How To Infiltrate The Surf Industry With Grace
Manera does its due diligence and the result is pure splendor.
The surf industry is more or less a closed loop.
If you asked the average surfer what three companies come to mind when you say “surfboard”, “wetsuit” or “leash”, you would see many of the same names pop up, a fact we know thanks to our annual reader survey.
Entering the market is fickle business. Many innovators and entrepreneurs with a great product, branding, and philosophy try and fail to achieve a foothold, leading them to realize that no amount of product testing and bright-eyed pandering will allow them to pierce the salt-crusted veil and earn a seat at the big boys' table.
And while all this is true, Manera is not most companies.
A quick backstory for those out of the know: Manera is a family-owned and operated wetsuit company based in France, with years of experience in the kitesurfing world. Their being family owned is not something they take lightly. Being a family business means getting to make your own strategic decisions. With no CFO in their ear telling them to stretch their margins, this small, impassioned team is able to focus on their specialty: quality. And boy do they deliver.
Not a shiver in sight.
Finding top pro surfers with a platform large enough to promote your new product line but who are not tied into head-to-toe deals with an industry titan is a tall order, and one that Manera met brilliantly by adding Dion Agius and Brendon Gibbens to the family.
While both of these surfers lay claim to big-budget sponsors, neither was covered in the rubber department, making them a seamless fit for Manera. To announce Dion and Beeg's arrival, Manera dropped Surf Libre, a 15-minute short featuring the boys sharing less than lukewarm waves in apparent harmony.
Beeg having no problem cocking that back knee while hooded up.
But the Frenchies didn't stop there. It just so happened that Manera’s entry into surfing aligned with the neoprene free-agency of the one and only Peter Devries. Hailing from Vancouver Island, there’s no one who batters thick suits more than Pete. With his bread and butter quite literally coming as a result of his penchant for cold water performance, Pete had this to say about Manera's suits:
“Wetsuits are my lifeline out here. Without a good wetsuit I’m not mobile, and overall just not surfing as much. The 10XD 4/.3 is something I’d wear in the summer up here when the water’s “warm”. They also sent me a back-zip 5/4 which I was so stoked on! I hadn’t had a back zip in so long and I forgot how flexible they are through the chest."
Pete’s mention of the X10D 4/3 comes as no surprise. Manera’s X10D material (of which the namesake range is 100% comprised) feels like an absolute dream on the skin, and their years of experience mean that this 4/3 feels a lot more like a 3/2.
For our friends in Northern California who err on the side of warmth, as well as those in Australia who're looking for a solid winter suit, we X10D to keep you steamy without sacrificing performance. And while this is based off feel and feel alone, we are eager to test this intuition against the world’s stretchiest 4/3's- we have a hunch we'll be pleasantly surprised.
So folks, next time you're looking for a quality piece of rubber don't be alarmed if your attention turns towards Europe's west bank. Who knew that one day France's surf manufacturing would hold a candle to the quality of its universal healthcare system.
The X10D 4.3 in front and back zip