Are you a triathlete? Surfer? Kayaker? Stand Up Paddler? Snorkeler? If you struggle to take off your wetsuit, we have the answer!
Off’n’UpTM is the world's first multifunctional tool that revolutionizes the way we remove full wetsuits.
Advances in wetsuit technology have allowed enthusiasts to participate in their chosen water sport all year round. But removing a waterlogged wetsuit remains a difficult and frustrating exercise - often help is required, which can be awkward and embarrassing. It's tough, at best, to remove a heavy, water-soaked wetsuit–especially in cold weather when one’s hands and feet are numb.
This difficulty is a common complaint among surfers, snorkelers, kayakers and other wetsuit wearers – and for triathletes, it may mean the difference between winning and losing a race.
As our video shows, this patent-pending product helps remove the wetsuit quickly and easily - without assistance from others.
Off'n'UpTM will become a must-have accessory for wetsuit wearers in a wide range of sports. It will provide a competitive advantage to triathletes, saving valuable time in transition from swimming to the cycling stage! It will be useful to surf schools, kayak schools, sea tour operators and the like - beginners will easily be able to remove their own wetsuits without help. Whether the sport is surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming, snorkeling or diving, Off'n'UpTM will even make it possible for people with physical challenges - or simply less strength or flexibility - to take off their own wetsuits without a struggle.
Not only does Off'n'UpTM help remove the wetsuit, it will also double as a functional wetsuit hanger.
Regular hangers damage the material at the shoulders, because they aren't designed to hold waterlogged wetsuits. Many wetsuit hangers require the wetsuit to be hung folded over a bar, which increases drying time. There's nothing worse than wriggling into a wet wetsuit! Off'n'UpTM will spread the weight of the suit over a large area, so you can safely hang it from the shoulders, reducing drying time!
- Unique product to the market
- Works to quickly and easily remove the full wetsuit
- Wetsuit can be removed without help from others
- Requires less stretching by the wetsuit wearer
- Reduces strain on the wearer's back
- Having cold hands does not slow down wetsuit removal
- Less time spent standing in the cold
- Less embarrassing removal process for less flexible people
- Prevents tears from wetsuit being on the ground
- Can be used to hang up wet suit being removed
- Protects wetsuit from stretching, promoting longer wetsuit life
Off'n'UpTM is the first in a line of Wetsuit BuddiesTM products under development.
It will retail for approximately $50.00 USD.
The Wetsuit BuddiesTM Story
The inventor and driving force behind Wetsuit BuddiesTM is Laura Taylor. Her first-hand experience and observations led to the creation Off’n’UpTM and the Wetsuit BuddiesTM product range to follow.
A lifelong water sport enthusiast, Laura has been involved in multiple facets of the Irish water sports industry on a professional basis for the past 5 years. The idea for this product range evolved from Laura's first-hand experience in kayaking and snorkeling, as well as being a beach lifeguard. Laura spends many hours each week in the sea, wearing a wetsuit. She understands how hard it is to peel off a wetsuit from her own experience, as well as observation of other wearers. Not to mention how long it takes to dry a wetsuit, once removed! These are old, well-known problems that have not been fully addressed before.
Laura was a mature student in the Outdoor Education program at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) when she conceived the basic design for Off'n'UpTM. It began as a college project, but it quickly became apparent that the device would be commercially viable. Laura was advised to seek patent protection for it, and establish a business to develop and market it.
She did both, while also completing her course of study, doing everything required of her fellow students (who were half her age): rock climbing, abseiling (rappelling), caving, orienteering, sailing, and of course water-based adventure sports. Laura graduated the program with honors in 2011, and Adventure Sports Innovations, Ltd (ASI), was incorporated in 2012.
The Prototype Stage
From its humble beginning as a shoe horn with fins taped to the back to explain the concept, Off'n'UpTM has morphed through many materials and forms into the fully functional prototype that exists today.
Although the concept seemed quite simple, prototyping turned out to be a complex undertaking. The tool needed to be light, rust-resistant, gentle to the skin, yet strong enough to push the wetsuit material over the heel. It took five iterations to produce the fully functional prototype.
