Our company name reveals its origin as a small custom board manufacturer started on the island of Aruba in 1987.
Founded by Geert van den Berg and Julia de Ruijter , Fiberworks started producing custom windsurfboards for local sailors and quickly gained a reputation for elaborate custom painting jobs on their boards. The polyurethane-polyester construction used during the mid to late eighties allowed for a perfect display of Julia’s airbrush talents and the boards quickly gained popularity abroad.
With the export booming, the small workshop produced around a hundred windsurfboards per year. During this period, Aruba became a popular windsurfing destination for windsurfers visiting from all over the world.
In the late eighties, new construction techniques developed in the US challenged the custom board building industry, causing a shift away from the highly visual clear polyester boards to high tech composite sandwich construction methods. Gone were the days where a stunning airbrush design was the deciding factor for a purchase and the focus was now clearly on performance and high tech construction. Fiberworx quickly adjusted and experienced further growth during the nineties, gaining a reputation for ultra light weight high performance slalom boards with a large following in the South American market. The production method using vacuum bagging and exotic high tech materials such as carbon fibers and honeycomb sandwich sheets required a bigger workshop and a few extra people. The yearly Aruba Hi Winds Pro Am event was the perfect showcase for our boards with many local and international riders winning races on our boards.
During this period, shaper Geert van den Berg was also active as a sponsored rider and product test rider for Neil Pryde, a relationship that opened the door for Fiberworx to expand into the distribution and sales of windsurfing gear. With the retail shop situated at a stone’s throw from the famous Fisherman’s Huts windsurfing beach, Fiberworx established itself as the premier retailer of windsurfing, and later kite surfing equipment in the area.
Around 2000, after 15 years of shaping boards, Geert & Marina and Julia & Sjoerd decided it was time to shift their focus to family and The Boardwalk Vacation Retreat [the small hotel Julia and Geert started around the same time as Fiberworx]. Geert decided to hang up his trusty old electric planer that produced more than a thousand custom shapes. The kite surfing boom that started in 2001 gave Fiberworx a welcome boost further cementing our market position as the main supplier of wind & kitsurfing gear in Aruba.
Fast forward to 2010. The preceding story depicts the history of our company, but also gives away the fact that well……..we are not the youngest anymore! Just when you realize that in your mid-forties you have no idea what the latest freestyle trick actually is, let alone understand how these young athletes are pulling it off, someone shows up at the door……
Wim Eelens, a long time friend and talented windsurfer previously sponsored by FiberworX managed to establish himself at the center of Aruba’s windsurfing & kite surfing scene with his company, Aruba Active Vacations. Always looking to expand his horizon, he came knocking on our door with a clear message; to become partner in FiberworX. Already having her hands full with family and other business projects, Julia was willing to sell her shares in FiberworX to Wim and decided to pursue other interests.
2011 marks a new phase for FiberworX with Windsurfing,Kitesurfing, Paddleboarding and Surfing as our core business. Our line of premier industry brands keeps us excited and out on the water.
The trusty old planer with which everything started back in the eighties….well, we still have it and it actually still works………
Geert & Wim