Blueseventy: An Interview with the Brand Manager
Lauren Collison March 30th, 2017 Posted In: Articles Tags: Triathlon
Triathlon season is just around the corner and one of our favorite triathlon brands, blueseventy wetsuits has some exciting new stuff. We spoke with John Duquette, CEO of blueseventy to learn not only about the brand itself but also a little bit about him.
What’s the back story of how you landed at blueseventy and what is your role with the company?
I started at blueseventy in 2007 to do sales and events and I’m now the CEO. Prior to blueseventy I worked at a local specialty running store and raced triathlons.
What water sport(s) do you enjoy and how long have you been doing them?
Coming from triathlon open water swimming is my favorite water sport but I also enjoy stand up paddle boarding and taking my kids out in kayaks.
Favorite product at blueseventy and why?
Our Helix wetsuit is pretty spectacular but I also really like our transition bag for day to day use simply because it’s so versatile. I use it for bike commuting, as as gym bag, when I go to the grocery store, you name it. It’s got a lot of storage but is very comfortable to wear when walking or riding a bicycle. And it lasts forever.
What’s the lineup for suits for the 2017 triathlon season?
We have a new Reaction and a new Sprint suit. The Reaction is a pretty amazing suit. It’s got many features of suits in the $800 range including super stretch lining and very intricate paneling to maximize flexibility in the shoulders. The Helix and Fusion carry over from last year and are both extremely popular suits for us.
The piece you are most excited about this season? Why?
I’m definitely most excited about the new Reaction suit. The new Reaction is a stellar suit because of its improved lining and paneling. We’re getting better and better at matching seam lines and suit construction to human anatomy and you could argue that the Reaction is as advanced as suits that cost hundreds of dollars more. It’s easy to put on and swims great.
What makes blueseventy a leader in the triathlon market? What type of testing do the suits go through before hitting the public?
We’ve been making triathlon specific wetsuits since 2005 and we’ve been working hand in hand with elite swimmers ever since. We have a very active company culture and we all use the products that we make. Just today I joined two of our staff members for a lunchtime swim at a local pool. One of our core company values is to create product for the real world. What that means is we don’t rely on slick marketing and we don’t take a supplier’s word for it when they introduce a new material and tell us how great it is. While we do flume testing to understand the speed of different materials real world testing is much more important to us. We’ll start by making samples that we ourselves test and it may take several rounds before we’re happy with the product. At that point we’ll make a bunch more samples and get them on our athletes to test out and give feedback on. It’s a bit of a painstaking process but we don’t want to put anything on the market we don’t 100% believe in.
Is the Helix really faster and better than before?
The Helix is the culmination of everything we know about suit construction methods, neoprene properties and lining. It features 3 different types of neoprene and more panels and design features than I can count. We consider it the ultimate swimmer’s suit and I’d encourage anyone who claims they can’t swim in a fullsuit to give it a try. Today at the pool we tested a version of the Helix that features a new foam material that’s more buoyant than traditional neoprene. I’m not aware of any other wetsuit company using this material and it’s something we’re very interested in. Regardless of the results of this particular material we’ll have a new Helix and Fusion suit for 2018.
Where do you see blueseventy wetsuits going in the upcoming seasons?
Overall we’re a product driven company with employees who are passionate about swimming, triathlon and overall being active. I’m really proud of the team we have and I believe our product is a direct reflection of the culture and values that we have.
A big thank you to John for doing this interview with us! Have any questions or comments about blueseventy wetsuits or even triathlon season? Let us know and feel free to call (866-906-7848), email (email@example.com), or live chat us.
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