A lot of surfers and divers don’t understand what Yamamoto neoprene really is.
When you look at all the neoprene manufacturers in the world, most make neoprene out of chloroprene foam made from foamed rubber chips. The biggest neoprene fabric manufacturers typically supply large corporations that are able to produce large volume wetsuits.
Why pay a huge premium for this kind of material?
Yamamoto takes a different approach in producing a premium neoprene product. All of their neoprene is manufactured out of limestone sourced from mountain ranges in Japan. Yamamoto neoprene boasts 99.7% water impermeability. Compared to traditional neoprene this is a much higher number. This translates in a lighter, warmer wetsuit because it doesn’t soak up water. In addition, because of the uniform / tight cell structure of the neoprene, it doesn’t break down as fast. Ever see your neoprene expose fuzzy yellow moss? Or begin to thin out with puncture wounds? That’s the super high-stretch mass-market neoprene kicking in and breaking down. Yamamoto neoprene does come at a cost, up to 2x the price of mass-market neoprene. It's important that when investing that money into a Yamamoto wetsuit that you also consider getting the best crafted and fitted wetsuit.
Mass-market neoprene isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It makes wetsuits accessible, which is something we strongly believe in. In fact, we also make our custom Japanese neoprene wetsuits accessible no matter where you are in the world.