If you’ve ever worn a wetsuit, you know most suck. They are tight-fitting, expensive, and uncomfortable.
They are also one of those items that have seen relatively little innovation over the past few decades. Nowadays you either get an ill-fitting off-the-rack piece, or shell out an absurd amount of money for a professionally designed custom suit.
Enter Carapace Wetsuits, an LA-based company pumping out custom-fitting wetsuits for an affordable price.
Beginning as a Kickstarter project in 2013, the startup has been entirely self-funded, and now offers a variety of custom diving and surfing suits ranging anywhere from $265 to $595.
After creating an account online, users are prompted (and taught how) to submit 12 different body measurements, which the company says will take around 10-15 minutes total.
These measurements are then put into a algorithm that uses CAD to create custom patterns that are hand-sewn together by a tailor. The whole process takes about 3 weeks, from submitting your measurements to receiving a finished suit.
Using CAD removes a lot of the eyeballing and extra time traditionally associated with cutting and assembling patterns for custom wetsuits, which is how Carapace has been able to offer such a low price point.
The company has sold over 600 suits since launching, and plans to eventually expand into using its technology to create custom military and government agency rescue gear. Carapace is also working on offering custom woman’s wetsuits, which they say will launch sometime soon.