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History of Windsurfing

Okay, I guess I do have to have a section on the history of this great sport.




Is it bad if the History Post starts with updates ?? :-)

Update: just read a letter to the editor of the Windsurf Mag of May 2003 where it is written," The fact is, windsurfing was invented in Britain by Peter Chivers, before Newman Darby, Jim Drake or anyone else came up with the idea. This isn't just some myth or legend, it was tested in the courts, and was why Hoyle Schweitzer lost his patent on the design ..."  Yeah, i know, i should not read those old magz i still have laying about the house :-)

In the same magazine there were these pages too:

Clique to Read
Clique to Enlarge
I will start with this great old video and then cut n paste some excerpts from my files ...



Jim Drake died in 2012.
Someone posted this and said it was one of the first Drake designs - not confirmed, butt here it is :



fix width
YEAR Significant Windsurf Event
1948 Newman Darby starts experiments with sail and universal joint
1957 A young engineer named Lowell North founded North Sails in San Diego, California.
1963/
1964
Darby has something workable with hand-held sail.
1967/
1968
Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer file patent for windsurfer (received in 1970). Will NOT discuss the patent "wars" here.

They created the first successful windsurfing company = Windsurfing International – also called the Baja  board
1971 The original triangle sail on a Baja board makes the cover of Dupont magazine with the caption.”Windsurfing, no waves needed.” The journal is read in Europe as well and windsurfing is getting some attention there for the first time. The exotic ideas that the magazine reveals fire the imagination of the sport fans in cold Germany and soon the first boards are being tinkered across the pond. The mostly light wind at the German lakes accords well with this new, fresh and exciting sport and at the end of the 70’s they have finally gotten the hang of it. The windsurfing fever spreads and shows to be highly contagious, especially in Germany.”
1972 An industry pioneer, Peter Brockhaus from Germany, is considered the father of European windsurfing and brought windsurfing to Europe. With designer Ernstfried Prade, he founded Mistral, now one of the largest manufacturers of windsurfing boards in the world. Mistral was one of the companies licensed by Schweitzer to manufacture the original Windsurfer. Though some would argue the point, Mistral is likely the most recognized windsurfing brand in the world.
Seems this was a monumental year for the windsurf explosion. In Europe Ten Cate apparently had rights to build "Windsurfers" and something like 574 windsurfers were sold as per: http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/site/main_1972.html...
1973 first world championships
1975 Neil Pryde was making boardsails for early windsurfing board manufacturers.
1976 Robby Naish becomes windsurfing world champion at the age of 13 on an original Windsurfer
1976 IMCO International Mistral Class Organization based out of the UK starts.
Windsurfing equipment has been a passion for Monty Spindler in a long career of sail design starting in 1976.
1977 Robby Naish is world champion again !!
1978 Pat Love makes the first custom sails in the mid 70’s. He refined their profile for better manageability and made high wind “Storm Sails.”
1978
& 1979
Robby Naish was world champion four times running !!!German company HiFly  is the only worldwide manufacturer that has produced windsurfing boards in blow-molding technology since it was established in 1978. Making robust and durable boards that were extremely popular with beginners, they met the needs of the average sailor and lead that sector of the market. HiFly’s Klaus Jocham, a freelance designer who’s known for bringing widestyle and deep vee to surfboards, was one of the pioneers of the widestyle board revolution in the late 90s. HiFly also contracted Seatrend to build a line for them in the early ‘90s.
1979 BIC Sport is established by Frenchman Baron Bich. He bought an established manufacturing facility, Tabur Marine, which was close to the sea and already producing 30,000 boats/year. This facility (that produced 15,000 boards/year) married to Bic’s existing distribution power and know-how, that could take their boards all over the world, quickly made them the world’s largest producer of windsurfing boards. One of their first designers was the innovative Ken Winner who was quite capable of putting out blockbusting boards. Consequently Bic Sport defined windsurfing through the late 80’s and early 90’s with legendary boards such as the Astro Rock that outsold any other board of its time. Tiga and Tabou are both board brands that were launched by Bic Sport.
1980 Maui Sails is formed- Barry Spanier and Geoffrey Bourne. His was one of the original windsurfing equipment companies on the Hawaiian Islands. Barry’s basic ideas and innovations have led the industry for nearly three decades. Maui Sails FatHead designed for HiFly changes the outline from a simple triangle to a more efficient shape with a shorter boom and luff length.Mistral: From 1980 to 1999 Rick Naish designed most of Mistral’s production windsurfing boards. Mistral’s original one design Pan-Am boards were first developed in 1983 and were the forerunners of all modern race boards.
1981 BIC Dufour Wing is launched other first boards were the original Windsurfer One Design, the Windglider and the Mistral Competition.
German Eckart Wagner initiated North Sails Windsurfing with world-wide activities and series production facilities in Sri Lanka.
After spending a year at MauiSails, windsurfer Malte Simmer formed Simmer Style Sails with one of MauiSails top seamstresses, Cindy Allen. Malte’s brother Klaus, who also worked at MauiSails,
stayed on with the company through their merger with NeilPryde in 1983.
Klaus worked as part of Neil Pryde’s R&D group before coming to Simmer Style in 1985
to head up the marketing and business end of operations.
1982 Peter Brockhaus left Mistral and founded F2 Windsurfing. With pro and designer Jürgen Höhnscheid, he introduced the funboard to the world. These were revolutionary windsurfing boards that solved many of the handling problems of existing boards; boards that were stable at high speed, could function in very low winds, could foot steer and jump but still had the necessary volume. F2 sunset slalom All the first models, the Starlit, Sunset, Bullit, Comet and Strato were his designs, and all were planing hulls.
Neil Pryde began building it’s own board sails.
Full length battens and vertical seams allow designers to build sails that are far more stable and easier to control.
1983 to 1987 - Robby Naish wins overall PWA title 5 times.
1983 Maui Sails merge with Niel Pryde - do R&D for them.
Fred Haywood was first windsurfer to go over 30 knots (sail designed by Barry Spanier ?)
David Ezzy is another sail designer  who made his first windsurfing sail here.
The foot batten makes it’s first appearance helping to improve the efficiency at the bottom of the sail. The air sailors like Mike Walze get at Ho’okipa is getting unreal.
1984 Olympic sport for men starts  (due to popularity of the sport)
Windglider chosen over the original Windsurfer - major issues and it was considered a very bad choice http://www.boards.co.uk/articles/pdfs/51_1.pdf - windsurfing in the Olympics
First sight of foot battens from Neil Pryde and monofilm sails from F2 – as per windsurfing magazine – windsport mag says  reinhardt pascher of f2 did this in 87.
Jeff Magnum. Tom Nishimura and Mark Belvedere simultaneously develop the camber inducer for better sail stability and power.
The first clamp-on boom and RAF (Rotating Asymmetrical Foil) sail concept was born on April 1st and Barry Spanier remembers, “the RAF became a sail type overnight.”
1985 Gaastra comes out with cambers.
David Ezzy caught the attention of North Sails who hired him to create their wave sail line. He soon was in charge of all their windsurfing sails and worked for North for 7 years before founding Ezzy Sails Lanka in Sri Lanka.
George Greenough develops a homemade carbon mast. Nevin Sayre (pictured) and Peter Quigley see it as the future and launch Fiberspar.
1986 Mistral Equipe longboard hits the market.
1987 Windsurfing International went out of business (Drake n Schweitzer)
The first forward loop is caught on film.

