Hyper Inflatable Wetsuit Concept – The Ultimate in Sports Apparel
The other day, I was at the beach and walked out on the pier. The pier had a couple of those binoculars where you put the quarters in and could look out as far as you'd like. I suppose people like to look at dolphins, whales, and wayward sailboats and thus use those vision systems for that quite often, but one of them was faced towards the beach, and I figured some young man or perhaps a dirty old man was checking out the babes on the beach. I decided I'd like to watch some of the surfers and see how they were doing, as I could see some decent waves out in the distance.
The local surfers seemed to be doing quite well, and fairly skilled from what I could see. I noticed one surfer had wiped out pretty bad, but then he did not come up for air for about 25 seconds or more. That's a long time to be underwater in a daze, although I'm sure he was used to it. For an onlooker, it seemed like quite a while, and I wondered if I'd have to put more quarters in to see if he did come back up. Eventually, he did pop up, and then he got hit with another wave, eventually got back on his board, and paddled back out again.
It seems to me that we could redesign the wetsuits so that they could hyper inflate allowing a surfer to quickly come to the surface in case they got into trouble, got just oriented, or couldn't figure out which way was up while turning and churning in the wave action like the proverbial lost sock that disappears in your washer or dryer.
How might this work you ask? Well, perhaps there would be some sort of a panic button that would activate and trigger a CO2 cartridges, the same type you use to quickly pump up your bicycle tire, many long-distance bicycle riders used them, I have some myself.
GizMag had an interesting piece on December 6, 2012 titled; “Bulgarian innovation: Bicycle pants and inflatable snowshoes from Any Exit,” by CC Weiss.
When I saw that article, not more than a couple days later, I remembered that thought I had watching the surfers, and it seems to me it would be really easy to design such a wetsuit that had bicycle tube-like inner structures in the waistline , around the collar behind the neck, and around the ankles. Perhaps small tubes could run along the seams from under the arms all the way to the ankles. Once the panic button was hit, all of that would instantly fill with air sending the surfer up to the surface immediately.
Installing a pressure release valve could empty the air out, and it would instantly go back to its original shape. A new CO2 cartridge could be installed for its next use, perhaps several might be stored in a zipper pouch pocket on the wetsuit. The CO2 cartridges only cost a $ 1.50 each. It might even help in shark attacks. If a shark bit into one of these compressed air cavities, it would pop like a bicycle tire, and scare the ever living daylights out of the shark, at least temporarily, and that's probably all you would need to get away.
If inside those tubes of air were very bad tasting automatic leak fixing goo, I bet that shark would never bite into another wetsuit as long as he lived, problem solved. Indeed I hope you will please consider this if you are into designing and manufacturing the ultimate sports apparel. Maybe we could save some lives, and hopefully you can make some money too. Please consider all this and think on it.