Buell Wetsuits are a brand that started out with the intention of designing a small collection of wetsuits for select surfers in the industry. Today, their wetsuits can be found in almost all core surf shops across the world whilst Buell continues to work alongside the likes of Nike, Oakley, and Reef. This company is one that comes with quite a unique backstory, so we thought we would go right back to the beginning and tell you a little bit about it.
At just 8 years old, Ryan Buell developed a passion for the ocean when he was given his first soft-top surfboard. He spent his days entertaining himself amongst the waves, practicing his swimming, and teaching himself the basics of surfing. After joining the Santa Cruz Junior Lifeguard program, Buell worked hard for a number of years to learn all the logistics of life-saving. After a while, his dedication paid off and he secured a job as a lifeguard at the Main Beach of Santa Cruz. During this time, he was entering various competitions and was often successful in his placing. He was crowned the winner of the Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race and was the first New Zealander to take home the title of the Auckland Regional Championship.
In 1997, Buell began his career in the wetsuit industry. Within 6 months, he became the head of production at Hotline Wetsuits and quickly began creating designs of his own. He started to accept custom requests from professional surfers who wanted to ‘stand out’ amongst the crowds after his super-hero inspired suits started to gain recognition through the industry. After this, he decided it was time to develop a brand of his own and that’s when Buell Wetsuits came to life. After years of working solely from his garage, Buell’s headquarters are now based in the heart of Santa Cruz’s surf paradise.
Buell Wetsuits Today
Today, Buell Wetsuits is one of the most highly regarded wetsuit brands in the surf industry. Buell has now worked with various surf manufacturing giants and many of the world’s top professional surfers, including Nat Young, Carissa Moore, and Bruce Irons. He has also designed a number of blockbuster costumes including Jennifer Lawrence’s suit in the ‘Hunger Games’. The brand gained further recognition after they began a sponsorship deal with famous YouTuber, Jamie O’Brien (better known as ‘Mr. Stay Psyched’). The vlogger now has just under 500k subscribers and his fanbase is increasing rapidly by the day. After sporting Buell wetsuits in a number of his videos, Mr. O’Brien has caused the brand to gain a huge following of the years.
Buell Wetsuits are constructed of what the brand themselves refer to as ‘Ninja Neoprene’. Apparently, this material is just about as light, stretchy, and soft as you can get when immersed in water. ‘Ninja Neoprene’ is thought to absorb approximately 30% less fluid than regular suits which means that they will dry a lot quicker than many other wetsuits on the market. The manufacturers also use a layer of ‘sizzle seal’ glue to the blind stitched seams of the suits which work to block out water whilst ensuring optimum flexibility. Their suits are also lined with soft Ultraspan flex-fabric which provides the suit with an insanely warm and cozy feel. This combination of constructive materials makes for wetsuits that are not only incredibly durable but perfectly capable of keeping surfers insulated and protected against UV rays.
Buell Surf Shop
Whilst Buell Surf Shop was originally located in Ryan Buell’s home garage, it now lives right in the center of Santa Cruz on 41st Avenue. Buell’s intention was to open a shop that would essentially become an informative and friendly ‘hub’ for surfers of all ages and abilities. He wanted riders to feel welcome and comfortable in a place where they could watch surf competitions and hang out amongst like-minded people. All of Buell’s staff are known for their kind and approachable natures. They are always willing to go above and beyond to help you in whatever way they can. Whether you’re looking to buy a wetsuit or whether you are looking for a recommendation for an entry-level surfboard, the Buell Wetsuit staff will be more than happy to help. The store also offers a ‘try-before-you-buy’ program so that you can be absolutely sure that the wetsuit is right for you before making the investment.
What else do Buell Wetsuits make?
Buell not only makes some of the highest quality wetsuits on the market, but they also stock a number of other products that are all designed to make life in the water just that little bit better. They sell full suits, spring suits, neoprene tops, rash guards, booties, gloves, hats, and even the odd surfboard. All of their water-sports based products are made with the highest quality materials that will be sure to keep you protected and comfortable in the water. Additionally, the brand offers an apparel collection of shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and hats that are suitable for riders of all shapes and sizes.
Buell wetsuits cater to men, women, and even kids meaning you will be able to find something for all members of the family. The brand is constantly developing so despite their current generous offering of products, we wouldn’t be surprised if their collection expands even further over the next few years.
Our Verdict on Buell Wetsuits
Whilst Buell isn’t the cheapest brand on the surfing market, we believe that their wetsuits are worth every single cent. The high-quality construction of their suits and their progressive outlook is something that sets the brand apart from many of their competitors. Overall, Buell Wetsuits are a fantastic brand that is not only recognized worldwide for their amazing, varied range of products, but for the unique shopping experience that they offer in their stores. If their wetsuits are good enough for professional surfers such as Jamie O’Brien, Sage Erickson, Kai Otten, Bede Durbidge, Dusty Payne, we would like to think they would be good enough for you.