Why Surepaw Dog Gear?
- Handmade, uniquely up-cycled, climber designed, dog ap"ruff"ved
- No kinks, knots, or quirks about 'em
- Our rope is 6 x stronger and more durable than "Elven Rope" (Sam and Frodo would never have lost Gollum with a Surepaw leash)
- The Tugachuk™ gives a future to fishes, and playtime to dogs
- More color and pattern variety than a "double rainbow all the way"
- Gives you an ice-breaker story at the dog park or the coffee shop ;)
- Paws down inspired by the environment to reduce waste
- "173 Year Guarantee" on all leash styles (send us an email with what happened, send all the pieces back to us, and we'll send you a new one at no charge!)
Check out our April 1st update video on how are products work!
The Style Breakdown: Use this breakdown to help you select which reward is right for you
The MTN Line™ - is our traditional 6 foot climbing rope leash for dogs of all sizes. This leash comes in two series,The MTN Line™ Small Dog and The MTN Line™ Medium/Large Dog. We are keeping this one simple, yet strong with a choice of stainless steel clip or brass clip. No carabiners or special attachments for the The MTN Line™. Check out rewards section for details. We explain this leash in our update video!
EZ Summit Trainer™ - is our traditional slip-lead climbing rope leash for medium to large sized dogs only. Slip leads are becoming very popular with dog owners and rescue shelters because of how easy they are to use, as well as their uses in dog training. Use the EZ Summit Trainer™ for those quick runs to the dog park to let your dog run naked! Check out rewards section for details. We explain this leash in our update video!
The Ruff-Guider™ - our signature 6 foot multi-functional climbing rope leash for the active dog and owner (recommended for medium/large dogs). This leash was designed by climbers, and guided by dogs. It comes complete with 2 professional carabiners (locking carabiner/mini wire gate on handle), and the adjustable sliding handle. Go climb, paddle, get outside, walk, run, guzzle coffee with both hands, WhatsApp, be creative with all the possibilities The Ruff-Guider™ gives you and your dog. See our update video for the upgrades we've made to this leash!
JUST AS EVERY ROPE HAS A STORY, HERE IS OUR STORY...
"This is called Up-cycling, or converting a product (climbing rope) into something new, useful, and often beautiful (dog leashes and toys)."
I have a passion for rock climbing. I live for dogs. I am dedicated to protecting our environment. I remember the moment I first caught a glimpse of a dog leash made from climbing rope and carabiners. I was a college student walking to work at Climbmax Climbing Gym in Asheville, NC. I remember thinking that might be the coolest thing I've ever seen to walk my dog with. It was such a simple idea, and offered so many advantages environmentally, functionally, and economically. It took me some time, but then I decided to run with this idea knowing that people love unique things, their dogs, and good quality products. Especially products you feel good about when it comes to the environment. Back in my native environment of Atlanta, Georgia, I am now ready to show people the "ropes" of mixing climbing passion, with dog obsession. If you clicked on my story here on Kickstarter you most likely are a dog owner/lover, climber, and/or an interested Kickstarter stalker of projects. You might be all three! Regardless, we all know what a dog leash is and what its purpose is. If you have a leash at home, or several right now, go ahead and grab them and study it for a second...Ask yourself some questions: 1) Does it have a story, or where did it come from before you bought it? 2) What is it made of, and did buying it help the environment in any way? 3) What do you gain from your leash? Your answer sheet will most likely look like this: 1) uhhh, I don't really know. I don't really care, it probably came from China, and I bought it at a pet store. 2) Leather, plastic, metal, and/or rope of some kind, and no it's a dog leash how can it help the environment? 3) I don't know. I clip my dog to it and I walk my dog, maybe run sometimes. I gain knowledge of where my dog poops while using it....
If I were to answer those questions looking at the leashes I make, my answer sheet would look like this:
1) Does it have a story, or where did it come from before you bought it?
