Meet Shane Jones… a.k.a. Jonesea (Pronounced “Jones + Sea”). Shane is a bonafide wetsuit wizard. He can make anything out neoprene – and we mean anything. From your classic fullsuit to custom, colorful warm-water regalia. You dream it, he’ll make it – with his own two hands. In fact, that’s all he does. He makes wetsuits and nothing but wetsuits full-time… 24/7/365.
Shane started Jonesea Wetsuits about 7 years ago after putting in 15 years working for a well-known Orange County wetsuits label. Crafted with the skill set of a high-end tailor, Jonesea’s suits are stitched, sewn, and glued entirely by the man himself. Cruise through his Southern Californian “Creation Station” and you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of colors and shred-worthy textiles. Just make sure you have an appointment! Shane’s creativity both in the studio and in the line-up sets him apart as he routinely crafts (and surfs) some of the worlds most uniquely epic one-off wetsuits….
To celebrate the launch of our GRATEFUL DEAD™ collection in true Sanuk fashion, we enlisted Jonesea to bring his signature funk in the most fun way possible: a custom, aptly-themed suit and smile-filled slide session. We caught up with the one-man-band in his mojo dojo to talk shop, go behind-the-seams and understand the method behind the radness…
Q: Wetsuits… How the heck did you get into making wetsuits in the first place?
JONESEA: Well, I worked as a salesman at a surf shop that made custom suits. One day the boss came up to me and said the Tailor quit and I was the new tailor. I said, “I don’t know how to make suits.” He said, “figure it out!” I remember gluing my first suit and it took me 9 or 10 hours to glue…trying to figure out where all the pieces went was nuts. When I finished the suit, the arms and legs looked very odd bending all crazy, haha.
Q: When cutting this up you mentioned you estimated that you’ve seen the completion of 9,000 suits yourself. Give or take a few. Tell us about that journey?
JONESEA: It’s a trip going back through 15 plus years of work in my wetsuit log to add up all the suits I’ve made. I’ve made every style wetsuit imaginable from surfing and diving suits to holiday suits like Buddy the Elf, Santa, Mario and Luigi, and Shreddy Krueger. The fits range from tiny baby suits to giant suits for guys 6’9, 375lbs. Then there’s the suits made for Thom Brown that walked the Paris runway at Fashion Week…
Q: Favorite part about making custom suit for people?
JONESEA: I’d have to say taking a suit idea and making it a reality and to also build them the best fitting wetsuits they have ever owned so they can surf with ease and stay warm in style!
Q: Best part of your gig?
JONESEA: I get to do whatever I want! Being my own boss allows me to surf more, be as creative as possible, and work any hours I like, not just a 9-5.
Q: Worst part of your gig?
JONESEA: Payn’ bills! Haha JK. I don’t really have a bad part of my gig! I love what I do, so yeah…
Q: Sounds like some long hours in the “Creation Station” – How do you stay sane?
JONESEA: Some weeks I crank 100 hours to get-r-done! I stay focused and positive and surf A LOT.
Q: Surfing in your suits sort of feels akin to a shaper surfing the boards he/she makes. Tell us about the your R&D process?
JONESEA: I usually get the right tunes goin’, grab my trusty sharpie and start drawing new lines off my personal pattern of a new idea that’s been rollin’ around in my mind – or I’ll just make a completely new pattern. I keep it traditional. I do not use a computer to make any of my patterns. I use “MBP” (My Brain Power!) and knowledge! I then grab my scissors cut the new wetty out, throw my logo on it, stitch it and proceed to shred it. I tend to surf longer and harder than anyone I know, so when it holds up to the highest standard the new pattern is a go for the general public.
Q: What was the first thing that went through your head when you learned Sanuk was doing a Grateful Dead collection…
JONESEA: I was like “Duuuuuuuuuuude, no way!” I was so stoked. I love the Grateful Dead.
Q: This suit is tie-dye for! Without sharing your secrets, tell us a little about the making of?
JONESEA: I designed a pattern on the fly while the filming went down. Then I glued it and sewed it up to perfection. Watch the video… ha!
Q: What suit is next on your to-do list?
JONESEA: I do have a fat stack of custom orders I’m currently lookin’ at and it’s 10:44PM on a Monday. I do have a few other Top secret projects in the works with some companies I’m not at liberty to say…
FOLLOW @JONESEA on Instagram for more custom creations and behind the seams shredding.
SHOP the SANUK x GRATEFUL DEAD™ Collection HERE!
All Photos & Video by Adam Walker
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