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Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team

New crash pad on test

By Kenny Stocker | 23, Apr, 2007

With Phud we have been able to offer people the best value bouldering mat possible. Woomf wasn't quite there, but a lot of people have been asking us for something bigger, more durable, more expensive, more pad! So what is to come after Phud?

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Some of you may have already had a sneeky preview, perhaps with out knowing. It was holding up our freebee Pocket AFOs at the Outdoors Show way back in March. 

We took Jim's pattern along to our secret crash pad production facility and left intstructions with the skilled Elves to turn it into a reality. As we were driving away we were unsure of something, it was not big enough. Jim ran back in and added another 2cm depth, now we had a genuine big pad!

This, our first prototype measures in with 12cm of foam, you will need a big car to shift it around. The design is taco style, so no hinge and folding it takes super human strength. For this prototype we simply used the same PU coated polyester we use on the Phud, but we would most likely look at using a tougher Cordura type fabric. As you can see from the pics the corners are rounded so it should hold up better against heavier use, something our more dedicated boulderers have been asking for.

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What else? Oh I nearly forgot.. the print! We love the simple colours of Phud and Woomf but we had found the mother of all desktop printers, there was nothing else to do but try and feed our fabric through it. The results as you can see are quite striking, and (if the costings work out) we may be able to offer custom pads made up 'on demand'.

Don't be expecting this guy to come in at £70. We still have a lot of work to do on the spec, the costings and we need to work out how we could manage such a product. It could turn out to be a complete folly, but at the very least we will have a few funky pads for our own use.

What now? we will probably pass it on to Gravity Magazine for some extended testing. Those guys have sloppy footwork and fall a lot, they need a big pad like this!

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