In whitezu you build artificial waves, transportable for surfskate ... how did you come up with this idea?
It all started about 6/7 years ago, a time when the surfskate scene began to grow everywhere. I had, and I have, a company that works fiberglass and for this reason I had been contacted by some surfer friends, some of whom are well known here in the Adriatic and beyond, to create structures, waves, to train with surfskate.
The idea was to create structures designed specifically to simulate a wave and we wanted to do it with materials that did not require maintenance and therefore could be installed safely outdoors, for example in the garden of a surfshop or a surf school or even on the beach.
I was initially skeptical about the use of resin for the construction of an artificial wave for skateboarding, but this was because at the time I had traditional skateboarding in mind and therefore I thought of small and rigid wheels, concrete structures ... But when they showed me a surfskate and above all the maneuvers they had in mind to do on an artificial wave, I understood that it could be done!
So we built the first prototype in our warehouse in Cesena and it all started from there.
And when did you understand that your project was working and above all that it could bring added value to surf training?
In fact, from the beginning we understood that we were working in the right direction. When we completed the first prototype, we called a group of skaters and surfers to test it in our warehouse. Among them was Alessandro Servadei who is a bit the surfskate training guru. As soon as we saw him draw the first lines on our artificial wave we realized that we had made it.
Since that evening we have continued to work on our projects, also in close contact with leading companies in the surfskate world and with professional athletes.
Then one morning, when I was at work, Greg Falk (founder of Carver ed.) Calls me, passing through Italy, telling me that he would have liked to try our wave. No sooner said than done, after a couple of hours we were together in front of the Surfskate Wave installed in Torre Pedrera on the beach. I and the whole group of surfers were clearly very excited to have even one of the founders of Carver here, but what remained in the heart of that day is what he said to me: “I am happy to be here and finally see it used my skateboards for what they were born for: surfing ". In California Falk explained to me, everyone has a Carver but few use it to surf, that's why there are waves ... skateboard use it to move, walk, get to the spot.
Here, at that moment, we really felt like precursors and above all we understood that we were going in the right direction.
Can you explain better how this artificial wave is made?
Our artificial waves are composed of a stainless steel structure and a composite module. This means that they can withstand the weather outside, but it also means that they are light and transportable structures ...
In addition we have thought of our structures as modules, a bit like legos, so each one according to needs and space that he has at his disposal can compose his wave and make it more or less long also based on the didactic project he has in mind.
On your website there are 3 models: Ondazero, Backyard Wave and Pro Training. What are the differences?
What changes are the sizes and shapes of the modules that emulate different types of waves.
Onda PROtraining, for example, is the largest module with which reference structures are created for competitions, advanced courses, etc.
Backyard and ONDAzero, on the other hand, are the smallest and even transportable modules in the trunk of a car, with which it is possible to create variable configurations based on the space available.
ONDAzero in particular is the smallest and most portable, a module 80 cm wide, 140 cm deep and 50 cm high that when disassembled is placed in a flat cardboard box ... like an IKEA furniture !.
What is the minimum size necessary to try maneuvers and therefore what is the minimum space that is necessary to have available?
If we talk about Onda PROtraining, we recommend starting from a minimum of 12 meters in length, even if we had Japanese pros who shot maneuvers in just 6 meters.
While with the ONDAzero modules 3 modules are sufficient, for a total of 2.40 meters to have a wave on which to try all the maneuvers ... therefore we are really talking about very small spaces. And here I let you imagine how many have already placed it in the courtyard, on the terrace, in the garage and so on.
With ONDAzero can anyone with a little space around their home have their own private wave?
Exact. Our friend Alessandro Servadei says that our waves are the wave garden of the poor ... and in fact it makes the idea well. These modules certainly have a cost, but it is evident that it is not comparable to the costs of a wave pool and it is certainly an affordable price for those who manage a surf or surfskate school, for example.
In this sense, a real precursor was the father of Edoardo Papa who already years ago built a wooden structure in his surf school to allow Edoardo, then a child, to train with a surfskate out of the water.
How close can surfing the movement we can do with a surfskate on one of your ramps?
A lot and this is not us to say. It is no coincidence that surf instructors are increasingly specializing in the teaching of surfskate applied to surfing, new courses are being born, etc. The point is obviously that the training should be led by an instructor, because otherwise you risk training but assimilating errors and therefore instead of progressing and having benefits, you risk crystallizing on wrong postures.
