Several big-wave surfers have been killed while attempting to conquer giant swells. Billabong’s V1 wetsuit significantly reduces that risk. After a wipeout, the surfer pulls an attached ripcord, puncturing a carbon dioxide cartridge that inflates a bladder in the back of the suit.
The submerged surfer then rises to the water’s surface in just a few seconds. Billabong teamed up with professional surfer Shane Dorian to develop the suit and commissioned a company that makes military survival gear to create the inflation system [see “Keeping Heads above Water"]. Price not set