Our hardened board socks were born out of need. After one too many dents and scratches we thought it was high time to improve on the humble board sock, to design a sock with more protection for our boards and more consideration for our planet.
Seeing a Pattern
So one thing was clear - more protection was needed, but where? After chatting with fellow surfers, multiple online polls and a few conversations out back, the answer was becoming clear. In every instance, damage was occurring at either the nose, or along the rails - the most exposed aspects of a board. These high damage zones became our ‘Critical Areas’ and central to our design.
Armed with a clear picture of the problem, the design of the hardened sock was built around 5 key principles:
1. Functionality - Easy to take on/off & store
2. Durability - Withstand harsh conditions and wear.
3. Adaptability - Accommodate all board shapes.
4. Sustainability - Manufacture with minimal impact to the environment.
5. Functionality - Easy to take on/off & store
Time For Change
Drawing on inspiration from a turtle's shell, the backbone of the hardened sock revolves around a durable super-stretch fabric, combined with thick natural rubber foam padding. With the stretch fabric providing the figure hugging fit of our sock, able to stretch and adapt to varying board geometry to provide an always-snug fit, and the natural rubber giving impact resistance to high risk areas of the board.
The thick rubber foam padding that guards the rails of the board features a subtle taper towards the top, encasing the nose of the board in the same thick Yulex padding. The nose area of the sock is further protected by overlaying tough 900D recycled polyester across the nose point, to further protect from any scuff or contact with the ground.
The geometry of the rear section of the sock is designed to offer a ‘good’ fit for both fins-on and fins-off storage. Keeping enough material to comfortably stretch over a set of fins, whilst still being able to keep a close profile for when fins are removed. Protective rubber foam extends into the drawstring opening of the sock, designed to form a protective wedge when closed to protect the tail of the board and prevent sand/grit entering into the sock/board wax.
Doing The Most
Although heartbreaking to watch our first prototypes be dropped, scratched and pulled from every direction - we learnt a lot. The design was good, but we wanted the best.
The sock had performed well in drop tests, with the Yulex foam hugging the nose and rails of the board, these areas were well protected from impacts and abrasion. To bolster the protection offered to these critical regions, we increased the rubber foam thickness from two to three millimeters. 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 first prototypes that the nose wasn’t quite fitting as tidily as we would have liked. By introducing a more subtle tapper throughout the sock and redesigning the nose dimensions, our socks now more easily adapt to a variety of shapes of board. Helping to keep the protective rubber foam in the right places.