Crashpads of Compromise – Going Direct

Pricedrop 2017 has come and we are excited to move our Newton Series crashpads direct to you through our website.  It has been a strange trip to this point, but we can now concentrate on giving our climbers the best deal possible, without compromise.  
At KinetiK Climbing Company, we always strive to move forward, to take risks, and to produce only the best products for you.  We saw to many companies rise to prominence on innovative products, only to fall into the trap of growth at the expense of innovation.  We made innovation the driving force of our company.  It is why we call ourselves KinetiK. We are constantly moving forward.
The Newton Deluxe crashpad is the definition of a product that cuts no corners and sacrifices nothing in search of a price-point.  The Newton series of crashpads offer the best energy dispersion on the market while featuring solutions unseen on any other bouldering pad on the market.  These features created the best pad on the market, but at a high price.  
In the retail world, we realized all this added quality produced a product that did not work in the wholesale system.  Selling the Newton crashpads in retail stores would push our prices higher than we desired.  Despite this fact, we maintained a competitive retail price, lower than any accountant should have allowed.  The wholesale margins eliminated any profit, so we decided to try a compromise. 
Being good designers, we knew we could create a product that worked in the retail system.  The problem could be solved with design, not with accounting.  We set forth on a compromising campaign.  Production cost was lowered by removing the expensive military spec vinyl, simplifying the patterns, removed anything that wasn't part of the CORE of the Newton series.  This allowed us to have a retail pad that was KinetiK, but in its essence was not fully KinetiK.
The Newton 1.0 (as this project became known), was a great solution with all the features and foam.  Unfortunately it was a Frankenstein of compromises that went fundamentally against the KinetiK brand of forward progress.  Sales felt great, but every sale took something from us.  It took a little of our integrity.  We were offering a product just to make it work within the retail system we saw in front of us.  The focus was on retailers and not our users.
So as of now, we say NO MORE!!! The Newton 1.0, a great pad, but not a 100% KinetiK pad, will no longer be available.  We will never again allow price point and retail systems to define our products.  Going direct to customer allows us to lower all our DELUXE Series crashpad prices.  Our customers deserve only the best, so we will focus on providing only that in our products.  Everyone can Become KinetiK, but KinetiK cannot create products for every climber at every price. Removing the crashpads from this retail system allows us to bring you a lower price, and a commitment to the best we can build. When you want the best, you can come directly to us at www.kinetikclimbing.com and buy direct from the manufacturer.

 

 

crashpads

Newton Crash Pad System Development | Kinetik Climbing Studio

The development of the Kinetik Climbing Newton Crash pad has been a work in progress for over 14 years.  Back in Southern Illinois,  we came to a realization that the crash pads available on the market had room for improvement, and that we could make them with a few rolls of military grade fabrics, some foam, and a whole lot of broken sewing machine needles.  It took a long time, and a lot more money than we expected, but the designs came together and the foundation of the Kinetik Newton came together.  The foundation of the Kinetik Climbing crash pad ascended from our design education, four years of study that told us that a product, through research, testing, and a little customer feedback, could always be made into something better and more enjoyable.

Our first big breakthrough for the Kinetik crash pad was the idea of creating a bouldering pad that could easily be cleaned after a wet session in the swampy ground in Southern Illinois' Bouldering areas.  Utilizing a military grade, waterproof vinyl fabric, we decided that the shell could be made 100% waterproof, providing easy cleaning after the most swampy landings. This fabric was unruly as all hell, but with a lot of pattern work, and a lot of broken needles, we worked out one of the first iterations of the Newton crash pad.

crash pad
crash pad

With a crash pad that could be hosed off after a bouldering session, we thought we had a great solution to the dirty pad problem.  However, we quickly realized that we still had a shoulder strap area covered in mud and dirt for the hike out of the boulder fields.  With our backs covered in mud, our cars quickly took the brunt of the abuse as well.  The Kinetik design team started work on the development of crash pad numero duo.  This begat the birth of the flaps and straps version of the Newton, still coming from the basement workshops of Southern Illinois.  With a series of flaps, a bunch of straps, and a lot more pattern work, we solved our second problem with the common bouldering pad.  

With a mess of straps to handle, a whole lot of waterproof fabric, and a decent solution to our problems of dirt, mud, and moisture.  Kinetik made the move to Boulder, Colorado, to pursue more adventurous bouldering on the Front Range of the Rockies.  This is when the real work began, starting a legit climbing product business.  From finding the absolute highest quality foam and fabric to actually designing patterns that could used in a manufacturing setting, not just in our basement, Kinetik Climbing Products was built with a lot of sweat and a lot of determination.  Through multiple part-time jobs, failed relationships, and many hardships, the company continued to progress and laid a foundation to become the business we have today.  In these years, the crash pad design morphed and transitioned into the basic form it holds today.  

In these middle years, pattern were altered, straps were shortened, lengthened, and Velcro closures were used in different areas.  We went through a lot of crash pad changes in this time.  After a few years, to further simplify the system, industrial Velcro was integrated into all the closure areas of the Kinetik Newton crash pad.  With further development, using our flap system, we were able to create a system of stacking pads which eliminates the need for additional straps to carry multiple crash pads.  

crash pad
newton crash pad

At this point in the Kinetik Newton development, it became increasingly necessary to streamline the production of the Newton.  With all the added features, high quality materials, and continuing our dedication to Made in the USA, the Newton had moved itself out of the price range for the beginner or intermediate boulderer.  We went back to the drawing board, and started cutting new patterns and committed ourselves to only one color of waterproof military fabric.  By putting the waterproof material only where absolutely necessary, we were able to streamline the assembly process and lower our retail price points without compromising our commitment to the highest quality landing foam available.  Creating a patterned landing zone, with industrial upholstery, durable ballistic fabrics, and a large variety of color, made the stand alone in the wide world of bouldering crash pads.  

 

I hope you enjoyed the trip through memory lane for us at Kinetik Climbing.  Although we absolutely love our solution found in the Newton Crash Pad system, we strive every day to make them even better.  There are always changes on the way in the Kinetik design department.  At no point in our history or our future will we sit back on our heels and let good enough be good enough for us.