Beginner Surf Gear

Buell Wetsuits: What Are They All About?

jamie o'brien buell

Buell wetsuits have shot to fame courtesy of Mr “Stay Psyched”, Jamie O’Brien. With the meteoric rise of Jamie’s YouTube channel, Buell have been able to ride the wave of this success, thanks to them sponsoring him.

Whoever inked that deal sure hit the jackpot, as JOB’s channel has blown up over the last 1 year, with some videos reaching over 2 million views.

His subscriber base currently stands at 250K and counting, and with him wearing some type of Buell wetsuit in just about every video, the brand marketing Buell are getting is priceless.

So now that you know the story behind Buell Wetsuit’s rise to prominence, what’s their backstory? And, what are their wetsuits actually like?

Buell Wetsuits Backstory

According to its website the company was founded by Ryan Buell, a California native, hailing from Santa Cruz. Ryan Buell learnt the trade by working for Hotline Wetsuits back in 1997.

He quickly showed a natural flair for wetsuit design and after only being in the job for 6 months was promoted to head of production.

buell wetsuits

In this new role Buell had the freedom and autonomy to start pushing the boundaries of the status quo at the time. He started innovating both of the form and function front.

At a request of a few local pro’s at the time, Buell began designing some radical looking wetsuits, seeking inspiration from the likes of Spiderman and Aquaman.

On the function front, Buell was responsible from inventing different entry features that are a mainstay of surfing wetsuits to this day.

With these advancements Buell decided it was time to branch out on his own, and Buell Wetsuits was born. The original vision of the brand was to stay small and only sell its wetsuits to select surfers.

buell wetsuits

Before long though Buell was soon making custom designs for Nike, Volcom Fox, Reef, and Oakley. These projects him to work with some of the world’s top pro’s including Nat Young, Mitch Colburn, Kai Otten, Dusty Payne, , Bede Durbidge, Dean Morrison, and Coco Ho.

Buell wetsuits can now be found in core surf shops all across across the the globe. Their sick colour ways and innovative designs make make them stand out in a market where black has been the dominant color for so long.

Are Buell Wetsuits any good?

We haven’t tested any of their wetsuits. However, on Surfer Magazines forum the general consensus is that Buell Wetsuits are legit. Most people commenting on the thread seem pretty stoked with their Buell.

One reviewer even went as far to suggest that his 4:3 Buell Wetsuit functioned better that his Patagonia wetsuit. Most of the negative comments are around the garish designs of the wetsuits.

The big “B!” logo pasted everywhere, and wacky colorways. At the the end of the day, that’s only cosmetic. Moreover, that’s kind of Buell’s trademark – bright, bold colors and logo.

Buell Wetsuit Technology

All of Buell’s seams are nicely seals using what they call “Sizzle Seam” seal. They apply the “Sizzle Seal” glue to the exterior of their glued and blind stitched seams so it completely blocks out water but still enables the suits to maintain maximum flexibility.

Their suits are made using “Ninja Neoprene”. According to them it lightest, softest and stretchiest neoprene material in the water. It’s meant to absorb 30% less water than normal wetsuits and purportedly dries quicker than other suits on the market.

Their final tech feature is the kneepad. It’s a soft and comfortable Kevlar-like kneepad that is durable on the outside, but nice and comfy on the inside.

Do Buell just make wetsuits?

Wetsuits, and their neoprene variants (tops, vests, booties and gloves) are what Buell is specialised in, but they also have a standard apparel range which includes tees, caps, and even a soft top surfboard.

Buell Surf Shop

The Buell Surf Shop is located in the heart of Santa Cruz. On 41st avenue to be exact. Ryan opened the surf shop with the express intent of giving back to the community.

buell surfshop

His is aim to provide a place where groms can go hang out after school and watch surf contests. It’s also a hub where beginners feel comfortable asking questions about wetsuits, surfboards and surf apparel.

At the Buell surf shop you’ll find loads of wetsuits and surfboards in stock alongside the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff in town. They also offer a try-before-you-buy program, so there is pressure part with your hard earned without being 100% sure the gear is right for you.

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