Making a long story short, Wetsuits are basically pieces of foam rubber that have nylon or polyester inner/outer layers and are stitched together to the shape of the human body.
Most wetsuit rubbers use a petroleum derivate called butadiene to create. But there is a better performance and more environmentally friendly alternative: Limestone.
Let’s be clear, Limestone rubber is not a green rubber either. Nevertheless, it uses of energy to manufacture is smaller and the risk of oil spills at the ocean inexistent.
The key of its superior characteristics and performance vs oil are on the inner structure that is created once treated, which has a much more consistent and constant pattern.
The Yamamoto Limestone Neopreone process is as follows:
1. Drill Limestone out of Mount Fiji in Japan
2. Create polychloroprene rubber chips by putting them into a furnace and heated at a temperature around one-tenth of that used for refining petroleum
3. Melt and bake those rubbers chips to turn sponge blocks. THIS IS WHERE THE MAIN DIFFERENCE RESIDES as it creates a very high micro-cell structure gives it exceptional thermal insulation properties.
4. Those blocks are sent to the NeilPryde factory, where blocks are cut into proper thickness and shapes,inner and outer liner layers are added and then stiched/ glued into to create the final product.