Boards catches up with Iain Smith, the man behind the new Ianovated wetsuits, which provide an answer the age old problem of cold hands during the winter months of the water to find out how the company and revolutionary design has developed.
I bought my first windsurfer two days before my physics A Level exam; I have been a windsurf addict for the 26 years since. After a lucky run in business I sold my interest in an engineering company and retired four years ago, aged 40.
Now with spare time I took on the battle of cold hands. As windsurfers need a bare hand grip on the boom I knew the answer would revolve around palm-less mittens cut back as far as possible. I first tried chemical heat pads and thermal linings but did not find sustainability. In my first attempt to exploit breath power I simply ran the tubes along the outside of my wetsuit and I noted the problem was the breath’s loss of heat between my mouth and my mittens. That gave me the idea of running the tubes down the inside of the wetsuit along each arm. When I tried it I knew immediately I had ended the war with cold hands in the sub 10°C UK winter conditions.
I got a patent application filed straight away before anyone had seen my tubes and proceeded to develop this suit with the three component manufactures involved. After sending a scary amount of money to China I launched my product at NWF 2012.
All I have to do now is persuade the market to get over the products “ridiculous” first impression and focus that fact it enables us to enjoy and capture better winds and waves more often. The suit is the only solution to keep a sailors hands comfortable in sub 10°C winter conditions all afternoon.
Iain Smith FCCA (I was an accountant!).
Stay tuned for another full feature detailing the ins and out of the suit and full product info!