BLADE 3 goes to Tavarua, Fiji for Testing
Solutions for athletes, that’s what drives me. It courses my veins daily. Symbolic of a disease, I can’t escape it, whether I am field testing products or simply going to buy a new pair of running socks. I am constantly looking for solutions to make products better.
Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a project with Oakley Surf Apparel team. A group obsessed with driving the surf category into the next generation of technical apparel. They were given the task to rebuild the wheel, or rather the rash guard. A rash guard you ask? What could possibly make a rash guard better. How about industry first hydrophobic textiles, graduated compression to reduce fatigue, or forearm catch panels to increase paddling speed. Now do I have your attention?
Driven by innovation and unrelenting desire to succeed, we set out on a field-testing trip to Tavarua, Fiji to tackle the best breaks the world has to offer. Armed with body fat calipers, lancets, and a lactate analyzer, we aimed to test the Blade 3 Compression top and it’s affects on lactate production in surfing.
Not being a surfer, I had minimal exposure to what lay before me. My only real exposure to surfing is what I see on my bike rides down PCH. Sure, I had heard the folklore of Cloud Break and Restaurants, but to be there first hand, albeit in a boat, watching Adam Melling do what he does best… Priceless.
Over the course of the next 10 days, Oakley’s Field Testing Manager, Dave Steiner, and I collected data from the worlds best surfers on the worlds best breaks . We tested lactate buildup in surfers, an industry first, identifying whether: 1) surfers actually accumulate lactic acid and 2) does the Oakley Blade 3 Compression top reduce the lactic acid.
Through the use of industry first fabrics and first ever body mapped patterning, Oakley’s revolutionary Blade Compression top proved not only to be the most supportive compression levels the surf industry has seen, but the first ever-graduated compression experience. It also reduced lactic acid levels in surfers. Our surfers reported they felt more supported, more body warmth, and less fatigue.
My trip to Tavarua proved to be a success. Not only did we provide a new viable solution to surfers, but I also got to witness some of the greatest breaks the mighty ocean has to offer. Maybe one day I will return to Cloudbreak and will be on a board instead of a boat.