We’re powering at a rate of knots towards the end of the year now, and there’s no let-up in the pace for FloatRower™ and the team: we're developing the latest model, and the data and testimonials are coming in thick and fast from our David Lloyd Clubs trials. Here’s the latest on what’s been happening around FloatRower™ over the last few weeks - and what’s in store for 2022.
"Building the right product requires systematically and relentlessly testing that vision to discover which elements of it are brilliant, and which are crazy." Eric Ries, Entrepreneur
We hope that nothing about FloatRower™ is too crazy, but we do need to make sure it's safe - and it’s much easier to resolve any problems now, rather than further down the production line. This month we’ve been putting the latest FloatRower™ build through a range of safety and compliance tests, largely around EMC pre-compliance - which is all about electromagnetic compatibility - and highest risk areas such as any radio interference coming off the product, known as Radiated Emissions. The tests established the product’s performance overall in these areas, and identified a couple of changes that can be readily made to it at this stage.
Our Head of Product Development, Benn Klewpatinond, has been with the latest model throughout this testing stage. "Just like passing your driving test, and being allowed on the open roads by yourself, it's an absolutely incredible feeling to be putting the FloatRower™ through its paces! And we're delighted that our positive pre-compliance testing results have shown how much consideration has been put into the development of FloatRower™.
"This gives us significantly greater confidence, as we move forward into production, that we're producing and delivering a safe product you'll want to use again and again."
None of this affects the machines out there in our trial clubs, which have all been fully safety and compliance tested before delivery and installation. Our tests this month were on our newest model, and were done to identify any major concerns ahead of the formal compliance testing of the final FloatRower™ before it goes into production - part of the big plans we've got in place for 2022.
We've been testing FloatRower™ with a wide range of users, too - just to make sure there isn't anything crazy about it!
It’s been 11 weeks since FloatRower™ launched trials in four David Lloyd Clubs. Four clubs are trialling FloatRower™s - Derby, Acton Park, Hatfield and Northwood - and their members are able to offer feedback about the experience, and put the machines through their paces, to help inform FloatRower™'s development as we glide towards the market over the coming months. We think FloatRower™'s fantastic, but you never know what others will think until you put it out there – and that’s why we’re so excited to share some of the statistics, feedback and numbers that tell us the members do too.
We hoped our design would be as eye-catching and enticing to look at, as it is to use – and looking at the statistics, it looks as though it’s definitely attracted the users. Our latest data, which takes in the first six weeks of the trial, shows that members have racked up 6,212 workouts on FloatRower™s, and a staggering total distance 5,700,000 metres have been rowed!
These stats are amazing. We’re so pleased that so many members are keen to use FloatRower™, and keep coming back to it – and we're also learning a great deal about how FloatRower™ operates in these busy environments. But the greatest value for us comes in the feedback we get from the people who've used it, and the people who show others how to use it...
As part of delivering and installing the machines into each club setting, we undertook full training programmes with gym staff to make sure they felt confident in using them, and in teaching gym members to use them, as well as holding formal classes as FloatRower™ workout sessions – and we’ve had some great feedback from floor managers so far:
"The amount of detail involved is a great insight into how efficient your rowing technique is. It's such a big step up when compared to other rowers: not just the stats, but how it looks and how user friendly it is."
"It transforms how rowing is done on the gym floor. Integrating the core together with the power which is required makes this machine one of the best products on the floor.”
“The impact that it is having in Club has been sustained - and rather than it being an instant 1-2 week surge, we’ve seen continued interest. We have a nice mixture of new and returning members and there are some who return accompanied by friends they have brought along to try it, creating a really nice atmosphere, more member feedback, and more time spent with Personal Trainers.”
Which leaves us very excited for the rest of the trial – and for what 2022 holds.
2022 is going to be a massive year for FloatRower™. We’ll be entering production phase, which will allow us to get lots more FloatRower™s out there to gyms and clubs for people to use, from complete beginners to elite athletes. We’re continuing to gather feedback from all our users to shape the future of our product and software, and we’ve got some exciting announcements and collaborations in the pipeline, which we can’t wait to share with you. Watch this space, because 2022 is going to be the year that rowing really does become accessible to everyone...