“Would I put this product on my little children?”
We were invited to a special dinner and presentation by the Leatt company. Their headquarters is in South Africa, and they were the presenting sponsor of the World Championship Motocross GP recently held there too.
Leatt has truly grown and developed over the past couple of years. The company was founded by Dr. Chris Leatt.
Our presentation and dinner were held at a remote, beautiful area called Hazyview, at the Umbhala Lodge.
Dr. Leatt started by giving a brief history of his company, has it started, where it’s at today, and where it’s heading in the future. Of course, with the Leatt Neck Brace being their most popular product on the market today, Dr. Leatt spent a great deal of time covering head, neck, and spinal cord injuries, and how their business was started and still exists today because they truly want to help people.
The amount of data, research, computer simulation, biomechanics, analysis of video and outside data, mathematics, and more by Dr. Leatt and his staff is truly amazing.
During the presentation, we learned that the Leatt brace has been in development for over 6 years – but only released onto the market for sale within the past 18 months.
The question that drives Dr. Leatt is: “Would I put this product on my little children?”
Dr. Leatt’s main goal both personally and with his company – to save people from injury.
The idea and impetus for this, and starting the company actually came from a friend (and rider) that died in Dr. Leatt’s presence.
Dr. Leatt himself has raced and still rides today.
He was at a local race near the end of 2001, attending primarily as the medical doctor on hand. There was a crash at a top of a hill. He went up to take a look. There was a fallen rider on the side of the track. As Chris got close enough to see the rider – he realized it was one of his close friends there on the ground, obviously catastrophically injured. Chris tried to rescue and save his friend, he realized the situation was quite grim – his friend had a broken neck and wasn’t breathing.
Chris’ friend didn’t make it – he died. That was the seed in Chris’ mind right there that started Leatt.
Chris began right away on his work with developing products that prevent injury. One of the first things he did was contact bio-mechanical engineers. So, it took the death of a close friend for him to embark on a totally different career path. He wife and partner Jacqui said it best: “We are about passion, commitment, and energy.”
It was great to learn about Leatt’s history, how and why there are in the business they are in, and where they are going in the future. Chris’ statement says it all for Leatt: “”Would I put this product on my little children?” Their passion, commitment, energy, and great staff are a real testament to that.
We had a tremendous dinner with authentic South African cuisine. We were entertained by local musicians and dancers, which was very special, and fun. Hopefully the photos can tell you a little bit about the very special evening we had in South Africa with Leatt.