Brand Review

Roka Brand Review (updated March 6, 2020)

February 12, 2020

In this post let’s check out the Roka brand. As the first thing let’s look at the meaning of the name “Roka”. The name Roka has been found through a long brainstorm of both founders of the company, Rob Canales and Kurt Spenser, and it has a variety of meanings. It’s the loose translation of the word in Japanese that references filtration and a white bubbly crest of the wave which symbolizes the feeling of freedom, easy speed and effortless purpose. Additionally, it also is a translation from Hungarian of the word fox which is considered to be clever and a super creative animal. Both meanings perfectly describe the Roka brand and their motto- “Redefine the Standard”.

Below you can find further information regarding the history of Roka, their products and sponsored athletes.

The History of Roka

Roka was founded in 2013 as a hobby project in a garage in Austin, Texas by two former Stanford All-American swimmers Rob Canales and Kurt Spenser. At one point after their swimming careers the two challenged each other to do the half Ironman (or a 70.3) in Austin. They got hooked on the races and started to purchasing boatloads of gear  and immediately realized there was a huge problem with the wetsuits that were aimed at swimmers. “We put on the expensive wetsuit, but we knew what fast swimming felt like and instantly knew it was not right,” Spenser says. They started prototyping and cutting up suits in the garage of Canales. They came up with a suit that cut down on shoulder fatigue and lifted the legs more than the chest. After testing the suit themselves, with friends, Jesse Thomas and Meredith Kessler they were ready to launch their first wetsuit. In the spring of 2014, Maverick Pro was launched and quickly disrupted the triathlon space, attracting top talent, including Javier Gomez and Gwen Jorgensen.

Check out the Youtube video where Rob and Kurt tell their story in more detail.

You can listen to a podcast with Kurt Spenser on “Marni on the move” if you follow the following snippets.

Roka Products

Roka specializes in triathlon wetsuits, goggles, sunglasses and eyeglases, as well as technical apparel. “We believe that greatness is in the details,” stresses Canales. “Year over year, that’s where we continue to find opportunities to innovate. We put a lot of care and attention into the details of everything we do at ROKA, big and small.”

If we look at the Roka official website there are such categories: Sunglasses,  Eyeglasses, Gear, Outlet and Inside Roka. Under “Sunglasses”  you can shop for custom sunglasses as well as search collections by sport – Cycling, Running, Triathlon, Beach Volleyball, Outdoor Adventure and Snow. “Eyeglasses” section comprises glasses for men and women, blue blocking glasses and Home Try-ons as well as you Take The Quiz. Under “Gear” section you can find swim gear such as Wetsuits, Swimskins and Equipment; Apparel such as Tri Suits and Run Apparel; Packs & Bags with Backpacks and Mesh Bags. “Outlet” offers good sales items and under “Inside Roka” you can read about Roka’s story and get to know their sponsored athletes.

Regarding triathlon wetsuits there are four models for men and women – Maverick X, Maverick MX, Maverick Pro II, Maverick Pro Thermal, Maverick Elite II and Maverick Comp II. In the following posts I will describe these wetsuits in more detail.

Sponsored Athletes

Roka sponsors athletes in a variety of sports. Roka pros have trusted it’s products for six Olympic Medals (including two golds), Tour de France stage victories, IRONMAN World Championship swim and bike course records, and 30 World Championships.Roka sponsored athletes: Cycling – Team Sunweb, Miguel Ángel López, Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, Ted King, Rally Team, Brian Coquard, José Herrada, Jesus Herrada, Colin Strickland, Legion of Los Angeles, Orla Walsh, Sarah Sturm; Triathlon – Javier Gomez, Lucy Charles-Barclay, Flora Duffy, Mario Mola Diaz, Jesse Thomas, Katie Zaferes, Vicky Holland, Tim Reed, Matt Mcelroy, Carolina Routier, Luke Mckenzie, Ashleigh Gentle, Linsey Corbin, Summer Rappaport, Meredith Kessler, Morgan Pearson, Sam Appleton, Tim van Berkel, Cullum Millward, Angela Naeth, Sarah Piampiano; Running – Brooks Beasts Track Club, Sage Canaday, Sandi Nypaver; Other Olympic sports – Esmee Visser, Mia Manganello, Fernando Pimenta; Motorsports – Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz, Nani Roma.  

Related Websites

In the following posts I will describe Maverick X, Maverick MX, Maverick Pro II, Maverick Pro Thermal, Maverick Elite II and Maverick Comp II wetsuits in more detail. 

Meanwhile, I comprised a list of related websites and posts about Roka.

Official Roka website –

Sponsored athletes

Article on “Gear Patrol”

Article on ”Inc.

Article on “The Dallas Morning News

Article on “SGB Media

Podcast with Kurt Spenser on “Marni on the Move

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  1. I can’t really say anything about the wetsuit, but as far as customer service is concerned, I have to say it is lacking. I ordered the Maverick Pro women’s wetsuit last Friday during a flash sale they were having. I waited a week, but didn’t receive any email confirmation, nor did I get the suit. When I called Customer Service, they said they could see I created an account on that day, but that they did not see any order was placed. I was really surprised, as I went though the entire process. I told them that I really wanted the suit and would in good faith, would they honor the flash sale price because clearly there was some sort of technical glitch. They said the best they could do is to sell me the suit for the current price (a lot more) and give me a store credit for the rest of the amount…which is basically offering NOTHING~! I have been extremely pleased with ORCA Wetsuits, especially the Open Water Swimmer model, so I will go back and get a second wetsuit from Orca!

    1. Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with ROKA. I myself have no experience with ROKA (I just have tried out Maverick X and loved it). A friend of mine shared his. He noticed a small tear along a seam in his Maverick X wetsuit and contacted ROKA. It got replaced within 10 minutes.

      My first wetsuit was Orca S2. I liked it a lot. Which wetsuits from ORCA have you tried out?

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