Technical Absorbents
Techtextil Frankfurt

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Most innovative sports start-ups recognised

The expert jury for the ISPO Brandnew award has selected the 2019 winners from more than 400 submissions it received this year.

12th December 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Munich

Sports/​Outdoor, Clothing/​Footwear

The expert jury for the ISPO Brandnew award has selected the 2019 winners from more than 400 submissions it received this year. The most innovative products with true market relevance are distinguished each year in the world’s largest competition for start-ups in the sports industry. This year, the concept from Original+ for the mass custom manufacturing of alpine skis came out as the overall winner.

The other award winners offered remarkable products with personalised functions, new safety features and unconventional ideas. Visitors can see the ISPO Brandnew award winners and finalists from 3-6 February 2019, in the ISPO Brandnew Village at ISPO Munich.

Original+, Austria, 2016. © ISPO

“We had extremely good submissions this year: The decision ultimately came down to small details in the design, function or presentation. Along with a cohesive overall concept, the marketability of the product is always a determining factor,” explained David Badalec, responsible for ISPO Brandnew. The jury selected one overall winner, as well as one winner in each of the categories Accessories, Apparel, Fitness, Hardware Summer, Hardware Winter and Wearables.


Original+, Austria, is a concept for the mass custom manufacturing of alpine skis. A specially developed software works with artificial intelligence to interpret the biometric data of the athlete. Personal information provided about their skiing style and preferred area of use is then combined with these parameters and all of the collected information is translated into a tailor-made set of skis.

“The award was given for mass custom manufacturing, which—when implemented at competitive prices—would be a major step for the industry,” said Thorsten Schwabe from Indigo, a long-time member of the ISPO Brandnew jury. The award validates the innovative content offered by Original+, which also won over the independent ISPO Award jury in 2018.

Hero Water Wear

Hero Water Wear, Australia, won in the Apparel category. It combines a functional shirt suitable for water sports with a lifesaving function. In an emergency, the integrated carbon dioxide cartridge is activated via a ripcord, which then inflates air chambers in the shirt’s chest and shoulder areas. It buoys the wearer and can thus save lives. There are also other convincing features: The integrated SPF 50 protects against sunburn. A blend of 80% polyester and 20% Lycra with flat seams and a double lining ensures a comfortable fit.

Hero Water Wear, Australia, 2018. © ISPO


diPulse, Sweden, was recognised in the Wearables category. The start-up integrates electrostimulation (EMS) in functional clothing to promote muscle training. Convenient, carbon-based control elements are attached to the clothing without wires or electrodes. They enable targeted stimulation of particular muscle areas in every training stage. In addition, an integrated virtual trainer can access the data in real time and give the athlete active feedback.

Bluebird Mountain

Bluebird Mountain, Germany, has become a winner in the Accessories category, with its PowderBee drone, which shortens searches for avalanche victims by crucial seconds. Light (600g) and compact, it fits in any backpack and assists in emergency situations by searching for avalanche victims from the air. While the drone scans the avalanche surface, the search party can coordinate the next steps in the snow. If PowderBee detects a signal, it transmits a visual and acoustic notification and the rescue can begin without delay.

diPulse, Sweden, 2017. © ISPO


A winner in the Fitness category, YoRoller, Austria, is a portable fitness station for equipment-supported strength training indoors and outdoors with an adapter that enables it to be easily mounted to poles, handrails or trees. Based on the flywheel energy concept, the YoRoller works like a horizontal yo-yo that responds to the movement of the user and converts the rotational energy accordingly. The effects of training result purely from the athlete’s energy that is used and converted – additional weight is not needed.


The modular kiteboard Inobo, France, a winner in the Hardware Summer category, impressed the jury with a novel combination of a carbon exoskeleton and an additional deck pad. The exoskeleton ensures that the high-performance board remains stable. The expanded deck module can be exchanged at the surfing spot based on skill level—from beginner to professional—as well as the surfer's preferences and prevailing conditions. The decks are available in different designs, colors and sizes.

YoRoller, Austria, 2017. © ISPO

Split Ski

The Split Ski, Poland, which won in the Hardware Winter category, is a real space saver. A technically simple yet highly functional connector linking the two elements makes the skis foldable and thus the perfect travel companion by plane, train or bike. On the slopes, the skis can be easily transported in a backpack for combined ski and alpine tours, then unfolded for full usability. The jury was particularly impressed with the new technical connector attachment and the high quality of workmanship.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more