Finisterre Wetsuit Launch Campaign

#ACM026 Content

Finisterre Team Manager Matt Smith making a few notes. 

Launching their new wetsuit has been a huge undertaking for our friends at Finisterre. After all, as founder Tom Kay puts it, the average wetsuit takes a proper beating. "Surfers treat wetsuits really badly. They put up with a lot of abuse. It has to be your second skin and keep you warm and dry in ferocious conditions. We take them off on the tarmac, pee in them, leave them to dry in the sun, and then when they’re damaged send them back to be repaired”. 

From the beginning, the brand decided to harness the power of the UK surf community to help them develop the suit through the unique Wetsuit Tester Programme - a crowd-sourced R&D programme during which 250 surfers - including our own Matt Barr - were chosen to spend the winter putting the suit through it's paces. For suit designer Mat D'Ascoli, it was a revolutionary approach. 

Some of the original Finisterre wetsuit testers. 

“This is the first time I’ve designed a suit while releasing the prototype directly to a paying customer at the same time. It’s unheard of, but to me is a genuine surf industry innovation and probably the best idea I’ve ever come across. Why? Because wetsuits are usually tested by sponsored athletes, who rarely pay for their suits, let alone give comment while surfing in cold waters. Being able to directly access our customer base and ask them the meaningful questions was the ultimate R&D resource, and actually made designing the wetsuit quicker and easier”.

Mat D'Ascoli, Designer, Sunset International

Tom and Mat sift through the feedback.

This feedback was then used to refine and develop the suits further during a feedback stage in May 2015. "Their input has really helped us make the best wetsuit we can, and one that we’re very proud of" as Tom Kay put it.

At the same time, we invited Carve, Wavelength, Magic Seaweed, Boardsport Source and Drift Mag to meet Mat and Tom at a roundtable feedback session at the Finisterre HQ in St Agnes. The assembled hacks had also been given suits to test throughout the winter, and their feedback was also used to further refine the suits.

The result? A successful launch, another innovative campaign for Finisterre, and - more importantly -  a ground-breaking wetsuit designed with the help of UK surfers specifically for use in our waters. Check the film below for more on the whole project. 

Launching the Finisterre Wetsuit, by our friends at Fatsand Films