Ho Stevie! is a fresh surf brand that is disrupting the surf industry by providing quality surf gear without the premium price tag. Founded by Steve Mara, the brand was created with a clear mission, which is, “to create surf gear at the same quality, or better quality, than the big name brands, but for much cheaper! Who doesn’t want to save money?”
Steve surfs every day, and only makes products that he uses himself. Located in San Diego the business model cuts out middle-men retailers and expensive sponsorships. The beneficiary is you, the consumer, who pays less for quality gear.
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Why Ho Stevie! as a brand name?
When he started this company, his surfing buddy would always come over to Steve’s house and yell, “Ho Stevie let’s go surf!” The rest is history.
The Ho Stevie! Men’s Surfing Wetsuit
The first thing we like is the name. No fluff or cyberpunk naming conventions. There’s no technobutter, graphene, or mysterious set acronyms. It is what it says on the box: a surfing wetsuit. Did we mention that it arrives in a box – a recyclable cardboard box? What a surprisingly nice touch. You open up the box and inside is a freshly minted wetsuit. The suit is constructed of neoprene – nothing fancy here. It is a surfing wetsuit and neoprene has been the material of choice for decades. But this is not just any old neoprene, it is limestone-based neoprene which has unmatched flexibility and allows you more freedom than the more rigid standard version made from petroleum.
Budget products usually rate as the worst in terms of environmental impact. Think of the fast fashion industry where clothing is made by people who earn a pittance while polluting rivers and streams out of sight, out of mind. Your $5 garment lasts a couple of months before becoming threadbare and being left to rot for decades in a tip somewhere out of sight, out of mind.
We believe in quality craftsmanship and durability. A wetsuit should last at least 5 years. The built-in obsolescence of many premium wetsuits is disgusting and explains why consumers are seeking out better alternatives. Ho Stevie! has found a niche whereby the brand creates affordable products but they don’t compromise on quality. We love disruptors like Steve Mara.
Cheap wetsuits are usually flatlocked stitched. This means that water will leak through every pinprick created by a Chinese sewing machine by a lady who can’t comprehend what getting barrelled might feel like. For her, surfing is as abstract as navigating the International Space Station is for most of us. I digress. Wetsuits where the panels are simply stitched together tend to leak – a lot. This is ok if you’re either:
Living in a place that’s not too cold
A frother who doesn’t register water temperature
Strapped for cash
Unaware of better alternatives
For everyone else, stitched wetsuits suck. Glued and taped wetsuits are much better than conventionally stitched suits. Blind stitching – where the stitch penetrates one side only – is far better than conventional penetrative stitching but requires precision equipment. What if I told you that the Ho Stevie! Men’s Surfing Wetsuit is blind stitched, glued and taped? It is. Seriously. For $199. This is ridiculous. But enough about specifications, how does the surfing wetsuit work?
Review of the Ho Stevie! Surfing Wetsuit
I chose the 3/2 model as my spring and autumn iron man outfit. I live in New Zealand where temperatures vary and the water can be ice-cream headache on Monday and sweaty by Wednesday. The Ho Stevie! surfing wetsuit is:
Flexible – it lives up to its promise
Warm – never once was I flooded by an unexpected flush of ice water
Comfortable – the suit allows easy paddling and feels great
On the first day or two the suit had quite a pungent gluey odour but this quickly dissipated. I do live in New Zealand so the suit probably spent more time in that recyclable cardboard box than it does to most locations.
I own a lot of wetsuits. From super-sustainable options by Patagonia to ultra-warm Rip Curl creations, I’m what might be considered a wetsuit aficionado. The Ho Stevie! suit ranks alongside Rip Curl and Billabong for comfort and quality. It’s a great wetsuit that is my go-to alongside my much more expensive Hurley.
Put it this way, when you have two wetsuits and one is premium and one is budget, you’ll. probably choose the premium suit even when the budget suit is dry and the premium is wet. That’s because you know the budget suit will suck in the ocean. If I had the Ho Stevie! and my O’Neill sitting next to each other in the boot of my car and someone blindfolded me in the beach carpark, I wouldn’t care which one I picked up. Blindfolded, I’d grab that wetsuit and put it on, possibly back-to-front, before fending off the hostile person who put a blindfold on me. Unless they weren’t hostile and just had a thing for guys in rubber, in car parks, in which case the whole situation becomes more complex.
I’m saying, that I love the Ho Stevie! as much as a wetsuit priced 3x more. That’s probably all I need to say. Except: Ho Stevie!
We made it our mission to design a WARM, STRETCHY, and DURABLE surfing wetsuit for the lowest price point possible.
The warmer your wetsuit is, the longer you can stay out surfing.