Behind the Innovation with Flo Brunner
Along side the dedicated Apparel Design Team in Cape Town, Flo Brunner has been a key figure in the design of the All Star SUP Suit. His infinite knowledge of Stand Up Paddling and the regions that the Suit is designed for has made him the perfect person to collaborate with on this project. His insights into the key movements paddlers need to perform at their best helped with designing the key features that make this Suit unique.
We chatted to Flo recently about the project, how it came about and the key areas that make this Suit so unique and innovative.
What was the idea and concept behind the All Star SUP Suit?
The idea basically was to extend the SUP season and make it an all-year-around-sport in areas where we live, with snow covered mountains and crystal clear, but freezing cold lakes. After we saw that neoprene suits did not fulfill our requirements, we thought about how to merge snow- with water-garments to fit the needs of stand up paddling.
The Suit is made from a revolutionary material called Clima-Core, could you take us through the technology?
Clima-Core is a 3 layer technology, where we are using ultra stretchy outer fabrics, bonded with a waterproof but breathable membrane in the middle and a soft and comfortable lining inside. This fabric gives us the required freedom of movement, as it stretches in every direction, keeps us dry from outside as it is 100% waterproof, yet breathable to transport the moist off the body.
What makes this suit different to others on the market?
For Stand Up Paddling freedom of movement is key, thus we did not only rely on the Clima-Core technology, but also developed a new panel layout with special stretch zones alongside the upper body and in the crotch area. In addition we lowered the zipper garage of the waterproof front-zip for increased comfort around the neck and added reflective trims on wrist and ankle for safety reasons. Fully sealed seams combined with latex cuffs on arms and legs will keep you dry in any conditions.
This Suit has vertical and horizontal stretch? How does it benefit paddlers when they are out on the water?
Movements on a SUP are three-dimensional, thus the garments we are using have to do the same. Wearing boardies and lycras makes it easy, but we also need it when we have to wear a suit, which protect you from the elements and even when you have to swim in freezing cold water.
Can this suit be worn on it’s own or should it be paired with thermals and under garments?
In addition to the Clima-Core technology we came up with the “weather adaptive layering system” offering various garments, which can be worn underneath the Allstar SUP suit depending on outside temperatures and the degree of exercise. Adding different garments, such as quick drying base layers and comfortable insulation layers provide the required insulation for different conditions.
One of the key features on the SUP suit is the Lowered Neck Garage, what makes it such a unique feature?
The neck is a very special area, as you need to keep it warm and dry, but comfortable and easy to breath at the same time. It took us quite some time to adjust the cut of the neoprene collar and the length of the zip to fulfill the best possible combination between comfort and seal.
The Suit is designed for Men and Women, is there a difference between the two? How have you catered to both men and women’s specific paddling needs?”
Almost all suits in the market are more or less made as unisex sizes, which do not really fit women. We took a different approach and developed specific men and women sizing. Even with the extremely stretchy fabrics a women suit needs a different shape, thus we changed the collar construction on the neck, amended the measurements of shoulders and sleeves and gave chest, waist and hips more shape. Besides the fact that all girls really like the offered color combinations, they very much appreciate the fit and comfort of our ladies suits.
What are the benefits of the SUP Suit over a Neoprene wetsuit for example?
Neoprene doesn´t breath at all and only provides insulation by the thickness of the material, thus is not adaptive to the various conditions you paddle in.
Would you say the SUP Suit could replace neoprene in Stand Up Paddling?
For sure in all flatwater conditions and white water rivers. Here we already can see a great perception, as paddlers need to adjust their equipment to various conditions and temperatures.
What conditions are best suited to the All Star SUP Suit?
The combination of Clima-Core technology with the Weather Adaptive Layering System can almost accommodate any conditions. From chilly South African shores to the icebergs of Greenland, you can take it anywhere. When you need the best protection from the elements, the Allstar SUP Suit does it all.
Flo recently presented the All Star SUP Suit at the Starboard World Dealer Meeting in Costa Brava, Spain. You can watch the video by clicking on the image below: