Outside MagazineAugust 2017
How Thomas Meyerhoffer designs our favorite things.
By Michael Roberts
One morning this spring, Thomas Meyerhoffer had a break-through on the race track-which made him furious. In recent years, the acclaimed 52-year-old industrial designer has thrown himself into motorsports, training at the Porsche Sport Driving School and beginning in 2016, competing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup, a series for the elite amateurs. At the Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California, he dropped his lap time by three and a half seconds-an eternity. “I came out of the car and was so angry,” he says. “I was just thinking, Why didn’t I do that before? It was so simple.”
Meyerhoffer is obsessed with simplicity.
The remarkable diverse range of mold-demolishing sports products he has created-the first wraparound ski goggles, the Smith V3; no-fuss rear-entry snowboard binding the Flow that offered the control of a strap in; award-winning Neil Pryde windsurf sails-have been celebrated for their elegant austerity.
Even his show-stopping designs like the translucent Apple eMate (an iMac precursor that the company’s chief, Johnathan Ive, tapped Meyerhoffer to develop) and his hourglass-shaped longboards, which he introduced nine years ago to great confusion in the surf industry, adhere to his Scandinavian aesthetic. He was born and raised in Sweden.