We at Arken wanted to create a comfortable, wearable, easy-to-use water safety product that provides the much needed extra buoyancy in times of need.
I love the water and I swim well enough. Yet in certain situations, I felt like a device providing better safety could come in handy. Looking around the market, we noticed that the available devices were uncomfortable to wear, and all of those products took away from the sense of freedom. We wanted a device to go with you but out of sight, comfortable, easy to use, and providing extra buoyancy in times of need.
It turned out easier said than done. From this point, it took us over six months to create something that could be called a prototype. Obviously, that prototype had nothing to do with the Arkens you see on our website today. It wound up big, clumsy, uncomfortable to wear, and barely functionable.
On the pictures below you can see one of the earliest attempts at the swimming short: a lifebelt that still had inflatable “arms”, requiring lot bigger cartridges due to the increased air volume.
To date, we have created 78 prototypes over the course of finally resolving teething problems. These attempts included unsatisfactory materials both for the shorts and the cord connecting the lifebelt with the swimming short, simple design shortcomings from a comfort aspect, a lifebelt not popping out fast enough from its socket due to an overly strong socket opening, unnecessarily high volume lifebelt requiring a ridiculously huge cartridge, and many more.
If you’d like to see all the solutions we attempted that didn’t fit the necessary criteria, check out our picture gallery below!
We’re going live soon, so don’t miss out on your first chance to buy your Arken shorts!
Our first batch of Arkens are now estimated to be delivered in late 2019.