Buell builds wetsuits that make surfing more fun. That’s the tagline. Pretty cool, isn’t it? That’s kind of what surfing is all about after all. Born from the old Hotline ashes out of Santa Cruz, California, founder Ryan Buell has stepped things up under his own name with this brand. They’ve got Jamie O’Brien on board. Used Ninja Neoprene for flex. And generally done some rad things. We were sent the Accelerator RB1 3/2mm steamer to test. But before we dive into the Buell Wetsuit review, here’s what they say about the suit itself online…

“While the ‘Rubber Bones’ full suit hits function and fun right on the button, the new RB1 flies under the radar, and when used strategically, can lend limitless buckets of spray to any lip that dares get in your way. Without giving up warmth that Buell Wetsuits are known for, this suit doubles down on flexibility. With its masterful blend of pliable ‘Ninja Neoprene’ coupled with ergonomic, perfectly balanced panels, the RB1 is your go-to wetsuit that keeps the crowd gasping as your spray extends to the heavens…”

Righto. Let’s see how the 3/2mm version of the Buell RB1 wetsuit itself stacks up…

Buell RB1 Wetsuit Review

Chest Zip Entry

Utilizing a cross-over pattern and snap-tight outer flap making the entry a tight seal.

Ninja Neoprene

with Ultraspan flex-fabric on the exterior

Sizzle Seams

Triple glued and blind stitched seams with power-lite seam seal


The Buell RB1 wetsuit is good for people wanting an alternative to the major brands while still having years of wetsuit making experience behind it. It’s also full of fun. Think smiley faces printed on the internals of the knees, a cheeky spiel printed inside the chest, and other details that keep you in a stoke frame of mind. The rubber is stretchy. The liquid taped seams are gooey. The fit wraps around you like cellophane on a drug mule’s cargo. If you’re talking technicalities like water temps, then 14-18 degrees C is a great window. West Oz winters. Bells Beach autumns. Santa Cruz summers.



Snug as a pug in an ugg. The fit of the Buell RB1 Wetsuit is bang on, curving where it needs to curve, flexing where it needs to flex and cupping where it needs to cup. Comfort wise the neoprene is ultra soft on the inside, so it adds a plush feel to a stealth look. The liquid tape seams can be a touch too tight in some spots to start, but they loosen up after the first surf. Overall a very solid score from our judges. Many thumbs up. 9 out of 10 here.


This is where the Buell RB1 Wetsuit surprised like a clown popping out of a sewer pipe. Scary good. Liquid tape seams often put me off when I see them. The seal is great but they can be stiff (especially when they’re chubby like on the RB1). But, when the show got on the road, this thing stretched and spun wherever I wanted, proving that if you do seams right and match them with the right neoprene you can have the best of both worlds. An impressive 8.5 out of 10 for a debut performance


Like you’re cooking with electricity. Not as hot as gas but it still does the trick. Considering the flex performance of the RB1 the warmth is a good balance. Think warmer than the Quiksilver Mikey Wright Highline Steamer, but not as warm as the certified bakers like the Xcel. I’d like to see what this kind of suit is like with a full thermal lining to see if you can fit a few more pies in the oven though. Otherwise, the solid closure and solid seams provide good insulation. 7.5 out of 10


At around $450AUD the Buell RB1 Wetsuit presents really solid value. If you’re in Oz, you’re buying online from America so currency fluctuations make it hard to get a perfect price. If you’re in West Oz like me you’ll be paying extra shipping too. However, even then you’re getting a really high performing suit for a mid-price so you should be happy. Not as crazy value as the Need Essentials bangers, but still a very tidy dash for your cash. Go forth and shop. 8.75 out of 10.


Rather than rely just on Tim’s verdict, we’re splitting hairs and opinions for every suit tested in 2020. Here’s what the Empire Ave x Lipped rubber fetish enthusiasts club had to say about the Buell Accelerator RB1 3/2mm Steamer…

Tim said: “I’d never tested Buell suits before so didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the thing is. The fun prints and touches are great, the rubber has more flex than an Instagrammed six pack, the price is really good for what you’re getting. I have heard whispers that Buell suits don’t hold up long term so will be holding onto it for the rest of winter and plan to update here in a few months. However, after 8 weeks of solid surfing so far it still looks and feels basically new. With no major drawbacks it has to factor into your most-wanted rubber list. Not as stretchy as the Rip Curl E7, not as warm as the Xcel, but somewhere in the middle of both.”

Jimmy said: Buell backs up his high energy chatter with a beautiful premium neoprene that makes you want to surf in the suit. Fun touches and personality plus – a welcome blast of energy in a sometimes overly serious space.

Overall Rating

  • Good quality, stretchy rubber
  • Seams are solid, no leaks.
  • Hits of fun through-out
  • Availability in Oz is limited
  • US Conversion vs Store price
Fit & Comfort 90.
Performance 85.
Warmth 75.
Value 87.5.
Buy Now
Buell RB1 Wetsuit Review


If you’ve got around $450 Australian spare and we’ve convinced you to get an Buell RB1 Wetsuit, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, one of the most expensive suits out there, but if you want one of the best fitting & warmest suits out there, you’ve got to pay the piper.

Buy a Buell RB1 Wetsuit from :
⋅ Buell USA
⋅ Buell Stockists

⋅ In Oz you can find them at Sanbah (Newcastle), Onboard Industries, ZAK Surf

Alternatively, we’ve pulled together three Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guides if you’re still a little undecided on what to buy:
*Above $500
*Below $300

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If you’re driving, or reading isn’t your thing, then hit the below episode of Lipped where there’s more rubber talk than a condom convention. Featuring full reviews of suits from Billabong, Buell, Matuse, Need Essentials, Patagonia, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Xcel as well as a look inside the business of wetsuits in 2020.

Plus we crown the Best Overall, Best Performance and Best Value suits for 2020.

Image Credits for this post::
Product (and that one action shot above) Shots of the Buell RB1 Wetsuit from Buell’s website
Any other shots are shot by us.