Early November the phone rings, it's our friends film maker Spencer Frost & photographer Guy Williment. They tell us, Russia is calling.

"February / March gets the largest ground swells with offshore winds historically, that's our best chance. Letty & Fraser are in, Anton is ready and waiting in Russia - can we make it happen this season?"

Panic immediately sweeps the office knowing that Christmas + Chinese New Year are rapidly approaching, both of these holidays shut down our manufacturing. Ontop of that we are faced with a global wetsuit material/manufacturing shortage due to covid 19 plus enormous delays in freight globally all of which added to the time pressures.

We rally the team at our office that week, to decide if we take a shot knowing this is our window otherwise we would have to wait another year. Facing 1'C degree waters with -20'C degree air temps was unchartered territory for us and a chance to try new thermals, improve materials and update our fit. The result would become the prototype for the FREEDOM STEAMER.

In 4 weeks a set of custom suits arrive. Letty & Fraser immediately do a round of ice bath testing in Guy's garage at South Avalon. 

The next day we called our production manager with feedback and requested the final versions of the suits hoping they would arrive before the team leave.

With a few days to spare the updated wetsuits arrive & the boys head off on a 60-day adventure to the far east of Russia putting our wetsuits to the most extreme of tests imaginable...snow covered beaches, gale force winds and lineups littered with floating chunks of ice. 

We took all the learnings, feedback and testing from this trip to create the current collection of FREEDOM STEAMERS currently available.


Watch the below edit for a look into the BTS of this all playing out.


May 11, 2023 — Mitch Avakian