After reviewing 269 entries from 27 countries, eight winners were selected fort the ISPO BRANDNEW Awards 2012, including overall winner Wavegarden, makers of an innovative man made wave, as well as Poler Camping Stuff, and Wave Cave, a surf board bag/tent.
At the end of a long, exciting day the 14-member jury selected the best entries to the world’s largest sporting goods industry start-up competition. This year was the first time the jury consisted mostly of former finalists and winners. “They are able to judge whether young brands have the potential to establish themselves and their innovations on the market and win customers,” explains Markus Hefter, Exhibition Group Director ISPO. He was a member of the 14-person jury team consisting of product, design, retail and sports experts. For close to ten hours they tested and discussed the 269 entries from 27 countries, until they agreed on the eight winners and 40 finalists.
Here’s more on the winners that hale from some orbit of the action sports space:
Overall Winner: Wavegarden
The announcement of the overall winner began with a surprise: “The winner is not here today,” said Markus Hefter. When a video was shown, it quickly became clear, why not. The winner is Wavegarden, whose product is an artificially created wave. In the video professional surfers rhapsodize about the so far only installation of its kind in the South of Spain. “Surfing is the mother of all trend sports,” said jury foreman Reinhard Pascher. “The world’s young people all love it. And ISPO can now be a part of promoting this sport all over the world.” The sport is known to engender a lot of emotions, but so far there have been only limited places where it could be enjoyed. “Wavegarden brings surfing to the people.” The jury agreed unanimously: the concept from Spain’s San Sebastian has great potential and can become a great attraction in all types of locations. (www.wavegarden.
Category Style: Poler Camping Stuff
This company and its products, every variety of camping gear, “are a countermovement to all of today’s technology craze,” explained Maloja chief executive Peter Räuber the jury’s decision to award the US brand Poler Camping Stuff with the prize in the Style category. These days, the focus is often only on how to make everything lighter and even more technologically advanced. “Those guys simply go outdoors and enjoy.” The results are products with vintage style and basic design, an expression of a lifestyle. (www.polerstuff.com)
Category Sportswear: Polychrome
The jury selected a global innovation in the category Sportswear. “This is the first usable 3-layer jacket,” said jury member Timo Perschke, chief executive of Pyua. The new laminate from Austria protects the wearer against heat as well as it protects against cold. It was developed with the concept of UV-ray reflection, absorption of ambient heat and adaptation to any kind of weather. The black layer absorbs heat and transports it to the interior. The white layer reflects heat and cools. The very versatile jacket is also waterproof and breathable.
Category Hardware Summer: Wavecave
Sometimes simple things have the potential for change. This is the case with the winner in the category Hardware Summer. The jury decided to award the Wavecave from the UK, a tent and surfboard bag in one. “The tent offers a great added value at the beach, but does not take up any additional room during transport,” explains Markus Kreykenbohm, certified designer and the creative head of Zirkeltraining. In addition, he was impressed by the excellent finish and easy use. “This simple idea deserves our support”. (www.wavecavesurf.com)
Category Accessories: TakWak
Hi-tech won the ISPO BRANDNEW Award in the Accessories category: TakWak. It is a mobile phone, which “is much more than just a smartphone”, Dirk Sandrock, chief executive of O-Synce praised the product developed in Germany. The TakWak is a consequential technical improvement. “It features navigation, is waterproof, and has a longer useful life than conventional mobile phones; communication works well and it even has a walkie-talkie function, for times when there is no network, such as in the middle of the mountains. We may consider this
phone the best one on the market compared to other outdoor-suitable smartphones”. (www.takwak.com)
Social Awareness Award: Choclo Project – support kids in Peru
Whether t-shirts, jackets, or sweaters, all apparel features very creative designs. The artists are children. The Choclo Project, brought to life in France, prints images drawn by boys and girls in Peruvian orphanages onto the garments. A portion of the proceeds derived from sales from the collection is donated back to the orphanages. This involvement combined with the products’ high quality convinced the jury to honor the Choclo Project – support kids in Peru with the Social Awareness Award. (www.chocloproject.com)