Matthias Ocklenburg has many names. As Tom Ayton he runs a network for freelance designers. As Matt Gelpe he wrote about his biking adventures. Design and sports – that are the pillars of his personality. Between it a head that notoriously thinks laterally. And a high-performance body that “already tried every sports in the world” and can produce respectable achievements in quite a few of them. A body that only rests, if all he does is self-determined and makes sense.
Participating in shaping changes
Matthias “grew up in the gym. I lived somewhere in the equipment room,” he says. Both parents were PE instructors, the father always following the latest trend. Whether Fosbury flop, skateboarding or windsurfing: at the Ocklenburg’s in Lüdenscheid new ideas always fell on fertile ground, even before the necessary material arrived in Germany. “One day my father stood in the children’s room with a hacksaw in his hands and asked: ‘Where are your roller skates?’ With him he had two planks and told of a trend sport in the US, where people were riding on planks down the street. This is how I came to my first skateboard. Already in those days I said – if somewhere there is a revolution in sports, I want to be part of it.”
As sportsman and designer Matthias was part of such revolution in windsurfing: “I came as a windsurfing instructor to North Sails. And we revolutionized windsurfing with regard to sails and rigs.” A further example is the Puky balance bike, which he co-developed, and which essentially contributed to make supporting wheels for early cycling learners redundant.
Water feelings rediscovered
This experience is today part of his self-image as a designer. “I know that I can change sport with what I am doing.” Also with the AMEO POWERBREATHER exactly this is what stimulates him. “I am interested in the moment under water, when you think, that you finally can forget all the turning and breathing when crawling. Since you lie quietly you can focus on the feeling how to force away in the water, to better get ahead.” A real advantage, agrees the triathlete more at home in cycling and thought of swimming rather as a necessary evil: “I was significantly faster after half an hour with the POWERBREATHER. You have an extreme sense of achievement – however, on the level that I am swimming.”
Matthias’ next cycling destination is Australia, but even there he takes the POWERBREATHER: “Our relay race is booked. But during the time before and after we will go out to the reef. There we will use the POWERBREATHER to swim the distance.”
„From my course of life I cannot understand how people can get along without sports. For this reason I think that the idea of getting more people to swim with the POWERBREATHER is thrilling.“
„To perform to the point – in sports and professionally – this is what characterizes me: to score the deciding goal at the right moment, to have the idea that brings the breakthrough… But that is no talent. It is hard worked for experience-based knowledge.“