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The Inertia

Early this year, Patagonia announced it had come up with a ground-breaking flotation innovation that could save lives in the heaviest of situations. They also made it clear the company would license the intellectual property of that technology to the industry at large and use the funds to donate to environmental causes. They just made good on that promise, announcing a $150,000 grant to Fundación Punta De Lobos in a release on the company website.

“Turning five years of research and development into a program where we use our intellectual property to get industry members to help protect an iconic surf break is another point of difference for our surf business,” Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s senior director of surf, said in the statement.

With the donation, Patagonia hopes to “close the gap” in the funding process for the Fundación Punta De Lobos, which is working to protect that iconic Chilean coastline.

The vest (PSI) looks to be fairly ground breaking. The svelte design is sleeveless and features “multiple rapid inflations,” and something called a dump valve so the air deflates quicker (you’ve seen big wave riders climbing on to jet skis with inflated vests bulging around their necks, no?). The licensing idea is fairly innovative as well.


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