Van der Waal
milestones

From success to errors and issues, we have been learning since day one.
Here are some of our most important moments… 

2015

How it started

Martim broke is board at Carcavelos and ordered a new custom board. Later, talking with Afonso, an old friend, about an old idea of replacing wax Afonso told he had something that could work.
Later that year, we did our first tests on materials with a circular cut. Then we tested a diamond shape glued to a unique sheet.

Highlights

_First tests on different shapes and materials

2016

PERFORMANCE SERIES 1.0

We started our first tests with a hexagonal shape, which worked better. With entusiasm from friends, we decided to produce 20 units and give them to test.
We also started to consider our solution as product that could be commercialised.
In the middle of the year,  with feedback collected from friends, a new and improved version of Van der Waal was available for purchase (we called it Performance Series) on our website and social media channels.
In September we did our first online sale. We made such a party with this unique sale and we will never forget that feeling.
Later that year, we were invited to offer Van der Waal to all CT surfer. We never imagine that one day we would be able to offer Van der Waal to legends like Mick Fanning or Kelly Slater

Highlights

_ Website and social media live
_ Product presentation at the QS10000 Billabong Pro Cascais 
_ Product reviews on Surftotal and Beachcam, two major surf websites in Portugal
_ WSL CT Peniche 2017.
_ Francisco Morais CT qualification commemoration video.

2017

BECOMING KNOWN

In 2017, we were surprised with articles on The Inertia, Surfing Sections and SurfBunker.
As Martim love’s the smell of wax, we decided to launch a special edition wax stenced. Despite we didn’t sell a single pack, we had so much fun making this video… 
Based on our costumers feedback we started to test new materials:  
https://vimeo.com/204957465
Later, and to celebrate 1 year after our first sale, we decided to invite some friends to an amazing surfing day

Highlights & learnings

_ Longboard pack launch
_ Build your own pack launch
_ Production of new boxes
_ Featured in Surfbunker article Top Three Reviewed Products for 2017

With growth came the pains of stock management, which led to be out of stock a lot of times. This forced us to make a lot of refunds and compensations.
Some surfers complained about the grip of Performance Series 1.0 on some kind of wetsuits. We faced then the obligation of making tests to understand better what we were doing.

2018

PERFORMANCE SERIES 2.0

We decided to ask our Waalers to send us their videos, do you know why? Watch the video bellow 😉

Based on a survey we ran about Van der Waal 1.0, we stopped our online sales and focus for a month on a new version of Van der Waal, tested last year.
On February of 2018 Van der Waal Performance Series 2.0 was ready for purchase.

Highlights & learnings

_ Featured on Surf Europe Mag – The Hottest Surf Products of 2018
_ 1000 packs sold
_ Due to the need of working in other projects, Afonso left Van der Waal

Stop sales looked the right way to do it, because we didn’t want to sell a version that we knew it would be discontinued, but was really hard to manage cashflow with our sales stopped.

2019

PERFORMANCE SERIES 2.0

Driven by our customers’ feedback and by our aim to produce a more eco-friendly alternative to surf wax, we started to research and test new materials. We needed a softer material, lighter and thinner, with high grip levels. After a lot of research and tests, we achieved what we aimed.
As a small company, we don’t surf in money, and to avoid defrauding current sales, we decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to get the funds necessary for full production of a new version – r.Evolution Series.

This was a special and painful year. Martim felt exactly the same as he did in the first year of Van der Waal: a mix of excitement and bewildered. The new version was so fragile that started to unglue from some surfers’ boards. The need to change all production line, deal with (naturally) unhappy customers and manage all the returns (and refunds) was only possible to surpass with hard work, the impressive understanding of our leal customers and the total support from friends and family.I have no words to say thank you. I put all my efforts in giving it back again.

Highlights & learnings

_ r.Evolution Series launch
_ Indiegogo Campaign
_ New website and packaging
_ Selected brand for ISPO Brand new 2020

Admit faults and mistakes, stepping forward and being honest pays more than getting involved in apologies.