It's What We've Always Wanted To Do
At ROKA, we're dedicated to empowering athletes with products that make them faster — faster than they were yesterday, faster than they were last season, faster than their competition. Faster takes hard work, but when you find resonance with your training and equipment there's nothing like it. It's called "easy speed" and it feels AWESOME. Lost it? Never had it? No worries. We're here to help.
We're committed to making the finest technical sportswear on the planet. We work with the best mills and factories in the world and have a team of more than 25 experienced, dedicated professionals who live and breathe performance products. Whether it's a highly technical thermo-bonded garment or a multi-shot, injection-molded piece of equipment, we are up for the challenge. We have in-house patternmakers with 30 years of experience who are helping us truly own our fit right out of the gates, and we have advanced R&D scouts who are traveling the world, constantly on the hunt for the newest innovations.
But we'd be nothing without our athletes, who demand the utmost of our resources and capabilities. We are incredibly proud to work with the very best athletes in the world, including 7x World Champion Javier Gómez Noya, 2x World Champion Gwen Jorgensen, and countless other World Champions, Olympians, and IRONMAN Champions. We are honored to support some of the most accomplished and respected coaches in the world, including Mark Allen and Siri Lindley. Lastly, we're proud to work with the very best amateur teams and athletes from around the world – from the most dedicated to those who are just starting out. Give us a shot – we'd like to work with you, too.
Our Business Model
We are focused on a direct-to-consumer model. We believe that by cutting out the middleman as much as possible, we can better control the quality of our products as well as the quality of our relationships with customers. Unlike many businesses tied to a retail model, we are not constrained by our profit margins and can use the very best fabrics and materials in the world and deliver products on our own timetables, without sacrificing innovation. In the retail world, you must show your final products many months before they ship in order to secure floor space. This hinders companies' abilities to stay nimble and to take advantage of the latest technological advances the market has to offer. Through a direct model, we can deliver the best products possible faster. Whenever we can pass that value directly to our customers and still make a manageable margin for our growing business, we'll do it.
We love our customers and engage with them whenever possible. We actually answer our email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and our phone (877-985-7652) with real people who are athletes and who know our products inside and out. If you're not sure what you need or what size you are, please don't hesitate to reach out. And if you've purchased something from us, please let us know what you think. We're always looking to get better.
Part of getting better is getting close to our customers and getting out to see our customers in person. We ship products directly to our customers around the world from warehouses in the US, Europe, and Australia. We also get out to events. ROKA is the Official Swim Sponsor of the US IRONMAN® Series and the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We also sponsor a variety of other grassroots and independent races and attend dozens of race expos per year, and we regularly make special trips to teams to introduce our products. So please come find us at a race or contact us if you'd like us to come to you.
We are headquartered in Dallas, Texas and have employees in Los Angeles, California and Boulder, Colorado.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
We started ROKA after we signed up for an Ironman 70.3 triathlon on a dare and subsequently spent more money on gear and less time in the water than we should have. After testing the "best" wetsuits on the market, we found that the suits on the market all had major design flaws and performance hindering compromises — giving up some combination of body position, range of motion, rotation, or buoyancy. These suits forced us to swim much harder and slower than we had expected, leaving us spent and frustrated heading into T1. Sound familiar? Deeply frustrated with that experience, we decided to start from scratch and create a new wetsuit design, drawing on our decades of experience as competitive swimmers and the latest cutting edge research from the "supersuit" era in olympic swimming.
We spent our first two years doing research and development, creating and testing the Maverick wetsuits on pros, on ourselves and on everyday tri-addicts. Jesse Thomas was instrumental in making sure that the suit performed for developing swimmers with imperfect technique, not just elite swimmers like ourselves. Middle-of-the-pack age groupers also provided real and meaningful input, and we made specific changes to our suit design and material choice to accommodate developing swimmers without impacting the performance of the suit for elite swimmers. The result? The Maverick Pro's patent-pending design puts you in the fastest body position possible and facilities proper rotation for fast freestyle. What's more, our suit is so comfortable that your shoulders will not tire like they do in your current suit – promise.
