Bont Skates was founded in Sydney in 1975 when Inze Bont, a recreational short track ice speed skater decided to fiberglass the back of his leather speed skates to gain more support. Bont quickly became the world’s largest producer of ice speed skates and then branched out into inline speed skates, quad speed skates, roller derby skates, and long track speed skates. Bont was the first footwear manufacturer to use exotic materials like fiberglass in 1974, Kevlar in 1986, and Carbon Fiber in 1989, and the first to use heat moldable resins and thermoplastics. Bont was also the first company to use adjustable ice blades and remains the world’s largest producer of speed skates and custom speed skates.
More information available at bont.com.
TOTAL THAI ADVENTURES
Eddy Matzger’s Total Thai Adventures is one of the world’s premier training camps where amateur skaters go to get instruction and the encouragement from the worldwide community of skaters.
Matzger also runs Skate Farm Virginia, where dozens of skaters learned from Eddy, one of the world’s most famous long distance road skaters. He recently expanded to an adventure resort carved out of the jungle in Kamphaeng Phet. The resort includes daily skate instruction sessions, long skates along the superb Thai roads, a daily massage and the best in Thai food. When not skating, guests enjoy mountain biking, hiking in the nearby national parks and cultural visits to shrines and temples.
Matzger, winner of several Athens to Atlanta road races and a perennial contender at the Northshore Inline Marathon, is scheduled to race in Sarasota this October.
More information is available at skatefarmthailand.wixsite.com/totalthaiadventures.
EXPERTS IN SPEED
Sebastian Baumgartner’s Experts in Speed is another of the world’s premier training camps where amateur skaters go to get instruction and the encouragement from the worldwide community of skaters.
For more than two decades, Experts in Speed camp has brought skaters from Europe to the sunny Greek island of Cyprus, hosted at the all inclusive Robinson Cyprus resort. Some of Europe’s premier skaters have served as coaches at Experts, which also offers a concurrent cycling camp. Morning yoga, technical training and long guided skates through the countryside mark a day at Experts. It ends with sauna and spa facilities and an extravagant buffet. Instruction is given in English for American guests. Experts hold weeklong camps each November and March. You can read more at www.experts-in-speed.de.
Baumgartner won a number of major European races in the 1990s, including the Berlin Half Marathon. He is the announcer for the annual Berlin Marathon, the world’s largest skate race. Experts also runs a guiding service that allows a skater to join a team led by a professional skater seeking a specific race time.