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Erin Ashley by Alex Swanson

Nihonshu and Reunion Wetsuits with Ryo Yokota

Doing an interview is always awkward, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Some people talk way too much. Some people barely talk. But, in my case, Ryo was the perfect balance: humble, passionate and interesting. Every time I tried asking a question about himself or his company, he quickly changed the subject to ask me a question about myself. I almost felt like I was the one being interviewed, so I let it go and decided to just enjoy the moment instead. I don’t need to do a proper sit-down interview with the founder of Reunion Wetsuits, Ryo Yokota, to know and understand what the brand’s values are. A dinner will do.

Reunion Wetsuits is a Japanese wetsuit company that is located in Tokyo and California. To my own surprise, Ryo grew up surfing in Japan, without any intention of making a career out of surfing. Once in college, Ryo became friend with a wetsuit company owner whom offered him a part-time job. This new job allowed him to get a good glimpse at the surf industry and go explore a new career opportunity. He quickly realized that he didn’t like big logos on wetsuits—for him, big logos were all about ego. Ryo wanted to create cool wetsuits as humble as he is, with small logos that you can barely see, exactly like Reunion Wetsuits. “Dream came true, right?”, he added, laughing, while sipping on his sake.

Now being recognized by bigger brands in the surf industry while doing collaboration with brands such Volcom, Stance and Brixton, Ryo doesn’t seem to understand that his company is now a reference in the industry. Even pro surfers go to him directly to get custom wetsuits. He is the maker of some of the best wetsuits on the market and let’s be honest—it’s not something easy to achieve.

So, why should you choose Reunion Wetsuits if not for Ryo’s beautiful personality? The quality. The comfort. The experience. Same as shaping, you don’t only get a surfboard or a wetsuit, you’re getting a lifelong relationship with someone that you’ll trust entirely for your surf needs. Ryo is the man to trust. And if you’re still not sure, you should ride a wave with him at San Onofre, San Clemente (his favourite surf spot) and you’ll quickly understand that he is the one.

Learn more from Reunion Wetsuits:
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