Yes, it could have many stories behind it! Surepaw Dog Gear uses pre-consumer and post-consumer rope to make all its dog products. This is called Up-cycling, or converting a product (climbing rope) into something new, useful, and often beautiful (dog leashes and toys). This means it is either virgin rope, pre-consumer, that didn't quite make it to consumer shelves and is left over from the manufacturing process, or post-consumer rope that has been retired by climbers, climbing gyms, or people that have no need for their rope anymore. Yes, ropes do get retired depending on usage, but don't receive a Social Security pension unfortunately. Professional climbers will retire a rope after 6 months, while normal climbers may use their rope safely for 5 years! This means every post-consumer rope has a history and could have been used to scale mountains, climb rock faces around the world, go deep into caves, and/or simply teach kids and adults how to trust themselves and how to manage their fear of heights in a climbing gym. Every rope that is used to turn into a leash or a dog toy will have a story leaflet attached with details pertaining to the specific rope used. Surepaw Dog Gear has already received ropes from Stone Summit Climbing Gym, Pigeon Mountain Industries (PMI), BlueWater Ropes, Georgia Institute of Technology, Wall Crawler Rock Club, and various individual donations from climbers here in Atlanta, GA!
2) What is it made of, and did buying it help the environment in any way?
Surepaw Dog Gear ropes are made almost entirely of Nylon, a petroleum-based synthetic fiber that will not break down into the earth, or decompose. Nylon should never go into a landfill and enjoy the same fate as a diaper. Climbers use Nylon ropes because they are almost twice as strong as natural fibers. Their inner and outer core design give them extra strength and protect against outdoor elements and abrasions. Dynamic climbing rope will also elongate and absorb force. For example, a climber may fall off the mountain while climbing, a common occurrence believe it or not, but the rope is designed to take falls and to stretch in order to absorb the force so the climbers body doesn't have to. To rephrase all of this in dog language... your climbing rope leash will be incredibly strong, and actually absorb part of the force your dog may put on it by lunging, or that most uncomfortable stop-n-sniff force that happens to your arm while running with your dog. By using a Surepaw Dog Gear product you are officially an "Up-cycler" helping to aid the planet.
3) What do you gain from your leash?
Maybe, you just want a unique dog leash or the Tugachuk™ to help break the ice when talking to that girl or guy you've had your eye on at the dog park. Did you know climbing is a great way to meet people and pick up a date, or two....Whatever your intentions are you will have gained something through Surepaw Dog Gear. Just by owning a leash or toy you will have learned a little about climbing rope and the up-cycling process. Also, you will develop a sense of trust in your leash knowing the rope is incredibly strong, durable, and up to the test of even the most adventurous dog and owner. Saving the best for last, if you use the Ruff-Guider™ Leash it is multi-functional! If you have read through all of this without watching the video at the top, you better watch it now to see how the Ruff-Guider™ Leash works! With the Ruff-Guider™ Leash and the fully adjustable handle you and your dog can run together with it easily attached around your waist or across the shoulder. The handle also allows you to get a closer lead on your dog for full control, whenever it's needed. Also, if you're a coffee freak like me, you will want to be able to secure your dog outside while you run inside to get that portable caffeine fix.
CLIMB INTO MY WORLD...
This is how it's done:
The past year has been a whole lotta networking! While I am not the first to take on the idea of up-cycling ropes to leashes...I may just be the first in the southeastern United States to go at it the way I am. I've made connections with local gyms, climbers in the area, and two very well known rope manufacturers here in Georgia (BlueWater Ropes and Pigeon Mountain Industries)! I am always in search of my next rope to pass on its story.
Work out the kinks and organize!
Inspect, wash if needed, and sort the rope into piles according to the size (mm), and pre-consumer or post-consumer usage. All leashes or toys made will look and feel different depending on what type of rope it is and the story it carries with it. However, some rope stories are darker and dirtier than others...these ropes I will find other uses for and I will not pass on to your dog.
Will I make the cut?
Begin preparing rope for use as a toy, or a leash. In order to do this, a somewhat painstaking and patient process of cutting the ropes to the correct lengths has to occur.
always strive to make every leash as if I were going to use it on my
own dog. I think it should look and feel good. I try and color
coordinate rope colors and leash parts to look cool so your dog doesn't mind walking with you."
Starting to Kick around a plan and
put all the pieces together...
