XCEL COMMITS TO PRODUCING NEOPRENE FREE WETSUITS
Today Xcel announced a commitment to produce all of its wetsuits using neoprene-free materials by 2026. By then the brand believes that natural materials will offer the same performance as its current range, for the same or better cost to the consumer. Xcel is the first of the traditional wetsuit brands to plan a switch of their entire line to neoprene-free materials.
Lance Varon, Xcel Head of Product explained “we have been committed to making a more responsible wetsuit for several years, and we are 80% there today with a number of eco components in our current line. We already use dope-dye yarns, water-based glues, eco carbon black, and oyster shell processing in all of our suits. And now we are finalizing the testing of natural neoprene-free materials that deliver the world class performance that our core surfers require in terms of stretch, warmth and durability, at the right price point.”
Said Ian Stewart, Xcel Head of Marketing “Xcel is recognized for our technically driven approach to making wetsuits, and for that reason we have been very rigorous in finding the best natural materials that perform at a high level. We are in the middle of testing and are excited by how they are tracking in terms of performance in the water.”
Reinforced Jarka Duba, Xcel CEO “This is good business on many levels. It is good for the planet. It is good for future surfers. At every product meeting we task the team to make the best wetsuit and then to make it as green as possible. Based on current testing, we believe the next generation of neoprene-free material will be up to our standard by 2026.”
The Xcel team will continue to manage the timeline to launch, and is committed to going to market earlier if the innovation process can be further accelerated.
About Xcel Wetsuits
Ed D’Ascoli founded Xcel in 1982, working from the bedroom of his Sunset Beach house. D’Ascoli found no shortage of inspiration from the world-class performances on display at his doorstep; and the opportunity to create and to connect high-performance products with the athletes who demanded them was irresistible. Xcel’s passionate focus on product development would become the defining characteristic of the brand. Xcel has been voted Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) “Wetsuit of the Year” by its industry peers five times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2017, 2019) and “Accessory of the Year” in 2012. Xcel Wetsuits is owned by Wedge Brands.
Committed to the Core, Shaun Manners in the Comp X Wetsuit, Image: Joshua Tabone
Technically Driven, Comp X Wetsuit, Image: Xcel Wetsuits