Since sell-outs in Winter 2020 was pretty much non-existent for many European countries, many snowboard businesses found the going tough. Verdad was no exception. However, the slow snowboard market provided an opportunity for Démir Julia (Verdad CEO) to expand the brand into his other sporting passion – skateboarding. In Autumn last year, Verdad launched their first skate line and, at the same time, Démir also teamed up with Paul Hoskens to start the new brand, Vatos Skateboards.
Please tell us about the Verdad brand, and its history since its launch?
Verdad was born May 2011 out of the ashes of the imperium downfall. Verdad means ‘the truth’ in Spanish and since the love a rider has for skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing is always true and their passion is always real the goal was simple: Make the coolest, realest brand in the world.
The last 10 years were rough, we’ve had ups and downs, but we never surrendered. We learned that victory is not only about making some bucks and nice boards but also to keep the ride alive, to defend the soul at all costs because that’s priceless.
Who are the key players at Verdad?
I started Verdad with Yves Coonen, but he’s had other goals for the past few years. He’s still helping on the sideline when he can find time and his heart will always be with the V. I’ve had, and get, a lot of help from my strong wife, Lana, she supports and helps me wherever she can and of course, my friends help me with the marketing (riders and designers). But in reality, there’s only one key player in here… at the same time, I’m both manager and performer. My goal is to find a solution for this pronto because Verdad is becoming way too big for one person so I’m starting my search for outside investment.
You are launching a skate line, tell us about the thinking behind that decision?
Since Covid hit us hard in winter 2020, snowboarding was put on hold for us because most of our sales are in France and Belgium! When the second wave shut everything down again it was time to change course and put our main focus onto skateboarding! Since I live in Belgium, a lot of us here can relate to the skatelife, we have parks and riders and the scene lives.
We’ve been making skateboards since 2011 but only on a low profile with 1 or 2 models p/year. For all of us here, skateboarding is our first love, so we wanted to ride on Verdad boards. It’s only since the autumn of 2020 that we decided it was time to level up the business and invest all our time in the skateboarding industry. Vatos Skateboards is a new brand I do together with Paul Hoskens, aka Perro.
What can we expect from your first skate line?
The first line of Verdad is a collection of 19 models and 4 shapes (3 popsicles and 1 OG). The first line of Vatos is a collection of 6 models of OG shaped decks.
Tell us a about the skateboards design?
For Verdad. we have 4 different shapes: 1 high concave tech decks pointed nose, 1 mid concave wide nose and 1 low concave (more for transition skating) and 1 OG shape.
For Vatos we have 6 different OG shapes
And the graphics of the line?
For Verdad, this collection features a lot of Art Deco inspired boards. Also, 2 homage boards with the Outlawz (Makaveli lives on) and we gave Scalp (60 years) his own OG model as a tribute for everything he’s done for a lot of us back in the Les Arcs area.
For Vatos, we worked with a real Chicano artist from Mexico City.
Walk us through your production process and the materials you use?
- Only high-quality Canadian maple since skateboarders are so damn hard-headed that they don’t want to ride with other strong woods or bamboo!!
- 3 stains for extra durability.
- Our own fresh shapes
What will set your boards aside from other skate brands on the market?
Verdad is class, core and the logo is strong, the designs are rather mystic and often inspired by ancient styles.
Vatos is something different; strong shapes blended with Chicano vibes, designs staying loyal to the roots of Venice beach, the vibes from where core skateboarding was born.