Earlier this year, Create4, Adaptive Surfing SA and ReefSA, collaborated to call an international competition for the design of an adaptive wetsuit to be worn by surfers with disabilities. Being passionate about inclusive design, Charlotte decided to enter, and duly placed joint second!
Here, in her own words, is the well thought through rationale behind the design:
“Through my research I have found these to be some of the main challenges that amputees surfing with a prosthetic could face when it comes to current wetsuit designs:
– Difficulty getting in and out of wetsuit without removing prosthetic leg.
– Wear and tear of wetsuit that needs to stretch over heel area of the prosthetic leg.
– The fit of the lower leg panel of the wetsuit is too loose around the prosthetic leg.
My design addresses the above concerns by adding a zip on the side that opens from the ankle to knee in order to allow easy access of the prosthetic leg. By adding an extra runner of zipper teeth, the lower panel is able to taper to the prosthetic leg in order to provide a close fit. The design ensures maximum adaptability as the wearer can utilize the zip to fit his/her specific needs.”