Surfing has taken over popular culture and its words are part of modern language. It has been tried by just about every backpacker at least one time in their lives as they travel around the globe.

Surfing had been a part of Polynesian culture for hundreds of years, and it is assumed it was first witnessed by Westerners in the 18th century in Tahiti and Hawaii. It made its way into American culture in the beginning of the 20th century, when George Freeth decided to revive the art of surfing and created the first “longboard” by cutting one of the commonly used 500cm hardwood boards in half. Since then we have seen huge technological developments in the world of surfing, from boards being made of wood, to nowadays being made of polyurethane, fiberglass cloth and other modern materials. 

Although not only have the boards evolved, so too has almost every aspect of surfing, we now have access to weather and wind tracking programs so we know when is the best time to catch that perfect swell. Also we’ve come a long way from the 1970s when surfboard rentals in Jupiter would provide you with a board and a hearty swim to retrieve your board from the shore each time you came off, thank the lord for legropes!


The songs of The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean allowed middle America to become acquainted to a new world. With their healthy sunshine looks and stories of cool California escapades a new generation of surfers was inspired by these surfed up pop stars.

Now media has tuned us all into ‘dudes’ and the language of surf has entered all our lives. New ideas and energies have come long, even culminating into new styles of surfing … boogie boards and stand up paddleboards for those of us that cannot stand up long enough to enjoy the surfing experience.

The Wetsuit

Perhaps the biggest game changer in the world of surf technology was the wetsuit, allowing a fine balance between flexibility and warmth. It was a huge jump from the woolen jumpers worn by surfers of the past. The drag on those jumpers would have made paddling out to the lineup very hard work.

Surf Science

Surfers, like many other sports enthusiasts, have seen the current advancements in technology throughout the world and have fantasised about what is to come for their future on the waves. Top surf brands have been competing to make the most revolutionary gear since their inception, and one of the most exciting innovations is the utilization of graphene as swimsuit material, making the warmest possible wetsuit in the world. 

Graphene is a material that was first observed in 1962, rediscovered and isolated by scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 2004, who later received a Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. Graphene was immediately noted for its various potential applications from use in circuits, solar cells as well as medical and industrial processes. It is currently the thinnest material known to man at just one atom in diameter, and while they might not make it sound like ideal wetsuit lining, it’s actually 200 times stronger than steel. Leading company Billabong are currently producing a range of graphene wetsuits under their already successful Furnace range. 

If you’re looking to invest in some of the latest and greatest surf wear tech such as the Furnace range of wetsuits, I recommend one of the wonderful surf shops in Jupiter, or wherever you normally buy your surf wear from.


Considering the advancements we have seen and looked at, what can we expect from surf wear tech going forward? 

Sports industries are already experiencing responsive technology, with tennis racquets that can give you information about your swing, it won’t be long before we have wetsuits that can give us information about our skin health, heart rate and other imperative bodily functions.

Many surfers know that there is very little worse than trying to slip into a wet wetsuit, even the idea is enough to make some people squirm. What we could be moving towards as a solution to this is self-drying wetsuits, or better yet, hydrophobic wetsuits which can remain absolutely dry even when submerged in water. Hydrophobic technology is already here, we’re seeing sprays for shoes which can keep them dry even from thicker liquids such as paint, so I truly believe hydrophobic wetsuits aren’t too far off.

A technology which is transitioning from only existing in past and present movies and television shows, nanotechnology is gaining traction as a game-changer for every industry across the board. The implementation of this in the surf wear industry would be an applicable “second skin”, a nanotechnology dermal layer that attaches to your skin and functions like the name would imply. It would be able to breathe, perspire, react to your personal biological functions and even adapt to a variety of environments.

This could also replace the need for sunscreen with the second skin opening up to allow sunlight through, until enough vitamin D is detected, then closing up to protect the skin from overexposure. 

Can we imagine the look of the typical suffer without that sun block on their faces? It’s coming.

Sooner or Later

These huge jumps in technological advancements we’ve experienced are a fair indication that in the not too distant future we will have surf wear tech that goes beyond our wildest dreams. For now make sure you are investing in the best gear for your needs, and don’t forget to keep your imagination open to the endless possibilities the future of surf has to offer. 

As more surfers are seeking out extreme waves and trying to ride bigger waves, technology is allowing these surfers to really get the best from their equipment. Injury is a given for most dedicated surfers but with new technology that injury can be lessened or even avoided. Of course, … that will encourage more of us to try for even bigger and meaner waves … so … back to the injuries again.

Author's Bio: 

Surf Wear Tech