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Speedo: why it always makes waves

Apr 16th 2015 at 8:23 PM

When you think about swim wear, more often than not, the first brand that comes to mind is Speedo. The brand has becomes synonymous with swimwear and accessories. However, when did Speedo make a ripple in its industry? And how does its products continue to make waves worldwide?

In 1910, the brand was established under the name “Fortitude.” Fortitude products were technically underwear, manufactured as a response to Australia’s growing beach culture. Eventually, a product line was dedicated to swim wear. And as swimming was recognized as a sport, and sensibilities became more liberal in terms of swimwear, the brand started to grow. 18 years later, the brand produced the figure-hugging swimwear known as the “Racerback.” The swimsuit allowed improved movement, thus, permitting the wearer to swim faster. The Racerback came with the catchphrase “Speed on in your Speedos” which resulted in the now iconic brand name.

The Speedo name became more popular when a Swedish swimmer, who wore Speedos, set a world record. A few years later, an Australian swimmer wearing her Speedos set a world record in the 200 meter breaststroke, on her way to winning a gold medal in the Olympics.  Speedo was making a ripple and it was not long before it would make waves.

Speedo became the swimwear of choice when it came to athletes, especially Olympians. The brand sponsored the Australian swim team in the 1956 Olympics. The team won eight gold medals. In 1968, 27 out of the 29 athletes who won gold medals in the Mexico Olympics wore Speedo apparel. Furthermore, 22 out of the 23 athletes who broke world records were wearing Speedos. In the succeeding Olympics, a number of athletes happily broke records and won medals while wearing Speedos.

So what makes Speedos swimwear one of a kind? Cutting edge technology. In the onset, Speedos swimwear were designed to be hydrodynamic and had 15 percent less drag compared to other swimsuits. Although 15 percent may seem like a small number, on the water and when worn by a trained swimmer, the effects are phenomenal. It was the x-factor, not just in winning a medal, but breaking swim records.

To make sure it constantly creates innovative swimwear, Speedo takes to heart Biomimetics. A study of how to use natural elements to solve human problems. It was not just about studying how efficiently fish swam, there were others, like seals and dolphins, which despite their different shape swam not only efficiently but fast as well. So it came as no surprise that Speedo came up with the revolutionary “Fastskin” swimsuit. The swimwear had a deceptive appearance, as it resembled a body suit that only left the neck and head, feet and hands of the wearer uncovered. However, the new innovation was appropriately put to the test in the Olympics. And it responded astoundingly, swim records were broken and medals were gathered.

Today, Speedo continues to research for ways to make durable swimsuits that cut the surface tension and drag while swimming. The latest is its Core Stabilizer technology, which provides core stability and optimum shape for swimmers. However, its products are not just centered on athletic and competitive pursuits. It also has a wide variety of products for people who want to swim or leisurely spend time on the beach or pool.  Sports Corner, the leading retail sports company in Qatar, carries some of these Speedo products.

One of these include Speedo swim googles. The googles are made with the IQ Fit technology for increased comfort and Hydrodynamic Dive Stream for superior security when making turns or drives when swimming. The googles are also made of high grade silicone so wearers are assured of a flexible yet durable product. Other Speedo googles in the Sports Corner line also include interchangeable nose bridges for a more individual fit and a strap adjustment to accurately adjust the googles.

Although Speedo is synonymous to swimwear, it does manufacture hydro-training equipment. Sports Corner customers can check out the Aqua Dumbbell. The hard plastic aquatic dumbbell was designed to help a person increase endurance and upper body strength through aquatic resistance training. It has soft padding for a more comfortable grip.

For more Speedo products and information about their specially designed properties, athletes and swim enthusiasts, can drop by any of the Sports Corner stores across Qatar.    

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