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, and owner of the patent rights for lane dividers that reduced turbulence in the pool. Pete Rademacher, heavyweight medalist in the ´56 Olympics in Melbourne, was the president of the company. 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 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 for Europe 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, and 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 better 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”. Fina changed its competition standards to 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 1976; Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games, European competitions and many more. In 2009, Fina asked Malmsten to become their Official Supplier, to ensure the best competition equipment.
In 2012, Richey Smith sold his company, and the new owners changed the company name to Competitor and the Malmsten cooperation ceased. Today, Malmsten use the Competitor-name for the lane line only outside the USA.
Competitor Lane Lines have an impressive reference list with ten Olympics - Malmsten has manufactured, assembled, sold and shipped Competitor directly from Sweden to six of them: Moscow 1980, Barcelona 1992, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016.
Tommy has invented a new and improved racing lane line, Malmsten Gold Pro, patented design, chosen as official equipment for Tokyo 2020, already in place awaiting the Games in 2021.
After years of product development, Tommy designed Malmsten Gold PRO with a focus on functionality, durability, and sustainability. Malmsten Gold PRO, with the patented design, was used last year at the Fina World Championships in Gwangju 2019. The 4”-version, Classic PRO, followed in 2020.
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 the CEO and Christian as COO, Product Development.