August 9, 2016

What Olympic Sailors Will Be Wearing in Rio

Avlare is the latest in dinghy technology gear from Zhik.

Just weeks before the 2016 Olympic Games, Australian dinghy sailing gear specialist Zhik unveiled Avlare, a revolutionary new super light and extremely water repellent fabric. A number of sailors in Rio including Australian Nacra 17 duo Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin and US 49er sailors Joseph Morris and Thomas Barrows will we wearing Olympic uniforms made of the new material.

The Olympic suits made of Avlare are thinner, lighter and more comfortable than anything currently worn by top-level competitive sailors. Avlare actually prevents a sailor from getting wet, thereby significantly reducing their water weight and keeping them shielded from the elements while still being highly breathable.

Jason Waterhouse talks Zhik Avlare & the RIO Games from Zhik on Vimeo.

According to Zhik, Avlare is a completely new material, never before seen in the marine environment. Rather than have a hydrophobic coating, Avlare is completely hydrophobic. If the material ever does get wet through, the hydrophobic qualities can be reactivated through heat.

So what is Avlare? It’s not a wetsuit. It’s currently available as a long and short-sleeve top for men and women that can be worn as a stand-alone in warm weather or over a wetsuit in colder climates.

“The idea behind it was to provide something for the athletes in Rio allowing them to go into the water and as they stepped onto their boat the material would be completely dry and so there would be no additional water weight when they're sailing,” said Zhik’s Tristan Hutt.

Wearing Avlare, it feels like spandex. It’s as light and flexible, which is particularly important when sailing active Olympic class boats. “It’s like the ultimate spandex—it’s what spandex would love to be,” said Hutt. “Imagine effectively a spandex top that never gets wet. You get all of the benefits—it's breathable, flexible and allows water to pass through so you do get the water-cooling effect, but the material itself doesn’t take up water and wet out.”

Avlare also offers UPF 50+ sun protection.

“It’s light and flexible, but really insulating which is critical on the Nacra. We go so fast that I get cold just wearing spandex as soon as the wind picks up. I have been wearing it pretty much every day out on the water,” said Darmanin.

Avlare has been in a testing phase for a while with sailors on a number of national teams—British, Australian, New Zealand, Danish, and Singapore—for some time, and as of this summer is available on the retail market. A number of Avlare products are available in the Zhik store on Whitecaps marine. Look for more products to become available as they’re rolled out!

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August 8, 2016

3 Reasons Why You Should Order Team Gear

Did you know you can get a great brand-name technical shirt with your boat’s name and logo on it for just a few dollars more than the cost of the garment?

It’s hard not to admire a crew in good-looking gear. Unless you’re the boat owner, and then those royal blue polos and khaki sailing shorts embroidered with the boat name and three-color logo look—expensive. When they start pulling on their matching foul weather gear, you just walk away.

Or do you? Custom team gear isn’t as expensive as you think. There’s a variety of ways to put a logo on a shirt, and most items can take a logo. That means you can choose a brand-name shirt and put your boat’s logo on it for just a few extra dollars. Buy items in bulk, and the total cost could be little more than the retail cost.

Still not sold? Here are three more reasons why you should get team gear for your crew.

3. Building team spirit

Sailing is a team effort and choreography is critical. The longer your crew sails together, the better the effort and choreography will be. A great way to ensure that your crew continues to sail with you is by making them feel like they’re part of the team. And there’s no better way to get a group of people feel like they’re part of a team than by wearing a uniform.

Have an intricate logo on your kite? Zhik’s ZhikDry shirts (in white or light gray) work great with dye sublimation—a process that embeds the color right into the fabric without impeding breathability. Your crew will look sharp and that will help instill in them a feeling of pride in your boat.

While big budget programs will oven provide a long and short sleeve option, as well as a midlayer and a pair of shorts, if your program is one of more modest means, simply organize the gear—your crew will most likely be happy to chip in.

2. So you look sharp at the party

Sailing is a lot about professionalism, even among amateur crews, and “ship shape” doesn’t only apply to the boat. Just like we coil the lines and flake the sails at the end of the race, we don’t want to show up at the party looking like a bunch of wet dogs—even if the conditions of the day might make us feel like one.

The Henri Lloyd Fast-Dri Silver Polo is a great shirt for wearing off the boat and into the club, and it’s a perfect candidate for an embroidered logo or boat name. Get the black shirt, and you won’t even have to worry about your crew getting it dirty. Or, order the white shirt and have them keep it to throw on after the race is over.

1. Say thanks to your crew for all their hard work

There’s little personal glory to be had in a winner take all sport like sailing—your crew pours their hearts and souls into your boat all season long for little more than a cold beer at the end of the regatta. Springing for a team shirt is a great way to say thanks to your crew for all their hard work.

Even if it’s just a token item like the Henri Lloyd Fast-Dri Crew Cap with your boat name and sail number embroidered on it, your crew will know you enjoy sailing with them and appreciate all their effort.

Custom team gear usually takes about three weeks for delivery. Visit the custom team gear page on our website for more information about processes, set-up fees, and cost-per-item charges.

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