Without wanting to state the obvious, winter is here in full effect in the northern hemisphere. The mornings are dark and cold, the water temp is low enough to give an Antarctic penguin rosy cheeks and, we as surfers, still have a job to do. Yes, we still have to feed that habit.
While I am aware there might be some sadists who enjoy trying to slide their appendages into a damp, cold wetsuit on mornings such as these, with an icy off-shore glancing your nether-region, I would like to offer an alternative. We have been testing it for a while and it is called the ‘Blawesome’.
The ‘Blawesome’ is a wetsuit dryer like no other. Featuring a custom built fan and heater module housed within a hanger the ‘Blawesome’ will dry your wetsuit in a couple of hours even when the elements do not play ball.
Manufactured and distributed from Portugal, the ‘Blawesome’ module is a solution to that age old problem, for me it sometimes makes the difference between surfing and not. If the conditions are questionable, the thought of putting on a damp cold wetsuit in 5 degree air temp and driving drizzle just tips the scales towards having a nice cuppa by the fire.
I am not going to bang on about this, it’s pretty simple. If you want and like a dry wetsuit in any weather, this is what you need.
First Impressions – The unit itself comes with some instructions, a kettle flex and a heavy duty carabiner. That’s it, plain and simple. It has a very sturdy and boxy feel, I have already dropped it few times and to no ill effect. You get the impression that this thing might survive the Apocalypse.
Easy to Use? - There is nothing to it, if you have an IQ of 6 (nothing against you) you will have no trouble using this. It is as simple as (a) attach wetsuit. (b) plug into mains (c) select heated or no heated air. Wait 1- 2 hours. Done.
Ease of use 10/10
Does it work? - Again, this is not rocket science, it works. I have tested this many times in varying air temps and with different suit thicknesses. I found that even with a 8 degree air temp, on a cloudy day and drying a 5mm wettie, it took about one and a half hours (hot air mode on) until my suit was bone dry. I do mean bone dry and warm too!
Is it Eco? - Nope, not at all. I know the guys at Blawesome are tackling this one as we speak, they are talking about using recycled ABS plastics and maybe incorporating a solar station, but at this moment we are a thumbs down on eco. If you live in Europe, however you can claim that this product is made and shipped within the very walls of the EU, thus cutting down on transportation emissions.
You could also argue that while not exposing you wetsuit to the sun for drying purposes, you are prolonging the life of it which means you are being more eco by not ordering a new wetsuit so often.
Is it Eco – 4/10 (if you live in Europe)
Is it worth the money? – This unit comes in at 139 Euros, which sounds like a lot, but as I have said, if you want to surf and you live in a place that denies you the conditions to be dry and warm before you get into the water, this is the only thing out there that will do it in 1.5 hours. Ask yourself how much a warm, dry wetsuit is worth to you on a cold winter’s morning. If it’s 139 Euros or over, you will have your answer.
Price – 7/10 (opinion)
Summary – There is little doubt that if you are like me, this thing is a real boon. I have become addicted to having a dry suit now and the thought of going back to the uncomfortable cringe of having damp, cold neoprene on my ‘nethers’ at 7 am and in 5 degree air temp fills me with dread.
Some may say I have gone soft. Some may say I was always soft. All I can say is that I like it. A lot. Thanks to Blawesome for sending us this unit to test and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
PS: A tip for the super soft. Even if my suit is dry, I have taken to ‘heating’ my suit in the morning now before putting it on. Glorious darlings.