[Travels] At Rising Home

A few weeks ago we attended Rising High; an excellent tournament in Ingeborg’s old home town of Delft, the Netherlands. She definitely suggested attending the tournament her former club hosts, and we’re both very glad she did! At Rising High we had our booth out in the sun, surrounded by 8 fields chock-a-block full of high-spirited ultimate.

The organizing teams (all three of which played and volunteered throughout the tournament) did an excellent job hosting three days of disc joy for intermediate to experience teams, providing us excellent food at a great location with an excellent party to boot! Thank you for the excellent work Force Elektro (and the Power PUF Girls!), Ingeborg had the best time being home.

Hosts Force Elektro and the Power PUF Girls in action at Rising High

Work Hard Play Hard

Attending a tournament as your job is obviously a very awesome and fun type of work, but it does usually means not playing any actual Ultimate while we are there. Furthermore, we have come back from tournaments and realized that we had not thrown a single disc that entire 2 – 3 day period. Whoops.

All of that was very different this year in attending Rising High. Before the tournament proper got underway, Robin played the one day HAT tournament with the blue team. The excellently titled Rising Hat is an excellent opportunity to meet the people you will be playing against for the rest of the weekend, and for Robin is was a chance to play before working the rest of the weekend.

In a nice turn of events, things would not remain so clear cut. Since a few HAT players forgot to bring cleats, Robin worked a little during the HAT tournament; and because Robin found out that one of the teams at Rising High would have only 6 players for the tournament, he ended up playing for a lot of the weekend! Eventually WAF found a few more players, and they had a luxuriously large team of 9 players.

Here are a few pictures of Robin stretching his legs with WAF.

Naturally Ingeborg got a little jealous of all of the on field frolicking fun that Robin was having, so she picked up with her old regional women’s pick up for the second day; back in pink with the Power PUF Girls!

Disc Giveaway

Once again we ran our disc giveaway competition. And once again the Callahan Catcher disc was claimed seconds into the tournament while the Greatest Thrower remained unclaimed. A lot of players cheerily boasted that they would do the deed in the next game, but this remained all talk and no action. One team even took a time-out in order to strategize how they could execute a successful Greatest; but that time-out only led to an almost immediate turnover and zero successful Greatests.

(left) Harald of the Frizzly Bears, our Callahan Catcher
(right) Greatest attempt, picture by Cheron Huskens

We want to congratulate Harald of the Frizzly Bears for successfully catching a Callahan score in their first game of the tournament. Funnily enough, it was during their game against Force Elektro, the team who had won the Callahan Catcher disc at Tom’s Tourney the weekend before! Harald credits his team’s excellent junk defense for throwing of FE’s offense. A floaty disc went up to the poached handler in the endzone, and Harald had “way too much time to get the disc,” the score and the TOKAY Giveaway Disc to boot!

Also a special shout-out to the Belgian U20 team for scoring 3 Callahans in a single game! And also for winning the tournament…

Fun in the Dutch Sun

Congratulations to all of the winners at Rising High 2018: Dutch U20 Women for winning the women’s division and Spirit, Belgium U20 Men for winning the High Open division, Flying Colors for winning the Rising Open division and to BORA for winning the Open Spirit prize.  Also a huge congratulations to Jet Set for winning the party and Undutchables for winning the flip-cup tournament.

Perhaps it was our time on the field playing, or the ever present sunshine, maybe even the flip cup tournament or that falafel lunch on Saturday… for all those reasons and a thousand more, Rising High was a joy to attend and felt more like a holiday than any tournament we attended has so far. As always it was a pleasure to meet and re-meet many wonderful people in our little world of Ultimate. We look forward to catching up with you all soon, and are eagerly anticipating our next travel destination!

Everything you didn’t know about your shoes

Shoes are everywhere, and we tend to see them now as a quite common product. Still, if we have a closer look, we can see that they have to fulfill many functions such as: dress, protect (from weather, impacts…), be the interface with the ground and other specific features depending on each case. All this while remaining light, durable, and comfortable…

That might be worth a closer look…


In itself, the study of the needs is a huge work, it will determine all the technical and fashion aspects of the future product.

In ultimate frisbee for example, technical needs will be to resist to the inner forces during cuts (mainly), ensure a good grip without disturbing some other movements, be breathable but water resistant… To identify and prioritize these functions, we do a lot of video analysis, during games, and then by filming specific movements.

Some elements (such as weight, comfort…) are identified as specifically performance ones, and will help us to evaluate the design ideas, to choose one.

Shoes being one of the most iconic fashion elements, it would be unreal to think that a pair of cleats is only chosen on its technical characteristics. The trendborad is here to guide the designer into his choices.

The design of a shoe is hence a clever mix of all these elements, which will help the team into the choice of the general looking of the shoe, the construction (see below), materials, colors…

The price is of course a results of all these choices, and in particular: the upper complexity, materials, but also the number of model and sizes proposed.

Each brand develops its prototypes in one size. Then the production will proportionally change the dimensions to develop the other sizes. At TOKAY, every prototype are developed in size 7.5UK, my feet size 😉


The last is the shape on which the shoes will be made, it determines their inner shape.

To make a last, the shaper uses a standard foot shape, to which he will add or remove some material to obtain the properties he desires. For example, to provide more agility with the ball, soccer shoes lasts tend to be narrowed.

Shapes depend on many parameters:

The making of a last is a subtle mix of art and science, and require a lot of experience.

Once the wooden last has been validated, it is scanned and a plastic copy is made for production.


The upper is the fabric or leather part on the top of the shoes. Often made of many parts from varying materials, its manufacturing can require up to 70% of the overall production time of the shoes.

Last years, with the decreasing of the workforce cost in Asia, brands tended to increase the complexity of this part, adding more kinds of materials and more operations (just have a look to your running shoes). In addition the environmental impact due to some materials, the complex shapes of the parts often implies a lot of wastes.

It is also in that step that are added the reinforcements, mainly in the heel, that allow a good foot support.

Once the prototype is validated, each part is drawn on 2D in the reference size, and then proportionally modified to produce the other sizes.


The ousole is the main investment in a shoes project, since in implies molds (mainly a big machined aluminum bloc) for each size.  Its design is a big step for the project.

The outsole is mainly responsible of the interface between the foot and the ground and will determine your grip. But it also provides support to your feet, for example a rigid outsole will give good results for fast sprints, a thin sole will be used for agility, while a wide one will be preferred for stability.


Last but not least:  the accessories, mainly shoelaces and insoles that have an impact on the overall quality of the product.

In particular, the insole can provide different functions such as cushion or choc absorption, foot support also, etc…


To facilitate all this, every steps are interdependent… it was lucky that I had no Idea about how complicated it would be, or else I would have never started!

This article is also a good opportunity to thank all the people that took the time to explain me all these details, a special thanks to Patrick and Antoine that accepted to follow me into this project!