This is the Interview published on WIND NEWS magazine on December-January issue.
AV stays for Aurelio Verdi, the shaper from Maremma (a wild piece of southern Tuscany, in Italy) who developed and shaped for more than a decade all the windsurfing and SUP collection of Italian TOP brand RRD. Since few years Aurelio started his own custom factory to shape boards under his own brand logo, and now his journey keeps going even stronger, thanks to his new partner Alberto Possati, who allowed him to put in production a full range of boards. We met both in Garda Lake during the last test session of slalom range, and obviously we took this opportunity for some chat with them about roots, boards and next future of this brand new windsurfing brand.
Ciao Aurelio, we met a couple of years ago, and you were fully involved in your custom maker career, and now we found you with a your own brand and a full range of production boards. What happened?
Well, to tell the truth, beside my work as custom maker, I never stopped to produce production boards. In fact after so many years of experience with RRD, I kept having very important collaborations with brands such as Simmer, to develop and put in production the slalom range, and then with Future Fly. These collaborations allowed me to get in touch with new productions facilities (outside the classic Cobra factory) that make me think about the opportunity to start a small production of high quality boards to satisfy the growing requests of clients looking for boards with a higher level of design and construction.
I mean: right now windsurfing boards are very expansive, so when you spend all these money you should think that you can use your board for all the years that you like, and when you decide to sell it, it’s because you want to buy something better or different, not just because you used your board already one season and you’re not sure that your board will survive to the second season!
So my production boards range will allow me to cover the needs of end consumer used to buy in the production market. But for sure I’ll keep to made custom boards for my core business: people looking for a tailored board well shaped and built on their specific needs, beside the development of new slalom, foil, speed and freestyle range for the competitions.
Garda Lake is very important for central Europe and Windsurfing in general and Circolo Surf Torbole, that is so always busy, proves what I believe: that windsurfing is growing and is going to be big again, so all this helps that, support that, and makes Garda what it used to be in windsurfing, the heart of Central European windsurfers.
Tell us more about your collection
The new collection is already online on our new website www.avboards.com and right now is composed by 8 boards range: Dynamo Wave (220 x 55 x 78lt. – 222 x 57 x 85lt. – 224 x 59 x 92lt.) it’s our pure wave collection. Wavefree (228 x 59 x 87lt. – 230 x 51,5 x 97 lt. – 230 x 63 x 103 lt.) it’s our freestyle-wave collection with classic wave outline for those looking for an easy and forgiving board to play in the waves. The Turn (220 x 62 x 94lt. – 222 x 63,5 x 103lt.) it’s a range of 2 pure freestyle shapes designed to suit the needs of PWA riders. BT (226 x 58 x 87lt. – 227 x 60 x 97lt. – 228 x 62,5 x 103lt.), where BT means per Bat Tail: this is our brilliant freemove collection, featuring a new tail design and a straight and super quick outline. Chubby (233x68x107lt. – 234x73x117lt. – 235x78x127lt. – 370x83x137lt.) it’s our freemove-freeride range, easy planing, fast and super maneuverable and super easy, featuring an innovative integrated nose protection technology, developed to survive to catapults. Pathfinder (236x80x165lt) it’s an entry level freeride board, designed with beginners and school in mind, with integrated nose protector and EVA pad from tail to the mast track, to ride in full comfort in any conditions. AV One (255x96x195 lt) it’s the board designed for the schools, featuring a dedicated artwork showing the feet position, depending the skill.
Last but not least, our racing range Modena, will feature 3 Modena Slalom shapes (229x62x98 lt – 229×72,5×118 lt – 227x85x138 lt) developed to be the must have boards on the racing fields. Then we’ll develop also a Modena Speed range and a Modena Foil range.
Ciao Alberto, now we now Aurelio’s story, could you tell us something about your story and how it happens that you became his partner in AV-Boards?
First of all I have to tell you that I came from a completely different world, since I’m an engineer attending industries producing precision measurement instruments. So this is definitely another kind of business!
But I’m a windsurfer since 40 years, one of my passion is the speed and since a few years I attend the Luderitz Speed Challenge. So, one of my best friend (a certain Bjorn Dunkerbeck, ndr) last year told me that before to go to Luderitz I should bring him a couple of new boards, possibly the fastest on the market. He knew that the boards used by Antoine (Albeau) to sign his last records were made by an Italian shaper: Aurelio Verdi, who casually live a few ours of driving from my home. So I get in Touch with Aurelio I arrange everything and when the boards are ready I go to Grosseto to meet him. He was so busy, that just loaded the boards on my van and said bye bye, but when I ask him some information about his job before to leave, we kept chatting for about one hour!
His speed boards were just amazing! So I told him that he need something I was ready to help, and in a few months everything was ready and started! To me this opportunity sounds like a classic win-win situation, so here we are. The goal is to make it happens, to avoid to loos too many money, possibly to earn something, but most of all to stay inside this spectacular windsurfing world.
We want to do everything properly, with the right timing, step by step, trying to do the things in the right way both for us and for our customers. If we’ll be able to make it happens, this will means that we’ve done the right thing! This is our challenge.
Then the other challenge is Aurelio’s will to made 360° high quality products: design, construction, details, customer service… this is a kind of Aurelio’s must, so will be a strong point for our brand.