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Images by: Frank Rocco

Man, you’ve got to get on beach time. I was craving it by the end of Fall/Winter Fashion Week 2017, a little break, and my prayers were answered. A quick text from my editor, I flipped on my sunnies, and I hopped on a train to SoHo. It was the launch party for Body Glove’s newest line, and it was beyond chill. I walked up the stairs to a loft knocked back an IPA, and it was one of those May afternoons at Long Beach when all the seniors cut class early and the waves were just perfect. Peter, whom you should totally hit up for surf lessons, wobbled his foam board on the balance ball, and Connor popped back flips, just because. There was a frisbee being tossed around and someone was talking about capoeira and Dan Inosanto, and that’s how I met Jordan. Manny bounced into the conversation and we were off. Some of the girls were teaching Swedish, some were doing handstands.

Everyone was happy, and it was all thanks to Body Glove. Well, alright, maybe the tacos and open bar had something to do with it too. No, you know what, it was Body Glove. They just made it feel like family. Yes, even sixty years after two brothers invented the wetsuit, the company who carries on their legacy is still family owned and dude, they’re a welcoming family. Nick gave me the grand tour right off the bat, passing along the catalog and running around the Snowgear with a smile. Wearing the same blue-yellow pinny and peach board shorts as everyone else, he was living the life he preached.

So this year, there are two new additions to that life, mainly. Body Glove’s Snowgear, their first foray into winter sports, fuses decades of craft experience with a new industry-shake-up perspective to soar up slopes of success. At at time when most active wear companies are lining up zany cubist patterns on top of reflector patches on top of Gore-Tex, Body Glove is bringing the form-fit, flexible design of the wetsuit to down jackets. The straight-sewn fur collars and double-thick pattern add just a splash of style, tasteful style. It’s that big air at Torino or Zurich style.

The second thing they’re doing new is to improve on the wave of success they’ve been riding since day one: the wetsuit. Neoprene is still the base, of course, because it’s waterproof and uber-insulating, but it has draw backs. If you’ve ever slid your hand over it and got that velcro-static feeling, you’ll know what I’m talking about. That’s friction man, and that can slow you down or throw you off balance. But when you coat neoprene in a secret-patented slick shellac and throw on a poly-zinc rust-resistant zipper from YYK, now you’ve got no friction. Now you’re the poster child for that sunset ukiyo-e baby, and you glide through the water like a natural, and you look good doing it.

Body Glove’s ecosystem of products does make it possible to deck yourself out to the max, but you don’t need to buy everything to get the full effect. The must haves if you plan to log some serious seaside hours this summer are the block-lined board shorts and athletic tops. As long as you like uptempo colors, you’ll find a style you like, I guarantee. Their waterproof sneakers are built for the beach, and they grip the sand while giving your feet free reign and connection with the earth, so unless you’re already completely set below the calves you should give them a look. I wasn’t as impressed by the glasses, but then again I’m coming from an environmentally friendly start-up where that’s all we did, so take that with a grain of salt.

I gotta tell you, I wish I could have stayed. There was a slideshow set to The Drums and a porch with hammocks. Hammocks, in SoHo. Even the security guy Leo was nice, but this was the end of fashion week, and that meant that I could finally start my real vacation. I had a lot of important things to not do, you see, and a house that was calling my name. I got everyone’s number, though, and we’ll all see each other over the summer. It’s gonna be lit.