LA-based startup Carapace uses algorithms to make custom-fit wetsuits that won’t break the bank

Wetsuits are a necessity for all-season water sports athletes, but they’re also famously uncomfortable. They never fit just right in the legs or in the crotch, and more often than not, they’re simply too tight. But that might not be the case for much longer if Carapace Wetsuits has its way. The burgeoning California-based company takes a very different approach to designing and crafting wetsuits for athletes of all shapes and sizes. Carapace takes custom measurements from every customer, and handcrafts each wetsuit to order so it fits perfectly.

Carapace Wetsuits is based in Los Angeles, but the company’s design ideas all come from a basic understanding of affordability. Wetsuits can be a big investment, so mass produced items that don’t fit well can feel like a waste – and an uncomfortable one at that. Professional athletes pay big bucks for custom-designed wetsuits, but not every amateur or aspiring athlete has that luxury. Carapace wetsuits range from $265 to almost $600, and each one is custom fitted, made to order, and hand-sewn by a tailor.

The process takes about three weeks from start to finish. With an online account, users are walked through a fitting process that prompts them to provide a total of twelve body measurements. Carapace then uses algorithmic CAD software to turn every set of measurements into a custom wetsuit pattern. In the weeks that follow, the pattern is printed, cut, and sewn together by hand by a professional tailor. The company’s proprietary software is the key to keeping prices low, since the skilled labor traditionally required to create custom patterns by hand is all taken care of by Carapace’s sizing algorithm.

Carapace started with humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project in 2013, but they have been completely self-funded since then. They’ve sold over 600 custom wetsuits since their official launch, and Carapace has announced plans to expand to custom women’s suits next. In the future, Carapace may even be able to adapt their algorithmic CAD technology to create custom fitted rescue gear for military personnel and government officials.

Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Mobile

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Giveaways

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.
Deals

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.