Malmsten AB was founded 1974 by Tommy and Margareta Malmsten. With roots in competitive swimming, both as an active swimmer and as a National and Olympic coach, Tommy had a good intuition for products needed in the swimming industry. The company started around the kitchen table, a “Mom- and Pop Shop” where the whole family was involved in assembling Swedish Goggles, one of the first successful products.
In 1975, Tommy established a licensing agreement with Kiefer McNeil, in Akron, Ohio, owner of the patent rights for lane dividers that reduced turbulence in the pool. President of the company was Pete Rademacher, heavyweight medalist in the ´56 Olympics in Melbourne. He had (among four patents) helped the company to develop the lane dividers to wave-reducing lane lines with Olympic standards, starting with Montreal 1976. The cooperation between the Kiefer McNeil Corporation and the small family-run-company, Malmsten, was the beginning of a long and loyal business venture. Malmsten manufactured and sold lane lines outside of North America and McNeil for the American market. The first years Tommy and Margareta managed the assembling, sales and all administration by themselves. Coincidently, one of Tommy´s top swimmers, Mikael Örn, helped out in the assembly already in the ´80s-today he is the president of Malmsten Inc.
In October 1987, McNeil sold the Kiefer division to Richey Industries and the good relations continued. Malmsten took the lead as negotiator for Competitor in international swimming. Tommy´s goal has always been to improve the environment for his swimmers and in 1991, just in time for the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, Tommy launched a more effective lane line, the Gold 6” Racing Lane Line. FINA, the international aquatics federation, changed its competition standards to allow discs of 6” (150 mm) instead of 4” (100 mm) and numerous records were broken. The Gold lane line was born.
Malmsten has supplied to most international events since 1980; Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games, European competitions and many more. In 2009, FINA, the International Swimming Federation asked Malmsten to become their Official Supplier, to ensure the best competition equipment in all their events.
In 2012, Richey Smith sold his company, and the new owners changed the company name and the Malmsten cooperation ceased. Today, Malmsten owns the Competitor-brand outside North America.
Racing Lane Lines manufactured by Malmsten in Sweden have an impressive reference list - Malmsten has manufactured, assembled, sold and shipped directly from Sweden to seven Olympic Games: Moscow 1980, Barcelona 1992, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
After years of development, Tommy launched a new and improved racing lane line, Malmsten Gold PRO, with a patented design. Selected as official equipment for Tokyo 2020. Tommy designed Malmsten Gold PRO with focus on functionality, durability, and sustainability. It was already used at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju 2019. The Classic PRO, a 4”-lane line, was also introduced in 2020, using the same unique design as the Gold PRO, but with a smaller diameter.
At Malmsten we are proud to be at the forefront of Racing Lane Line development and we understand the importance of supplying the best possible equipment, when a fraction of a second can be the difference between a gold, a silver or even a world record…
Ask us for the Gold PRO when organizing your next competition!
Today, Malmsten AB is a group of companies, designing and producing a vast product range of pool equipment. The company is family-owned, Margareta and Tommy contribute as senior advisers and the business is run by their sons, Marcus as CEO and Christian as COO and head of Product Development.