After extensive pool and race testing, we believe the Maverick Pro is the fastest wetsuit on the planet. Even years later, we have not found a faster suit. Along the product design path, we discovered a breakthrough training product in the SIM – a neoprene short that mimics the lift of a wetsuit in the pool for training and thus allowing you to Train Like You Race®. For non-wetsuit swims, the super-fast and comfortable Viper offers NASA-tested, market-beating performance.
In 2015, we drew on decades of experience designing and developing goggles and other injection-molded hard goods and launched our first collection of performance swimming goggles. In addition to offering razor sharp, distortion-free optics and outstanding comfort, the collection features SPCTRM™ optics – a purpose-built set of eight lens tints that were designed to make sighting buoys in open water easier and designed to ease eye fatigue under the sun and other extreme lighting conditions.
Across our range, we have redefined what is possible in performance on race day, and that same passion for performance defines our training swimwear and cycling apparel released in 2015. Our swimwear is crafted with premium materials and engineered with technologies that maximize durability, comfort and fit under stress. Helping athletes get the most out of their preparation, ROKA swimwear achieves flexible comfort and fluid movement with strategic two-way stretch while maintaining a streamlined fit with lasting shape retention. Our cycling apparel fuses the insights of world-class cyclists with technologies proven in the pro peloton to engineer a collection with impeccable attention to detail, and it delivers the highest technical performance, a range of precision fits and best-in-class comfort to athletes who demand unsurpassed quality.
We're very excited about the products we've launched as well as those we have in development. We continue to be dedicated to empowering pros and amateurs alike with products that make them faster, more comfortable, and more confident. Reaching the next level doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work. It demands commitment, perseverance and the kind of vision that sees opportunity where others see limits. ROKA shares that drive and honors that devotion by delivering the best of innovation in every category we enter. Stay tuned.
-Rob Canales & Kurt Spenser, ROKA Co-Founders
- Recipient of 2016 ISPO AWARD - Best Performance Water Apparel for the Maverick Pro Wetsuit.
- Relying on ROKA’s flagship Maverick Pro wetsuit and F1 goggles in the swim segment of the race, ROKA pro athletes Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gómez Noya achieved unprecedented wins at the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series. Jorgensen repeated as world champion, completed an undefeated season and extended her record of consecutive WTS wins to 12 races. Gómez finished second in the race to ROKA athlete and Spanish Federation teammate Mario Mola, and in doing so, secured enough overall points to win a record-breaking fifth ITU WTS world title.
- ROKA Swimskins were worn by more athletes than any other brand – almost 25% of the field – at the IRONMAN® World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Read more here.
- ROKA launches its SPCTRM™ Swimming Goggle, Elite Swimwear and Pro Cycling Collections
- ROKA pro athletes Javier Gómez and Gwen Jorgensen won a combined three world championship titles. ROKA pros had over a dozen ITU World Triathlon Series wins and Ironman® and Ironman 70.3® wins, and were First Out of the Water at countless races around the world, including the ITU WTS Grand Final, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, and the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
- ROKA Wetsuits named #1 by LAVA Magazine and Most Comfortable and Fastest Overall by Triathlete Magazine.
- In our first season, ROKA products saw widespread acceptance by elite and developing swimmers alike.
- ROKA pro athletes had 12 major wins and 13 major First Out of the Waters, including the Ironman World Championship, the ITU WTS Grand Final, the HyVee 5150 Elite Cup Championship, several Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races, and more.
- ROKA moves from Austin to Dallas, Texas. Co-Founder Rob Canales leaves his corporate law job to launch ROKA full-time at the end of March.
- Formal incorporation in September 2011, serious R&D and IP protection begins. We spent two years designing and testing our suits before launching them in 2013.
- ROKA was born in Barton Springs Pool in Austin, Texas in September 2010 – founded by Rob Canales and Kurt Spenser, two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
ROKA was born in the Barton Springs Pool, a 300 yard open water pool in Austin, Texas.