WEST was founded in 1982 by highly regarded local surfers, Patrick Leahy and Roger Liley.

Together, they developed this much loved surfing institution on the back of quality custom wetsuits made from market leading Japanese neoprene.

The timing was perfect for two great guys making awesome wetsuits and as the surf market exploded, WEST thrived.

Thanks to Pat, I first became involved in 1984, my 2nd year on the World Tour, walking away from a lucrative sponsorship with Ripcurl- (largely because the amazing wetsuits Roger was customizing for me were a superior product) – and became a shareholder and the first global ambassador for West.

This provided the opportunity for me to foster West awareness travelling the world, whilst inspiring marketing concepts for the brand. Soon, fantastic world class surfers emerged as West people, including Matt Branson, Richard Kelly and Wayne Jaggard. They all impressed in their own right on the world tour. During the 90’s, as local production costs soared and quality manufacturing partners emerged in Asia, development of West wetsuits continued under the direction of another world class local surfer, Paul Manners. Paul’s guidance through this transition further enhanced the design and evolution of the wetsuits and core credibility grew - and the Japanese partnership remained particularly strong.

Sadly, West was lost to the industry in 2012, however, Pat was able to remain in the wetsuit game with another wetsuit manufacturer.

Now, I'm excited to announce that WEST is back!

Mitch Thorson