The tale of finetrack
On the heels of his experience with one of Japan’s leading outdoor manufacturers, Yotaro Kanayama came upon the idea that marked the beginning of finetrack: To create products that were completely new.
From early childhood, Kanayama was interested in mountain climbing. For Kanayama—who decided that his passion for mountain climbing was worth the potential risk of death—the enthusiasm for being outdoors far exceeds that of the average person. Rather than treating each activity—from backcountry skiing to mountain biking, kayaking, and fishing—as a separate genre, Kanayama dedicated himself to enjoying them all equally and to their fullest.
And even as his knowledge of outdoor sports continued to grow, so did his experience as a professional in the textile industry. After years of training in Osaka, considered the forefront of Japan’s textile world, Kanayama rose to the rank of overseeing the entire development section of a textile manufacturing firm, working his way to become a trainer of the next generation.
His personal outdoor experiences taught him not only that a crisis situation is always waiting on the edges, but also what requirements the tools available must meet to avoid such situations from coming to pass. Filled with bold and innovative ideas, Kanayama came to the realization that, as a regular company employee, he was limited on exactly where he could bring those ideas to life.
Filled with determination, Kanayama spent two years preparing a business model that focused on creating reliable products based on authentic experiences. From that model, in January of 2004, finetrack was born.
Yotaro Kanayama establishes finetrack in a house in Kobe City’s residential area.
The first version of the DRY LAYER®—a world’s first water-repellent undergarment—is developed.
The MID SHELL®, marking a new concept in layering, is developed, and 5LAYERING® technology is established.
A hybrid fiber combining natural materials and polyester is successfully developed.
An improved version of the DRY LAYER®, bringing the concept of water-repellent clothing to layering, is developed.
Obtained approval for a management innovation plan from Hyogo Prefecture.
Durable, water-repellent stretch outdoor pants, which later become one of finetrack’s bestselling standard products, are developed.
A hybrid system of wool and polyester is applied to finetrack socks.
DRY LAYER® socks are developed, bringing 5LAYERING technology to socks.
The company relocates its offices to a building in front of Kobe Station.
FLOODRUSH® ACTIVE SKIN—a new DRY LAYER® series product—is developed. The NANOTOWEL®, capable of absorbing dirt and sebum, is developed.
The EVERBREATH® membrane, made with proprietary finetrack waterproof breathable material, is developed.
The fifth layer—the OUTER SHELL—is developed. POWER MESH—the third version of the DRY LAYER—is developed. Layering technology is applied to gloves.
Variable-direction stretchable rainwear and the winter OUTER SHELL are developed.
Development of insulated clothing begins at finetrack.
FINEPOLYGON®—the world’s first sheet-shaped heat insulating material—is developed.
A sleeping bag adopting FINEPOLYGON® material is also developed.
Lightweight, compact warming clothing using FINEPOLYGON® is developed.
Silk is incorporated into the hybrid BASE LAYER.
Professional-grade all-season tents are developed. Production of gloves in Japan begins.