Photos by Kai-Otto Melau

One of the benefits of being part of an organization like Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is that we continuously work with manufacturers of triathlon-specific gear. And I have a distinct interest in equipment that can enhance safety in coldwater swimming.

Recently Norseman started a collaboration with DeBoer Wetsuits. They aim high and claim they want to make the best wetsuits in the world.

I met them a few months ago for a friendly and fun workshop on coldwater swim gear. I have had a specific wish for several years, and DeBoer is now working hard to make it happen.

The hood has been one of the weak points regarding coldwater swim gear for years. Sure, several solutions exist to make good hoods, like various neoprene hoods. But DeBoer has progressed from this, creating a hood that covers the whole torso, neck area and head in one piece. The effect in cold water is just remarkable. Especially the neck area. Keep the neck warm, and no cold water down the neck. You have to try (The “Polar Hoddie”)

I had a few specific requests to increase safety in coldwater swims, particularly ocean swims. I wanted them to make the Polar Hoddie in a bright color and also to add reflective materials on the hood. This is to be more easily seen from marine traffic. I have been part of professional Search And Rescue Helicopters for several years, and I know that searching for missing person in the ocean is very hard. Adding a bit of reflective material helps a great deal for Search and Rescue teams.

So, when we met with the DeBoer team, I made these spesific requests.

“Could you make the Polar Hoodie in bright colors and with reflective materials”?

They sure could. This week I received a prototype of the hood in the mailbox. I couldn’t wait. I had to test straight away. A few pictures from the test swim here. I love the hood – thank you, DeBoer team!

PS – as this is a prototype, there probably will be a few adjustments to the colour of the hood.

PS 2 – DeBoer team sent me a free Polar Hoodie for testing. And DeBoer is a partner of Norseman Xtreme Triathlon.