After two years in the development process Ocean & Earth founder Brian Cregan and 25 year design/production guru Steve Rayner design and develop the new one piece molded leash: the "next evolution" in surf leash technology.
Below, from an interview in Australasian Surf Business Magazine, Ocean & Earth founder Brian Cregan answers the key questions about Ocean & Earth"s revolutionary new one piece moulded leash.
"Leash innovations over the last few years have been few and far between. So when Ocean & Earth unveiled a new leash they claim is 40% stronger than anything else on the market, we thought that is a claim worth investigating."
We spoke with O&E"s Brian Cregan about the new "patented" leash they"ve dubbed "The ONE"
Could you list the key advancements in leg ropes / leashes over the years…
Brian Cregan: The big change in leashes was the evolution from the old "leg pulling" rope and rubber to solid urethane cord around 1979/80. My introduction to urethane was in Durban when Shaun Tomson showed me the cord he was using and told me the advantages. He gave me the address of where to get it and I bought back to Australia a roll to experiment with. From there we sourced it locally and then introduced urethane leashes into our range and the Australian market. The rest is history!!!
Over the years other significant improvements to design have been the double swivel, padded straps, rail saver and more recent the detachable rail saver. For O&E we are consonantly refining and improving all our products with subtle changes.
Is it fair to say there have been no major breakthroughs in recent years?
Yes. The 80"s and the introduction of urethane solid cord was the last major change.
Question: Could you describe the testing procedures you’ve undertaken to develop The ONE.
The one piece moulded leash is the result of several years of thought about how to eliminate the breaking point that occurs in all brands of leashes; where the cord joins the mould around the swivel.
Once the concept of what we wanted to achieve was thought out, the obvious conclusion was to mould the cord and encapsulate the swivels at both ends all in one process. We have had the leash in the water for close to year with some of our sponsored surfers, staff and big wave crazies- all giving it a daily test.
Our 30 year old test of tying one end to a post and the other to a tow bar of a car produced the much anticipated result of the leash stretching nearly 50% more than not only other O&E leashes, but of all other brands as well. Also, during early stretch tests we identified some areas where improvements could be made.
Could you describe the process and molding of the leash and what influenced its development?
We thought that if they can mould a car bumper in one piece, why can"t we do a leash cord? Little did we know that it would cost a fortune! But we believed in the product so much we went ahead and developed a process whereby the leash cord is moulded in a giant highly engineered mould that has to be able to handle several lengths and diameters of cord.
The concept of the one piece cord was purely influenced by the desire to develop a leash that would put O&E at the forefront of worldwide technology; a leash that goes a long way to eliminating breaks. This has resulted in a leash that is over 40% stronger!
You plan to patent the product. This can be difficult and expensive. Why?
The one piece cord has a registered patent applied for which will cover all major surfing countries around the world. To invest in a product that we believe will change leash design forever we would be crazy not to back this up with a further investment in the International Patent.
Investing in a patent (IP) has a lot more satisfaction than investing in a hyped marketing plan with a limited life! We have had very good success with our patented hanging hook on our board covers which makes our retailers and customer's lives a lot easier when storing boards and board bags. So to us, to patent this cord is very worthwhile, especially after taking into account the costly set up dollars.
The initial debut was August of 2010 in Australia, and we have since sold out of our first several production runs. Our new 2011 range of surf accessories, including the new One Piece moulded cord will be released in late February/early March of 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere; including the USA, Canada and Central and South America. We are very excited to be able to deliver this new technology to surfers around the globe…