Gatorz: Ruggedness and Performance under Extreme Conditions

Build from the same 7075 aluminium as airplanes, Gatorz Eyewear are used by Crossfitters, US Special Forces and Skydivers. They also sponsor the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games.

As many of you might have seen, Gatorz Eyewear was represented at the CrossFit Games Meridian Regionals in Madrid on May 27-29. They also presented events no. 1 and 2. on day 1. If you caught the after show of the live announcement of 16.5 during the Open this year, you witnessed CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro tackle the workout outside in the sun of Northern California. Adorning his head and shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun’s rays was a pair of Gatorz sunglasses. These patented aluminum sunglasses are worn by athletes and members of the US armed forces.

josh Bridges crossfit athlete wearing gatorz sunglasses in his backyard gym
Josh Bridges hitting it hard in his Backyard Box

Gatorz was founded in 1991 with the goal of creating a product that was different from the competition in a large marketplace. Most sunglass companies use plastic and just few quality parts to cut costs:

‘Gatorz decided to create their frames from 7075 billet aluminum—which is the same stuff that’s used to build planes.’

Over the years and with a lot of trial and customer feedback, the crew at Gatorz developed a 22-step method to bend, cut and mold the sheet aluminum to create the pair of sunglasses. Each pair takes three weeks to make and is produced entirely in the USA.  The result is a high quality product that you can literally adjust to fit your face. It won’t fall or move around when you’re engaged in high-intensity outdoor activities, like sky-diving and Crossfit for example.

Neal Maddox
CrossFit Games Athlete Neal Maddox storming through hills sprints

GATORZ AND SKYDIVING

“One of our niche markets that’s important to us is skydiving,” says Jan Larsson, CEO of Gatorz Eyewear Europe. “You can wear our glasses when you skydive, and they’re not going to break under all the resistance that comes with jumping out of an airplane.” Gatorz’ popularity among skydivers found its way to the airborne divisions of US Special Forces. This included members of the Navy SEALS who skydive as part of their training and for recreational purposes. Once one SEAL fell in love with Gatorz sunglasses, word spread quickly. Now the company enjoys a close partnership with the elite US force. Seeing as Castro himself was a SEAL prior to his journey into CrossFit, it’s no wonder that he started wearing Gatorz sunglasses long before the brand decided to sponsor the 2016 CrossFit Games.

Gatorz with Rory McKernan from CrossFit
Hanging out with Rory McKernan

RUGGEDNESS AND PERFORMANCE UNDER EXTREME CONDITIONS

Many Games athletes (including Neal Maddox) already use Gatorz glasses when training outside. They take advantage of the dual-riveted hinge design that keeps the shades on their face when running, moving a barbell or climbing up a rope. For their part, the Gatorz team recognized the opportunity to align with a growing community of high-intensity, fitness oriented people in Crossfit. “Our sunglasses do well under pressure. When it comes to performance, we dominate,” says Larsson. “One of our tag lines is: ‘There is no substitute’. That really comes into play with the functional fitness industry. These are elite athletes. The fact that many former and current military members train in Crossfit provided a nice blend for us. So we saw that is a great community to support.”

COMMITTED TO THE CROSSFIT GAMES

Gatorz is committing further to their involvement with CrossFit by sponsoring the 2016 CrossFit Games. “We saw CrossFit as an emerging market that’s doing very well, and everything that encompasses the functional fitness industry falls right into our wheelhouse,” says Larsson. We’re proud to support the CrossFit community and these amazing athletes through our sponsorship. The dedication and spirit found within this community aligns perfectly with what Gatorz stands for as a brand. Our goal is to provide products and support not just for the elite CrossFit Games athletes, but for all members of the CrossFit community living this positive health and fitness lifestyle inside and outside the Box.”

“We’re excited to have Gatorz on board as a sponsor of the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games,” said Steve Weiss, Corporate Development for CrossFit, Inc.

“Gatorz glasses are well known for their emphasis on ruggedness and performance under extreme conditions, making them a natural fit with the CrossFit Games and CrossFit community.”

Gatorz Eyewear would like to congratulate every competitor who made it to the finals and to thank those who fought well but did not make it this year. We wish all of you who is going to USA all the best and good luck at The Games in July.

gatorz sunglasses being worn by crossfitters
Gatorz in the Crossfit community

josh Bridges crossfit athlete wearing gatorz sunglasses in his backyard gym © Gatorz

Neal Maddox © Neal Maddox

Gatorz with Rory McKernan from CrossFit © Gatorz

gatorz sunglasses being worn by crossfitters © Gatorz

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About The Author

Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.

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