1980's Gul Wetsuits

I've just retrieved my old wetsuits from my parents' attic. So here are a couple of photos showing how wetsuits have changed a little. The retro day-glo steamer looks pretty cool!? That said, I'm not brave enough to get out there in it and 'test the water'. (Maybe if I was a better surfer and we weren't all blown out of the water by the wind at the moment.)

I've been trying to work it out and I'm pretty sure these suits must be from roughly 1985. If anyone can help that would be useful. They may be windsurfing specific because that's what I bought them for.

The pink/turquoise/yellow one is a Gul 5/4 winter steamer. It feels like cardboard compared with current suits but, to give it a little credit, it is over twenty years old!

The red and yellow short sleeved wetsuit is a Gul 3/2 summer shorty.

I'm taking them round to Pete Robinson who said he may be interested in them for The Surfing Musem so if anyone can remember anything more about these wetsuits - let us know! I've got a feeling the winter one could have been amongst the first breed of wetsuits called 'steamers' but that may be wrong.

Regarding The Surfing Museum it's all been happening recently: charity status, approval to house the museum in Braunton and lately the news that it may get it's own, purpose built, building at Saunton Sands (I think that would be fantastic). You can follow the Surfing Museum on Facebook as well as visiting the website.


  1. Loving the day-glo suit. But don't pin those colors on windsurfing - I reckon that is pure Croyde mid eighties. In my humble opinion, it does actually look quite cool.

  2. I should have put the provenance of these wetsuits: I was working in The London Windsurfing Centre, Battersea, which then became 'Activ' (awful name!) and I bought them from the Gul rep. Peter Hart was working there. We used to windsurf at Bray Lake near Windsor (run by the shop) - he seemed shit hot on a Mistral Maui back then!

  3. hey thanks for the comment tom. very interesting. nice wetsuits too! cheers tim


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