If we take ONDAzero modules for example, those are perfect for simulating and training in the conditions that we have very often here in the Adriatic, but also a bit all over the Mediterranean. Let's talk about small waves, where being fast and precise is essential to be able to close a maneuver on top. Training on a wave about 50 cm high and less than 2 and a half meters long, forces you to close the maneuvers in a precise way, because if you go straight you are already out ... it doesn't forgive you!
This greatly accelerates the learning of a beginner or medium level surfer, who will be able to enjoy more waves and more satisfaction when he returns to the water.
But what is the difference between one of your artificial waves and a skate park?
Well, obviously, even in a skate park there are very nice structures to have fun, as every corner of our cities is worth exploring and surfing.
Our resin waves however offer some important advantages.
First of all, skate parks are designed with traditional skate maneuvers in mind, they can certainly also be used with a surfskate to simulate a wave but they are not born for that.
Secondly, the material with which our structures are made, the resin, is more flexible and the falls here are a little less traumatic. Furthermore, when you train for a couple of hours on concrete, the joints work much more, while the elastic response of the bank of a PROtraining also facilitates training in this aspect.
Thirdly they are transportable and therefore can be mounted anywhere.
Finally they solve the problem of coexistence that we sometimes have in skateparks between traditional skateboards and surfskates. The surfskates are the latest arrivals and with their different trajectories they are difficult to reconcile with the other skaters ...
Are there any fixed installations where you can shoot?
At the moment, in Italy there are some:
The PROtraining spot of Torre Pedrera , at Belaburdela on the beach north of Rimini ( facebook.com/Onda-d-Legn-Carvers-Paradise )
which is also our home spot a few kilometers from our office.
In Sardinia , the PROtraining spot of L 'Ultima Spiaggia near Bari Sardo where you can find Daniele ( facebook.com/danieledeiana74 ). It is a location to keep an eye on.
Then a spot backyard in Binasco near Milan, organized by K&K Garage .
In Levanto in Liguria, just in front of the sea, there is the indoor spot of Brothers Surf Club which combines our Backyard with some self-built structures. It's a nice group that works very well, especially with children ( facebook.com/pg/brothersurfclub/ )
In Tuscany you have to go down to the Vag Surf Shop in San Vincenzo which has a combo of ONDAbackyard and ONDAzero to train with. ( facebook.com/VagSurfShop/ )
In Rome the reference point is the Eurpark Energy & Adventure which has a beautiful wooden wave (not ours) but also of Backyard and ONDAzero for the events it organizes in that area, the reference is Daniele Verdecchia of snowpress.org .
To train with ONDAzero in Naples and all of Campania, the reference is Livio Annunziata of SurfYourCity ( www.surfyourcity.org )
While in Puglia the reference point for a training with ONDAzero is Carlo Morelli of surfinsalento.it
In Milan , there is North Shore that from the first day believed in surfskate and in our method by organizing ONDAzero events for its customers facebook.com/SurfSkateMilano/
In the area of Bologna, Ferrara and Ravenna for ONDAzero and training in the park the reference is Andrea "Pakino" Grandi , founder of IT.board ( https://www.facebook.com/IT.boardSK8/ ) and great connoisseur of all secrets of our structures.
While in Veneto , for technical competence and ability to translate the movements of power surfing on all wave models, the reference is Ilaria .
I would also like to mention Franco from Huia Surf School (Senigallia) facebook.com/huiasurfschool/ and Big Air (Ancona) who work very well to develop surfskate in the Marche region. They have excellent teaching developed on the ONDAzero for children and have been with us in numerous events organized in the area with all the wave models, PROtraining, Backyard.
Abroad there are Backyard or ONDAzero installations in Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Poland and Israel.
Some of these are run by surfskate brands or surf schools for their events, others are private.
Then allow me to thank here the private customers who immediately understood the importance of having their ONDAzero on the terrace, courtyard or garage and who enjoy the opportunity to train even when they cannot go overboard.
So at this point the last question is a must: where can these structures be bought?
From our website www.whitezu.com you can register with your email to download the catalog with prices and there are contacts to buy directly from us.