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Founder Origin Story – Born in the water – Ryan Buell

1997 in Santa Cruz California, Ryan Buell made his first wetsuit. He had help from the wetsuit factory workers who gave him advice along the way like “Don’t forget to triple glue each side” and “overlap the compressions all the way down each seam”. When he action tested that first suit for the first time, He felt the cold Santa Cruz ocean water enter into a few areas, where he may have forgotten to compress the glued seams properly, or maybe he didn’t wait long enough before assembling the suit together? or maybe the blind stitch went too deep into the neoprene, causing the suit to leak. He took that suit back into the factory in order to understand what went wrong? He called that ‘wetsuit forensics. He found out that it was a little bit of everything. More time, more care, and more practice were needed. His pursuit to make the best wetsuit had begun. When he decided that starting his own wetsuit company and building his own wetsuit factory was the best way to achieve that, that’s what he did, starting Buell wetsuits in 2009. He pioneered private label wetsuits with clients like Volcom, RVCA, Rusty, Reef, and Oakley. He made all of Shaun Barney Barrons’ famous superhero wetsuits, he’s made wetsuits for 2 world champions, and even designed the suits you saw in the blockbuster movie hunger games catching fire. Ryan also created his own pattern-making process and was ultimately able to combine patterns, logos, specifications, and construction notes into one easy-to-manage digital file. This method has been very successful and allowed the brand to keep its product consistent and high quality. Fast forward to today, where he’s designing wetsuits for longtime friend and WSL competitor Nat Young, as well as Dane Reynolds and his new Subdivision series. Ryan says that this year’s Jamie O’Brien JOB! 4.0 model Impact wetsuit is the best design of his storied career. The suit has already been credited with saving numerous surfers’ lives, who now swear by it. The newest versions are customizable, with removable floatation and padding. Making this the everyday suit for hard chargers. Like J.O.B., who uses his long sleeve spring Impact wetsuit nearly every day at the famed Pipeline. Then there’s Travis Payne, who uses his Hooded 5/4mm version in the rugged, big wave-rich area of Mavericks, in Northern California. Both have credited the newest Impact suits as “saving their a$$” numerous times.


Buell wetsuits – Warm the World – Our Mission statement

Our purpose is to design, create, innovate, and provide the best wetsuits in the world. We Keep it real by supporting our athletes, employees, and brand along the way. We intend to provide value to our customers while using our own values to head in the right direction.


Buell Vision statement

We value research and Development. All our products are rigorously tested before being released. We intend to provide a product that both enhances and encourages surfing as a source of incredible fun (:  We are family-friendly, eco-friendly, people-friendly, and all-inclusive. We are a long-term, legacy brand with plans to be around for a long time.  


Buell slogans

“Born in the water” “In it for life”  “Keepin’ it real”  “My Buell”  “We’ve got your back”  “Warm the world”


Founder note: Ryan Buell, a former beach lifeguard, and waterman who’s risked his own life to rescue others, takes extra pride and satisfaction in his designs helping fellow surfers and professional athletes feel safer in big surf and potentially even save their life.

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