Designed in Whistler | Used Around The World

 

Origin Story

 

Over the last 30 years, I have owned and operated a construction company called Vision Pacific based in Whistler British Columbia. During this time frame I have learned time and time again that you want to use the right tool for the job at hand. The right tool makes the work easier, the work is safer and the quality of the product and the experience is always better.

The creative spark that culminated in the creation of Shapeshifter tools occurred over the Covid lock down. I am an avid biker and I like to volunteer my time and skills to benefit my community. I saw the popularity of biking was growing with new riders wanting to access the outdoors and the fact our town had a disproportionate number of expert trails and needed more intermediate inspired me to take action.

I joined the volunteer trail building group (Worca) and was instantly inspired by the passion and energy the volunteers. While working with these awesome people I made a series of observations.

The first was carrying tools up a half-built trail for 30 minutes is tough work. The tools you bring needed to have multi use be strong and light. I also learned that a pick axe is a form of torture if you are over 5’6”.

This experience launched me and then my Shapeshifter team into an exhaustive study of the available products on the market and then an optimization program where we made the tools better. We offered the most extensive trail tool/ wild fire hand tool catalogue in the market with different handle length and head weights to make the perfect combination. We then powder coated the product with an array of interesting colours so the user could bond with the tool (new friend)

The reality is everyone is different and have different preferences. I myself like a heavier tool (if I am not walking far up the trail), I can get into the rhythm of the work and the weigh does not bother me. I was recently at a trail night and a number of the trail volunteers wielding pick axes were sitting down and gasping for air after 20 minutes.

If they were using our tools, they would have gotten more done and had more fun in the process. I am going to bring more demo tools next trail night. Every time I am out building trail, I try and problem solve. For a while I carried tools up in a bag. It was awkward and heavy. My team and I then set out to design a better system. I took inspiration from the Dutch Milk Maid yoke. We made a tool carrier called the oxen; sticking to the animal theme, that can sit on your shoulders (over a pack) that can take for tools. This makes carrying in the tools much easier and having the ability to move between tools makes the job much easier. When you get tired of swinging a hoe, you move to raking, when the raking is getting you down you move to filling our collapsible buckets. In short, our goal is to make trail building and wild fire fighting as comfortable as possible. The tools are designed and scaled for all shapes and sizes, with the right tool fire fighters and trail builders can get more done, enjoy the experience more and not put strain on there bodies.

As a company we are passionate about the outdoors and want to preserve nature and create accessibility to nature so more people can experience it. Please share your experiences with us with our tools. If we can help with designing specific tools for your area we are happy to talk.

 

Tim Regan
Owner
Shapeshifter Tool Co.