GOYA / QUATRO / MFC HEADQUARTERS VISIT ON MAUI
The fifth of December 2012. In the Netherlands where I live all people celebrate ‘Sinterklaas‘ (like Santa) and give each other presents. This day I visited the Goya/Quatro/MFC flagship store in Haiku (Maui) and I felt like a kid entering the biggest candy store in the world! From the outside the building looks very simple and even a bit shabby but when you enter it you experience a very nice and well organised windsurf store.
In fact Goya, Quatro and MFC (Maui Fin Company) are different brands but they collaborate and combine their specialities/secrets as a team under one roof. Pascal Bronnimann (born in Switzerland) is the sales manager for Quatro International and Goya Windsurfing and also founding member of +H2O (clean water project). He’s probably the first one you meet when you enter the store and can tell you everything about the brands he’s representing. When I visited the store Keith Teboul and Francisco Goya were upstairs in their offices. Keith, the revolutionary board shaper and rider, was just about to leave to catch some waves. A good thing to know that these guys are on the water whenever they can. Not only for testing but also for having a good time. I saw Keith ripping the waves at Hookipa the day before and it was impressive to see him riding the waves with his radical style. Francisco (the always smiling windsurf legend) took some time and offered me a tour through the building.
When you enter the store it looks like a regular store with boards, sails, fins and accessories but there are some special (and some hidden) rooms in this building. To begin with the Goya sail design room with a big table to put the sails on and all kind of colourful elements for designing a sail from top to bottom. I think in this room the first Goya sails saw the light!
On the right side of the building you find the Quatro board range over the years. Quatro boards had a lot of custom paintings on them in the early years. Keith Teboul shaped boards for Kauli Seadi (2005 World Champion) and many other pro riders whose names must remain anonymous because they officially sail for other brands.
The Quatro shape room, here they produce the custom boards for clients and also prototypes for a new board range. A really cool thing is that there’s a big glass window in the shop connected to this shape room so you can actually see the shaper being busy if you’re in the shop!
In the shop there are also some Quatro prototypes, not even painted yet but good for testing what shape works best for you. On some pictures of Jimmie Hepp you see these unpainted boards on the waves of Hookipa. An ideal location to test these raw beauties.
Okay, back to the Goya side of the shop. I asked Francisco which boards are better, the Goya’s or the Quatro’s? He answered: “Of course the Goya’s are better!” Eehm, maybe not the best question to ask the man himself :-)
He showed me that if you ride a quad board in lighter wind conditions you can only use the two big fins in the back fin slots of the board. Don’t forget to close the empty fin slots.
So you ride it as a twin fin for earlier planing, a bit more speed and a skatier feeling. So quad guys, don’t be lazy with light winds and try this fin setting at your home spot!
All Goya and Quatro boards are equipped with high quality MFC fins. These fins are designed by Pio Marasco, a passionate fin shaper (since 1986). His vision is to contribute the best fins to the market. MFC counts 13 World Championships titles for different brands and riders.
Goya also has a sail range, lets have a look at their wave sails: the five batten Guru Pro (control wave) and Eclipse Pro (power wave) and the new superlight four batten Banzai Pro (quad wave). The four batten Banzai Pro has a massive range of use and is also suitable for the somewhat heavier sailor. For the kids who like to sail in nuclear storms the four batten Storm Pro is a good option (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0). A good thing is that Goya is focussing on developing gear using sustainable materials for the windsurfing industry so the environmental impact will be less in the future.
The board shaping room. Man build custom boards and prototypes are born in this room. The floor feels a bit sticky :-)
Shaping the board out of foam. This is the place where the boards are carefully tweaked and fine tuned. The Goya PRO boards use Corecell™ foam to increase stiffness and reduce the weight of the boards’ composite structures.
The paint room. In this room the ‘white’ boards are equipped with paint or being air-brushed with graphics. After that the stickers, non-slip and deck pads get added.
Francisco showed me a custom painted board, the artwork was done by ‘Nano’.
In recent years, they won a number of awards and trophies in their windsurf careers. You can see them around the shop.
One thing is for sure: these guys know what they’re doing and I think they’re far ahead of the competition. The combination of excellent board shapes, high quality materials and outstanding graphics is a sure hit. You can feel their dedication and passion for the sport, they’re not just salesmen doing it for the money. I can’t wait to test one of their boards and if you’re on the island of Maui I highly recommend visiting this Goya/Quatro/MFC store in Haiku (if there’s no wind of course).
Store hours: everyday from 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM.