Skyd would like to take a moment to spotlight our official Dumps sponsor, Force Ultimate, who has been in business since 2011. Located in Bordeaux, France, the Force team is focused on supplying ultimate teams with rugged, beautiful and quality sportswear in Europe as affordable as possible. Read our interview with Ben, co-founder of the company and see what makes this establishment so special.
Through pure curiosity in fact. Cyril and I both play for the local Bordeaux Ultimate team and we got some sublimated kit made for our teammates a few years ago, through another supplier. We weren’t too happy with the way the kit turned out and Cyril had just happened to lose his job. He started looking into how the sewing and printing works for sublimation, with the idea of having a full production process located as closely as possible to Bordeaux. He found some local suppliers, made some contacts, after a few conversations in a local pub I came on board to bring what design skills I had and voilà, Force was born! We started out making sublimated kit for friends and teams we knew well here in France and then things just grew and grew. And we’ve managed to get this full production process even closer to home, as we now own all the machines we need to make our kit. We design, print, sublimate, cut, sew, pack and ship everything from our workshop here in Bordeaux.
When and how did you learn the sport?
I started playing ultimate here in Bordeaux in 2004 but Cyril has been around a bit longer, he’s played in Australia and Belgium and is currently running the selection and coaching of the French old timers – the French Open Masters team.
How many people does Force employ and are they fun to work with? Who is the best player in the office?
The two of us deal with clients, design, printing and all the fun side of things. We have a twin sublimation printer setup and a roll-to-roll heat press which allows us to turn out kit quickly and get the designs off the computer and on to the textile. That’s the fun part. And then we work with a couple of long-suffering seamstresses who run all the industrial sewing machines here at the workshop. These ladies also work with a local prison – offering training opportunities and salaries to inmates who are interested in either making or changing their career paths. Which means that some of the work on your Force kit is sometimes done the by inmates.
And as far as the best office player is concerned? Both of our seamstresses are definitely in the running, I’ve been dying to post a video of them throwing a disc around at lunchtimes but I’ve not been allowed to yet… they are very good at sewing but very bad at ultimate!
Do you have a favorite tournament to attend?
Well, we’re both Masters now, so we’re starting to prefer the beach tourneys. Costa Brava is a very enjoyable one, so is the Burla Beach Cup in Viarreggio and of course Tom’s Tourney in Belgium and Windmill Windup for the grass side of things.
What service does Force provide?
Durable, breathable full sublimation kit printed with complex, creative designs. The design is all our personal work and we make it free of charge for all Force customers. As I’ve already said, everything is entirely made here in our workshop and all the material is sourced from European suppliers – from the threads used to assemble the kit to the textile used and even the little clothing labels. We’re really keen to keep all of our production as local as possible, rather than outsourcing to admittedly cheaper parts of the world. It also helps us to keep a low carbon footprint. I guess the idea is that we can look funky and still do our part to save the planet.
To keep on working with the ultimate community! We’ve met some really nice people through our work and we’re lucky to be doing what we do on a daily basis. We want to make sure our brand keeps growing in Europe, we’re hard at work on some new products and services for our clients and we’d like to get in contact with more teams and players in North America. It’s only a few (thousand) miles away from where we are and the opportunities for both ultimate and the brands that support and supply the sport over there seem very exciting.
Why are you excited to be working with Skyd?
Skyd is now a magazine that stands for so many of the core values that make our sport what it is. Skyd keeps people in ultimate communities all over the world informed and feeling part of the same big family. So being recognised by Skyd is an important step for us. We also think that a whole new ‘ultimateconomics’ is appearing nowadays and sometimes we feel that things are moving a little too far from the roots of ultimate. We’d like to see that a feeling of community and fun still has it’s place in the development of the sport: all the goofiness, parties, stupid-little-games and general craziness can go hand in hand with high physical expectations, and this is what makes ultimate such a unique sport. You can go all out and play pro-league in front of crowds of fans but you can also dress up like a unicorn the weekend after and play in a loose-coed tournament with your buddies. Skyd represents all that and we pride ourselves in sticking to these values too.