📅12 October 2015
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GSPN Exclusive

From LeBron James to running great Mo Farrah, it’s hard to find a world-class athlete that doesn’t wear performance based athletic compression apparel.

The explosion in popularity of brands like Under Armor – originally exclusively a compression apparel brand – 2XU, Skins and even Nike with their Pro Combat compression line, has only further pushed the advancement of the performance and recovery technology available in athletic base layer apparel today.

Unfortunately for Guam residents, buying premium athletic compression apparel often meant having to order it online, wait for it to get shipped, and hope that the size, compression grade and durability of the product are worthy of the price tag.

Two-time Guam National Triathlon Champion and former Guam men’s basketball national team member Gabe Lombardi, a St. John’s graduate who was also a team member of the University of Hawaii’s last Western Athletic Conference Division I men’s basketball championship team, is looking to fix that.

“I’ve been a fan of compression gear since high school and college,” Lombardi said, “back in the early 2000’s our basketball trainers would makeshift sleeves out of this medical grade spandex type of material to help us recover and heal from the bumps and bruises sustained from practice and games.”

After graduating college and returning to Guam, Lombardi followed in his elder siblings footsteps into the world of triathlon, which he says took his obsession with compression to another level.

“I’m the weird dude wearing compression pants under my shorts 24/7,” he said with a laugh.

“As an athlete, a competitor, you want to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of your body and help it recover as fast as possible – and that’s what compression does for you.”

Fast forward to 2014, when Lombardi says the headache and his general impatience with having to wait for his online orders sparked an idea.

“I decided to take what I’ve learned the past seven years working in commercial real estate appraisal and apply it to a business opportunity – researching and formulating a plan to create a line of premium athletic compression apparel,” he said.

batskin1With the support of his older brother, Dr. Peter Lombard, the current Guam National Cycling Champion, the idea and concept of BATSKIN was born.


“I wanted to create something completely original to Guam – our logo is stylized and based on the Fanihi, or Marianas Fruit Bat – completely indigenous to this region,” Lombardi explained.

After extensive research, hundreds of emails and non-returned phone calls, he finally caught his break with a Japanese orthopedic manufacturer willing to meet and discuss collaboration on the BATSKIN compression line of apparel.

“When I got the email back from them expressing interest, I immediately booked a ticket to Japan and took my mom and a few adventurous friends with me to meet with the manufacturer,” Lombardi said.

“The trip itself is a story all its own, my mom said she had about three heart attacks – but long story short, we toured the plant and research & development lab, met with the President, and after a half dozen or so sake bombs later that evening, we convinced them to secure an exclusive, collaborative agreement with us to begin working on a line of highly technologically advanced compression apparel I couldn’t have dreamed up if I tried.”


What attracted him to the Japanese manufacturer was the look and feel of their technological advancements he’d never seen in any other compression apparel.

With the backing of their multi-million dollar research and development lab, Lombardi and his team went to work on acquiring and developing prototype compression leggings, calf sleeves and tops, dubbed “Darwin”, to begin the evolution of compression apparel.

“They work with a lot of Japanese pro athletes already in tandem with local universities, and above all else are committed to innovation,” Lombardi described, “I’d never seen compression apparel infused with KT Taping technology and dual layer bionic support that was breathable, lightweight and suitable for any kind of weather.”

Armed with BATSKIN prototype Darwin compression products, Lombardi provided some of Guam’s most talented athletes with the apparel to get their feedback and offer his support. The feedback has been nothing but phenomenal, according to Lombardi.


“When Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho comes up to you after his latest PXC knock-out win and tells you that he believes if it weren’t for his BATSKIN Darwin leggings he wouldn’t have been able to recover fast enough from a knee injury sustained just weeks before his fight – that he was considering pulling out – that’s an indescribable feeling,” Lombard said graciously.

“Being born and raised here, I fully understand how difficult it is to pursue athletic dreams and ambitions with little exposure and visibility to colleges, professional organizations and training facilities people in the states have access to,” Lombardi said. “My dream is to be able to sponsor and support athletes locally to help them take their athletic potential as far as their ambition will take them.”



Online orders for BATSKIN Darwin prototype leggings, calf sleeves and tops will be available before the Christmas shopping season at Lombardi hopes to have a few local retail establishments carrying inventory by early next year, and stated his products will also be available at local Crossfit throwdowns, race expos and other athletic events through the end of 2015.

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