Finland’s a sports-loving nation. Their national pastime is sports (there are many types on offer in Finland). World innovations in health and fitness have come from Finland.
From typically Finnish sports such as wife-carrying (it is a real sport with a world championship, too), swamp soccer (a lot of fun – but not for those have to do the laundry), downhill skiing, uphill skiing (its really only about racing uphill on skis), tour skating, and harness racing (like chariots and horses, for real). In more conventional sports, the Finnish have put their scientists and engineers to work on coming up with sporting innovations for their athletes to dominate in their fields of participation.
You can thank the Finns for Suunto. This is a home-grown watch company. But with a difference. Suunto is a world leader in dive computers. These devices are critical safety items for scuba diving and other forms of diving to guide divers in safety. Suunto added more products to their ranges and they have also taken the smartwatch market by storm. Touting leading GPS sensors, accelerometers, and pulse-detecting sensors, these watches have become cutting edge sportswear for professional athletes, hikers, adventurers, and lifesavers, too. Of course, these watches also tell the time – and they’re never out of sync.
Runners will know about the brand name Polar. It was the first-ever watch to be fitted with a heart rate sensor. This technology enabled runners to effectively train and perform at their peak and regulate their performance in events. From those early heart-rate sensor watches, they have added to their in-house technology with sophisticated training and fitness functions. These are rated by many industry experts as the best in the world. From helping athletes to train, recover, and perform, the sports watches offer information on just about every possible health metric there is – and all from your wrist. Polar is one of the three largest sports watchmakers in the world – along with Suunto.
Sports technology is also being advanced by another wave of innovation: wearable sensors. Skiiot is a skin sensor that sits on your ankle. It is able to monitor and analyze your skiing performance through seven sensors. It works through a smartphone app and can be paired by Bluetooth. This little device measures the surrounding conditions, alerts you to weather changes in the area, analyzes your ski performance, technique and also your safety. It is currently used by professional long-distance cross-country ski teams, Finnish Olympic athletes for training, and even recreational Skiiers looking to improve their sporting performance and fitness.
There is another company name that you might not know, if you’re an adventure seeker you will likely have one or more of their products in your kit bag: Amer Sports is a Finnish company. This company owns the following brands: Salomon, Arct’teryx, Peak Performance, Atomic, Suunto, Wilson, Precor, Armada, ENVE Composites, Louisville Slugger, DeMarini, and Sports Tracker.
Wilson is a household name for tennis fans and players. Their technology in tennis rackets has transformed the sport of tennis.