Off'n'UpTM is currently at functional prototype stage. We demonstrated the working prototype at Surf Expo, a global industry show in Orlando in September 2013, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. "Wow - it really works! COOL!"
Feedback from surfers and triathletes says it needs a sexier look to sell as a retail product - OK, a few said it looks like a medical device (!). The hanger component needs to be finished out, and the functional prototype is made of materials that aren't practical for economical large-scale manufacture.
The scope of this project is to finish the product in a manufacturing-ready form that not only WORKS, but LOOKS cool too. We are aiming to launch the finished product in the 3rd quarter of 2014.
We've invested our own capital, sweat and tears to bring Off'n'UpTM this far, and we are sooooooo close! With your backing, we can complete product development and start production. Join us on this journey, and be one of the first to own this revolutionary tool!
The Wetsuit BuddiesTM Team
Through her role as National Sports Development Officer for The Irish Underwater Council, Laura Taylor has a proven track record bringing concepts to reality. She conceived of and has helped develop the Blueway, a network of water trails connecting selected sites in the West of Ireland that are suited to water based activities such as kayaking and snorkeling. Locals and tourists can experience these sites on an individual basis or as part of a continual water based odyssey along the West coast from South Galway to Northwest Mayo. As a pilot program, Laura also set up a successful snorkel guide business this past summer on beautiful Keem Beach, Achill Island, Co. Mayo (where the picture on wetsuitbuddies.com was taken). This business was the first of its kind in Ireland; now the business model is ready to be rolled out throughout the country for the next summer season.
Laura has brought together a team of experts to help her turn the WetsuitBuddiesTM concept into reality.
Glenn Rice, of Old Saybrook, CT, USA, is a skilled machinist and metalworker with over thirty years' experience. Glenn specializes in custom work for innovators and inventors, assisting in design and fabrication to produce working prototypes. He produced the working prototype of the Off'n'UpTM. He has produced prototypes for research furnaces and equipment, optical, flow and vacuum and heat transfer systems for customers including NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, major universities and commercial manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia. Glenn has also produced working prototypes for cable cutting, specialty scuba diving equipment and many other applications. An inventor in his own right, he prides himself in his ability to work with the inventor to refine the product in the prototyping process.
Melissa Spencer, of Clinton, CT, USA, is a business process analyst and technical writer with over twenty years' experience in discrete manufacturing industries. Melissa began her long career with Lockheed Martin as a structures mechanic apprentice, and still enjoys working with metals and composites. In addition to her current employment as a senior software consultant with Dassian, Inc. of Scottsdale, AZ, USA, Melissa consults on a freelance basis with small businesses. She became a partner in ASI in 2013. Melissa is responsible for ASI’s technical product documentation, test reports, and marketing materials.
David Mossman, of Kinvara, Co. Galway, has 25 years experience in IT involved in major projects in both the commercial and government sectors in the UK & Ireland. David specializes in Database Design & Administration, System Analysis and Design, and Process, Services & Workload Automation. David has just joined the project and will be responsible for web development, online marketing and e-commerce.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There will be challenges ahead in product development, including design modeling and sourcing materials, and later in manufacturing, quality control, marketing, sales and distribution.
Our next steps are design modeling, also called design for manufacture, and sourcing of strong, rust-resistant materials that are suited to economical mass production. At this stage, our plan is to partner with a product development company with a proven track record in producing cool, innovative products that are both reliable and desirable.
Since returning from Surf Expo, we’ve been evaluating three product development companies, two in the USA and one in the UK. All three offer a complete range of integrated product development and manufacturing services. These companies offer comprehensive services from design to production.
