It all starts from the material chosen for a Likon wetsuit, the Yamamoto 45, which is considered the best possible neoprene for spearfishing wetsuits. Francesco Baviera, founder of Likon, has decided to work only with the highest quality to produce what he believes is his best possible offer for spearfishing, and not only, tailor-made wetsuits. We have analyzed in the past standard and tailor-made wetsuits. Let’s now talk about Likon!

The birth of the company

On the 4th of October 2014 Monkey Sub is born, based in Rome, Italy, thanks to the passion of its founder, Francesco Baviera. Recently the name has been changed to Likon for a number of reasons, but the company is still the same one. Today, Likon is definitely among the best manufacturers of high quality tailor-made wetsuits, spearfishing in primis, but moving also to the surf and kite surf sectors and beyond.

Top quality first

We know that on the market there are many neoprene manufacturers, such as Jako, Sheico, Daiwabo and, of course Yamamoto. Among these, the best quality is given, in general, by Yamamoto, and in particular by Yamamoto 45 neoprene. This neoprene guarantees elasticity and softness, great thermal insulation and reduced squeezing effect under the pressure of the water.

In my opinion Yamamoto 45 is the best neoprene for spearfishing wetsuits. It works great both in shallow and deep water. That is why I only work with Yamamoto 45 neoprene, be it smooth open-cell or lined open-cell. Not only. Yamamoto company utilizes a 100% limestone material to produce the neoprene, which means a natural material that needs a very limited quantity of solvents, definitely lower than in oil based neoprene. This solution determines that the Yamamoto neoprene is highly hypoallergenic, and so much better for the skin of the diver, in contact with the open cell for hours. Yamamoto neoprene has a special smell, which is much more delicate than oil based neoprenes, and can in fact, with some experience, be recognized”, comments Baviera.

The production process

From measures to the paper

“Weather I take the measures myself or ask the customer to do it, I always check everything with him or her on the phone, so I am able to be sure that the final numbers are correct. It takes at least one whole day of work from the measures to the ready for delivery Likon wetsuit. If the wetsuit is camo, then time needed is even more, also due to the fact that colour needs to be applied one day in advance so that it dries perfectly”, says Francesco.

From the measures the wetsuit is transported to paper. Some basic shapes are the same, but depending on the sizes of the customer they are adapted. The head being the most complex part, as the spearo moves it constantly, also putting on and taking off the snorkel, and so the neck and chin are definitely stressed. The neck must adhere to the skin, but not compress it of course, while the chin must stay in position without slipping off down the neck or pulling too much on the skin.

“Some manufacturers utilize a thinner band around the face and the chin area, so the neoprene is more elastic and adapts more easily. I do not chose such solution, but aim to having a perfect fit without changing the thickness of the neoprene. The final measures of the wetsuits come also from the shrinkage coefficient of the neoprene. This is the key to all the work, as it determines, in connection with the measures, the correct adherence of the wetsuit to the body, without exceeding”, comments Baviera.

From paper to neoprene

The paper parts drawn are then cut using a cutter with disc blade. The Yamamoto 45 neoprene sheet, of the thickness chosen by the customer, is then positioned on a table and the paper models are laid on it. With a liquid chalk pencil the shapes of the paper parts are reproduced on the neoprene sheet.

Once this is done, the neoprene parts are cut, once more utilizing the cutter with a circular disc.

The two sides of the head are cut to specific measures to perfectly adapt to the head of the spearo, while the central part remains more or less unchanged.

Gluing process

No need to say that the gluing of the neoprene elements is key for the resistance and the duration in time of the Likon wetsuit, especially if it is a smooth open-cell solution. For what concerns the open-cell lined neoprene wetsuits, these of course are bonded together also utilizing the seams.

I have experienced that on the smooth open-cell neoprene wetsuits a double layer of bi-component glue is key. Especially in time, this solution lasts much longer and helps to resist to sun and sea water. I could simply add more glue in one single passage, saving a lot of time, but the result would not determine the same top quality of the bonding. Every connection needs a strip of glue on top of the line of connection to protect at best the bonding”, says Baviera.

So the process of gluing sees Francesco first prepare the bicomponent glue, keeping the temperature in his studio at a correct level. Then each neoprene part is treated on its borders with the glue and kept drying for a certain period. After that, Francesco passes another layer of glue on all the borders of every piece, in a long and precise production process. This needs the correct timing to bond together different neoprene parts, while others are drying up.

Wrists, ankles, face and jacket profiles

Once all parts are glued together, the details as the profiles of wrists, ankles and face need to be made and glued to the wetsuit. Francesco utilizes externally lined neoprene borders, that he makes starting from a band of open-cell lined neoprene. He can also use smooth open-cell neoprene. The bands are glued on the internal open-cell surface and then sewn to close the circle which makes the shape of the contour. These parts with a circular shape are then glued to the arms, legs and face of the wetsuit.

Chest pad, lower jacket and finishes

Likon always positions the chest pad internally to the wetsuit, gluing the additional layer of neoprene to the open-cell internal surface of the chest. Such solution partially fills the space between the pectorals of the spearo and is also neater externally.

The lower part of the jacket has an externally lined neoprene, but keeps all around internally the open cell surface, which helps the water tight effect between the pants and the jacket. Only the beaver tail is made with a double lined neoprene.

In line with the high quality of a Likon wetsuit, the triple joint areas of the neoprene parts, such as underarms, rear of the knees, groin and neck, are reinforced with neoprene “buttons”.


The pisette is an important element for a top quality wetsuit, and key for thermal insulation and, of course, keeping oneself and the wetsuit clean. The base factor is to position the pisette at the right height.

The logo

The Likon wetsuit made during the production process we followed step by step has been the one of Roberto Poggioli, our first category and Italian Team spearfishing athlete. So, of course, the Apneapassion logo had to be placed on the wetsuit, chest and right leg. A special matrix is made by an external company. Such matrix with its frame is positioned on a base that keeps the neoprene sheet to be logoed still. A special paint is pressed with a spatula and a thin layer, which quickly dries, passes through the small holes on the matrix and is printed on the wetsuit.

Final result

The Likon wetsuit produced, with Apneapassion logo, is finally a top quality, Yamamoto 45, perfectly designed, warm and comfortable product. In fact, the cut will be perfect even on our Roberto Poggioli, who with his big chest and big arms cannot surely fit well in a standard wetsuit. The Yamamoto 45 is amazingly soft, but at the same time warm and the squeeze effect is extremely reduced even at high depths. The only great care that must be taken in to avoid too much soap under the chest once the jacket is worn. This is necessary to prevent that in the loading phase of the speargun it tears the neoprene due to a slide of the latter on the skin of the chest.