Business news :A new Dublin-based startup aims to provide surfers with the right gear to brave the Irish weather.

Benthik Clothing New Surf Start up

For most people, the sport of surfing conjures up images of sandy beaches and sunshine. In Ireland we have a different brand of surfing, with the west coast providing some of the best cold-water surfing locations in Europe.

While the waves in Donegal and Sligo may be excellent, the weather often is not, so traditional surf clothing is not always the best option.

A new Dublin-based startup aims to provide surfers with the right gear to brave the Irish weather.
Set up by Dave Quinn last year, Benthik Clothing is currently selling its own range of hoodies and shirts for surfers online, with a series of wetsuits also due out this year.

Quinn is a surfer who also has a wealth of business experience having worked in corporate finance and gained a masters degree in business management.

With big surf brands becoming increasingly popular outside of the traditional surfing community, Quinn believes surfers have been looking for something that is more authentic.

"Over the past few years in the surf industry there has been a move away from the big brands," Quinn says. "There is a great quote from a famous surfboard shaper named Scott Bass which sums up our attitude - there is a feeling among surf enthusiasts that the surf industry stole my culture and all I got was this bumper sticker.

"There is now a move towards local brands and we noticed a void in the industry for a real cold-water surf brand that is designed and produced locally."

For Benthik Clothing, one of the most important parts of the brand was that it would have credibility among the surfing community. Quinn has been working with a number of other surfers to help design the clothing, particularly to make sure the wetsuits are right.

"Our clothing is really for surfers by surfers," says Quinn. "We have a lot of great surfers in Ireland, so we are talking to them about the suits they have and how they feel about them. There are actually more cold-water surfers in the world than warm-water surfers.

"Initially we will concentrate on Ireland and Britain but I can see there being an attraction to the products abroad."

Currently the clothing is manufactured in Britain, although Quinn hopes to gradually move operations back to Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland and Dublin City Enterprise Board have both supported the company.

( Source  by Philip Connolly the Sunday Business

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