How To Recycle Your Wetsuit With Circle One Surf Company

Barefoot Tech

 

As members of the Surfers Against Sewage 250 Club we are proud to be part of a powerful network of businesses driving forward a strong message and enabling movement for change. The ocean is our playground, our place of relaxation and the place we love to share. Our aim is to always look after it and encourage our peers to do so.

In efforts to reduce plastic from our packaging we have developed cardboard packaging for all of our leashes, footwear, gloves, hoods and accessories, and are always striving to be 100% plastic free. Our products however, (like all) have a lifecycle. This is something that our team have been closely monitoring. Not only to learn how to increase product longevity, but also to figure out what happens to our products after their use is no longer required.

As part of our current services we offer wetsuit repair here at our HQ, in order to make wetsuits last longer and prevent more wetsuits ending up in landfill. We have also been recycling your old Circle One wetsuits. Using old neoprene in wetsuit repairs, creating patches and sections for wetsuits.

Alongside this we have now partnered with Barefoot.Tech, allowing us to recycle even more wetsuits!

About Barefoot.Tech

Barefoot.Tech is a unique sustainable accessories label that offers a wide range of products. All products are remade from wetsuits and other water sport materials.

Created by a fashion product design graduate from South Wales. Ffion grew up water skiing on the lakes of Wales with her family and after noticing the vast number of wetsuits collected in the basement with no ethical way to dispose of these, sparked the idea of recycling them into innovative items people would want to use.

After graduating from Arts University Bournemouth in 2020 Ffion’s small business has gained a lot of attention and is growing rapidly in the sustainability sector.

Understanding neoprene and its environmental impact encourage Ffion’s work ethic. Always a zero-waste approach when creating the products. Ffion believes that reusing and recycling wetsuits and life jackets into innovative, fashionable pieces gives another life cycle to the wetsuits. By extending this lifecycle it stops wetsuits from ending up in a landfill.

If you have an old wetsuit (any brand) you no longer want and don’t know what to do with. Send it back to us, or drop it off at our factory in Crediton. Please include a note in your parcel saying that you wish to recycle your wetsuit. Recycle over landfill every time!

Circle One Surf Co. Marsh Lane, Lords Meadow Industrial Estate, Crediton, Devon, EX17 1ES, United Kingdom

Want to learn more or have other sustainability ideas? Contact us here.

 

Follow Barefoot.Tech here.

 

 

Winter Wetsuit Buying Guide

We’ve had an amazing summer here at Circle One, and September still offers warm sea temperatures and often great surf or bodyboarding conditions. But come the end of the month and into October, we will be looking to switch back to our winter wetsuit in the sea, and start wearing boots, gloves and hoods again! If you are looking to buy a new winter wetsuit, or winter neoprene accessories then we have the ultimate guide here for you!

Winter wetsuits are particularly important when doing anything in cold water or when wind chill might be higher so you need to stay warm! They are classically 5/ 4 /3 thickness (mm) or above, with a 4/ 3 thickness being a good in between “Spring/ Autumn” suit thickness. Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the neoprene layer, which is heated up by your body temperature to create a warm layer. It is important to choose a well-fitting wetsuit which is tight enough to keep the warm water in and not let new cold water in. Ideally you should try on any wetsuit you want to buy, or measure yourself carefully and use our size guides to find your perfect fit.

What Thickness of Wetsuit?

The main factor to determine how thick the wetsuit you should get is the water temperature which you would like to use it in. Below is our general guidance to which thickness of wetsuit you should go for based on water temperature. You can find this out on most weather forecasts for the sea in the UK and abroad, or by searching for it online.

Of course individuals are all different and you may be a hot or a cold person, in which case you might want to go thicker or thinner. For a winter wetsuit in the UK, we would generally recommend a 5mm full length glued and blindstitched or full liquid seam wetsuit to protect against cold water and mean you can stay in the water as long as possible. If you are someone who gets hot easily then 4mm is generally a good medium ground between not too warm but protects more than a 3mm in colder waters.

Wind chill may also be a factor if you are using the suit for watersports such as kitesurfing, sailing or windsurfing. The thicker the wetsuit, the better the barrier against the wind, but you can also look for special features such as a barrier system or hydrophobic chest & back panels which cut wind chill and are features of our Elev8, Icon and Diva wetsuits.

