Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Limestone wetsuits... what will they think of next?

So I was despairing a little about wetsuits, because as far as I could work out, no one makes swimming wetsuits out of anything other than petroleum-based rubber. But then I got a very entertaining email from Glyn Turquand, the man in charge at Xterra:

About 80 million years ago, a rock originally situated in the present-day Hawaiian Islands - home to the Ironman World Championship – traveled to Mt. Kurohime, Japan. The rock is what is commonly known as limestone (99.7% calcium carbonate) and it is free from almost all impurities.

While petroleum-based rubber may be cheaper, we have chosen to manufacture our wetsuits out of limestone. This is our little way of having environmentally friendly wetsuits. We also think it’s kind of cool that all our wetsuits are from Hawaii, albeit born there quite awhile ago.

Now that's pretty cool. A geology lesson, a bit of humour, and a solution to the wetsuit conundrum all in one hit. My new suit, a Vector ProX2, arrived the other day, and I could tell I was going to like it when I read the warning on the box: "WARNING: Will increase speed, efficiency, buoyancy and overall finish results. Wear only if desired effect is to increase performance".

That's the kind of environmentalism I like. Very cool, very witty... and very fast.

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