A historical Swedish lifejacket manufacturer established in 1977, Baltic Safety Products, commonly known as Baltic Lifejackets in the sailing and kayaking world, is making a strategic move towards the Stand Up Paddle market with a SUP-specific range of 50N Buoyancy aids that have the particularities of being ultra-light, close-fitting and very (VERY!) stylish! Oscar Anderberg, Baltic’s marketing manager gives us an exclusive interview and reveals more details on the product which will be available on the market from April 2022.
Hi Oscar, can you please introduce yourself and your role at Baltic
Hi Mathieu. I am the Marketing Manager of Baltic Safety Products and live by the sea on the Swedish West coast. I have been working within the sports and outdoor industry for 15+ years. I have a huge passion for water sports such as sailing, surfing and paddlesports.
Can you present the company and its history?
Baltic was started as a manufacture of Lifejackets and Buoyancy aids in 1977. Originally, the company’s focus was on producing goods for other brands, but since the mid 80’s, Baltic has produced floatation devices for water lovers under its own brand Baltic.
You are moving into the Stand Up Paddle segment, why?
Stand up paddling is a new sport with a lot of growth, but we see a lot of people using it without wearing a floatation device. Most people paddle on flatwater and we want to make sure that they are doing it safely, because you never know when the accident is around the corner. We therefore see a huge potential in making SUP-specific floatation devices.
The SUP jacket range is very different from anything seen until today. Can you explain the concept behind these SUP Jackets?
The main difference from our historic products is that the jackets are longer than traditional paddling/kayak buoyancy aids and when you do it longer you also do it thinner, which results in a buoyancy aid that is very comfortable and slim to wear. The other novelty is the fact that the floating material inside the jacket is cut in small pieces in order to avoid the bulky feel, most lifejackets are associate with. We also make it very flat on the front so it is very easy to access the board from the water.
What is the exact definition of a 50N Buyancy aid?
The SUP models have a carrying capacity of 50 Newtons, they are officially buoyancy aids, which in general have a slightly simpler design than lifejackets. A 50N buoyancy aid keeps you afloat but lacks a collar to support your head. It has the buoyancy force more evenly distributed between the front and back and therefore does not guarantee to turn an unconscious person to a supine position. A 50N buoyancy aid is therefore recommended for swimmers who weight at least 25kg.
Can you present the full range and tell us to what target group each model is tailored for?
There are two models.
Baltic SUP PRO which is made for short distances but very active paddling. It is super slim and have a minimal design to be a very comfortable and flexible product that should more or less feel like you are not wearing any floatation device at all.
The buoyancy aid SUP PRO is developed specifically for Stand-Up-Paddleboarding ie with the user mobility upper body mobility in mind, both on the board but also in the water. The buoyancy material has a unique design and division on the front of the buoyancy aid. It is thin, compact and flexible which makes it easier for the wearer to get up on the board from the water and makes the buoyancy aid follow the paddle movement. Easy on and off through a side zip, and to don over the head. Adjustable waistband and zippered pocket on the front. Reflectors on the shoulder areas.
We also have the Baltic SUP Elite which is more for long-distance paddling. It has a camelback pocket on the back and a packing strap to attach any light item on your paddle excursion. There is also the possibility to attach a light for paddling during evening and night sessions. It has a unique pattern of floatation material in the front to be very flexible and some extra pockets on the inside for snacks or energy bars.
What other product(s) from Baltic are relevant to the SUP community?
We have our iFloat belt which is a waist bag with an inflatable lifejacket inside to use when getting in trouble. It’s perfect for experienced paddlers. We also have a full range of other buoyancy aids made for sailing and kayaking that work fine as well if paddlers are interested in a multiuse floatation accessory.
When and where will the SUP jackets be available to the public?
Our new range will be available in stores in April 2022 both in retail but also online at www.Baltic.se
What is your distribution model? Are you looking for distributors and retailers?
We work mostly with retail and e-tail and with distributors for markets where we don’t have our own staff. Since we are specialists in Safety products we have a wide selection of products and on some markets, we have different distributors for different categories. But we are constantly looking for partners in Europe where we need to fill gaps not covered by existing distributors.
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