Boffins aim to warm watersports enthusiasts
Armpit thermometers reveal wind chill hardship
Government-boffins-for-hire at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have claimed a breakthrough in wetsuit design that will enable watersports enthusiasts to frolic in Britain's frigid seas for longer.
Working with pro-windsurfer Chris "Muzza" Murray and manufacturer Spartan, NPL scientists made detailed temperature measurements to assess how materials perform in practice, off Clacton in Essex.
The team used armpit sensors and thermal imaging to reveal that the surface finish of neoprene suits was vital to their thermal performance. Hitherto Spartan had been relying on lab tests that were unable to reliably measure real-world wind chill.
The insight is already reaping rewards. "It has saved us producing whole ranges of suits that would be next to useless for the colder northern European countries we sell to, saving us at least £100,000," said Spartan's Mark Minter.
Meanwhile NPL's Richard Dudley predicted toasty watersports ahead. "Improved materials and construction will mean they can spend more time in the water, and enjoy their sport of choice in much colder conditions than they are currently comfortable doing," he said.
NPL's other claims to fame include testing Barnes-Wallace's bouncing bomb, and major advances in early packet-switched networking. ®
This article is not about what I was expecting... :(
How about forming a protest group to pee all over their parade?
Dry suits come in two types though.
Neoprene - restrictive
Laminate - full mobility.
And you are meant to dump the air out to avoid the Bibendum effect
I use both types, and wetsuits for a variety of watersports activities so not unaware of the relative merits.
And I would love to learn to kitesurf, having watched it at Scarborough Beach - the one in the Southern Hemisphere though
Paris because she would look good in neoprene/latex/whatever