Stab Magazine | Improving The World, One Wetsuit At A Time

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension


Improving The World, One Wetsuit At A Time


news // Jul 30, 2017
Words by Jake Ross
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Want to change the environment, without changing your daily habit? 
If so read on..


Depending on your level of enthusiasm, all too soon the time comes around where you’ll fall victim to a (desktop) window shop binge on wetsuits. Now, are you the flamboyant surfer in the white? Or, a stealth ninja, draped in black? Do you flaunt your disposable loot or simply value warmth? 3/4, 3/2, tropical or cold water?

Perhaps you should be wondering: Where does my old neoprene onesie end up?

Here are some interesting facts. 
There are an estimated 5.6 million surfers in the USA, 3 million in Brazil, 2.5 million in Australia and 500k in the UK. That’s equivalent to around 6.2k tonnes or 54 blue neoprene whales worth of non-biodegradable chemical waste being lost each year. Unused wetsuits fermenting in plastic buckets in garages and the back of cars worldwide. And with the introduction of surfing at the 2020 Olympices, surfing will sky rocket, and those numbers will explode. 

Patagonia’s wetsuit manager John Hubbard tells us, “the first version of neoprene was actually used to line the bottoms of landfills, so what that tells you about it’s biodegradability is that it’s the worst.”

Now, I too fall victim to neoprene recycling abuse. Often I’ll stash my old suits on the drying rack, untouched outside of dust and arachnids. But here’s an idea.

Meet Finisterre, they’re collecting preloved neoprene, experimenting and adapting to release a collection of recycled wetsuits. Thus changing those worrying statistics, for a cleaner future for you and I, #wetsuitsfromwetsuits. Catchy, isn’t it?

And that’s not even the best part.

Finisterre wetsuit

“There have been some great advances in eco wetsuits and the search for alternatives to petroleum based neoprene, but the real elephant in the room for the watersports industry is what to do with a wetsuit at the end of its functional life. It’s a massive, global problem that we need to address; in this day and age there has to be a solution, and this is what we’re committed to finding. In the UK alone, surfers are replacing their suits on average every two years, with no real idea what to do with their old suits.” Tom Kay, Finisterre founder.

You can work with Finisterre. You, no matter how serious of a wetsuit hoarder you are, can be the lead designer. The Steve Jobs of wetsuits. With an aim of making wetsuits from wetsuits with a two year posting to Cornwall.

Here’s their proposition:

We are looking to recruit a Materials Scientist to support the work of University Professor Oana Ghita, and Finisterre, specifically focussing on the recycling of wetsuits. This is a full-time fixed-term 2 year Knowledge Transfer Partnership, with the ultimate goal being to be able ‘to make wetsuits from wetsuits’. It requires a new way of looking at the manufacture of wetsuits and will contribute to a closed loop process, thereby addressing the currently huge environmental issue of what to do with wetsuits at their end of their functional life.

Let’s revolutionise the suit disposal system and create something new. If you think the role’s right for you, head here and begin your environmental good deed.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Airs On Trees: Bosiny Cracked The High-Performance Wood Surfboard Code 

Feat. Paulownia wood reinforced with Kevlar, these boards are as light as PU and loaded with spring. 

May 23, 2024

What’s In A Wedge?

Enjoyable water movement, explained by an expert.

May 23, 2024

Watch: Tosh Tudor In ‘Tube Therapy’

The 19-year old offers prescriptive insights into Desert Point karma, backside tube poise, and Off-The-Wall…

May 23, 2024

Swell’s En Route, Slater’s Involved, Here Comes Teahupo’o… 

A Tahiti Pro preview.

May 22, 2024

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024

Watch: ‘Shotgun’ featuring Josie Prendergast & Taj Richmond

The allure of contradiction, displayed in the virtue of Northern Rivers sand.

May 15, 2024

How Accurate Were Our Pre-Cut Predictions?

Reflecting on the rookie-centric forecasts offered by CJ Hobgood, Stace Galbraith, Brett Simpson, and Mikey…

May 14, 2024

Local Wildcard Jordy Lawler Dusts 79 Transplants, Issy Nichols Denies Prodigy Erin Brooks Another Plush Toy

The Stab High winner is one semi-final away from tour qualification after only two events.

May 14, 2024

Which 2024 Stab High Competitor Has Given Us The Best Surf Part?  

Noa Deane, Chippa Wilson, Julian Wilson, Ian Crane and more duel for the most impactful…

May 13, 2024