back to article Boffins aim to warm watersports enthusiasts

Government-boffins-for-hire at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have claimed a breakthrough in wetsuit design that will enable watersports enthusiasts to frolic in Britain's frigid seas for longer. Working with pro-windsurfer Chris "Muzza" Murray and manufacturer Spartan, NPL scientists made detailed temperature …


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  1. fixit_f
    Thumb Up


    I was out kitesurfing in January and it was -1 degree even without factoring in wind and water chill - brrrr. Improvements in wetsuits can only be a good thing.

    1. Hedley Phillips

      Always wanted to kitesurf

      It looks amazing.

    2. Dante Alighieri


      a better wet suit has been available for ages - it's called a dry suit. ;)

      1. Stone Fox


        Try surfing (or kitesurfing, winsurfing etc) in a dry suit. Go on, I dare you.

        Even a 3:2 wettie feels restrictive enough!

      2. Mountford D

        Yes but not an improvement

        Dry suits are actually quite uncomfortable and restrictive. I find the seal around the neck makes me want to gag all the time and the ones round the wrists are just comfortable tourniquets. When inflated, there is somewhat of a Michelin Man feeling and there is that shrink-wrapped feeling when it is deflated. The boots are also built-in, thereby limiting the type of activity you do.

        In any case, balaclava and gloves are wet suit technology so even if you are fairly comfortable in socks, long johns, jumper and fleece under your dry suit, your face, head and hands are subject to the mercy of sub-ambient temperatures. Furthermore, dry suits are not 100% dry as the seals are not 100% (for the reasons stated) and you frequently end up with damp clothing.

        For me, there is really no comparison with a wet suit when it comes to frolicking about in the waves.

      3. Glyn 2

        Titles are for other people

        Not to mention, a dry suit costs more and is liable to ripping and puncturing which renders it somewhat useless.

        I do like those wetsuits they make with the battery powered heated sections, but I don't think I'd fancy using one because I'm bound to get electrocuted : -P

  2. Anonymous Coward


    So, from "testing Barnes-Wallace's bouncing bomb, and major advances in early packet-switched networking" to testing wet-suit designs...

    Hope the cash for this research was privately funded and not from from the public coffer.

    1. MinionZero
      Black Helicopters


      Better wet-suit designs do also have military application. Not least of which, helping during sea rescue.

    2. Brutus


      I thought the reference to 'boffins-for-hire' indicated that it aws privately funded. Dunno.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Presumably it was

      NPL was sold off about 20 years and is a wholly independent research organization with no particular links to the government at all

  3. Anonymous Coward

    This article...

    This article is not about what I was expecting... :(

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I agree.

      How about forming a protest group to pee all over their parade?

  4. LuMan

    Hyuck hyuck!






  5. Graham Bartlett

    Mr. Barnes-Wallace invented the bouncing bomb?!

    And here was me thinking it was a chap called Barnes (first name) Wallis (second name).

    The grenade, because it's a bomb and it bounces...

  6. Jeremy 2

    'Boffins aim to warm watersports enthusiasts'

    I, for one, welcome our double entendre-filled headline-writing overlords...

    Good job - and it's not even Friday yet

  7. Dante Alighieri
    Paris Hilton

    Two flavours

    Dry suits come in two types though.

    Neoprene - restrictive

    Laminate - full mobility.

    And you are meant to dump the air out to avoid the Bibendum effect

    I use both types, and wetsuits for a variety of watersports activities so not unaware of the relative merits.

    And I would love to learn to kitesurf, having watched it at Scarborough Beach - the one in the Southern Hemisphere though

    Paris because she would look good in neoprene/latex/whatever

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