Is your wetsuit harming you? Vaikobi FlexForce neoprene is REACH compliant, and safe.

April 06, 2022

Is your wetsuit harming you? Vaikobi FlexForce neoprene is REACH compliant, and safe.

Several factors come into play when choosing which wetsuit brand is right for you. What is the best fit or cut? Is the wetsuit made from quality materials? Will the wetsuit perform? Will the wetsuit last a long time? These are all valid questions when assessing your options. But with growing concerns around excess waste and chemical leaching in the wetsuit industry, it’s time to consider how your wetsuit impacts you and the planet. 

Wetsuit manufacturing is not a perfect process: it requires a high amount of energy and relies on combining several layers of fabric with a synthetic form of rubber (neoprene). These layers are permanently laminated and combined together. Neoprene, as a composite material, isn’t biodegradable, meaning wetsuits should be chosen with longevity and quality in mind. 

They are made in this way to provide a function, i.e. provide warmth, reduce wind-chill, provide insulation, all while being stretchy and durable - all essential for ocean sports like sailing, kitesurfing, ocean ski paddling. 

At Vaikobi, we’ve recognised these issues and started to move towards a more sustainable wetsuit that is better for you and better for the environment. Our FlexForce range of wetsuits is REACH compliant.

What does REACH compliant actually mean?

REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of Chemicals in the European Union and is a piece of environmental legislation that regulates product quality. Company products that are REACH compliant ensure there are no harmful substances used that could cause harm to the consumer. Synthetic fabrics require certain dyes and these dyes are set by adding chemicals, then heating, washing and rinsing at a fabric mill prior to lamination to the neoprene rubber inner layer. 

The Vaikobi FlexForce collection uses REACH compliant materials, meaning you can wear these wetsuit products with confidence, knowing harmful substances will not pass from your wetsuit to your body. Wetsuits need to be worn firmly on the body in order to perform well. Your wetsuit works because your body warms a thin layer of water which is trapped inside the wetsuit.

 

Why you are at increased risk of chemical exposure wearing a non-REACH compliant wetsuit:

  • Absorption: Large areas of fabric are in contact with the skin (and your skin is your largest organ)
  • Time of use: Wetsuits are worn for long periods of time, often 4+ hours per use
  • Saturation: Fabrics that are completely wet are more likely to leach or release substances 
  • Penetration: Skin pores are open from the warm water and physical activity. 

Vaikobi design and production manager, Bart Milczarczyk, says that “the REACH standard gives us peace of mind that the fabrics are produced to a certain level of quality. The dyes, and all the processes and techniques used in the fabric are better for both the wearer and the environment. Think about how much time a competitive sailor has spent in their wetsuit over the years. Limiting your exposure to harmful chemicals is essential for people. We don’t need these chemicals leaching into our bodies and into our waterways. “ 

Vaikobi wetsuits include a thin reflective layer of metallic element in the lamination process which adds to the thermal properties of the garment. Essentially our wetsuits are warmer for less bulk. This returns more of the body heat to the wearer resulting in a thinner, lighter suit with less material and the same warm-keeping effect. We have removed some of the material used and ultimately reduced environmental impacts.

The FlexForce long johns, pants, and wetsuit tops are also made with a quick dry fleece material.  We select materials and yarns to take advantage of their inherent functional properties, rather than rely on chemical treatments.. 

Finally, the outer layer of Vaikobi wetsuits is designed with stretchy pilling-resistant fabric and highly abrasion-resistant durable layers in critical areas like the knees and seat of the wetsuit. This contributes to the usable life span of the wetsuit. The product longevity will leave you with a long-lasting, comfortable asset to your gear collection. 

 

For more on the benefits of our FlexForce collection, visit the Vaikobi website here

To find out more about REACH compliant legislation visit the QIMA website. 





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UNISEX / MENS - METRIC SIZES

Size HEIGHT (CM) WEIGHT (KG) CHEST (CM) WAIST (CM) HIPS (CM)
XXS   161 167  54 58 76 81 62 66 78 82
XS   165 172  56 63 82 87 66 70 82 89
S   169  176  61 68 88 96 71 76 90 96
M   174 181  66 73 97 104 77 85 97 102
L   178  185  76 85 106 114 86 95 103 108
XL   183  190  86 95 116 122 96 105 109 115
XXL   187  194  96 105 124 132 106 114 116 122

UNISEX / MENS - IMPERIAL SIZES

Size HEIGHT (Feet + Inches) WEIGHT (Pounds) CHEST (Inches) WAIST (Inches) HIPS (Inches)
XXS   5'3"  5'6"  119 128 30 32 24.5 26 30.5 32.5
XS   5'5"  5'8"  123 139 32 34.5 26 27.5 32.5 35
S   5'7"  5'9"  135 150 34.5 38 28 30 35.5 38
M   5'9"  5'11"  146 161 38 41 30 33.5 38 40
L 5'10"  6'8"  168 187 41.5 45 34 37.5 40.5 42.5
XL 6'  6'3"  190 209 45.5 48 38 41.5 43 45.5
XXL 6'2"  6'4"  121 232 49 52 41.5 55 45.5 48

YOUTH - METRIC SIZES

Size

HEIGHT (CM)

WEIGHT (KG) CHEST (CM) WAIST (CM)     HIPS     (CM)
Y-S 132 139 30 34 60 65 56 61 68 72
Y-M 140 148  33 39 65 71 61 68 72 78
Y-L 147 155  40 47 70 76 67 73 77 84
Y-XL 152 162 47 54 75 82 72 79 83 89

 

YOUTH - IMPERIAL SIZES

Size

HEIGHT (IN)

WEIGHT (LB) CHEST (IN)

WAIST (IN)

    HIPS     (IN)
Y-S 4'3" 4'8" 66 75 24 26 24 26 27 28
Y-M

4'5"

4'8"  73 86 26 28 26 28 28 31
Y-L

4'8"

5'  88 104 28 30 28 30 30 33
Y-XL 5' 5'4" 104 119 30 32 30 32 33 35

Fit Tips

If one of your body measurements is in between two sizes, order the smaller size for a tighter fit or the larger size for a looser fit. If your body measurements for hips and waist correspond to two different suggested sizes, order the one indicated by your hip measurement.

How To Measure

WAIST: Measure around the narrowest part (typically where your body bends side to side), keeping the tape horizontal.
HIPS: Measure around the widest part of your hips, keeping the tape horizontal.
CHEST: Measure the fullest area of your chest. Stand up straight and breath normally.

 

 

Vaikobi size guide