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Ted Ligety of the U.S. clears a pole during the first run of the men's slalom competition at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide on Sunday. Ligety is the co-founder of Anomaly Action Sports, which has offices in Nashua, N.H., and Italy. (REUTERS/Ruben Sprich)

Olympic gear

Olympics boosts Nashua winter sports safety gear firm


NASHUA — A local company that produces safety gear for winter athletes has seen a tremendous spike in sales since its exposure at the Sochi Olympics last month.

Anomaly Action Sports, which has locations in Europe and at 9 Trafalgar Square in Nashua, manufactures helmets, goggles, sunglasses, protective gear and other safety equipment for athletes — specifically skiers and snowboarders.

At the Olympics last month, more than 50 competitors represented both of Anomaly Action Sports' brands: Shred and Slytech.

"The list of 50 is too long to mention everyone's name, but we had multiple medal winners in alpine and freeskiing," said Federico Merle, chief financial and marketing officer of Anomaly Action Sports. "The biggest day for us was putting two on the podium in the men's giant slalom, and our co-founder, Ted Ligety, taking down the giant slalom race title as the favorite."

The company's exposure at the 2014 Olympics was off the charts, according to Merle, who said both Shred and Slytech benefited directly from the spotlight.

"Of course, the Olympics is a huge international stage, and we expected to get a large boost from the events. However, after the men's giant slalom with two athletes on the podium, we had such a spike in Web traffic that our server assumed our sites were under attack from such a dramatic spike in activity," Merle said. "It was unreal."

Anomaly Action Sports designs and creates special goggles aimed to reduce blurred vision with patented lens innovation, arm guards with unique plastic that is stiff and durable and helmets with that offer safety, style and versatility, according to its website.

Merle explained that the company is an athlete-born idea, stressing the importance of incorporating feedback from snowboarders, skiers and bikers from the conception phase all the way to the market.

"In the end, compliments and critiques are helpful for us because the best experiences with our gear is validation for what we are doing, and improvements will only help us to manufacture the best product for both the highest level athletes and every consumer," he said.

Merle, who attended the Sochi Olympics along with two other company representatives, said he was lucky to take part as a spectator. The games, he added, was a reminder that action sports are very demanding, and the conditions demand that the products hold up to tough conditions.

"It is our goal to give our athletes products that allow them boundless pursuit of progression. Ultimately, it is the athletes that determine results and outcomes of all events," said Merle. "We are proud to be a small part of the athletes' success."

Some of their most popular items include the Shred Half Brain helmet, Mega Brain Bucket helmet and Slytech Assault 4Armguards. Safety equipment for the backcountry, as well as a newly launched bike line are also gaining momentum, as well as sunglasses and apparel that is attracting a wide variety of people within the company's demographic, according to Merle.

As far as the future of the company, he was sure not to spoil any premature plans.

"We have some tricks up our sleeve, but they'll be treats derived from the highest demands of the conditions our athletes constantly challenge," Merle said.

Action Anomaly Sports was founded in 2006 and currently has 15 employees between its two locations. With retailers in about 40 countries, purchases can also be made directly online at shredoptics.com and slytechprotection.com.

khoughton@newstote.com

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