Innovation in Technical Sailing Garments: SLAM's Contribution

Discover the evolution of technical sailing garments with SLAM.
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Innovation in Technical Sailing Garments: From Past to Present

The world of sailing has undergone significant changes over the years, with garments evolving from simple protective clothing to sophisticated technical garments.

From Historical Evolution to Technological Innovation

In the past, sailors relied on heavy, impractical garments often made of wool, a material that provided decent wind and water protection but was neither comfortable nor flexible. Over time, lighter and more protective technical fabrics were introduced, radically transforming sailing garments.

The Turning Point: An Innovative Approach to Technology and Material Selection

The real breakthrough in this sector came with the introduction of garments that not only provided effective protection but also ensured comfort and performance. The key aspects of this turning point are:

  • Use of Waterproof and Breathable Technical Fabrics: To keep sailors dry while allowing good ventilation, protecting them from the elements, including the sun.
  • Importance of Functional Design: To maximize fluidity and speed of movement on board, which can make the difference in a regatta.
  • Continuous Dialogue with Athletes: To test and implement garments in the most extreme conditions of use.

Our Contribution to Innovation in Technical Sailing Garments

Since its inception in the late 70s, SLAM has contributed to innovation in the sailing garments sector by creating iconic products, using cutting-edge materials, and maintaining constant dialogue with professional sailors and top athletes to meet the needs of sportspeople more effectively.

MickeyBear Fleece: The First Fleece Garment Designed for Sailors

One of the first significant innovations in technical sailing garments developed by our company is the Mickey
Bear Fleece
, , which debuted in 1979 when SLAM was still in its infancy (Why is it called that? That's another story).
The use of "fleece" instead of wool ensured more warmth and better moisture management: "The Mickey Bear Fleece was a game-changer. It kept us warm and dry in the toughest conditions, allowing us to focus on our performance," said Dodo Gorla, bronze medalist at the 1980 Moscow Olympics alongside Alfio Pieraboni.

Design for Performance: Sailing Jacket, the First Short Sailing Jacket

In the early '90s, we introduced the Sailing Jacket, the first short sailing jacket on the market.
Until then, most oilskins were knee-length, making movements on the boat less agile and fluid.
The practical, simple, and comfortable design of the Sailing Jacket made it an immediate success.
This historic jacket is still in production today in its winter version, the Sailing Warm Jacket, and summer version, the Sailing Jacket. Optimized in terms of materials and design, they continue to accompany sailors and sports enthusiasts faithfully.

From ATS to the PRO Collection: SLAM's Commitment to Excellence in Technical Garments for Professional Sailors

In the '80s, grand sailing made its triumphant entrance into Italy with Azzurra's first adventure at the America's Cup in Newport, USA. Inspired by that classic and chic style, SLAM immediately launched innovative products such as the sailor belt and the Sailing Jacket, first worn by Italian teams during the 1988 Sardinia Cup.
These products marked the birth of the Advanced Technology Sportswear (ATS) line, an avant-garde line that introduced advanced technical materials through continuous research and development, often conducted in close collaboration
with professional sailors.

A significant example from that era is the Twin Set Gear, a combination of jacket and salopettes with an internal mesh lining to maintain an air cushion between the condensation drops and the body. Today, the most advanced innovation in sailing garments can be found in the PRO Collection. This line of technical garments is designed to offer maximum performance and protection for professional sailors. The PRO Collection represents the pinnacle of applying next-generation materials and advanced technologies, ensuring comfort, durability, and functionality in all weather conditions.
Examples include the PRO Coastal Jacket and the PRO Racing Long John, which combine the most advanced technical features with
ergonomic design for maximum freedom of movement and protection.

The PRO Collection has been tested by world-class athletes and is aimed at those seeking the best in technical sailing garments. Discover all the garments in the PRO Collection and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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From Production Innovations to New Usage Methods: Layering Up

Building on these early innovations, we have developed an advanced functional layering system to meet the needs of sailors. Thanks to technological and material advancements, how technical garments are worn also becomes crucial to maximize their performance.

Our 3 LAYER SYSTEM allows for optimal use of clothing to easily regulate comfort and protection levels based on weather conditions. The layering system consists of:

Base Layer: Made from materials that keep the skin dry, promoting breathability and preventing moisture buildup.

Middle Layer: Provides thermal insulation, maintaining body heat and ensuring comfort during activities in cold conditions.

Protective Layer: Acts as a barrier against wind and water, protecting from the elements and keeping you dry.

This system is designed to offer maximum versatility and adaptability, allowing sailors to layer effectively, especially using specific technologies that enhance garment performance.
An example is the use of Graphene in our jackets to ensure high performance, particularly in thermoregulation, without sacrificing freedom of movement.

A significant improvement over heavier and bulkier past models, appreciated by sailors who value the practicality and comfort of the Active Graphene Short jacket used as a Middle Layer even in the toughest conditions.

High UV Protection Garments: The Sunblock Line for Safe Sailing Under the Sun

With climate change, the intensity of the sun has increased, making UV protection even more crucial to
reduce the risk of skin damage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), UV exposure has increased by 10% in the last 30 years.
This is a significant issue for sailors who spend long hours exposed to the sun.
Thus, UV protection garments were born: the Sunblock line. These garments offer substantial defense against UV damage by incorporating materials that not only protect but also enhance comfort and garment longevity while maintaining maximum performance.
Explore our Sunblock line for optimal UV protection.

The Secret Ingredient for Excellent Technical Garments? Dialogue with Athletes

Since SLAM's inception, our relationship with the sailing community has been a driving force behind our innovations, which have increasingly met the needs of our stakeholders over time. By maintaining a close and constant dialogue with professional sailors,
we ensure that our garments are rigorously tested and refined before being marketed.

This approach still distinguishes us today. The SLAM foil wetsuits, available for purchase from September 2024, are also
implemented thanks to the continuous feedback from champions Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti. Additionally, we are part of a unique adventure as the Official Garments Supplier of Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), the defender of the
37th America's Cup.
The ETNZ Collection, developed in response to the specific needs of a team driven by values of excellence and innovation (they were the first to introduce the foil in the America's Cup), is synonymous with exceptional performance,
functional design, and cutting-edge materials.

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