Written by:Charles Taylor

Published: August 8, 2023

Harnessing Athlete Insights to Shape the Future of Sports

We get it. Whether it’s climbing & biking, sailing & skiing or running, we want to perform at our best and have a great time doing it.

Our love of sport in the Realise team extends into who we are as designers; we love helping performance brands change the game through effective product design. We believe this is only possible when you understand performance products.

How can your product improve performance, yet remain usable? What about longevity versus cost? What technology needs to be integrated, versus its environmental impact?

The right design team will help you find the opportunities and unique balances within these equations. Here’s three examples…

Callum: Cyclist Turned Designer, Who Knows the Details Matter in Sports Product Design

Our in-house cycling enthusiast Callum, can spot even the most minor details or issues with his bike, that normal people miss. He instinctively knows that a bike is an extension of the athlete and, therefore, loves rebuilding and fettling a bike to find the perfect set up that works without compromise. Exactly the kind of person you want to design sports equipment, with his eye for detail translating into his design work, he always seeks to enhance product performance no matter the industry.

“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” – John Howard, Cyclist.

Andrew: The pioneer behind Hedkayse – Redefining Head Protection with Advanced Material Development

Impact protection products need very high-performing materials to absorb and disperse large forces, ideally with durability, longevity, and resistance to wear and tear.

When Andrew designed Hedkayse, the development of a new impact-resistant material became the key foundation of both the product and the business.

The new design of helmet required a revolutionary multi-impact material that absorbs impact better than EPS (the traditional cycle helmet material), optimsed to work at real world temperatures (unlike all other foams we tested). Years of development and redesign resulted in the revolutionary impact material, now called Enkayse, which is protecting cyclists and other sportspeople better than any other product on the market.

”I don’t aspire to be like other drivers – I aspire to be unique in my own way.” – Lewis Hamilton, F1 Champion.

Sam: Safety-First Sports Gear – Expert Insights For Risk-Managed Climbing

When you are halfway up a rock face looking for your next safety spot to place your Cam, the last thing you want is a dodgy spring. One loose rock away from death, you need complete confidence in the equipment you use! Paramount in sports, robust equipment should include safety features to minimise injuries and give athletes peace of mind as they push the limits of human sporting ability.

Some elements we sometimes need to consider are fractional tolerances, production quality checks, padded protection, reinforced impact zones, or anti-slip components. Our resident climber Sam, who puts his trust on the weekends into his equipment, is always on the lookout for ways to reduce risk in the products we develop. By giving every one of our products his eye of approval, he finds confidence in the quality of products we create have had the same level of care taken in their development.

“I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” – Simone Biles, American Gymnast

The Realise Team: Experiencing the Role of Sports Gear in Achieving Your Peak Performance – Together.

We’re not just passionate individuals, but a team who live and breathe this together. With sports equipment, form does follow function, but function follows the need to enjoy the outdoors and grow through physical challenge. Motivations really matter.

So as a team, we go to places like the mountains, firstly, to create shared understanding. When we’ve seen each other’s struggles and wins, and physically felt the connection between skis, bindings and boots, we then know what “comfortable and intuitive” really means in that context. Ski boots with blisters anyone?

“I’ve learned throughout my career that having the right sports gear, especially when it’s ergonomic and comfortable, can give you that extra edge and allow you to perform at your absolute best.” – Lindsey Vonn, Olympic Gold Medalist Skier.

Secondly, we spend time outdoors to renew our connection and commitment to its wellbeing, as at Realise, we are determined to support the sports industry by creating more sustainable products.

Our Positive Products process is built on circular economy principles, with learnings from 20 years developing commercial products, to harness your purpose into driving the best possible outcome for your business, society and the planet…

Because we are all in this together.

“Incredibly they still deny climate change. Think I’d rather take my chances with Sir David and scientists the world over than folk with no evidence and zero qualifications on the subject.” – Gary Lineker, Presenter & Ex England Footballer.

In Summary: Your business’s success is directly linked to the expertise of your design partner.

In creating successful new ‘earth-friendly’ sports products, early creativity and direction setting is vital. But so too is creatively embedding design expertise right through to delivery and commercialisation.

The right design partner brings deep understanding of your market, with the expertise in bringing new direction to life, effectively connecting your brand, customers, and technical requirements seamlessly to deliver results for your business.

Want this, call us; we would love to help!

Ready to go? Let’s get started.

0117 325 9100 | info@realisedesign.co.uk

Inspired to get creating?…

You may also like…

Smart Textiles

Smart Textiles

Smart Textile technology has the potential to deliver solutions to modern-day social challenges and future lifestyle trends. With multiple big-tech companies patenting a series of Smart Textile products, where do the opportunities lie, and what challenges do we need to be aware of? These examples highlight the developing integration of this technology into mass-market products.

We’ve grown (again)

We’ve grown (again)

What a year (or so) it has been! Here at Realise we’ve been keeping our shoulders to the wheel and tackling challenges with a number of new faces – adding some strings to our bow.