At Agilite, our goal is to create dog agility training equipment
that is lightweight, compactable, effortless to transport
and carry, easy to set up and take down, easy to adjust, durable,
safe, versatile, affordable and fun.
The Agilite Story
Rowdy, the Papillon, loves to jump. Frannie, his loving
owner, took him to dog agility training. One class a week
just wasn’t enough for Rowdy. Frannie tried to find
some agility equipment for home training, but was unimpressed
by the heavy, awkward equipment available. A manufacturer
of 25 years in the outdoor business, she knew that better
equipment could be made. With a little help, she designed
and built the first hurdle. Agilite was born. Then came a
tire jump, chutes, tunnels, and weave poles. All light, compact,
and easy to use so a complete course sets up in minutes and
tucks away in a closet or car trunk. Agililite is versatile
enough for living room training or complete course practice
outdoors. Rowdy gets to jump all he wants now. So can your
Agilite Design Philosophy
Agility originated as an activity back in 1978 at the Crufts
Dog Show, England’s largest dog show. The organizers
recognized that looking at an empty show ring was boring and
arranged for a demonstration of what is now known as agility
between the end of the obedience championships and the beginning
of the group judging. It was such a big hit, show organizers
decided to make it part of the competition the following year,
and the world’s first agility contest was organized.
though agility began in the late ‘70’s, obstacle
design and materials are still in their infancy. People who
are designing equipment in their garages are leading the charge
for creative solutions to building see-saws, jumps, and dog
walks, etc. and oftentimes sell them at local trials. Many
agility clubs have “equipment days” where they
construct obstacles and trade or sell them to other club members.
And now there is the establishment of a handful of companies
that are manufacturing and selling agility obstacles.
At Agilite, we set out to make agility fun. We think designs
that are both functional and aesthetic are important. Durable,
but light -- easy to set up and take down, and simple seem
to be objectives that are mutually exclusive, but they are
achievable. These design challenges are what drive us at Agilite.
We recognize that some people live in the city, travel on
weekends or take a trip to a vacation destination. We also
know that some agility participants don’t want their
yards to look like an industrial plumbing supply store. For
these people we looked at the construction of agility equipment
through a new set of eyes and materials.
The Low Down on PVC
The advantages of PVC are indisputable and it has a long
history of being used in agility obstacles. It has been mass-produced
since the 1930’s and is readily available, inexpensive,
and is simple and easy to work with providing design flexibility.
The shortcomings of PVC, however, are as real as its virtues.
It is rigid and somewhat brittle. It has a low ultra-violet
(UV) resistance and after just a few months in the sun, we
noticed that equipment would yellow, break down, and even
crack and shatter due to the degradation from the suns ultra-violet
rays. Being a thermoplastic, PVC is susceptible to collecting
dirt, sand and grit that would immobilize and lock joints
so that equipment could no longer be broken down for transport
and Chute Design
Put your creative juices to work and you can buy open tunnels
and collapsed tunnels (chutes) in a variety of places: from
a club, at an agility trial, mail order, and Ebay and other
on-line sources. Many of these products are manufactured from
industrial strength materials making them very heavy and bulky,
and require the use of holders, sometimes called “leashes”
to pack and to carry.
At Agilite, we’ve selected the use of polyester textiles
in the fabrication of our tunnels and chute. Polyester has
numerous advantages over nylon fabrics. First, it is more
abrasion resistant and offers higher tear strength than nylon
fabrics of similar weights, allowing for the combination of
lightweight products that are still strong and durable.
Secondly, polyester is hydrophobic, meaning it doesn’t
absorb water. Nylon possesses hydrophilic qualities, that
is, it absorbs water and as a result can be vulnerable to
decay. Modern coatings have reduced this susceptibility, but
how many tunnels and chutes are made using coated nylon?
Finally, and equally important, polyester fibers are much
more resistant than nylons to degradation from the suns harmful
Ultra-Violet (UV) rays, eliminating the need for a tunnel
cover to keep the color of your tunnel looking fresh. This
is also valuable for those living in the country’s Sunbelt,
which allows you to leave your tunnels and chutes set-up outdoors
for extended periods of time.
We conserve weight on our tunnels through the combination
of a longer, 11” pitch, or spacing of the tunnel rings,
and use of fabric slots sewn into each side of our tunnels
for stakes (our 18’ tunnel has 14 stake slots, 7 on
each side) that securely holds the tunnel to create “J”,
“C”, and “S” shapes without excessive