Founded in the late 1970s in Hawaii, Dakine is renowned for its high quality ranges of innovative outdoor and water sport wear and accessories. One of the things that Dakine does really well is product development and going back to basics with design and really understanding what their customers need from their clothing, accessories and kit.
New range of wetsuits
When it came to designing a brand new range of wetsuits, Dakine developed three new suits - the Cyclone, the Quantum, and sitting in the middle of the range, the Mission summer wetsuit. In creating the Mission, Dakine focused on building a wetsuit that balances outstanding durability with great warmth and a high level of fit and performance. Shop Mission Wetsuits
So what makes this new design so unique? If you take a look at the multitude of wetsuits out on the market, you’ll find many claim to offer a high level of durability. But they won’t keep you as warm or offer much flexibility in movement. With the Mission, you’ll be owning a wetsuit that offers a great level of warmth and fit that it feels as comfortable as a cosy second skin, and is so resilient that you’ll be wearing it out on the water for many summers to come.
Durability is key
Let’s take a look at the touches of innovation that give this wetsuit its durability. One of the things that can happen with suits that claim to offer the perfect fit is that when stretched through normal usage, stress points weaken the outer neoprene layer. Dakine’s Mission wetsuit uses the company’s unique Apex Fit pattern in S type neoprene. It’s a design that will move and flex to match even your most extreme manoeuvres without affecting the fabric’s integrity. And hidden beneath this highly technical outer layer, you’ll find Dakine’s thermo FLX lining supporting the high stretch points across the top of the shoulders and arms. This stretch woven fabric features a reinforced elastane which creates an incredibly strong, high flex structure - great for enabling a better reach. You’ll be paddling out to the waves without being frustrated by restricted movement and the worry of over-stretched fabric.
A key area that often wears out on wetsuits is the cuffs which tend to wear and unravel after exposure to the elements and tough wave riding. The Mission features anti-fray compression cut cuffs which compacts the neoprene’s raw edges to prevent them splitting. Both the ankle and cuff seams are reinforced against overstretch with Resist lining over the limestone neoprene to prevent coldwater getting in and no one likes a soggy cuff!
Look out for the Mission’s seams too. These are constructed using Dakine’s unique triple lock system which combines double-gluing, 3D stitching and taping on the inside. The result - incredibly strong seams that won’t rip or stretch and have a high level of water resistance. Finally on the durability front, there’s the oversized kneepads that are designed to resist abrasion and stand up to harsh weathering by sand and grit.
Warm, lightweight and flexible fit
Of course, none of this durability matters without comfort, warmth and fit. We’ve all had sessions out on the water when the cold gets to our very core and it no longer feels like fun! So, the Mission’s full-length wetsuits come with Dakine’s Hexo-therm layer which lines the core areas - torso, back and upper thighs. This honeycomb-shaped thermal fabric provides a really good level of comfort and warmth and even better, is quick drying and lightweight. And all the full length suits come with the option of chest zip with a highly durable YKK zip system, or zip free entry to minimise coldwater flushing. It’s a wetsuit that stands up to the UK coastal temperatures throughout the summer and autumn months, and if you’re prone to feeling the cold, you can choose to upgrade from a 3/2 option to a 4/3 in both the men’s and women’s styles.
We’re really pleased to be one of the first stockists in the UK of Dakine’s all new 20/21 season wetsuits. We asked our reviewer, JB to summarise his thoughts for us. JB’s worn many wetsuits and seen lots of new developments in fabric design technology over the years. He said:
“Dakine’s Mission wetsuit offers the best combination of durability, warmth, performance and value you’ll find in the market in the UK today. It’s a great investment; it might be a little more expensive than other summer wetsuits out there on the market but with all its additional features, I’m pretty sure you’ll be wearing this one for several years. Dakine have been really considered in their environmental approach too. This new range of wetsuits comes with a raft of eco-creds to minimise their impact including using limestone neoprene rather than petrochemical-based fabrics, solvent-free lamination and they’re made at a Fair Trade, solar-powered factory in Thailand. It can be tricky for manufacturers to balance good eco practices with all the functionality boarders need from a hard-working, high performing wetsuit but Dakine have pretty much nailed it! All in all, I’ve given this 4 out of 5 for warmth and flexibility and an outstanding 5 out of 5 rating for durability."