Before the introduction of specialized snowmobiling goggles, snowmobilers often resorted to using ski or snowboarding goggles or modular helmets. However, that all changed when 509, led by Tom Delanoy, unveiled their groundbreaking Sinister goggle.
In pursuit of the highest quality, Tom embarked on a meticulous process to source various samples from factories. After careful evaluation, he selected the goggle that stood out in terms of both functionality and craftsmanship. While relying on the factories' engineers for the functional development, Tom personally took charge of the graphic design, ensuring that the Sinister goggle boasted not only exceptional performance but also a visually striking appearance.
To generate anticipation and secure initial sales, Tom decided to launch a presale on Snowest.com. The response was overwhelming, with all the goggles being presold even before they arrived. Encouraged by this success, Tom placed additional orders and continued to sell the Sinister goggles online and at snow shows, captivating snowmobilers with their superior quality and design.
While Tom's dedication and self-funding played a significant role in the growth of 509, his parents also provided support by offering a $25,000 loan. This financial boost allowed for further investment in the development and expansion of the brand.
As the demand for 509's products grew, the company began to expand its team. Tim Piver, Joanne Meleney, Chris Rand, and Scott Wilhelm became the first employees, working alongside Tom to bring his vision to life.
Building a brand and ensuring quality control is no easy task. Over the years, 509 faced numerous challenges in terms of quality control, shipping delays, and competition. However, these hardships served as opportunities for improvement, driving the team to constantly refine their products and overcome obstacles.
Although Tom initially focused on the Films and goggles, he always harbored a desire to aggressively expand 509's offerings, eventually aiming to provide head-to-toe riding gear. While formal plans for expansion were not in place at the time, this visionary mindset set the stage for 509's continued growth and diversification within the snowmobiling gear industry.
Among the most memorable experiences for 509 was the opportunity to visit factories in Asia, gaining firsthand insights into the manufacturing process and ensuring the highest standards of production. Additionally, attending trade shows provided a platform to educate people about the unique benefits and elevated riding experience offered by 509 gear.
The Sinister goggle marked a significant milestone for 509, revolutionizing snowmobiling gear and setting the stage for future success. As the brand continues to innovate and expand its product line, riders can expect nothing less than exceptional quality, functionality, and style from 509's commitment to delivering gear that enhances every snowmobiling adventure.