Customers Drive Our Design: The Creation of the Aqua Thermal

by Katie Ogden, GH Team Member & Cal Poly Graduate

Our goal at GH Sports is to ensure our customers have the highest quality, most comfortable gear to succeed in their athletic endeavors and to live active lifestyles. That’s why we design our fitness apparel using customer feedback right from the start, putting it through product testing and designing several versions before releasing a final product. Since we design and manufacture our GH apparel in house, we have the ability to create new products based on customer input. One prime example is the creation of our Aqua Thermal (for men and women) and Aqua Shirt (for men and women) products inspired by a customer!

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Back in 2005, a customer came into our store looking for a swim garment that would keep her warmer in the water. Our innovative founder Greg Hind went to work to create such a “swimsuit.” After trial and error and several different revisions, the Aqua Thermal (not your traditional swimsuit) was born, alongside the Aqua Shirt.

IMG_2716_2 Seam placement ensures a full range of mobility.

IMG_2718_2 A full-zip front makes it easy to put on & take off.

How was it designed to solve the customer’s need?
The Aqua Thermal was designed to be worn in colder conditions during aqua aerobics, aqua therapy and other water sports. It keeps the core warm with a double-layered mesh body with fleece fabric lining that is wind- and water-resistant. The arms are made of thinner, high-quality polyester fabric that offers full mobility. It has a full zipper up the front, making it easy to put on and take off.

The Aqua Shirt was made for slightly warmer weather, highlighting the same comfortable fit and design as the Thermal without the thick layer of fleece. The entire shirt is made of the thinner, high-quality polyester, providing protection from the sun and chilly weather conditions.

What did other customers think of it?
Once Greg had a solid product in place, the GH design team manufactured a small run of the aqua thermals to see if other customers found it useful too. Turns out, it was a hit.

One of our long-time, loyal customers Gerry was one of our first product testers back in 2005. She said, “The fit is perfect. It’s very comfortable to move in the water with it on. The mesh fabric for the body/core prevents overheating, but keeps me cozy in cool weather.” She fell for this product and for the past 10 years has worn the Aqua Thermal for her aqua aerobics classes at Club K Aquatic Center in San Luis Obispo, CA.

2012-12-13 10.06.572012-12-13 10.14.38Gerry is one of many who have benefited from these unique swim tops. We love the fact that one customer’s feedback can lead to a successful product that helps many others stay active and encourages them to live healthy, happy lifestyles.

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