Some people are simply restless and incapable of letting something they love (like snowboarding) be carried by the currents of the times. The urge drives them to partake, to create and to participate in the growth and direction that it flows. Being a bystander is not option. After moving on from Imperium Snowboards, Demir Julia, Romain Bourgeais and Yves Coonen have sown the seeds for a new board company that stands for the pure, honest essence of what our snowboarding lifestyle is all about. This is the truth, this is Verdad.
If "verdad" is truth in Spanish, what is the truth?
The truth is the love and the passion a rider has for his riding and the items he uses for this can be a board, a bike or a car, anything that can be driven. The fact is that the game is played by a lot of hypocrites, soulless people that today no longer give a shit about the truth, but we do! Everything we preach, we live, everything we ride, we rode...
What is true about Verdad?
Verdad is our life. We live it, the good, the bad, the ambition and the sacrifice it may take… We really come from nothing, the realities of life, debts from Imperivm still weighing on my shoulders, big disappointment in people I thought I could count on, but also the reunion of the real vatos, the die-hard straight riders driven by passion and strong beliefs.
Where is homebase for you guys?
Our office is located in Boechout (Antwerp), Belgium.
Who is on the team?
The team is us. We have some good riders who support us like Jérôme Berlioz, Cédric “la Pince“ Drouet, Shao. We consider every V-rider on the V-team. Of course, one day we will be able to sponsor some pros.
After Imperivm, what have you learned to do different?
The shops and distribution channels have become different, prudence is now a must. I really want to be sure that the distributors are financially steady. There is also the fact that I realize I can't build my marketing on a pro team but only on our own lives. We have to be creative and find our path to gain territory. Also, a lot of people betrayed me with the Imperivm story. Now I only move with people who I can truly trust and who are really worth my time in my life.
How has snowboarding changed from 8 years ago?
The industry went down, it’s not the same game anymore. E-sales took a big place in the market. I think that some core shops will keep on existing but just a few that are located in the right places. As for the the sport and the lifestyle, I think contests are getting too much exposure compared to the lifestyle. Like riding with your friends in good conditions in a chill zone, the satisfaction of riding a great mountain is what should stay on top. It would also help the market if this type of snowboarding was more familiar to the mainstream audience.
Tell us about the artist Jeroen Peter. Where did you find him and why did you choose him to put the color on your boards?
Jeroen's wife is a well-known Dutch rider. A mutual friend brought us together and after meeting Jeroen the first time we knew he was familia. His skills are crazy and his strong "Amsterdamned" personality brings flavor to the game.
Any board graphic you guys considered but decided against?
Sometimes we don’t agree on designs but that’s normal, like for example when it’s too trendy or too similar to other companies. Verdad is the fine line between class and core.
Why is Jah so strong in the French Alps? Even when it's not really in fashion at large, it seems like dreads and reggae can always be seen and heard in Savoie and the Pyrenees?
A big factor is weed. When you rode a board in the 90’s, you were a stoner in the French Alps. Nature, peace, easy lifestyle is very much comparable with the Jamaican philosophy. Smoking fresh buddha at night with your friends, living in snow resorts, high in the sky and far away from society. The freedom of this all goes hand in hand with Jah.
Why is Johnny Cash a hero to you guys? If Johnny Cash was a snowboarder, what terrain do you think he would ride?
Johnny Cash is an inspiration for every real man on this planet. He was legend, staying true to himself and following no one. His lyrics and music are strong and made for riders. It’s logical that he is our hero since he stands for realness and Verdad is realness! Johnny would ride everything from powder, steep lines and tree runs alone somewhere on the planet to some gnarly wall rides and drop-ins in the dark side of a big city which only he thinks is possible to ride.
Is there a speed limit for the V2?
The V2 goes surprisingly fast in the powder due to the camrock and hard sintered base. Probably about 140-163 km/h. You will be well in control on the slope with this bad boy under your feet!
Is the V2 Core the "creme de la creme" of this year’s line?
Yes, this is the full option board. The triax, the carbon and the kevlar in all the right places make this board a winner for all mountain & backcountry riding.
Which is the jib board? Which is the pow board?
The Wake Up and the Rudebwoy are jib/light freestyle boards. The Cash stands on its own. The V2 's are ideal for the backcountry & all mountain.
Anything special or different you can claim about where your boards are made, how many are made or how they are made?
This is a secret, but I can tell that they’re made by the best in the business. Designs are coupled with taste, so you either like it or you don't. Technically speaking our boards are on top of the market… Let the tests do the talking!
Oh yeah, our factory is in a sunny place...
What do you guys mean by "I ride the line"? The line between life and death?
I ride the line has different meanings. Every rider understands what is meant by "riding a line". You see your line and you go for it (snow, skate, surf, moto, BMX...). The other or deeper thought is the fact that if you are “real person” and you find yourself a goal and pursue it, you keep your head high despite what the result will be. Yes, sometimes the edge between life and death is close but it makes life worth living. You gotta ride your line. "I ride the line" also means you have to think for yourself, stop being a follower. Be an innovator and make something out of your life ‘cause it can be over any minute. So yes, real people chase their dreams! Choose your line…
What are guys planning media wise? Can we see any of your riders in upcoming movies? Are you guys making a movie? Episodes or webcasts in multiple parts?
We're planning a video clip with more facets of VERDAD. We’re also busy making a small movie called
The Life of a Str8 Rider. A short story on the- V–lifestyle. The good and the bad, the dreams and the nightmares.
What is it important to always say the truth, or the Verdad, about?
Look, too many people lie, too many people are fake. It seems like it became normal to act nice to someone you don’t like. Why? At the end it will weigh on your soul and you'll lose anyway. It is important to always stay true to yourself and to your friends and family. Just be who you are and stay humble, even if you can do a switch 1440 tail grab or have 200 girlfriends. Go for style and authenticity, at the end you will be measured by what you have done and not by what you have bought.
If riding is our religion, who is our Pope or archbishops?
Ayrton Senna (RIP)