Once upon a time two Dutch stuntmen read an article in a science magazine about a new ‘smart’ polymer called D3O®. They immediately saw the potential to replace existing rigid and bulky impact protection gear by a low-profile and flexible solution. They jumped on a plane to meet the company behind this invention. Now it’s history, but so their journey began…
XION AT THE BEGINNING OF ITS HISTORY
Asked how it all started with XION Protective Gear, founding father Simon van Lammeren remembers as if it was yesterday;
“We were involved in stunts for film and television and were mainly working with bulky, rigid protection pads at that time. Wearing them underneath the wardrobe was usually a no go because the camera could see it, so it was always a choice between wearing pads or not, which is a bad choice. Also in terms of impact protection, the foam parts of the pads often got entirely pushed-in by the ridged shell, so you ended up with bruises”.
FIRST CONTACT D3O
When the later to be XION Dutchies first visited D3O the company was in its first stages too. Still in an empty office with a whiteboard working out what markets to start working with. Stunts wasn’t there, but that didn’t mean there were no possibilities. Back in the Netherlands XION started to design to fit their own need, convinced that D3O was a much better option than any other foam or pad out there. The material was flexible but hardening on impact and it offered no restriction to movement.
DEVELOPING XION PROTECTIVE GEAR
After years of prototyping, testing and improvement the XION® Protective Gear (PG) brand was born. During the design process Xion received enormous support from fellow stunt professionals and athletes. In the history of the company they were also the first ones to wear the protective undergarment and spread the word about the new and revolutionary product.
A lot of the stunt people are also into (extreme) sports. Because of that, the story of the new brand got a twist the founders themselves never expected. They got requests from athletes from all over the world to deliver the gear to them too.
Simon: “The snow sports market suddenly was the hottest one for us. Protection is always secondary to what people are doing. They need to wear it but they’d prefer not to. So, if it’s comfortable and you don’t notice you’re wearing it and it doesn’t restrict your movement, then it makes most of the people very happy. We’ve managed to achieve that and lots of sports(wo)man are now choosing XION® “.
Great product…saved my ass more than once!
– John Fregona
THE FUTURE OF XION
The developments at XION didn’t stop there. From one sports sector to another the word spread. Skiers, snowboarders, longboarders, mountainbikers and more started using the protective gear. It didn’t take long before XION created a new product line; the Freeride Range, next to the product line for the stuntworld. Parallel to that it became clear the Personal Protection market, for law enforcers, rescuers and special forces, also offered chances. Now XION has ambassadors within the air force, navy, SWAT teams, that are willing to give testimonials to other teams that are interested.
The growth of interest from various markets ensures a continuous expansion of the collection, responding to the needs of the various users. Next to the creation of a co-branded protective base layer jacket for Triumph Motorcycles. XION launched the Wheels Range to meet the needs of riders on wheels. Thus, by holding on to our values and with the support of partners and an ever-growing number of fans, XION® continues its mission to provide you with only the best. Anyone who actively faces physical impact, either professionally or leisure-wise, can greatly benefit from wearing the high-quality protective gear.
And so history is still written and the journey continues…