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Catching up with Sebastian Linke

The man behind SLS3 compression and triathlon apparel.

SLS3 is a small company but that does not hold it back from producing big time compression and triathlon apparel to thrive in the tough triathlon marketplace. We caught with the man behind SLS3, Sebastian Linke, to learn more about the company and benefits of wearing compression products.

TMC: Tell us about the origins of SLS3. Why start a company in the competitive market of compression wear and triathlon clothing?

Sebastian Linke: I have been doing Triathlon since I was 15 years old. I came to the US in 2006 and had a background in sport physiology. In all those years of doing the sport I just got frustrated with the apparel that is out there on the market. So we came up with the idea of developing our own line.

TMC: Where does the SLS3 name come from?

SL: SLS3 are the initials of me and my wife (Sebastian Linke, Sylvie Linke). The 3 stands for Triathlon.

TMC: For those still not on the compression wear bandwagon, what are the benefits of compression wear and why should athletes wear compression products?

SL: There are several benefits of wearing compression sportswear. During activity it will reduce the buildup of lactic acid – this can improve the performance. You are also reducing the muscle vibration, which is a major cause of muscle fatigue. So you are delaying the onset of fatigue. After a workout/race the compression improves the blood circulation and hence recovery. It also reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) – that stiffness you get after a long workout.

TMC: What technologies and other aspects make SLS3 different from the rest?

SL: Our compression line is developed my medical professionals – they have been working in the medical industry for more than 15 years.

TMC: Why does SLS3 utilize a higher compression rating (20-30 mmHg) which seems to be more than most offer.

SL: From the testing we have done and all the experience we got over the years, we think this compression range works best for our products and the athletes.

TMC: Is there a differentiation in compression rating in your active and recovery wear?

SL: We just came out with the new Allrounder compression socks – it has a little bit less compression than the FXC compression socks. So they are more comfortable when you wear them longer periods of time (i.e. recovery or travel).

TMC: Is there a story behind your funky colored butterfly compression socks?

SL: We actually did the San Diego Rock’n Roll Marathon 2 years ago and only had black and white socks. So all the girls stopped by at our booth and said: “I really like the socks, do you have them in pink?” A few weeks later we came out with the butterfly compression socks in pink and azure. We recently added violet.

TMC: What are the main features and differences of your current apparel lineup?

SL: The main difference between the FX and FRT line is the cut and the fabric. FX is all about performance – the fabric is one of the lightest fabrics on the market and offers a great compression – it reduces the muscle vibration, which is a major cause of muscle fatigue. We also added Coldblack to all our black fabric. Coldblack is a sun reflector and heat protector. The FRT line is our basic line. Great for athletes who are just starting with the sport of Triathlon or who need some really durable apparel.

With a new sales rep in Canada, look for SLS3 to show up in more stores and bodies at the races.