The first piece of rubber I ever got was a size M surf suit from Blackstyle. When I got it, it fitted quite ok but over the last 2 ½ year I got a bit beefier around the chest and shoulders and sadly a bit wider around the belly. I also got used to color on my latex pieces and since an all-black cat suit as a basic piece is planned to come in 2014 I decided to get myself a new surf suit.
With money being a bit tight as a student (I know I should spend less on toys and more on gear) I looked for alternatives to the great yet more expensive German manufacturers. Rubberbob.co.uk was recommended to me by a bunch of my British Twitter followers. They told me he made basic pieces in good quality for great prices. When I first visited his website I was kind of… surprised by the layout and product pictures. Apparently the website is 13 years old. But if the quality of his products is up-to-date I do not really care about the business’ public appearance. Clicking through his offering I found that surf suits are called “Andy Style” and that you can e-mail them for custom modifications. So I got in touch with him in late October asking about a surf suit with a yellow zipper, two yellow stripes and yellow piping in 0.6mm black latex. As expected due to his focus on basic pieces the colored zipper and the piping weren’t possible. Due to the upcoming Christmas season I didn’t pursue getting a new surf suit any further.
On Wednesday I had a friend over for tea, put him into my rubber surf suit and he loved the look and the feel of rubber yet didn’t want to spend as much on his first piece as I did. Meanwhile I made plans to attend a rubber U35 piss party at the beginning or March in Karlsruhe which gave me a reason to get a new surf suit. So today I got in touch again with Bob this time asking if I could get two yellow stripes on the side and 5 instead of 3 runners on the zipper. He replied that the suit is made out of 0.45mm rubber, only comes with one yellow stripe and that no additional runners can be added. Since runners are easily added in Germany and I can live with one stripe I inquired if I could get the suit made out of 0.6mm rubber for of cause a higher price. He replied that he wishes me best of luck in finding a manufacturer that would match my requirements which left my kind of puzzled: Maybe I am spoiled by the waste amount of options I get offered for example when I am at RubAddiction, Rubber Factory or Blackstyle but simply taking a thicker rubber sheet and charging more for it is in my opinion not a crazy or difficult to fulfill task. So in the end I will probably keep my Blackstyle surf suit or turn to China and see if they are as good or as bad (depending on the source) as the internet claims they are.