Antonio Vilela, the founder of the iconic bodyboard company Genesis, has passed away.
António and his brother Joao Vilela founded Genesis in 1984. Back in the day, the duo wanted to design and produce a bodyboard that would break the conventional patterns introduced by Morey Boogie.
The Vilela brothers were originally from the Basque Country, but they moved to Brazil to start building their dream from scratch. António was always in the water, testing his products and fine-tuning the boards.
The company believed they could bring new features and innovations into the sport, and especially into the Brazilian prone riding community.
But the Genesis popularity crossed the Atlantic, and between the late 1980s and the mid-1990s, the Brazilian-made bodyboard was the weapon of choice of many European riders.
In the past three decades, "Toninho" and his bodyboards boosted the career of many pro athletes including Paulo Barcellos, Daniel Rocha, Roberto Bruno, Neymara Carvalho, Nicole Calheiros, and Maylla Venturin.
In 2008, Uri Valadao became the third Brazilian bodyboarder ever to win a world title, and only Brazilian to raise the IBA World Tour trophy. Valadao was riding a Genesis bodyboard.
Today, Genesis still is the number one bodyboard brand in Brazil. Hopefully, the iconic water sports company will continue to thrive in the market.