Check Out The World’s First Inflatable Wetsuit That Saved This Surfer From Drowning

1 Sep
Aug. 31, 2011, 11:20 AM

Retired world champion surfer Shane Dorian can now claim the totally righteous title of inventor. He with the help of a designer and survival wear manufacturer created the world’s first inflatable wetsuit.

Sounds superfluous? Not when you’re catching 20-foot plus waves like Dorian. In fact, it was a near death experience from such a wave that gave Dorian the inspiration for this wetsuit.

Gizmodo has the story:

In 2010, while attacking monstrous waves at Mavericks—a notoriously dangerous surf spot in California—Dorian suffered the worst wipeout of his life.  He was pushed down to the ocean floor (25 feet below the surface) and held there as two more waves steamrolled him. He nearly drowned.

Dorian, wetsuit designer Hub Hubbard and survival wear manufacturer Mustang Survival brought the Billabong VI wetsuit to fruition. Though not available commercially yet, Dorian has tested the wetsuit and said he hasn’t been held under for more than 10 seconds. The wetsuit which propels a person toward the surface of the water by inflating immediately like an airplane life vest would. As reported by Gizmodo, after pulling a cord, a carbon dioxide cartridge inflates an air bladder than shoots the person to the surface.

And that‘s a good thing with Dorian’s biography on the Surfline website quoting him as saying he couldn’t wait to surf 100-foot wave someday.

This post originally appeared at The Blaze.


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