Our hardened surf-board socks were born out of need. After one too many dents and scratches we thought it was high time to enhance the humble board sock, to design a sock with more protection for our boards and more consideration for our planet.
One Scratch too Many
We knew we were starting with a real problem, both of our boards still bear the scars of being let down by existing surf socks. The bottom line was that as much as we loved the feel and aesthetic of a sock, they just didn't stack up in the critical moments when protection was needed most. We all love our boards, but even the best of us scrape them against walls and get butterfingers from time to time.
Seeing A Pattern
So one thing was clear - more protection needed. The question was where? After chatting with fellow surfers over a cold beer, a couple of online polls and a few conversations out back, the answer was becoming clear. In every instance, damage was occurring at the nose, tail and along the rails - the most exposed aspects of a board. These high damage zones became our ‘Critical Areas’ and central to our design.
Time For A Change
We’ve designed a hardened sock that puts emphasis on protecting these critical areas by using an impact resistant foam. Then pairing this with an elastic, abrasion resistant fabric our bags offer both protection and a snug, aesthetic fit.
The critical areas were addressed in two parts, firstly by using a protective rubber foam, providing the impact resistance needed to protect from drops and dings. A durable layer of recycled polyester fabric was then added, keeping the foam shielded in the event of scrapes.
Pairing the hardened areas with an ultra-stretch thick woven fabric, made from recycled plastic, gave the perfect combination to form the backbone of our design. The ultra-stretch fabric, carefully sized and tapered, offers an ‘always snug’ fitting on any shape board that keeps your protection in place whilst also looking sleek and tailor fit for your board.
A Hard Life
Test, test and more testing. We needed to make sure our socks could stand up to the day to day wear and tear they’d be subjected to. By this point we had built our first prototype, and sadly for this bag, our only bag, there was no room for compromise, we had to know that our design would perform. Putting this bag through a rigorous testing process would allow us to figure out what we needed to improve.
Abrasion Testing - Simulating our sock being dragged along the floor.
Impact Testing - Simulating the dreaded drop of a surfboard. We did this from various heights and onto various surfaces.
Tensile Testing - Pulling at the seams of our bags with way more force then they would ever undergo otherwise to ensure our stitching remains undamaged.
Grit testing - Testing the seal of our bags against loose sand and dirt - no one wants grit in their wax.
Although heartbreaking to watch our beloved “Dave” be dropped, scratched and pulled from every which way - we learnt a lot. The design was good, but we wanted the best.
The primary area we felt was lacking was in the tail. The foam we had added along the rails and the nose was doing a great job at keeping the board protected and safe in those areas and we wanted to extend that protection to the tail. We decided upon a “tail flap”, a tapered piece of Yulex foam that would fold over the tail and tuck back into the bag. Not only does this guard the tail from dings but also provides a seal at the drawstring opening to protect from sand and grit.
Although Dave was already doing a good job at protecting the rails and nose, we thought that with some slightly thicker padding he could do an even better job. We increased the thickness of our Yulex foam from 2mm to 3mm. After another heart wrenching round of drop testing, we finally had the performance we were looking for.
Finally, we wanted our bag to be able to accommodate any shaped board. We found with our prototype that the nose wasn’t quite fitting as tidily as we would have liked it to. By introducing a more subtle tapper and redesigning the nose dimensions our socks now more easily adapt to a variety of shapes of board. This also helps to keep the protective rubber foam in the right place.
Making The Drop!
After a year of designing, testing and caffeine fueled late nights our vision has finally become a reality and we are ecstatic (just picture a couple of cavemen finally discovering fire for the first time).
Our hardened socks have been engineered to provide an unrivalled blend of performance and sustainability. Through innovative design and performance-focused sustainable materials we’ve reimagined the classic sock to offer best in class protection whilst maintaining an ‘always-snug’ aesthetic. Just like the shell of a turtle, our hardened socks have been designed and tested to keep the cargo within safe, to protect your board in the moments that matter most.