Introducing the Wetsuit Brand Dedicated to Preserving Surf Culture – Wavelength Surf Magazine
Do you remember the feeling you felt the first time you walked into a surf shop?
The smell of wax and fresh neoprene. The reflection of the boards that lined the shelves. Otherworldly surf beaming on a screen overhead and the telling story of a local luminary in the corner.
Since time immemorial, the surf shop has been the earthly centerpiece of our local communities. A place to get together, swap stories and glean information about the best local banks and the chance to score them tomorrow. Somewhere to take a close look at cutting-edge new gear and get advice from the wise but skeptical owner, who’s seen more wetsuit re-designs and leash innovations than you’ve had hot dinners.
Of course, the work of the surf shop has changed quite a bit over the past few decades. Now, many specialty retailers have also developed an online branch. But their role within the community remains substantially the same. In fact, as surfing explodes into an increasingly mainstream version of itself – where fast fashion behemoths like Primark feel bold enough to throw their hats into the wetsuit-making ring – the existence of grassroots surf shops, run by surfers and filled with independent, surfer-owned brands is more vital than ever.
This is just one of the reasons why specialists in high-quality hardware Manera have placed them at the heart of their business model. While a growing number of watersports brands have sought to eliminate stores entirely by selling directly to their customers, Manera has gone in the complete opposite direction – becoming the only major wet brand to sell solely through specialty retailers. selected. Why? It all depends on their principles.
See, Manera is a family business – originally created as the accessories arm of the hugely popular sailing sports brand F-One, founded by Raphaël and Sophie Salles in 1994. In 2012, the couple’s son, Julien Salles, came on board as brand manager, leading Manera’s first forays into the world of wetsuits. In the early days of the business, a small network of shops and salespeople was integral to its success, with the loyalty and trust developed over those years still going strong. “That’s why we’re here today,” says Julien, “so we decided to respect that and make sure a good store never goes away.”
One of the most important examples for him is Side Shore, a physical store located in the northwest of France. They have been selling F-One and Manera since the very beginning and for Julien they represent all the ways a store can be a pillar of the community. In addition to sharing their unparalleled knowledge of the region, they organize events, manage a repair service and encourage local succession through sponsorship.
Although the brand’s approach is designed to cater to industry partners like them, it also has significant benefits for the customer. As well as ensuring that the surf shops will always be there when you need them, it’s a great way to ensure product quality. Because, rather than hiding in the brand’s warehouse waiting for an online sale, each of Manera’s products is handled and endorsed by dozens of passionate water sports shop owners around the world, who of course don’t will stock only the best for their customers. . With every Manera wetsuit, along with maximum flex, X10D fleece and thermal protection, you are committed to keeping the surf culture alive.
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Photos: Courtesy of Manera