato (see: the best) neoprene, with the Voltt model serving as the pinnacle. Very good stuff. 

Some wetsuit brands go to the world’s northern reaches to create content. Others come from the world’s northern reaches and create products for their environment. You’ll notice the difference.

Mystic’s focus on surfing comes at an interesting time in the industry, to state the obvious. With the future of many major brands uncertain, the general consensus is that smaller brands have a big opportunity to step up. And, after decades of homogenization, it’s great to see a company with a different background and a legit track record of innovation get in the mix. 


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