Stab Magazine | The Wetsuit That Saved Jamie O'Brien's Life And Kept Kelly Slater Warm In 2019

The Wetsuit That Saved Jamie O’Brien’s Life And Kept Kelly Slater Warm In 2019

Good enough for the jester and the king. 

cinema // May 9, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Around a year ago, Jamie O’Brien almost died at (what he called) 4-6 foot Pipeline. 

You can watch the complete video here, but the gist of it is this: Jamie goes on a warbly left-hander, straightens out, falls, gets sucked over, and is hit in the back of the head with either his board or the reef. Jamie then spends over half-a-minute underwater, after which he regains consciousness and is helped to shore. 

It’s Jamie’s belief that without the extra flotation of his Buell impact suit, he might no longer be here today. 

In light of this revelation, we’re taking a deeper look at Ryan Buell, the man behind JOB’s neoprene shell and dare we say the most abstract—and according to Ryan, robust—wetsuit brand in surfing. 

With over 70 team riders and occasional guest-appearances from Dane Reynolds and Kelly Slater, Buell’s impact is being felt far and wide.

Here’s Kelly’s take on Buell suits, which he wore in multiple heats on the 2019 Championship Tour:

“They make really nice suits. Rubber was great and comfy and warm. We just needed to do custom sizing, ’cause I have weird long arms and wide shoulders but a medium body.”

Guy’s an alien, we’re telling ya! 


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