After a successful year, the newest sail brand to hit the market has launched itself into the public eye with the help of World Class PWA riders such as Alex Mussolini (Tabou, Vandal), Antony Ruenes (Tabou, Vandal) and Kevin Mevissen (Tabou, Vandal).
With such successes as those at the Colgate World Cup Sylt, the time has now come for the brand to join the World Tour. We welcome the team with open arms, and look forward to seeing more action from them on the water next season.
We caught up with Vandal to find out what they’re about, where they’re heading, and what they think of the tour.
PWA: What does the Vandal brand represent?
Vandal: “It’s more than a brand, Vandal represents a movement. Vandal tapped a strong underground energy in windsurfing. It's been brewing and growing for years, especially with younger riders that had grown discontent with the status quo. Vandal is literally a resultant outpouring of emotion and rebellion from the old ways. Vandal represents change and a focus on the future, instead of the past. That's why the brand itself has electrified and polarized the industry. Like it or not, Vandal is here to stay and we are committed, above all, to deliver the best products on the market. We live it. We love it. Enough said.”
PWA: What direction is the brand headed for 2010?
Vandal: “Sicker performance. Sicker graphics. Sicker moves.”
PWA: What makes Vandal stand out from the crowd?
Vandal: “We are really an underground brand determined to bring expression and creativity back into the fold. At Vandal, we put product function before the whimsey of any marketing department's mandates. Once we have our technical designs dialed, we then call on our artists to create original artwork, applying the graphics of our choice. This a huge shift from the big corporate brands that spend most of their time searching through clip-art archives and butchering their sails with extra fake seams, only to arrive at stale unoriginal products. Vandal is the real thing, a home cooked meal, in a world of frozen microwavable entrees... a hip-hop cut instead of elevator music. Have a go on one of our latest sails, and we’re sure you'll agree.”
PWA: Why have you decided to join the PWA?
Vandal: “Alex is keen to continue to represent on the tour, so it's a natural fit. The PWA is the best overall promoter of our sport worldwide. Everybody is down with the PWA. They spread the word and play a large motivating role. At Vandal, we are stoked to be part of it. We are only a little past our first birthday, and we already have the crown of Sylt in our hands. There is such an unprecedented energy swelling up behind the brand, we were happy to join up.”
PWA: In your eyes what does the PWA represent?
Vandal: “More then anything, the PWA creates an environment where the world's best riders can show off their latest moves. We don't care too much who wins and loses in the final brackets, but the PWA sets up a perfect stage for us all to watch our favorite athletes push the boundaries. Sometimes contest sailing can become too conservative and calculated, but the PWA works hard to keep it fresh and provides limitless promotion. Nothing does more to stoke the fire than hard work of the association.”
PWA: Whom from your team should we look out for on the World Tour next season?
Vandal: “Alex will be competing in waves, and won’t just be focused on a title, but competing against the handful of other riders that are taking the sport forward. Alex isn't a guy who just sails according to a heat strategy. He's not a guy to do old moves that he knows he can nail, just to advance. Alex is more loose and reckless. He often pulls what others cannot. That's what makes him a perfect fit at VANDAL. You know, the Vandal name wasn't an accident. That's how we roll. I believe we will also have Antony Ruenes and Kevin Mevissin representing. Right now we are a small tight family that share a common vision, and we hope to keep it that way.”
PWA: So will Alex be pushing for the 2010 Wave Title then?
Vandal: “Alex has shown the world what the other pros and insiders have known for some time. He has the chops to win the title. Until now, he just needed the right gear and support. Since signing with Vandal, we developed the RIOT for him, and watched him log incredible hours on the water. I don't think he is pushing for the title. He just loves windsurfing, and everyday he gets sicker. Every time I turn around he's out pushing the level together with Thomas, and his friends. In the end, he's changing the sport, and he's got a legitimate shot at the title. Check him out on the tour, or have a look at a PWA, or UMI vid, and you’ll become a believer. He rips.”
PWA: Have you got any plans to develop a race sail and take on the slalom legends on tour?
Vandal: “At this point plans involve rattle cans, waves, and perhaps lighter fluid, not buoys, math, and countdown timers. I think it's safe to say....uuhhhh... NO.”
So there you have it, the newest boys on the block will be pushing for the wave title, and generally causing chaos. The old guard will probably sleep better tonight though, now fully in the knowledge that the only cans Vandal will be racing around are those that spray paint out of them.