Follow Wake 2019 Impact Vests Preview

Brand: Follow Wake
Interviewee: Steve Anderson / Founder

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Markets

Are your designing crash jackets for a wake market segment, eg boat/wake park/surf/ skate. Or is the same design being sold over the whole market? Which market is giving you the most growth. Which market is giving you the most direction in terms of the design and look of your crash jackets?
We are focusing on fit, function with added buoyancy. A lot of Jackets are getting too thin, this is mainly for reducing cost on manufacturing. We believe we are wearing them to protect us. We work directly with all the team to be constantly refining our fits and functions to improve on water performance. But more importantly, we are working with the best neoprene manufactures in the world to create new materials, that have higher performance but fit within out Sustainable Performance Range. The S.P.R we like to call it. We believe that a correcting fitting vest, made with the best materials will work for both boat and cable.

Style / Look

Over the last 2 to 3 years the market has seen crash jackets change in their appearance, in terms of an element of fashion entering the end look. What style is your brand aiming for, what is the process of determining what your crash jackets look like?
I feel we have been leading this progression. We have always had a focus on our finishes and details. The colours and styling are the last things we worry about. Product performance is key, we can make anything look good if the foundation of the product is sick.

Fit / Feel / Protection

What trends are you seeing in terms of fit, feel and protection in your crash jackets? What do you think your customers want and what has worked well for you in terms or fit, feel protection. For example, do end users want a thicker more protected crash jacket at a wake park (as they fall onto solid features at 20mph) or do people want as flexible as possible?
All parts and materials of every follow product
Have been carefully considered. It’s all about
the fit, performance, value and durability. We
Pride ourselves on not cutting corners. We
Have worked tirelessly over the last 9 years
To build the best products for the best price.

Let’s be honest, when we wear these things, we want to
Float.

For years it was a race for the thinnest jackets, more recent times, however, has seen that trend in retreat. We decided to increase the flotation of our impact vests while still keeping them comfortable and beautifully designed. The progression of the sport and dangers involved has lead this direction. Our vests have the perfect combination of buoyancy, construction and style.

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Tech / USP

What technology or materials are using in your crash jackets to give you a unique selling point?
Sustainable.
Performance.
Range.

Just one small step in the direction to creating more sustainable production process.

As wakeboarders, nature is our playground, meaning we rely on our rivers, lakes, dams and their surroundings for wakeboarding to exist. At Follow – we have been spending some time improving
the quality of our air and water emissions. We call this the Sustainable Performance Range (SPR). Follow is dedicated to contributing to a cleaner environment and we believe that this is just one small step in the direction to creating more sustainable production process. Our decisions now will affect all of our futures.

YULEX NATURAL RUBBER.
Our goal at Follow is to make a sustainable product range that maintains our guidelines of performance products. We are using Yulex Natural Rubber. The Yulex emulsion removes over 99% of impurities
and delivers a stronger, non-sensitizing natural material.

RECYCLED POLYESTER JERSEY.
Made from recycled plastic bottles. About 15 plastic bottles are used to create the material for each vest.

PVC FREE BUOYANCY FOAM.
In a nutshell, PVC plastic is uniquely toxic among plastics because of its highly toxic ingredients which readily migrate into the environment during its production, use and its disposal. So no PVC = Happy Earth.

AQUA X SOLVENT FREE GLUE.
Laminated with Aqua X solvent-free glue. No more
harmful solvent chemicals in your neoprene products. Solvent free, aqua based lamination glue.

BIODEGRADABLE SHIPPING BAGS.
Every vest in the Follow range comes in a biodegradable shipping bag. This decision is a simple one for most, yet we feel we are unique in our market for making this choice.

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Team Riders

How do your team riders influence your soft good offering? Do they have signature soft goods, do they help with design, do you suggest ideas to you, etc?
Each of our riders brings a unique passion. By sharing their passion, they ensure the progression of the sport we love & the product we create. Staying true to our earliest motivations, we created a brand, undistracted by fads, that we and our friends are proud to wear. Making our lifestyle our work and our work our lifestyle. Focused on our vision of building better product, Follow lives and breathes this sport.

Products

Tell us about your 2 key Crash Jackets
SPR Freemont
Using only the best materials and keeping the core values of our SPR range at front of our mind. The Freemont is the best jacket for one of the best dudes we know – Oli Derome.

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Benefits – A complete stitch-through foam panel is designed to ensure no foam movement with added flexibility.

• Performance arm hole sizing to reduce jacket lift in the water.

• Low profile side-panels for added movement while maintaining rib protection.

• Tapered waist fit for athletic build.

• Zipper flap 2.0 – Velcro backed neoprene zipper flap. It stops the YKK zipper stabbing you in the throat.
Features – Yulex Natural Rubber. The Yulex emulsion removes over 99% of impurities and delivers a stronger, non-sensitizing natural material.

• Recycled polyester jersey made from recycled plastic bottles.

• Aqua X glue – solvent free so there are no more harmful solvent chemicals.

• G-lite PVC free foam, the softest and best we can source.

• Duel layer neoprene construction.

• Reduced Individual foam panel segments.

• YKK locker zipper with silicon dipped pull string.

Axe
The Axe Vest features the bold yet timeless follow style. Quality materials, built for progressive riding and nothing else!

Pro Fit 2
Designed with the way you move in mind. This is the most lightweight flexible jacket in the Follow line. We used team feedback and retailers to further develop our existing ProFit. Two added side flex panels for ultimate movement with better fit adjustability
Benefits – Cinch waist belt. Keeps your vest in place and stops your vest inverting on serious crashes. If you don’t like it, remove it.

• Performance arm hole sizing to reduce jacket lift in the water.

• Removed under arm foam panel while maintaining lower padding panels for added movement with rib protection.

• Tapered waist fit, for the athletic build.

• Zipper flap 2.0 – Velcro backed neoprene zipper flap. It stops the YKK zipper stabbing you in the throat.
Features – Completely constructed with seriously stretchy and soft neoprene.

• Profit 2 side super stretch panels.

• Lower cinch belt to stop the vest from riding .

• Duel layer neoprene construction.

• Featherweight foam, the softest and lightest we can find .

• Reduced Individual foam panel segments. • YKK locker zipper with silicon dipped pull string.

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