England's rugged Cornish coast might not be the first place you'd expect to find a flourishing, stylish, custom wetsuit company, but Neon—located in England's surf mecca, Newquay—handcrafts made-to-order men's and women's wetsuits out of their workshop overlooking the Atlantic. With the air starting to take on a slight chill, many are beginning to happily swap out boardshorts for something a bit more substantial. While not designed for frigid winter surfing, Neon's suits are an excellent late summer and warm water option for traveling and when you need a bit more protection from the elements.
Founder Elsie Pinniger says that to begin with, she simply designed a wetsuit for herself: "A few years back the women's surf scene was much quieter than it is now, wetsuits were mostly embellished with pink hibiscus flowers. I just designed a suit that I wanted to wear." Pinniger went on to create 15 original designs, all with customizable color schemes—customers can choose from 11 different colors of high-quality super-stretch double-lined neoprene to create their own unique suit. Subtle branding and retro styling characterize the look of Pinniger's suits with a handmade, quality feel. "We cut each order out individually from our block patterns," Pinniger says, "then the panels are glued, blind stitched and bar-tacked, screen-printed and pretty much ready to go out."
Of surfing in Cornwall, Pinniger says early fall is prime time: "The summer can be a bit busy in the sea with tourists, but there are always quiet spots if you make the effort. There is an awesome crew of talented and creative surfers in Cornwall."
Neon Wetsuits range in price from £45 to £100. Visit them online to design your own.
Images courtesy of Neon Wetsuits