KICKSTARTER and BACKERS this is where you come in! I can't go at it alone! Your help will allow me to invest in what I need in order to successfully move forward with Surepaw Dog Gear. What will I be investing in and what is my plan? Take a look!
April 1st, 2014: Launch Surepaw Dog Gear and begin to build relationships with backers (answer questions, update ideas or improvements, spread the word, etc.)
May 2014: With funding complete, I will begin ordering/pursuing supplies I need to fulfill rewards and get Surepaw Dog Gear running on all fours! Surepaw Dog Gear aims to become one of the first in the southeast to offer fully customizable, uniquely environmental dog gear. I know we can do this!
- Lightweight professional locking carabiners ($5-$25 each)
- Professional mini carabiners ($4-$10 each)
- Brass/Stainless Steal Bolt Snaps ($2-$5 each)
- Stainless steel o-rings ($1-$3 each)
- Heat Shrink Rubber ($2-$5 per foot)
- HSGM Heat Cutter x 2 ($121 each)
- Wellington BRM25 Rope Measurer ($150-$200)
- Industrial Sewing Machine ($1000 - $3000) *please see risks and challenges section
Research & Development Costs
- Shipping and transportation of rope
- Time and labor (hand-making leashes, updating social media, scavenging for tennis balls, website development, marketing, etc.)
The Tugachuk™ is a dog toy we are very proud of. Why you ask? It is 99% up-cycled and it is helping clean up creek and forest ecosystems around metro Atlanta! All the rope used is of course up-cycled, and the tennis balls have all been collected by hand from wooded areas behind tennis courts. Unfortunately, these small ecosystems on the edge of tennis courts all have creeks, or rivers that are becoming bombarded and littered with tennis balls. Jeez all you Federer wannabes! After collection, all the tennis balls are soaked, washed with EPA approved disinfectant several times, scrubbed, and placed in the sunshine to dry for the day. The tennis balls are then ready to become part Tugachuk™. It's perfect for tugging with your dog, and even more fun to try and chuck it as far as you can to play fetch! As with all dog toys, The Tugachuk™ should not be left with your dog unsupervised. The Tugachuk™ is a play toy and not meant for chewing. Use it responsibly and the fun will come naturally!
- Make sure to watch our videos and read through the style breakdown at the top of the page before selecting which reward is right for you and your dog/s. Our rope varieties/colors are organized below into "Surepaw Classics" and "Limited Editions." "Limited Editions" are all on a first come, first serve basis, so make sure to get it fast if one gets your tail wagging. Also, every leash style (Ruff Guider, EZ Summit Trainer, MTN Line) has a reward option for a "Mystery Rope" if choosing the right color and design pattern doesn't matter to you and has you seeing rainbows. We will pick the color for you and make it a surprise!
- Select your reward by either clicking the green "Back This Project" button at the top, or just click on the preferred reward description on the right side of the page.
BITE 3: (Does not concern Reward #1)
- After selecting your reward DON'T PANIC, when our Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded around May 1st we will e-mail you a survey with a few easy questions asking details about which leash style reward (Ruff Guider, EZ Summit Trainer, MTN Line) you have selected, if you chose a "Mystery Rope" or which "Limited Edition"/"Surepaw Classic" variety you would like, as well as the breed/sex/size of your dog to make sure we have your order correct. You can also add any additional information you would like us to be aware of. *Remember you can always choose the "Mystery Rope" reward for the style leash (Ruff Guider, EZ Summit Trainer, MTN Line) you prefer if all these details annoy you and you want us to surprise you!
- Be excited about the reward you've chosen because you're now an official UP-cycler and that's something to be proud of. Spread the word around by "Like" ing us on Facebook and check us out from time to time for updates that will be happening almost daily! We have a lot of ideas to put into action and we are always adding new rope colors and design patterns.
Limited Editions are all on a first come, first serve basis.
