120˚ Snowboarding Lock
On a team snowboarding trip last winter, Vim & Vigor Design stumbled upon a problem: Board Security.
Snowboarding was popularized as a youth sport in the late-1990s, and somewhere along the way, the demographic
grew up. Snowboarders are spending more on their boards, and for the first time are faced with being targeted for
theft. We noticed that current solutions available are not particularly secure, portable, or easy to use, and so we decided to take snowboard locks to the drawing board to find a better way to keep snowboards safe.
We took a look at our own experiences with locks, and thought about the challenges we individually faced. We then
organized and ranked 3 industry leaders by their effectiveness in 5 key categories which we identified as primary
user pain points: Resistance to Weather, Portability, Ease of Use, Security, and Durability. We felt that each of them fell short in at least 2 categories, especially in Ease of Use, a key obstacle snowboarders face when they pop into the mountain lodge for a warming hot cocoa between runs.
One element that none of the currently-available models took into account is that when a snowboarder needs to use
a lock, he or she will invariably be wearing gloves or mittens. Admittedly, this is not an easy obstacle to conquer. Our goal was a solution that allowed the user to dial in a combo without using his or her fingers. The functionality we developed for 120° enables exactly that -- the user actually twists 120°’s two halves with his or her palms, dialing in the combination in 1 of 3 viewing windows.
120° also refers to the fact that our combination lock’s 3 windows are evenly spaced around a circle, and that the user will never have to rotate it more than 120° at any time. The triple-window ensures that no matter what angle the combination lock is being viewed from, the user can see what symbols or colors he or she is entering – even from the “yo-yo’s” edge, as the windows wrap to the center.
120°’s shape additionally gives it more internal storage space, which in turn allows for a cable that’s double the thickness of the competitor’s for added safety. Further, its rubber exterior and coated cable make it incredibly effective against the elements. On top of all this, it fits easily inside the coat pocket so you can take it wherever you and your board go.
We know that 120° will prove to be an incredibly useful design, and we had a ton of fun working on it. Being able to design objects that affect our everyday lives in a personal manner is, for us, especially rewarding.