Velociti – On a mission for the planetTim Strawn
I recently contributed a post to the IART community about Velociti, a Boulder, Colorado-based company that’s at the forefront of leading the tennis industry in new directions. The company’s president, Ryan Burbary, has a 21st-century approach to addressing waste as it pertains to tennis products. The company is set to release a string this coming Fall that contains a biodegradable element that, once the string reaches the landfill, will reduce the time it takes to break down the string by 99%. I recently conducted a phone interview with Burbary and what follows are excerpts from that conversation.
Q. When did you get into the tennis business?
A. My dad started a company called “Game, Set, Match” so I kind of grew up around the game.
Q. Where did Velociti enter the picture?
A. There was a gentleman by the name of C.D. Bodem who you might be familiar with from Rocky Mountain Sports. C.D. brought Velociti to Game, Set, Match as a house brand. I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Bodem and his expertise and advice is a real asset to Velociti.
Q. When did you take over as President of Velociti?
A. I became President of the company in 2019. I’m currently a full-time student majoring in business administration which I expect to be very helpful in running the company going forward.
Q. So if you just took over and you’re still in college do you mind if I ask you your age?
A. No not at all. I’m 22 years old
Q. Was your primary interest in Velociti because you wanted to bring environmentally friendly products to the tennis industry?
A. Yes, without a doubt. I firmly believe our new biodegradable technology will soon become the norm for the industry and I’m very excited about that prospect.
Q. Can you add the biodegradable aspect to any of your strings and if so, are there plans to do so?
A. Yes and yes
Q. Do you see this technology as viable when it comes to replacement grips and overwraps?
A. We are exploring all options. Adding it to other strings should be no problem and we certainly have that on our radar. My focus is on the environment so I would like to see all of our products as environmentally friendly.
Q. Have you experienced any unforeseen benefits of adding the biodegradable element to your string?
A. Yes, we’ve done some testing with a Babolat RDC and we’re seeing improved tension maintenance. We believe we’re also seeing improvements in durability and in time and with more testing we’ll be able to confirm that.
Q. When can we expect to see the first biodegradable Velociti string available?
A. We are planning for a Fall 2022 release
You can check out Velociti products on their website at www.velocititennis.com