A) "Limited Edition" Stone Summit Climbing Gym Rope (Atlanta, GA)
B) "Limited Edition" Wall Crawler Rock Club Rope (Atlanta, GA)
C) "Limited Edition" Red Hope (Laura Hope, Climber, Atlanta)
D) "Limited Edition" BlueWater Ropes (Carrollton, GA)
E) "Limited Edition" Pigeon Mountain Industries (LaFayette, GA)
"Surepaw Classics" (Medium/Large Dog)
A) Pigeon Mountain Industries (PMI)
B) BlueWater Ropes
"Limited Edition" (Small Dog Series)
A) Small Dog MTN Line leash (Pigeon Mountain Industries)
"Surepaw Classics" (Small Dog Series)
A) Small Dog MTN Line leash (Pigeon Mountain Industries)
B) Small Dog MTN Line leash (BlueWater Ropes)
"The Ditto Limited"
The Tugachuk™ + The Ruff Guider™ in the same colors for the dogs that don't do tacky.
1) PMI Neon Green
2) BlueWater Multi-color Blue
3) BlueWater Yellow/Black
4) BlueWater Purple/Green
5) BlueWater Green/Yellow
6) BlueWater Yellow/Red
Surepaw Dog Gear will strive to contribute creative ways to help clean our planet, promote environmental stewardship, and design dog gear you have fun using and feel good about. Thank you Kickstarter! That is our story...
Patrick Martin (co-owner, photographer, http://photosbypatm.zenfolio.com/)
Thomas Theshogun Lewis (logo creator, artist, http://kingshogun.tumblr.com/)
Stone Summit Climbing Gym, Pigeon Mountain Industries (PMI), BlueWater Ropes, Georgia Institute of Technology, Wall Crawler Rock Club, and Laura Hope for donating my very first rope.
Family and Friends: Desiree Heinen, Kenny Dowd, Taylor Wallace, Austin Pound, Chris Modica, Rj Holston, Dotty Doherty, Nazar Bilukha, Rock Dog LA, Inman Park Animal Hospital
"Duke" Fowler - Quality Control and Inspirator
Risks and challenges
1. Industrial Sewing Machine
Currently the leashes require a metal rope clamp to make the handle and clip loop. My goal is to get away from having to use metal and actually sew the ropes together using a bar-tack stitch. I want to use use a bar-tack sewing machine that many climbing equipment manufacturers use to sew ropes and harnesses in which people trust their lives to. However, these machines can be enormously expensive. Sewing the leashes with a bar-tack would make them much more aesthetically pleasing and insanely strong. The learning curve for such a machine would take some time, and I'm trying to learn as much about sewing as I can. Getting this machine is a major goal and one of the reasons I am in such need of Kickstarter's support. Until I am able to find the right sewing machine for my needs, I will continue to use the metal rope clamp.
This is something Surepaw Dog Gear is striving to stand out with. We are trying to be innovative with how me make our handles more comfortable only using up-cycled products. Surprisingly the climbing rope has a naturally good feel in the hand, but we are in the process of developing custom handles that allow for a higher comfort range if desired. If you look at the Ruff-Guider™ diagram, as well as remember the video, you will have noticed the adjustable handle (#3 on diagram) that makes this leash so unique. We are testing out different ways to make this handle more comfortable because it is a smaller diameter rope that is used.
3. Communicating with Backers
I want my Backers to have some choices in selecting the best possible leash they can for their specific type of dog/s. In order to do this, they will need to follow all of the instructions in the reward section. If only the dogs could talk...
4. SAFETY: PLEASE READ
Surepaw Dog Gear draws on varying aspects of climbing for design, as well as uses climbing equipment for use in its products. Putting safety above all, we want to make it explicitly clear that Surepaw Dog Gear products are NEVER to be substituted as climbing gear, and/or use as life support. Despite their design and true purpose, the carabiners and rope that are used should NEVER be used on anything other than your dog. Climbing companies spend millions of dollars to test the safety of their products for climbing use only and not for use on dogs. Climbers that may buy this leash please take the time, and care to always inspect every aspect of your climbing gear before trusting your life to it. It would be extremely wise to also label carabiners and rope that have been used on your dog, or any other purpose not related to climbing, so as not to accidentally use in your "real" climbing gear while climbing. Thank you!
- Ben Fowler, Climber/Owner of Surepaw Dog GearLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)