WE ARE DOUCHEBAGS
AND THIS IS OUR STORY
The year is 2009, and the Douchebags journey is about to start. The young Norwegian student Truls Brataas is surfing with a group of friends outside the West coast of Norway, when further out in the waves, he recognizes a surfer with a familiar face. Paddling out to say hi, Truls realizes that it is the face of the pioneer and legendary Swedish twin-tip skier Jon Olsson.
Truls and Jon quickly start talking, and before long they have uncovered a strong and mutual passion for traveling the world in search of epic skiing. However, they both also relate to the same painful luggage problems when traveling with a bunch of ski gear. The more they talk about bulky bags, heavy carrying and expensive overweight charges, the more they realize that something is not right. As Truls recalls, “we felt that something was inherently wrong with the stark contrast between our love for the sport, and the pain of bringing the necessary gear.”
A TRAVEL GEAR COMPANY IS BORN Truls and Jon agree that the current situation for travelers needs to change. Without any further a due, they decide to join forces and take action. “I still remember that very moment”, Jon says. “We realized that it was time for travel gear to be redefined.” Jon, who had been traveling more than 300 days a year for the past 10 years, now has a grand vision of the ultimate travel gear – making the life of travelers better. Truls, in the process of finishing his master’s degree as a product development engineer, has a strong urge to develop new and better products. Together, the two of them lay the grounds for the Douchebags journey to start.
REDEFINING TRAVEL GEAR Truls and Jon start out by interviewing more than 150 skiers, snowboarders and surfers to uncover what the core user really needs from their travel gear. They talk to shuttle drivers, train conductors and airline companies. They work together with luggage handlers at airports to learn how they can make travel gear better suited for all aspects of transportation. Combined, the research results in the discovery of five important needs to address:
PARTNERING WITH THE BEST To fulfill these needs, new technology had to be developed. By involving award-winning product designer and ski bum Per Finne, as well as The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the team develops a patented technology that makes all of their travel gear dreams come true.
“We sowed the first prototypes ourselves, before new ones were made in a laboratory at the University,” says Truls. “The first prototypes were highly functional but they didn’t look too good. That changed fast when we brought in our partners though.” The prototypes are then brought to Gausdal Sewing Industries – a company that manufactures bags for the Norwegian military. Here, the bags are inspected and improved to make sure the construction is as durable as possible.
In 2011, passionate snowboarder and engineer Erling Magnus Solheim joins the team, and together the three entrepreneurs officially establish Douchebags as a Norwegian company. New prototypes are made, and in January 2012 the very first Douchebags are unveiled to the public for the first time. The bags receive massive international attention, and are announced as Finalist for Innovation of the Year at the largest sporting goods trade show in the world – ISPO in Munich, Germany. Sales go through the roof and the company goes global within its first season – selling out all bags in only two months.
Since 2012 the Douchebags family has only kept growing – both in terms of people and product line. Being based among the mountains of Norway, Douchebags live to create better journeys through smarter travel gear. Today, Douchebags are proud to have established a recognized brand as a young global travel gear company.