Q&A With Kyle Bennett
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
AMDMB: What was the inspiration behind the original Ratpadz?
Kyle: Long story short. We went to Everglide to have them make [H]ard|OCP logo pads for us in the size and shape of the RatpadzGS back in 1999. After three months of Everglide being nonresponsive to our needs although committing to take care of business, we found ourselves in a heated phone conversation with the owner of Everglide. In a fit of frustration I told him, “I will just make my own damn mousepads!” He responded, and I paraphrase, “Go ahead and try, I own the marketplace.” I hung up the phone and thought to myself, “Well, I guess I am making some mousepads.” They never took care of our business needs so we decided to make them ourselves. Three months later in December of 1999 we were selling Ratpadz on [H]ard|OCP. From that it has grown into what it is today.
AMDMB: Can you give insight into the design decisions behind the original Ratpadz?
Kyle: The basis behind the texture is very simple. You texture the surface to break up the surface area. With less raised surface area, you have less drag or friction and therefore your mouse slides easier. What you don’t really see about the texture is what is in between those peaks, or rather down in the “valleys” of the pad. The valleys make up the majority of the surface area of the pad and therefore become very important when you take optical mice into account, as they have to read that surface properly.
The size and shape of the pad was the biggest we could make the RatpadzGS and it still fit into an USPS/UPS/FedEx envelope. Of course the full sweep cutaway at the bottom is obviously for facilitating comfortable movement along the entire pad while fragging.
AMDMB: Why do you think premium mousing surfaces like the Ratpadz have become so popular?
Kyle: These surfaces have become extremely popular for several reasons. First off many players find that the RatpadzGS allows them to perform better in their favorite games that are mouse intensive. The RatpadzGS are durable and long lasting compared to other pads made from flimsy plastic or cloth. We have strived to get the price as low as possible so everyone can afford them as well. Back in 1999, a Ratpadz would cost you around US$20. Now you can find them on line for less than US$10. Keep in mind that our competition has not gone this low. The RatpadzGS are actually a lot cheaper than the competition’s comparable premium product, sometimes up to half the cost. We have not done this to simply leave money on the table. We truly want to build the best product in the world and have it available to any gamer no matter their financial situation. Let’s face it, no matter how much thought or engineering you put into, it is still simply a piece of plastic and the plastic that these pads are built out of is not that expensive. I see no reason to be paying 18 bucks for a simple plastic mousepad like the ones that are for sale today.
AMDMB: Why did you decide to produce a new model of RatpadzGS?
Kyle: We simply wanted a better product to sell that was more affordable. The RatpadzGS overall is simply a better product than the original Ratpadz and here is why. This is not to say that I think you need to rush out and replace your original Ratpadz if you are happy with it and it is not worn. First off the new RatpadzGS is cheaper to produce per unit and obviously you have seen that savings passed along to the end user. RatpadzGS are lighter and more mobile now giving the gamer less weight to pack in their LAN bag. The RatpadzGS is structurally more sound than the original. The RatpadzGS footing matrix is done with what we call the DeskGrip™ system that makes it nearly impossible to move the pad while gaming on a smooth clean surface. The RatpadzGS UltraSlick™ surface has been tuned to work as well with the new optic mice as well as ball mice.
AMDMB: What do you hope to accomplish with the new RatpadzGS?
Kyle: I want the RatpadzGS to be known as the premier mainstream mousing surface in the world. We are already working on the RatpadzGS Ultra™ as well and have our concept together, although there is still a lot of work to be done on that project. Yes, it probably will be a 20 dollar piece of plastic… and it will be worth it too.
Now with a better insight to the Ratpadz and the RatpadzGS, on with the evaluation.