Three Brands Making a Splash at Wodapalooza
Vendor village at Wodapalooza in Miami this weekend is exactly that: a small village selling everything a CrossFit athlete could need.
From NOBULL to WHOOP to Assault Fitness, all the usual suspects are there, along with emerging companies in the space, such as TYR, cbdMD, Yerbae and the Toe Spacer. And now that all the cool kids are starting coffee companies – Rich Froning, Dan Bailey, Josh Bridges and Sam Dancer – there’s coffee too. Plenty of coffee. And word on the street is Bailey is about to sell out.
Also present in the village are companies making their debut in the CrossFit community this weekend in Miami. Here are three of them we like:
Three years ago, Ben Massey, a 2017 team CrossFit Games athlete, sold his affiliate in the UK to start a shoe company. Three long years later, R.A.D—Rally Against Destruction—has arrived with their functional and attractive shoes designed specifically for CrossFit athletes.
Massey’s brand has three goals: look great, perform great and be environmentally responsible. In light of this, R.A.D is a member of One Percent of the Planet, an organization that certifies brands to prevent greenwashing. Beyond that, the foam found in R.A.D’s shoes are biobased, Massey explained.
The road to get his shoe on the market has been a lot longer than he anticipated, but being here in Miami makes it all worthwhile, Massey said.
“There’s nothing better than people being able to see it, hold it, touch it, try it on, ask questions,” he said. “The other brands in the space are so impressive that if you want to take people away from those brands to try R.A.D then you have to do something really special.”
Games athlete Danielle Brandon obviously thinks they’re doing just that. She has become R.A.D’s first sponsored athlete.
The CrossFit community was introduced to the FlipSled in a big way in Event 1 on Thursday, a workout featuring heavy double-unders, weighted GHD sit-ups and, of course, the heavy FlipSled.
While new to the CrossFit community, FlipSled, formally called the Flipper, has been around since 2010, and was mostly in the football space. But more recently, they partnered with a company called Airborne Athletics to take the FlipSled to a new level.
Fresh off graduating from college, Sean Campbell, FlipSled’s brand manager, knew that CrossFit would be a great market to enter, so he messaged Mat Fraser on Instagram.
“He was so awesome… And somehow we ended up late at night talking on the phone, and at the end of an hour conversation, he was like, ‘You know what? Let me try to link you up with the guys at Wodapalooza,’” Campbell said.
The experience at Wodapalooza has been better than he could have imagined, Campbell said.
“Before the event, a lot of the athletes came to the booth (to try it) and it was so fun to watch them all try to figure out the technique, and what’s going to give them an edge… They were so excited about it,” he said.
The next goal is to get FlipSleds into affiliates, and possibly start creating other types of equipment for CrossFit athletes. Athletes like Fraser, Rich Froning and Tia-Clair Toomey already have their own FlipSleds.
“We are here to stay,” Campbell said.
Balanced Tiger Functional Mushroom Protein Bars
Balanced Tiger founder Adriano Bordoli was big into taking mushroom supplements for the various health benefits, including improved energy levels and cognitive function, and decreased inflammation, “but they didn’t taste great,” he explained.
That’s when Bordoli came up with the idea to infuse adaptogenic mushrooms into a protein bar.
He began by experimenting in his own kitchen to create a protein bar that was healthy and tasted good, and contained a full dose of adaptogenic mushrooms.
Two years later, his Functional Mushroom Protein Bars are here in two flavors, one with almond butter and organic almonds and the other with peanut butter and organic peanuts. The bars contain 11 grams of protein, five grams of natural sugar and six grams of fat plus have a full-year shelf life.
But what’s really special about Bordoli’s bars, he explained, is that they’re the first food product with a full dose of functional mushrooms (1,500 mg).
The idea of being at Wodapalooza was to test the CrossFit market, Bordoli said, and after handing out samples to thousands of athletes and spectators all weekend in Miami, things look promising.
“People are really curious at first, but they have this weird stigma about mushrooms, that it’s going to taste bad, but once they taste the bar they love it,” he said.