You'll notice two constant themes in our story:
1) Stability - The same Family of woodworkers making our straps for 20+ years
2) Innovation - Designing for comfort, new styles, and resourcefulness
The Beginning - An Alternative to Sweaty Leather Straps
We were founded in the 1990s by a woodworking family in Costa Rica. To this day, the same family makes the guitar straps. In fact, some of our strap designs are named after certain individuals!
The climate in Costa Rica is hot and humid. Typical leather straps don't do well in these climates.
Imagine playing a gig in a Florida Summer with a 3 inch padded strap...
You’re sweating profusely and it takes some of the joy way from playing gigs.
Your strap begins to smell like the inside of a shoe.
Your sweat marks quickly expand from your strap to the rest of your body as standard dark colored straps attract even more heat than normal.
But, as they say, out of necessity, comes invention.
The First Wood Strap is Crafted
Wood is cooler to the touch on hot and humid days and doesn’t absorb as much heat as leather.
With standard straps, there is one continuous band of material which makes it impossible to add any airflow to the design without mutilating your strap.
Nonetheless, the idea was planted.
There are several obvious challenges to creating a guitar strap out of wood:
1) How do you make it flexible?
2) How do you make it smooth and comfortable?
After a few prototypes and a lot of learning, the first wood strap was crafted.
You'll notice the style almost resembles jewelry, which makes sense coming from the family's background. In addition, and not surprisingly, there was influence from the reggae beach vibe.
The result was a movement that would change many people's lives.
The wood ran cooler than a leather strap. It was designed to maximize airflow. It also happened to be one-of-a-kind, beautiful, and unique.
Through word of mouth, the strap became popular within Costa Rica.
There was no branding, no sales reps, no nothing. There are still original straps floating around without logos from these days!
Growth in Popularity
As family members moved around and relatives living in the United States began to wear and talk about their wooden straps, the straps slowly moved into the Florida market.
It didn’t take long for the straps to become popular as they solved the same problem there as they did in Costa Rica of the sweaty and uncomfortable leather straps.
The ‘Stars’ Begin to Notice
The stories are still unclear to this day, but several renowned artists discovered these straps and began wearing these brandless wooden guitar straps.
Carlos Santana was featured wearing it in the music video “Smooth” that now has over 185 million views on YouTube.
He was then featured on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing the same style of strap, which is now named the “Solano” style, which is named after one of the woodworking family members.
Photo Credit: Mark Seliger https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-epic-life-of-carlos-santana-89485/
Revo Guitar Straps is Created - The Musicians Brand
As recent as 5 years ago, it was impossible to find a wood guitar strap without knowing the right people.
At this point, the straps were selling under a couple brand names and most still had no logo at all.
Even though the straps were the same, there was no consistent branding.
Revo Guitar Straps was formed to create cohesive brand for these amazing wooden guitar straps.
We are part of the Revo Cult, specifically formed to keep these straps in circulation in the U.S. and now internationally.
Musicians like Jakob Takos (and now our photographer) discovered his first wooden guitar strap when he found one at an estate sale 15 years ago.
Until 2 years ago, he had no idea who made this wooden guitar strap he loved so dearly. We reconnected him the brand and now he is one of our famed users of the Cocobolo guitar strap.
We consider ourselves a "musician" brand. We are not the focus. The product and its usefulness are our focus. The musicians that wear them are our focus.
Come Join Us