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Wetsuit

Date: 1985
Dimensions:
Overall: 1500 mm, 1.15 kg
Display Dimensions: 1500 x 450 mm
Medium: Plastic, rubber
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from BHP Steel Division
Object Name: Wetsuit
Object No: 00000134
Place Manufactured:Victoria

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    Description
    This Rip Curl Freelite wetsuit was worn by the forward hand Campbell Reid, on the 18-foot skiff COLORBOND during the 1985-1986 racing season. The sleeveless orange wetsuit features a pink lining, blue reinforced knee pads, a black plastic zipper on the back with a rainbow striped pull cord, and the Rip Curl Freelite logo on the chest. This 'steamer' style garment originally had arms, which have been cut off.

    The 18 foot skiff COLORBOND was designed by Scott Jutson. Made of Nomex and pre-impregnated carbon fibre and manufactured in the USA in 1985, it exemplifies 18 footer development at its most hi-tech and grandiose before the class introduced design restrictions to limit escalating costs.



    SignificanceManufactured in Victoria, this Rip Curl wetsuit represents wetsuit designs and textile technologies from the 1980s and was worn by a crew member of the significant historic 18 foot skiff COLORBOND.
    HistoryDoug “Claw” Warbrick and Brian “Sing Ding” Singer founders of iconic surfboard and surfwear brand Rip Curl began making wetsuits in Victoria, Australia in 1970.
    Their suits were made from neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber produced by the polymerization of chloroprene. The material was invented by DuPont, who were also responsible for the development of nylon.

    Popular with both surfers and sailors, Rip Curl introduced shoulder zips into their wetsuits in 1974 for greater warmth and flexibility, along with dual and multi-thickness suits.

    In 1982 Rip Curl began using a more flexible form of neoprene, called Super Xpandx and in 1984 they introduced K-Tron knee pads for durability and Aqua Ban seams for warmth. The next year Rip Curl started using fully contoured patterns in the design of the suits, ensuring a better fit.
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