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We here at RESTUBE love innovative inflatable products! Especially if they make the lives of water men and women better. Tobi Deckert is an athlete and engineer and has developed a roof rack named ShredRack that makes the transport of sports equipment by car very easy. The inflatable construction packed up is as small as two tennis balls and can be stowed extremely space-saving in the car or suitcase on trips. Inflated and mounted on the car roof, ShredRack carries surfboards, SUPs, other sports equipment and of course non-sporting items safely to the destination.
What ShredRack is exactly made for and how it came to the brilliant idea, Tobi told us in the following interview.
RESTUBE: Tobi, thanks for taking the time! Please tell us how you came up with the brilliant idea of developing an inflatable roof rack for the car.
Tobi Deckert: As an athlete I have been traveling a lot in Europe to take part in different competitions. In the past, I often had difficulties transporting my complete equipment. A small, inflatable roof rack that I can easily attach to any rental car was the solution to my problem. That’s how the ShredRack came to life.
RESTUBE: How exactly does the rack work? How to use ShredRack?
Tobi Deckert: Our inflatable models are all made from a sturdy textile cover that has an air-inflatable TPU inner tube. This can easily be inflated by the patented pump mechanism using the integrated “punching bag”. So you do not need an extra pump, but simply push the air into the carrier. To protect the car roof from scratches, it should first be cleaned of coarse dirt. Then the ShredRack can be easily placed on the respective car roof and fastened with straps. How this looks in practice, you can find out in this video:
RESTUBE: Safety is our top priority. How safe is ShredRack? For example during strong sunlight. And can you give us some information about the materials?
Tobi Deckert: Safety is also a big issue for us, which is why we have developed special straps that have been tested and that can hold about a ton of weight. The interior, which is protected from coarse damage or sharp edges by a textile cover, consists of a high-quality TPU (Thermoplastic Urethane) – made in Germany, and has in addition to many other advantages an up to sevenfold elongation. In addition, it is extremely heat and cold resistant which cannot be said of conventional PVC. In terms of strong sunlight and the associated expansion, our practical roll closure is another strength, because it simply gives in a little bit so the rack cannot burst.
However, if someone deliberately sticks a sharp knife into the outer shell, they will be able to damage the system. Just like a permanent load of UV radiation, so we are talking about months of continuous use here, the textile (like all textiles) reaches its limits. It is also important to know that the racks themselves (including the transport object) are considered to be cargo and thus the driver is responsible for the proper use.
RESTUBE: That sounds like you’ve already gone through some endurance tests with ShredRack. Tell us about it.
Tobi Deckert: Definitely! In the beginning we did weeks of road trips through Norway and Mauritius – mainly to produce footage for our promotional videos – but at the same time it was the ultimate test due to the hard conditions. In addition to the many other test results from the laboratory, we have made some successful field tests with simulated practical tests, brake tests and tensile tests. We are also in close contact with our opinion leaders and team riders who constantly use our racks on their adventures and give us valuable feedback.
RESTUBE: Is ShredRack suitable for every car? And how many different types of inflatable roof rack models are there? Which are the differences?
Tobi Deckert: The system is incredibly flexible and can easily be used on almost any car, whether it´s a five- or three-door car. There are now three product types. The ShredRack Prime is the largest model, with a length of 190 cm. Attached velcro straps at the filling end make it possible to variably adjust the length. It can carry 120 kg per element and is thus the solution for heavier loads. With an extra PVC coating on the outside it is extremely robust if, for example, rough materials such as wood need to be transported. The ShredRack Air is our classic. If a smaller model is needed, for example because travel is made by plane and luggage space is limited, then the ShredRack Mini is the best solution. When folded it is not much bigger than a sock. The Mini is filled with four simple plastic bottles or a few towels, the attachment to the car is the same though – with straps. The exact functionality of each product can be viewed at shredrack.com/how-to/.
RESTUBE: On the photo we see you with ShredRack in the water. It seems that the product is actually universally applicable ; ) Do you have a tip for our readers in which situation ShredRack proves to be helpful, too?
Tobi Deckert: Definitely! Especially the ShredRack Air, which can be bend in the middle, also works as a practical travel pillow. I have also seen some people using it as a base for yoga relaxation exercises. Properly positioned under the back the muscles in the chest area open easily. Last but not least I have to mention that the racks are used repeatedly (especially when traveling with friends) as two swords for fun battles ;)
RESTUBE: Finally, where is the journey going with ShredRack? Will the product portfolio be extended? Or are there other exciting innovations you might want to tell us about?
Tobi Deckert: The “journey” literally continues as we want to launch a product line named Tronature to fully embark on the backpacker scene and facilitate their adventures with our products. Above all there will be a few useful outdoor items that also have ShredRack technology. It’s still a bit secret, but for now I can tell you: everyone needs a roof over their head ;)
Additionally, we also want to take care of traveling athletes in general and expand the functions of our existing products. For example we are just launching a special sling trainer which works with our straps and has a special feature on top: a vibrating element in cooperation with Blackroll which is hanging between the straps and thus additionally trains the deep muscles. It’s more or less a vibration plate you know from the gym – just that this one is ‘take away’.
RESTUBE: Thanks Tobi!
Have fun on your adventures with ShredRack! And have a good time in the water!
You have questions about ShredRack or already have experience with it? We look forward to your comment and an active exchange with you!