The product development partner we choose will have:
• Shared vision for our product
• Relevant technical expertise and resources
• A collaborative approach to design for manufacture
By taking this route to manufacturing we will:
• Reduce time to market
• Reduce production costs
• Manage quality effectively
The Wetsuit BuddiesTM team includes successful entrepreneurs, business and technical advisors on both sides of the Atlantic who are committed to our success:
Brendan Chambers, Founder/Owner/Managing Director, Chamco Group, Dublin, Ireland
Mary Rodgers, Founder and CEO of Stateside Solutions, Galway, Ireland and New York, NY, USA
Dr Richard Thorn, President of the Irish Underwater Council and CEO of Thorn Education and Management Services Ltd., Sligo, Ireland
Dr Jurgen Osing, Mentor Enterprise Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Dr Christina Gates, Patent Attorney, Tomkins & Co., Dublin, Ireland
Accountant: BDO, Limerick, Ireland
With the help of our advisors, we are exercising due diligence in selecting the right product development partner from those who have approached us since the functional prototype debut at Surf Expo.
Several worldwide distributors have also approached ASI with a strong interest in selling the final product in stores and online. For example, the CEO of the top online wetsuit store saw the Off’n’UpTM prototype demonstrated at Surf Expo in September. He loved the concept and requested more information on pricing and lead time once our final product is ready for market. ASI has also been approached by a European distributor who has extensive marketing experience for a top American wetsuit manufacturer.
With product development underway, we will tackle each issue that arises directly, and keep all our supporters informed of our challenges and our progress. We are excited about Off'n'UpTM, as we know there is a significant market for this tool, and we are developing other concepts which will join it to become the WetsuitBuddiesTM product range. Our Kickstarter supporters will be part of this project and our larger adventure, and first to see our new products coming down the line!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Illustrated PDF guide to adventure sports in the West of Ireland, written by Wetsuit BuddiesTM creator Laura Taylor. Includes some of the best surfing, kayaking and snorkeling hotspots, with photographs and maps. Includes recommendations on camping, lodging, bia agus craic (that's food and fun in Irish Gaelic), and more. A great resource to help plan your adventure vacation in Ireland!Estimated delivery:
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Wetsuit BuddiesTM t-shirt with cool logo front and back. Email updates on progress (included with all rewards).Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
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Be among the first to receive a finished Off'n'UpTM wetsuit removal tool. Be the envy of your friends with this cool multifunctional tool (note that the finished product will look much cooler than the working prototype in the video - that is, after all, the point of this project!). You'll be out of your wetsuit in a flash, while they're still hopping on one foot!Estimated delivery:Add $25 USD to ship outside the US
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Be among the first to receive a finished Off'n'UpTM wetsuit removal tool AND experience a one-day guided adventure sport experience for one in the West of Ireland with Wetsuit BuddiesTM creator Laura Taylor. Depending on your interests, logistics and the weather - we will choose between surfing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, canoeing, hillwalking or caving. Includes recommendations on camping, lodging, pubs and restaurants, and more. A great addition to your adventure vacation in Ireland! (Available between Sept 2014 - Sept 2015; specific dates TBD based on availability. Travel and accommodation not included.)Estimated delivery:
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Be among the first to receive a finished Off'n'UpTM wetsuit removal tool AND experience a one-day guided adventure sport experience for two in the West of Ireland with Wetsuit BuddiesTM creator Laura Taylor, as described in #4 above. (Available between Sept 2014 - Sept 2015; specific dates TBD based on availability. Travel and accommodation not included.)Estimated delivery:
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Be among the first to receive a finished Off'n'UpTM wetsuit removal tool AND experience a TWO-day guided adventure sport experience for two in the West of Ireland with Wetsuit BuddiesTM creator Laura Taylor. Depending on your interests, logistics, and the weather, we will choose two or three activities from those listed in #4 above. Includes recommendations on camping, lodging, pubs and restaurants, and more. A great addition to your adventure vacation in Ireland! (Available between Sept 2014 - Sept 2015; specific dates TBD based on availability. Travel and accommodation not included.)Estimated delivery:
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Be among the first to receive a finished Off'n'UpTM wetsuit removal tool AND experience a FIVE-day guided adventure sport experience for two in the West of Ireland with Wetsuit BuddiesTM creator Laura Taylor. Depending on your interests, logistics, and the weather, we will choose four or five activities from those listed in #4 above. Includes pub or picnic lunches and recommendations on camping, lodging, pubs and restaurants, and more. The centerpiece of your adventure vacation in Ireland! (Available between Sept 2014 - Sept 2015; specific dates TBD based on availability. Travel and accommodation not included.)Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)