BOIANI AND HIS GREAT PASSION ... THE "ROLLER SKATES"
Enzo Boiani was born in January 1923 and since he was a child he shows a marked creativity and great desire to do. Second genito of four brothers (Walter, Bruno and Vittorio) already in the mid-30s, at the age of 13 he began working as a mechanic turner at the 'Benelli' in Pesaro, glorious motorcycle factory. Those years were economically very difficult and everything he earned served as an aid to the maintenance of the family. But this did not prevent him from cultivating in addition to his passion for mechanics, even for roller skating, so much so that by setting aside 1 lira every week that his mother gave him to go to the cinema, after more than a year of savings, he managed to buy his first pair of roller skates. From that day he began to go skating together with a group of friends for more than two hours every evening and also participating in some speed competitions that were organized in the neighboring areas.
THE MOST DIFFICULT PERIOD
The years of the Second World War (1939-1945) were undoubtedly the most difficult. Enzo and two of his brothers Walter and Bruno were soon called to arms inevitably finding themselves more than once in situations of extreme danger to life but fortunately always managing to survive. But despite the years of conflict, Enzo never abandoned his passion for mechanics and skating.
ENZO, THE CREATOR OF THE "BOIANI" SKATES
Enzo Boiani's incredible design adventure began in the immediate post-war period. It was in fact 1946, when at the age of 23 he built his first roller skates all by himself using wreckage from fighter planes that fell during the bombing. From there to little many of his skating friends were pleasantly impressed by his skates and so they asked him to produce others for them too and it was then that Enzo decided to give life to the small family company "F.lli BOIANI" involving his father Attilio, also he former employee of Benelli moto, the brothers Walter and Bruno and some time later also younger brother Vittorio.Obviously at the beginning the finding of equipment and materials proved to be anything but easy but with a bit of luck and resourcefulness their found an old lathe at an RAF (Royal Air Force) British military workshop placed between Pesaro and Fano and this machine proved to be fundamental because it was able to adapt to various types of work. Despite the scarce resources of that time, the great determination, the ingenuity and the practical sense of the Boians, allowed to find the raw materials necessary for the production. In fact, as it happened with the first pair of skates built by Enzo, from the wreckage of the crashed airplanes it was possible to obtain the aluminum laminates to produce the plates for the skates, the trucks and other small metal parts, from the tires of the destroyed military trucks the cushions were obtained for the steering while for the wooden wheels more robust woods of plants were used such as the acacia, the hornbeam and the maple easily foundable in the nearby countryside. Despite the first difficulties encountered, the production started in a small place on the suburbs of Pesaro, beginning to satisfy the first requests received from the area's skaters. The BOIANI skates immediately stood out for their excellent maneuverability, sturdiness and reliability.
THE FIRST SUCCESSES OF THE BOIANI SKATES
In the early 1950s, competitive speed skating competitions became more and more frequent and Enzo brought together skaters from Pesaro, creating a sports club called Gruppo Sportivo Pattini Boiani. Some skaters (including Italian champions of the time) to whom Enzo had built the skates, participating in various regional and national competitions contributed to make the F.lli Boiani even more known and appreciated. It was then decided to expand the range and set up other types of skates suitable also for other specialties such as the artistic and hockey to which the Star brand was applied, which soon became synonymous with quality competition skates. Soon there was a noticeable increase in requests, such as to force the Boiani to move to a larger venue still nearby. Shortly thereafter, the expansion of competition races in different countries and in the various disciplines (running, hockey and art) led the company to gain great consideration even at the world level since the various national representatives of Spain, France, Belgium , Portugal, Germany, United States and Argentina equipped themselves with Boiani skates, achieving hundreds of titles and world records in all the disciplines of the roller skating. In 1965 a further extension was necessary for the F.lli Boiani changing the production site by purchasing a new warehouse of over 2000 square meters in the industrial area of Pesaro and the company name changed to Boiani Sport srl - Sports Articles Industry with more than 20 people to his credit among employees and managers.
The partnership continued until 1974 when Enzo, Bruno and Vittorio left the company whose only brother Walter was left with his successor son Riccardo. Bruno and Vittorio decide to devote themselves to other activities while Enzo, always active and in love with his work, immediately constitutes a new individual firm, the BOEN (BOiani-ENzo), whose sons Mara and Attilio collaborate and some years later he joins also the third-born Dario. Enzo does not waste time and starts immediately with the production of the “Boen F” frame model in the speed and hockey versions and also the "Boen UR" urethane wheels that immediately find wide appreciating among athletes and coaches. So many requests are arriving from all over the world (from France, Spain, England, Germany, Belgium, United States, Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and Enzo decides that the time to take a further step by hiring new employees to increase production capacity. In the decade that goes from the early 80s to the early 90s, BOEN produces four other types of racing frames which in chronological order are: "Racing", "World Champ", "Special" and "Speed" each one is distinguished for the extreme lightness, resistance and precision in processing. The testimonies of the greatest champions, ensure that the BOEN products still acquire a great notoriety in the world of skating, becoming more and more a synonym of successes and victories.
ENZO BOIANI AND ITS TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS APPLIED TO THE ROLLER SKATES
Enzo was also the one who first introduced over the years the most important technical innovations that have always marked a turning point in the skating industry and that remain current today, among which we mention the "pressExtractor" which made the assembly and disassembly of the bearings from the wheels much simpler and more practical and above all the "quick release" axle system for traditional skates. This new mechanism allowed skaters to change wheels much more quickly. In fact, even in the race the athletes could replace the most worn wheels (at that time still made of wood) with new ones and have them in the best conditions for the final sprint.
THE ADVENT OF THE IN LINE FRAMES
At the beginning of the 90s the first in-line skates made their appearance on the competition fields and the BOEN also began to produce a model. However, these are immediately appreciated, as they are equipped with a new innovative wheel assembly system called "Rapidline". This system consisting of a single threaded axis and equipped with a spacer with a central flange proves to be much more practical and functional than the previous one and is soon appreciated by the majority of speed skaters around the world.
In this period roller skating, especially speed skating one, undergoes a sudden epochal change. In the races there are some skaters with traditional skates while others with those in line and the difference in speed performance between the two types of skates is immediately noticeable and in a short time the "traditional" are supplanted by those " on line". For a few years, BOEN continues to produce traditional skates but the boom of the in-line skates has now taken over and in 1995 the company decide to devote itself exclusively to the production of inline speed skates. Since 1996, tens of thousands of frames have been produced in different sizes and models, including the various Mustang, Tornado, ProRacer, Absolute, Ultralight and the most recent Challenge and Mach.
ENGINEERING, EXPERIENCE AND PASSION
The secrets that led Enzo Boiani to have such a great success in his profession are the direct experience gained on the competition fields, the tenacity, technical perfection and last but not least, the great passion for all that is related to the world of skating. In his work, Enzo was always given the advantage of being able to make decisions that allowed him to modify any of his products from evening to morning. Remaining a craftsman was a source of great pride for him because everything he produced was checked at every stage of working with the utmost care and precision.
In 2004 BOEN marked a generational change by passing the management of the company from Enzo to his son Dario, who after working together with his father side by side for more than 15 years was able to mature a long experience in the field of mechanics and a deep technical knowledge in the roller skating environment having had an important career as an athlete during which he participated in hundreds of speed competitions at regional, national and international level and played several national roller hockey championships.
The BOEN with its machinery and special equipment available is able to perform all the processes in the best possible way directly within its own factory. All this still today allows BOEN to follow the same philosophy that Enzo has carried out since the beginning and that is to produce skates of the highest quality, experimenting and developing new technical solutions that are able to fully meet the expectations of all skaters.