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Founder Story

Brent Kocal

Founder and CEO of Human Octane

At my core, I believe that the right gear can make you feel invincible. When athletes feel this way, they can push themselves harder than they ever thought possible, creating a superhero version of themselves. Everything we do at Human Octane is centered around giving you this feeling.

My Story

Like so many other people, I was working in a job doing shit I wasn't passionate about.  Even though I was getting to the top rungs of the corporate ladder I was climbing, good wasn't good enough for me.  In my workouts, I'd always push myself to the point of pain because I knew that was the way to grow as an athlete.  It dawned on me that I needed to push myself just as hard in my professional life and starting my own company was the way I was going to accomplish what I was after.  

The Idea

I came up with the idea for what would become Human Octane during a particular painful obstacle course race.  I'd just had to swim in a 42 degree alpine lake and was up on a ridge rolling under 50 yards of barbed wire while getting pummeled by the wind when I stopped and looked around for a second and noticed all of the athletes around me had one thing in common; the determination to push through pain to get what we wanted.  Right then and there, I became determined to build a brand that would deliver premium gear to the new breed of athletes who are willing to push themselves to physical extremes to get what they want.

The Execution

Now that I had an idea, there was still one little problem; I knew nothing about the clothing industry.  I did as much research as I could and found a freelance designer who could help bring my idea to life.  The hardest part was finding a manufacturer willing to work with a newbie like I was.  I had to call the factory that made our first season of gear every day for 52 days until they finally agreed to make it for me.  I had just enough money saved from my corporate job to pay for the first batch of clothes.  When the first shipment arrived, it was going to be held up in a warehouse about 30 miles from my house for a few days.  I was too excited/determined to wait, so I rented a commercial truck and picked it up myself.  My buddy Jeff and I unloaded all the crates into my garage.

All In

With product in hand, it was time to go all in and build a business full time.  My last day at my corporate job was December 31, 2016 and I haven't looked back.  My wife and kids have been super supportive through the entrepreneur's roller coaster ride I've been on.  I couldn't do this without them. 

The Future

My vision is to unify athletes in sports that require the athlete to go through pain in order to push through their personal boundaries.  In the future I see, the "tribes" of obstacle course racing, CrossFit, Triathlon, Endurance and MMA will merge in the sport-specific language they speak, the heroes they worship and the respect they'll have for each other's athletic disciplines.  Human Octane will build badass products for members of this new mega-tribe of athletes feel invincible.