North Coast Wetsuits, NCW for short, is a British homegrown original brand. They are fully independent and specialise in wetsuits and associated watersports and surfing products. Along with a great range of dry bags suitable for outdoor adventurers. NCW is a small independetly family run business that was started back in 2004.
North Coast Wetsuits – a family run surf shop & wetsuit business.
‘Back then as avid players in the sea, and with a long background in business, NCW could see a gap in the market for a local brand offering quality at a fair price. We design and import all our own branded stock lines and work with a number of long established outsourced contract manufacturers. These are industry leaders.’
‘However, this offers us guaranteed levels of service and quality. Don’t believe all the hype. Nearly all the known surf brands outsource. They don’t have their own factories.’
Quality speaks for itself.
‘North Coast Wetsuits products speak for themselves. We don’t waste huge sums of money on advertising and marketing. Word of mouth has been a big part of our success. And, because we sell directly to the user you are not paying for the retailer markup. We have been selling successfully on eBay and Amazon for many years.
Furthermore, on eBay we currently have considerable positive feedback scores. We feel that speaks volumes about our product and customer service. If you don’t want to buy online or want to try a few things on then pop into our wetsuit showroom and surf shop, The Rubber Shack,‘ Based in North Cornwall where we sell direct too.,
North Coast Wetsuits history.
‘Small Is Beautiful’ – an article by Peter Crisp taken from The Link Magazine (Winter 2014).
North Coast Wetsuits is a small business run in North Cornwall. The business is driven by the passion of Mark Graham and his family for all things aquatic. NCW was founded in 2004 as a result of Mark discovering the joys of surfing. Until that time Mark had thought surfing for him would be unattainable.
‘This was mainly because I wasn’t in great shape physically as the result of a severe motorcycle accident back in 1994 in France. I’d like to point out the accident was not my fault. I was taken out by another biker on a FJ1200 who rode right into me. Two big heavy powerful bikes coming together didn’t end well. The other guy was fine. I wasn’t and spent 3 months in a drug induced sleep in a hospital in France and some time in a central London. Eventually awoke from that sleep. I had many issues to overcome.’
Getting back to it!
‘Due to the accident, I was wheelchair-bound for a number of years. Even after moving to Cornwall in 2003, when I was out of the wheelchair and walking around slowly again, I didn’t think I’d be fit enough to surf. Along with many other ongoing problems, the biggest one that I felt would stop me surfing was that I had had all my stomach muscles surgically removed. I had to wear an abdominal support all the time and still do even now twenty years later.’
‘My neighbour, Steve, here in Cornwall became a good friend. Steve was then a very keen and experienced surfer. He was confident that I might be able to surf as a wetsuit is physically quite supportive, as is the water. He was dead right. I found that a snug fitting wetsuit acted in a similar way to my support. Thanks to Steve’s encouragement, I braved the waves and had a great time.’
A slow learning curve.
It was a slow learning curve but Mark eventually got fitter and slowly got the hang of it. While getting into the surfer’s world, he spotted a business opportunity. ‘Business is always in the back of my mind. I started my first when I was seventeen. I have been self employed for all but two of my forty six years.’
‘When I went to find my first proper wetsuit I was astounded by the price of a decent suit. No one would do local discounts. And even if you had a fistful of dollars, no one would give you a good deal. At that point, I thought, there’s a niche here.’ For this reason, Mark started to investigate the possibilities of supplying good quality wetsuits at a lower price. Again, it was a good friend living in Canada who serendipitously introduced Mark to his local Canadian brand. They were attractively priced and the exchange rate at that time was favourable.
‘We did a little deal, bought a little stock and boom, we started NCW. Then we called the company North Coast Wetsuits as a tribute to this area that we have come to love and feel as our home. After a few years, we began to realise that the Canadian company’s range of suits and accessories wasn’t big enough or quite right for our needs. So we decided to go into the design business ourselves.’
The NCW ethos.
The company’s ethos is summed up: Adopt Adapt Evolve. NCW came up with its own range of designs following feedback from other surfers. Polzeath based Richie Smith also helped. Through a process of trying different ideas and sampling North Coast Wetsuits created a wide variety of wetsuits and accessories for both adults and children. In fact, we put a great deal of emphasis on our children’s kit.’
‘After being in business for 9 years with all of the transactions being done online, an opportunity arose at Wadebridge Storage. A little space where locals and visitors could come in and see our range. We didn’t want the hassle of running a full-time shop. So to have a little showroom and office here where some of our stock was securely stored, was an ideal solution.’
‘In fact, it’s been good to get the business out of our home. And a pleasure to meet the people coming in looking for a good deal on a wetsuit. The big advantage to the customers, of course, is that they get to try on the gear and make sure it’s the right fit before they commit.’
Adopt, Adapt, Evolve – our catchphrase….
‘All our products are manufactured to the highest quality and specification. They are developed and tested in the water with the help of our sponsored riders. Proper feedback from proper surfers. Who put forward their ideas and put their own spin on our prototypes. You can see a selection of videos showing NCW wetsuits being put their paces below’
‘Moreover, we use both local riders and also international riders to test and help develop our products. In summary, evolution is a critical part of our design process.’
What sets us apart?
Technical Info: ‘Our products are designed specifically for frequent use in cold waters. like ours here in Unlike many other inferior brands which are designed for occasional use in warmer seas. All NCW product is made using high grade, high stretch neoprene. Do not confuse our products with low quality wetsuits made with inferior quality materials.’
Warranty: ‘North Coast Wetsuits is very confident in the quality of our products. If you buy any of our products and just decide you just don’t like it we will offer a full refund (excluding postage). However, this is a very rare thing. Customer satisfaction is a big part of what we are about. If you buy something and it’s the wrong size we will exchange it for you with no problem. To avoid getting the wrong size please let us help you decide what size you need and make sure to give us accurate information. As we sell direct, at below majority retail prices, you will have to cover all additional postage costs on returned items.’
Terms of sale: ‘All our wetsuits, watersports equipment and dry bags come with a one year return to base guarantee against any manufacturing faults, however, all items must be cared for in the appropriate manner. If any item seems faulty return it to us for inspection and replacement.’
North Coast Wetsuits continuing evolution.
North Coast Wetsuits continues to evolve. From simply dealing in quality rubber to now supplying a whole raft and choice watersports hardware we don’t stand still. The constantly changing face of watersports and action sports necessitates this.
In summary, NCW’s core offering will always be quality wetsuits. But we now deal with a wide array of other products including:
- windsurfing equipment
- stand up paddle boards
- diving & spearfishing
- wild swimming
- adventure racing
- outdoor adventure gear
Furthermore NCW’s sister website, Foilshop UK focuses on the new school discipline of flying above water. And there’s always something new in the pipeline watch this space… If you have any questions about any aspect of North Coast Wetsuits please get in contact.