Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawai'i – May 24, 2007 – Xcel Wetsuits (Xcel) has been awarded the prestigious "Wetsuit of the Year" award for 2006 for their Infiniti Series wetsuits. The recognition was formally announced at the Surf Industry Manufacturer's Association (SIMA) annual industry conference in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Wetsuit of the Year, which was included in this year's award categories for the first time ever, was given, according to SIMA, "to the wetsuit at retail in 2006 that featured the most exciting design, appeal, or innovation."
The Infiniti Series represents Xcel's commitment to designing and producing high-quality performance wetsuits. Since first introducing the X-ZIP front horizontal zipper system in 1997, Xcel continues to raise wetsuit industry standards with multiple innovations as part of the complete Infiniti System.
Xcel's Infiniti Series was chosen from fellow Wetsuit of the Year nominees O'Neill Pycho II and Mutant, Rip Curl's F-Bomb, and Body Glove's Vapor wetsuits.
"As a Hawaii-based company celebrating our 25th anniversary, it's especially rewarding that the surf industry has recognized our Infiniti Series as the wetsuit of the year," says Ed D'Ascoli, president and founder of Xcel. "I'm proud of the Xcel staff dedicated to designing, producing, and delivering high-quality products that work, and our retailers who have supported us through the years. It is that dedication and our ability to stay focused on our core products which gives us the advantage over our larger competitors."
Held each year at their annual industry conference, SIMA's Image Awards "identify the surf industry's most influential companies and recognize them for their efforts to advance and grow the industry over the past year." It is the only awards program giving the surf industry the opportunity to recognize fellow surf companies for their outstanding contributions to the industry. Manufacturer's products are nominated in specific award categories, which are then reviewed by a panel of industry experts and followed by a formal vote by SIMA members, who determine the ultimate winners.
"Having SIMA officially recognize Xcel's Infiniti Series as the leading wetsuit design just validates what surfers in the industry using the Infiniti Series have been telling me all along," adds Greg Wade, Xcel's vice president of sales and marketing. "This model has been the mainstay of our line since 1997 and has always been a winner at retail. The 2006 Infiniti Series has evolved in design, comfort, performance and durability to a level that will only be topped by our 2007 Infiniti Series. I am really excited about what we have coming out this year – it keeps getting better!"
In 2006, Xcel expanded the Fusion Seam throughout the full Infiniti line, a lightweight sealed seam developed exclusively by Xcel for the Infiniti System and tested for maximum stretch and durability. Available in a variety of thicknesses for men, women, and kids, the Infiniti Series is as close to a thermal second skin as possible, while still maintaining exceptional performance.
All Infiniti wetsuits include ultra-flexible, ultra-light neoprene balancing warmth and comfort, and either X-ZIP front zipper or OS-ZIP off-set back zipper systems for greater vertical stretch.
From lighter springsuits to hooded fullsuits, Xcel continues to evolve the INFINITI Series towards the ultimate engineered fit.
About Xcel Wetsuits
Founded in 1982, Xcel Wetsuits (Xcel) is a global independent wetsuit brand distributed throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim. Headquartered on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawai'i, Xcel's core wetsuit business focuses on the cutting edge of material and design development. Since 1986, Xcel has produced the annual Xcel Pro surf contest, a 4-Star Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) event.
In addition to its North Shore office, Xcel operates two retail stores on Oahu and a warehouse/repair facility in California. Xcel's primary markets include surf, UV protection, dive, wakeboard, and paddle. To learn more about Xcel, please visit www.xcelwetsuits.com <http://xcelwetsuits.com>