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The Sk8ologist
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Why BOEN?

Whoever's been in and around the roller speedskating business for at least a few years surely knows Mr Enzo Boiani's work. This Italian brand has been in the market forever: back in the quad days it was one of the powerhouses that dominated the world, producing the most advanced frames and boots of the era. Bloody hell, after 25 years I still skate on my Boen quads from time to time, and they're as good as the first day! The inline technology arrival was anything but a drawback for the company, since Mr Boiani genius was responsible of inventing most of today's modern frames features (notably, single axles). But while he and his son Dario concentrated on delivering new and improved products, most manufacturers went the marketing way. So nowadays it might not be the most recognizable brand, but it certainly releases high-quality, tried and true materials. BOEN is a solid, non-fancy, reliable old friend: much like myself, and that's why I'm happy and proud to announce our colaboration from now on.
M. Bresin

BOEN's history

(from the company's official website)
Enzo Boiani, founder of the company (from whom the name BO-EN comes) was born in Pesaro on the 16th January 1923. At the age of 13, he was already working as a turner for the 'Benelli' company, a prestigious motorbikes factory from Pesaro which used to stand in Pesaro. "I remember that those years were difficult economically, and everything I earned was used to help maintain the family. This didn't prevent me from cultivating my great passion for skating, however. Every week I would save the 1 lira my mother usually gave me for going to the cinema and, after a year, finally managed to buy myself a pair of roller-skates. From that day on, I would go skating, with a group of skaters for more than two hours every evening." At the end of the 1930s, Boiani took part in a number of speed races and subsequently founded a sports society. He was its chairman and trainer for many years. Boiani's incredible adventure in industrial design, however, did not start until immediately after the second world war. It was in 1946, in fact, when he built his first roller-skate. Mainly it was made by using fragments of fighter planes shooted down during the war. Very soon, his friends, among whom some champions of that time, also asked him to make them the skates. Since then, he starts manufacturing competition roller-skates extremely successfully. The fact that these champions took part in international races, meant that his products became known abroad, and soon athletes from all over the world wanted BOEN products, too. Boiani was also the person who introduced some important technical innovations to roller-skates, which radically changed the skating industry. In 1950, he devised a 'press extractor' which considerably simplified mounting and dismounting bearings from wheels. In 1965, he had the idea of developing a 'quick release' mechanism for the wheels on traditional (quads) frames. This new system meant that athletes could assemble and disassemble the wheels so much more quickly, that during the race they were able to replace any wheels which had worn down (at that time they were made of wood) with new ones. Soon, the most renowned skate manufacturers of the time, began adopting the same system. In connection with the names of the greatest champions of their time, BOEN products became symbols of success and victory. At the beginning of the 90s, inline skates appeared at races for the first time. BOEN started producing inline frames, as well. These were equipped, however, with a fast, new mounting system for the so called 'Rapidline'. This system based on single axle screws and flanged spacers resulted much lighter, simpler and safer than the system which had been used until then. Again, as with the traditional frames, this system was soon adopted by all most important manufacturers on the sector. The secrets of Boiani's success lay in a first-hand racing experience, constancy of purpose and his persistent dedication to technical perfectionism, joined to his great passion for everything linked with the world of skating. "In my work, I have always had the great advantage of being able to make decisions which have allowed me to modify frames from morning to night. I am still an artisan, and immensely proud of this fact. I know what I sell, because everything is scrupulously produced and controlled". Still today, after sixty years, Enzo with his children Dario (who has been for over 25 years a very good hockey player and took part also in a number of national and international speed skating races successfully, and today is an active speed coach), Attilio and Mara, never stops looking for new technical solutions to enable everyone to skate and to enjoy themselves as safely as possible.

www.boen.it >>


Biomechanical observations on inline speedskating
Worlds 2010, the balance