If you are looking for a wetsuit for open water swimming, then again there are specific wetsuits suited better for swimming rather than surfing. They are generally made from a smoother neoprene fabric so you can glide better through the water with reduced drag compared to a standard surfing wetsuit. These can come in different thicknesses too, so a 2-3mm for summer/ autumn swimming in the UK, and a 5mm for swimming all year round in the sea, rivers or lakes in the UK or further North. Wild swimming is a great way to get out and enjoy some beautiful areas and feel close to nature. Swimming regularly in cold water has also been found to provide many health benefits and may help protect against depression.

 

 

Our Top Picks for Winter Adult Wetsuits:

 

Back Zip, Chest Zip, Zipless?

This is generally a personal preference of what entry system you would like. A back zip is traditional and has the largest opening so are often the easiest to get on and off. However, they can be tricky to do up yourself, are less flexible around the zip in the back, and often have a looser neck fastening so may let in more water. Chest zip and zipless wetsuits have a smaller opening to get in to, so those with bigger hips and thighs can struggle to get them on and off. Once on, however, they have less points at which water can enter the suit and a better seal so are warmer, especially good in a winter wetsuit. They are both more flexible to wear and move around in, with the zipless suits offering the best comfort with no zips to rub to create inflexible points.

 

 

Wetsuit Seams & Stitching

A very important factor in wetsuit construction which affects the performance and durability of a suit as well as the price, is how the neoprene panels are stitched or glued together along a seam. Obviously the seams can be the key point of weakness of a wetsuit, and where water can be let in and make you colder. There are four methods of stitching and connecting seams in wetsuit construction:

  1. Overlock stitching – the simplest way of attaching two pieces of neoprene together and used mostly just in cheap wetsuits. The two edges of the neoprene panels are stitched together along their edges. This causes a raised ridge along the inside of the suit which can rub, isn’t very flexible and is the least effective at keeping water out.
  2. Flatlock stitching – the two pieces of neoprene are overlapped instead to create a flat seam. Zig zag stitching is used to hold the two pieces together, creating a flexible seam which can only be used up to 3mm in thickness, so is used often on summer wetsuits. It is breathable and cooler when not in the water, however, water will be able to get through the seam so not the best choice for ultimate warmth in the water.
  3. Glued & blind stitched seam – the pieces of neoprene are first glued together to create a watertight seam, and then stitched only halfway through the neoprene over the seam to hold it stronger. As no holes are made all the way through the neoprene, minimal water can get in so the water that gets trapped inside stays warm so you do too!
  4. Full liquid seal – a special liquid rubber is applied to each side of the glued together panels along the seam to create a 100% watertight seal. This offers the most watertight, flexible and strong seam you can get on a wetsuit.

wetsuit seams

We would recommend glued and blind-stitched seams at the very least in a winter wetsuit. Full liquid seals will add even more warmth as then no cold water can get into the wetsuit and flush out the water layer you have warmed. It also increases the durability of your wetsuit seams, with added reinforcement at key points.

 

 

Winter Boots, Gloves & Hoods

If you are an all-year-round UK surfer and love those cold mornings and wild windy days, then your winter wetsuit alone is not going to cut it. Protect your extremities with premium 5mm wetsuit boots, some well-fitting wetsuit gloves and a wetsuit hood or cap. Make sure any boots or gloves you get fit well so they don’t feel like they will come off in the water, and they will keep you warmer. If you feel like wearing rubber-soled boots limits your proprioception on your surfboard then maybe look into wetsuit socks instead which give you greater feel from your toes on the board.

 

 

You can browse our full range of adults and kid’s wetsuits here. Once you’ve picked your perfect wetsuit, take a look at out guide to wetsuit care to look after your wetsuit and keep it lasting as long as you can!

Summer Wetsuit Buying Guide

summer wetsuit

The Ultimate Guide to buying a summer wetsuit is here! The sea is starting to warm up, the sun occasionally pokes its head out from behind the clouds, and we have what you need to make the most of the sea and coast this summer! With a range of summer wetsuits from shorty suits to full length and technical wetsuits, for adults and kids, we can help you find what you need.

Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm in cooler water by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the neoprene layer, which is heated up by your body temperature to create a warm layer. The neoprene also protects you to some extent when doing watersports such as protecting your knees when surfing. It is important to choose a well-fitting wetsuit which is tight enough to keep the warm water in and not let new cold water in. Ideally you should try on any wetsuit you want to buy, or measure yourself carefully and use our size guides to find your perfect fit.

Shorty or Full Length Wetsuit?

A full length wetsuit has long sleeves and legs so you are covered apart from your head, hands and feet. A shorty wetsuit generally has short arms and legs, although there are various combinations of long arms with short legs or long legs with short arms too. One of the more popular is a Long John Wetsuit which has long legs but is sleeveless. This makes it ideal for paddlesports or swimming as you get a lot better range of motion in your shoulders and arms.

With a full length suit, they generally come in different thicknesses e.g. 3/2mm or 5/4/3mm. The highest number is the thickness of neoprene on the torso area of the wetsuit to keep your vital organs and main body warmest in the water. The lowest number is the thickness on the arms and sometimes legs of the wetsuit, for greater flexibility and movement in those areas. When there are three different thicknesses then the middle value is usually the thickness of neoprene on the legs.

For a summer wetsuit, most people would opt for a 3/2mm full length wetsuit, or a shorty wetsuit. A shorty offers more flexibility when it is warm and is smaller to carry and take on holiday. They are great for kids to play around on the beach as they are UV protective to 50+. They offer some warmth in the sea but not too warm when on the beach so can be worn all day. A full length wetsuit is better when surfing or coasteering as it offers some protection to your knees against the surfboard or rocks, and is a lot warmer for long periods of time in the water.

 

 

Our Summer Shorty Wetsuits:

 

What Thickness of Wetsuit?

The main factor to determine how thick the wetsuit you should get is the water temperature which you would like to use it in. Below is our general guidance to which thickness of wetsuit you should go for based on water temperature. You can find this out on most weather forecasts for the sea in the UK and abroad, or by searching for it online.

Of course individuals are all different and you may be a hot or a cold person, in which case you might want to go thicker or thinner. For a summer wetsuit in the UK, a 3mm full length wetsuit is a good balance and will be perfect from June – October, especially on the South Coast or in the South West for adults or kids. If you feel the cold more, or are using it in the North of the UK or Scotland, then you may opt for a 4mm or even a 5mm suit instead all year round. A 4mm is generally a good medium ground between not too warm in mid-summer but protects more than a 3mm in colder waters.

Wind chill may also be a factor if you are using the suit for watersports such as kitesurfing, sailing or windsurfing. The thicker the wetsuit, the better the barrier against the wind, but you can also look for special features such as a barrier system or hydrophobic chest & back panels which cut wind chill and are features of our Elev8, Icon and Diva wetsuits.

Our Summer Full Length Flatlock Wetsuits

 

Back Zip, Chest Zip, Zipless?

This is generally a personal preference of what entry system you would like. A back zip is traditional and has the largest opening so are often the easiest to get on and off. However, they can be tricky to do up yourself, are less flexible around the zip in the back, and often have a looser neck fastening so may let in more water. Chest zip and zipless wetsuits have a smaller opening to get in to, so those with bigger hips and thighs can struggle to get them on and off. Once on, however, they have less points at which water can enter the suit and a better seal so are warmer. They are both more flexible to wear and move around in, with the zipless suits offering the best comfort with no zips to rub to create inflexible points.

