Yes, we're real people and a real company.
And here is our story.
Hi, I’m Rob – a founder of Anti Ordinary. If you’re here, you’re probably trying to figure out if we’re a real company or not.
We get it – our safety claims are huge and our product seems like it’s not possible. In fact, we think it’s very diligent of you to suss us out before you make a decision about your brain safety.
Funnily enough, it’s that exact same scrutiny of brain protection that lead us to starting Anti Ordinary in the first place.
I’m a lifelong action sports athlete, my young years spent in sunny Queensland, Australia on bikes, motorbikes, wakeboards and anything else I could get my hands on. It took me until I was 17 years old to first step foot on the snow.
I fell in love instantly. I returned to the slopes of NZ every time I could to scratch the itch. Then, in 2016, a university ski trip took a rough turn.
I was a competitive cable wakeboarder, wearing my helmet every day training. I took that same helmet to the snow with me, and I just got so frustrated with it. It bounced around, was annoying to use, it didn’t fit right and just sucked.
So, I took it off. Then, you guessed it, I had a big crash.
I quickly realised it was dumb to not wear a helmet, but I also really hated my old one. So I went on a crusade to find the best snow helmet technology in the world.
My crusade failed. I tried on LOADS of helmets, researched for hours and even wrote my final year engineering thesis on helmet testing. I realised, even as a lifelong helmet wearer and budding medical engineer, I couldn’t find what helmet was the safest. Worst of all, I found out pretty much all snow helmets were just bike helmets with some fur on them.
After a huge search, I eventually realised that we’d have to build it ourselves. Initially, we hoped to build the tech so one of the ‘big three’ would pick up the tech and spread it to the masses. Turns out they weren’t really that interested in making things better, or maybe they just didn’t believe we could do it.
So, Anti Ordinary was born, to make the best darn brain protection the snow industry had ever seen. As part of the design process, we threw out everything we knew about brain protection and started again. In this way, being away from the snow was a blessing; we could develop all our thoughts and ideas without the industry saying ‘you can’t do that’ – of which many still don’t believe we can (even with the independent and certified results right in front of them).
As we observed the market, and realised everyone who wasn’t wearing a helmet wore a beanie. Hell, even most people who wore a helmet wore a beanie under it (or a toque, if you’re reading along from Canada).
So, the solution became simple. We’d build a beanie that was as safe as a helmet.
Comfy, low fitting, warm, stylish; all while being so safe we’d be happy to put our loved ones in one.
What ensued in the next 7 years is a tale we’ll write in a book one day. Kickstarter campaigns, representing our country in startup competitions, being so broke that the car caught fire (twice), pouring concrete on a jobsite to keep the dream alive, and a whole lot of legendary new friends around the world (if this is you – we love you).
Against a lot of (very wise) advice, I’m proud to say we never gave up. The importance of what we are building is larger than us. It’s for our futures, our loved one’s futures and for yours too. We’re here to save lives.
The outcome of those 7 years? A genuine revolution in brain protection. Our drop test results are the best we’ve ever seen from a helmet, we have test riders saying ‘it feels like a hug’ and ‘it’s perfect’, and we now get to spend our days protecting people that we love, doing what we love. We’re proud of what we’ve brought to the world, and can’t wait to share it with you.
If you’re jumping on board with us to be part of the revolution; thank you, and we can’t wait to change the world with you. If you’re not quite ready yet; that’s cool too – we’ll get ya. If you hadn’t noticed already: Anti Ordinary loves the chase.
Oh, and about the name?
It’s an Antonym.
Ordinary is the every day
ExtraOrdinary is the every day, done better
Anti Ordinary is the rejection of the every day, in search of better.
Without further adieu, I welcome you to Anti Ordinary. Can’t wait to change the world with you.
The crash that started it all. Coronet Peak (NZ).
The first render of what it would look like.
Midnight home prototyping sessions.
First on-snow prototype test.
Proving on stage that it could work at Startcon pitch finals.
First prototype tooling for non-Newtonian materials.
Pitching at accelerator demo day.
First test day/content day NZ.
Crowned Australia’s Top Emerging Startup.
Represented Australia at Creative Business World Cup.
Kickstarter completed, $220k Raised.
New tension system factory prototype.
Tension system V2 prototype.
First full print prototype.
testing first pre-production prototypes.
First pre-production batch of helmets (per-certification passed).
Pre-production on snow – Aspen.
Outdoor Retailer for the first time (Colorado).
First colour sample test.
First full A1 production unit.
First shipment of A1.
First A1 production units on snow!
Feature Article Published in State Newspaper.
First A2 prototype.
First A2 test day!
First shipment of A2’s headed for local warehouses.