Lieuwe looks to Roland for strong kite-surf solutions

Lieuwe   |   Rijswijk

Lieuwe looks to Roland for strong kite-surf solutions

Lieuwe creates custom kite surfboards, relying on a Roland VersaSTUDIO BN-20 to deliver strong graphics and an even stronger relationship.

Despite being based in Rijswijk in the Netherlands, Lieuwe Boards wants to become like a famous export from across the border.

"My ambition is to become like a Belgian beer – a special brand that stands out from a large field of competitors and is produced locally," says founder Florian van Rije.

On its journey to achieving this aim, Lieuwe discovered the Roland VersaSTUDIO BN-20 desktop eco-solvent printer/cutter, which it uses to create custom kite surfboards. Everything about a kiteboard has to be meticulously designed to remain strong in the water, to ride well – and to look good for every individual customer.

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"We need an ink that adheres really well because we print on the reverse of the film, then we stick the film to the board. The film manufacturer talked about his outstanding experience with Roland ECO-SOL MAX ink, so I ended up with the Roland VersaSTUDIO BN-20."

Florian van Rije - Lieuwe Boards

"This tailoring usually involves the external appearance of the board," says Florian. "So the personalisation revolves around the graphic element. That's where the Roland printer does the work."

Lieuwe uses a unique method to make and decorate its boards: a wood core, surrounded by a transparent layer of epoxy through which the wood remains visible, and finally a layer of matt film onto which a design is reverse-printed.

"We need an ink that adheres really well because we print on the reverse of the film, then we stick the film to the board. So the ink also has to bond with the board. If this doesn't work, the film will eventually detach," explains Florian, a former engineering student.

"Manufacturers usually keep their processes secret. Even the manufacturer of the film wasn't open about this, but he did talk about his outstanding experience with Roland ECO-SOL MAX ink. So I ended up with the VersaSTUDIO BN-20, the eco-solvent printer from Roland DG."

As well as finding the perfect reliable, compact, high-resolution desktop printer, Lieuwe also discovered a strong relationship with Roland. Florian comments: "As a small business we were well supported by Roland. They take time for us and find a solution."

Lieuwe has a strong reputation in the Netherlands and beyond, exporting 50 per cent of its boards and working with Dutch professional kitesurfer Ruben Lenten and Dutch chocolate brand Tony's Chocolonely.

"We're growing really fast and we're looking for a way to organise this in a responsible way," says Florian.

Florian, how do you rate Roland?

  • Build quality ★★★★
  • Reliability ★★★
  • Versatility ★★★★
  • Productivity ★★★★
  • Ease of use ★★★★
  • Output Quality ★★★
  • Running Costs ★★★★★
  • Value for money ★★★★★
  • Service and support ★★★★
  • Overall ★★★★

Florian's Fun Facts

  1. How would you describe yourself in three words?

    Creative, dreamer, technical.

  2. What's the best advice you've ever received?

    Baby steps.

  3. What's your favourite social media platform?

    None.

  4. In your free time you enjoy…

    Kitesurfing.

  5. What don't people know about you?

    Depends on who you are asking!.

Connect with Lieuwe

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