Giving you transparency into the design process is a really important priority for our team. We think it’s valuable to know where your gear is coming from, why it’s being made and the journey it’s been on.
We’ll be periodically updating this to share new concepts currently in development and to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts.
Next Gen Impact Suit
John recently claimed a runner-up finish in massive surf at the Eddie using a prototype Impact Suit. Equipped with removable pads, this updated, modular version of our Impact Suit proved up to the challenge of waves up to five stories tall.
Photo: Arto Saari
The Impact Suit was originally designed as a solution for John to not only survive big waves, but to perform in them. After the success of our first gen Impact Suit, John and Florence Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Bruce Moore came up with an idea: what if you could adjust the pads within the suit to fit the conditions at hand? Bruce explains: A little backstory on the development of the suit. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on any points, or have any specific questions.
The Impact Wetsuit was one of the first projects that John requested, and was involved with every step of the way. Given the environment the product is used in, there is a delicate balance of protection and performance to achieve the optimum results. Every single millimeter of every panel was thought through and tested thoroughly. What we learned from that development project is how diverse big waves are, and each individual wave has a specific set of criteria. We actually landed on two designs to meet John's needs. For waves like Waimea and outer reefs, we lean toward protection. For waves like Pipeline, we tune the product more toward performance. We also learned a lot from John's test pilots like Matt Meola and Jamie Mitchell. Not only does the wave require a certain set of criteria, but each individual has a specific set of proportions and product needs. A design might work great for one person, and not necessarily the same for the other.
Based on these learnings, we embarked on a new design with our partners in Japan. After numerous prototypes, we came up with a modular idea that can be tuned to the type of wave and individual. All of the Impact panels can be removed for more performance and flexibility, or added when protection is the most important priority. Not only can the panels be added or removed, but they can be placed in various positions depending on the user's proportions and personal taste. The final prototype was validated in the 2022 - 2023 Eddie Aikau Invitational | Waimea where John placed second.
- Bruce Moore
FLORENCE Head of Sustainability & Innovation
Test Pilot Testimonial: Craig Yester
We recently hopped on the phone with our second round of Florence Test Pilots to review their findings. We love these calls – it’s a chance for us to connect to our community and hear real valuable feedback around our gear. Near the end of this particular call, Craig Yester – a test pilot from the North Shore of Oahu and a former professional windsurfer – was given the floor and reminded us all why we started this brand and this program in the first place.
We want to hear from you
Ultimately, we’re making our products for you. It’s our hope that you’ll share your feedback, ideas, suggestions and/or observations on what we’ve got in the works. Leave your comments below to let us know what you’re thinking.
By submitting comments, (1) I agree that I am not entitled to compensation of any kind for any ideas that are submitted even if those ideas are incorporated in any of Florence’s products or services, (2) I hereby assign to Florence any rights that I may have in any ideas submitted which may be used or redistributed by Florence for any purpose, and (3) Florence has no duty to maintain any submitted idea as confidential and may publish the submitted ideas in any media. If you do not consent to the foregoing, please do NOT submit any ideas.