AirTech: Out of the Ocean

Rogz cofounders Paul Fuller and Irené Raubenheimer have a shared passion for many things. These two Capetonians have a mutual love for the ocean, which has led to many adventures across the globe. These adventures ultimately led them to start a business, which operates on the foundation of being unconventional.  

This has transferred into the way that Rogz does business, and new product development is often inspired by adventure, fun and pushing the envelope. It was through this fusion of culture and passion that a new generation of adventure gear was born.

Where waves meet air

Being a lifestyle brand, extreme sports are at the core of the Rogz DNA. Paul and Irené have always had a passion for the ocean. They both skippered yachts, sailing around the world while discovering new skills.

 Fast-forward a few years and their love for the ocean remains a shared passion, with both cofounders enjoying water sports like surfing, diving and kitesurfing. It was out of these water sports that the AirTech Range got its edge.

Kitesurfing in particular played a big part in inspiring some of the concepts used in this adventure pet gear range. New Product Development Manager, Peter Metelerkamp, an avid kitesurfer himself, resonated with the inspiration and reworked these kitesurfing concepts, making them relevant for the pet industry. These fresh concepts are welcome innovations to the pet industry, and have led to the filing of multiple patents for the AirTech Range.

Paul and Irené are both kitesurfing enthusiasts, and spend a lot of time on the water

Emergency release

Kitesurfing, as with all adrenalin sports, is not without its risks. It is important that the equipment has the right safety and emergency features. The driving force of a kitesurfer is generated by the power of the kite. In order to manage this power, a kitesurfer needs to wear a body harness which is secured to the kite. This inevitably introduces multiple risks since the kite can easily fly out of control. 

Kitesurfing has evolved through the decades. Gear improvements, including safety features,  continue to emerge. An important safety feature that emerged was the emergency quick release systems. These allow kitesurfers to detach themselves from overpowered equipment. When equipment becomes overpowered, the kitesurfer could find themselves being pulled through the air with no control.  The key features of these quick release systems are:

  • Instantaneous release
  • Functional under full load
  • Zero risk of malfunction
  • Easy to use in all circumstances
  • Secure from any involuntary releases

The Rogz team recognised the similarities between a kitesurfer being attached to their equipment and a dog owner being attached to their dog. The need to design a suitable quick release system for pet gear was identified through this. This concept and criteria lies at the heart of the patented quick release system on the AirTech Sport Belt & Lead. 

The emergency toggle on the AirTech Sport Belt & Lead was inspired by this concept and serves one purpose: It instantly separates human and dog completely when activated. When the emergency toggle is activated, the belay loop on the AirTech Sport Belt is released, allowing the carabiner of the lead to slide off, releasing the dog immediately.

Pull on the toggle in an emergency to release your dog

Helium tether

Another example of an inspiration which came directly from the kite industry is the patented helium tether. Kitesurfing is a wind (air) driven sport, so it’s imperative that the kite and all of its attachments are as light as possible. Kite lines have been designed from high-tech Dyneema yarns which offer maximum strength, minimal weight and zero stretch. 

The real genius of a kite’s construction lies in the way in which the kite lines are attached to the kite. They allow for quick attachment and release while also being 100% secure. They also do not rely on traditional metal components as this would introduce undesirable weight at key points. The kiting industry ensures no metal components are used by blending age-old maritime methods of knot and loop configuration with modern technology of Dyneema yarn.

The team at Rogz identified this as another concept that could be applied to the pet industry. This was the inspiration behind the creation of the patented Helium Tether. 

Rogz combined multiple aspects of the kite line connectors into a single elegant solution for lead connectors with following features :

  • No metal means that the equipment is ultra lightweight 
  • 100% secure
  • Noise free
  • Zero corrosion
  • Inclusion of an additional safety slider eliminates risk of involuntary opening in the case that an active dog scratches uncontrollably at the lead attachment
  • A built in quick release feature offering the following key benefits :
  • Instantaneous release when activated
  • Functional under full load when required
  • Zero risk of malfunction
  • Secure from any involuntary releases
The Helium Tether is made from strong fabrics and provides a noise free experience

Adventurous at heart

The rise in popularity of adventure sports and activities is unquestionable. In the context of a tamed society, it is easy to understand its appeal. By definition, adventure is placing yourself in an unfamiliar environment, exposing yourself to the elements along with its accompanying risks. Because of this, modern society is passionately driven to offer as many safety and comfort solutions to enhance any experience.  

At Rogz, we acknowledge this reality and offer safe and comfortable pet gear solutions to a broad spectrum of pet parents, varying from general life enthusiasts to those that prefer extreme adventures. 

The AirTech Range is lightweight and offers supreme comfort, while still providing a genuine sporty feeling. The engineered fabric has soft, smooth rounded edges and a diamond mesh which offers comfort to both adventurer and fur companion. 

The trims, carabiners and tether points are lightweight and noise free, allowing the sounds of nature to take centre stage on any outdoor adventure. The gear has multiple areas of 360 reflective stitching ensuring great night-time visibility too for those late ventures.

Irené and Mango (L) enjoy spending time on the beach;
Paul, Annie (Paul’s wife), Lee (Irené’s wife) and Mango putting AirTech to the test in Tankwa Karoo

The Rogz DNA in AirTech

While the development of the AirTech Range was innovative and out of the box, it still complies with the values that sit at the heart of Rogz product development. Being a safe and trusted brand means that all products undergo stringent strength tests. And it’s about enjoyment! Getting out and  having fun with your pet is what it’s all about.

AirTech Sport Belt being put through the ultimate strength test

The design and development process is done inhouse at Rogz HQ in Cape Town, and each product has a distinct, unique Rogz DNA, setting them apart in the market. 

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