 

Our Top Picks for Summer Adult Wetsuits:

 

Wetsuit Seams & Stitching

A very important factor in wetsuit construction which affects the performance and durability of a suit as well as the price, is how the neoprene panels are stitched or glued together along a seam. Obviously the seams can be the key point of weakness of a wetsuit, and where water can be let in and make you colder. There are four methods of stitching and connecting seams in wetsuit construction:

  1. Overlock stitching – the simplest way of attaching two pieces of neoprene together and used mostly just in cheap wetsuits. The two edges of the neoprene panels are stitched together along their edges. This causes a raised ridge along the inside of the suit which can rub, isn’t very flexible and is the least effective at keeping water out.
  2. Flatlock stitching – the two pieces of neoprene are overlapped instead to create a flat seam. Zig zag stitching is used to hold the two pieces together, creating a flexible seam which can only be used up to 3mm in thickness, so is used often on summer wetsuits. It is breathable and cooler when not in the water, however, water will be able to get through the seam so not the best choice for ultimate warmth in the water.
  3. Glued & blind stitched seam – the pieces of neoprene are first glued together to create a watertight seam, and then stitched only halfway through the neoprene over the seam to hold it stronger. As no holes are made all the way through the neoprene, minimal water can get in so the water that gets trapped inside stays warm so you do too!
  4. Full liquid seal – a special liquid rubber is applied to each side of the glued together panels along the seam to create a 100% watertight seal. This offers the most watertight, flexible and strong seam you can get on a wetsuit.

wetsuit seams

So a 3mm wetsuit with glued & blind stitched seams or a liquid seal will be warmer than one that is flatlocked. So instead of opting for thicker neoprene, you can choose a higher quality seam instead to provide extra warmth if you feel the cold. Some suits you will also see additional taping of seams, or liquid seals being added to glued and blind stitched seams to create a stronger seal. All of this increases the durability of the wetsuit seams, as well as providing a stronger barrier against water flushing.

 

 

You can browse our full range of adults and kid’s wetsuits here. Once you’ve picked your perfect wetsuit, take a look at out guide to wetsuit care to look after your wetsuit and keep it lasting as long as you can!

Jeff Townsley’s Cold Water Surfing Tips

It seems we have been dropped straight from summer into the heart of winter. The first hard frosts have been felt on our dawn surf sessions and the evening wind chill feels like are suddenly living in the Antarctic. However winter in the UK is always the season to score the best waves, we have decided to put together some of Jeff Townsley’s very own cold water surfing tips to keep you surfing through.

Don’t try and surf through the winter in your 3/2 summer wetsuit

This might come across as common sense, but you’ll be surprised how many people try and go for shorter sessions in their 3.2, in the depths of winter this can be extremely dangerous with hypothermia, fatigue and cold shock are not things to take a risk with. Winter wetsuits are a must.

Layer up when you’re heading out to the beach

Before you’ve even got to the wetsuit stage, keep warm! Grab a thermal hiking top or if its dry pop your Polypro Thermal Long Sleeve underneath your clothes. Being warm before you start out is always going to be beneficial for you, plus it keeps you motivated to get into cold water.

Eat some carbs. (scrap the diet)

In all seriousness, some healthy carbs don’t go amiss when you’re trying to keep warm for long periods of time, root vegetables are the ones to go for. So when your preparing lunch box or eating the night before, be sure to add some potatoes into the mix.

Paddle around the lineup

Keep your body on the move when you are out in the lineup, your blood will be flowing and warming every part of your body. The fitness benefits are also incredible! You may even find yourself paddling into the perfect takeoff positions.

Find the perfect fitting surfing accessories

The boots, the gloves, the hood and the thermal rash vest. Make sure all of these surf accessories fit you perfectly. Neoprene products generally hold water within the materials making them slightly larger when wet, try taking a size small to make sure when you are in the surf your accessories are one hundred percent fitted.

Pre-heat some tea or soup before you go for a surf

This is a classic idea that just works. What is better than to return to your trusty surf wagon to be greeted by a steaming cup of something hot. Flasks will keep most drinks hot for a number of hours now and for the time it takes to make this magic happens, the reward is huge!

Protect your ears

Your ears are extremely important to keep protected, even more so in the winter months. Surfers ear is nothing to joke about, whether you are bodyboarding, surfing or just in the ocean. Buy yourself some decent plugs.

Get the crew out

Get all of your friends to brave the elements with you, one of the greatest feeling is watching your friends pull into perfect winter waves while a north wind howls… Okay actually this would be much nicer if it 30 degrees and warm water. However your friends are great for safety reasons plus enjoying your post surf hot drink chat is much better with them.

Do you have any cold water surf tips that help you keep warm? Post them in the comments below.