In the mid 1980s Drops was born when Italian Mario Vinti realized the tremendous need for innovation in windsurfing boards. He began shaping his first boards in his garage and through the years has grown Drops into a symbol of quality and innovation.
In the mid 1980s Eberhard von Osterhausen “Ebi” founded Gun Sails. With his passion and energy for windsurfing, he built Gun into a leading sail company. He died in a plane crash in 2004 but his company, formed around designer Renato Morlotti, is still a creative force in the industry.

Gaastra was also in the dessert this year testing sails with Bruce Peterson and Dave Russell. ADTR program. They came up with the concept of twist – improved wind range and efficiency. Gaastra ADTR is pioneer of sail twist. btw adtr does NOT equal "a day to remember" :-) it was an experiment with a truck, a sail, many broken masts and some measuring gadgets on a flat bed of a dried up old lake. i will try to find more info on this :-) Okay, in early summer edition 2008 of Windsport magazine on p. 84 it states ADTR is "Aero Dynamic Test Rig" !! "It was a mobile wind tunnel mounted atop a Ford truck that prowled the El Mirage Dry Lakebed in the dead of night, testing the aerodynamic performance of sails. Also developed by Magnan, it was an invaluable tool in evaluating sail performance to create foils capable of breaking the record."

There were 1.2-million people windsurfing in the United States (according to statistics)
1988 Olympics used Division II boards (with round or “displacement” hulls) - too late again :-( funboards were out !!!
Bjorn Dunkerbeck wins the overall PWA title – from Robby Naish (and keeps the title for 9 consecutive seasons)
Chinook and ART release their versions of clamp on booms – within one year all tie-on booms disappear.
Neil Pryde integrates monofilm into race sails and “things begin buzzing”. By 1990 monofilm was in almost ALL race sails.
1989 Bruce Peterson of Hood River wins the Gorge Pro-Am !!
Marks the release of one of Mistral’s most famous and successful longboards, the Equipe. The same year they launched the Mistral Screamer which became an instant classic, winning many board tests and achieving enormously popular cult status.
1990 First year of x-ply as per windsport magazine.
1991 Bruce leaves Rushwind and starts Sailworks.
Windsurfing Hawaii’s Power Taper booms were the first reduced diameter booms.
1992 Olympic sport for women and Lechner II design boards for all ??
Nolimitz of the Columbia River Gorge releases first skinny mast.
1994 Joe Windsurfer started windsurfing on the lake around here:-)
David Ezzy starts Ezzy sails.
In 1994 four-time world champion Svein Rasmussen founded Starboard. Based in Thailand, Starboard has rapidly become a huge player in the windsurfing equipment industry because of its unique philosophy: to make windsurfing easier, and help more people enjoy the sport. In 1997 Svein met the man who started it all, Jim Drake.  Jim has been designing and testing boards with Starboard ever since then.
Quatro was founded on Maui by four of windsurfing’s top sailors and shapers—Keith Teboul, Francisco Goya, Jason Prior and Sean Ordonez. With its core purpose is to push windsurfing forward, they have grown from a local business to a vanguard organization, serving some of the world’s best windsurfers.
1995 short harness lines.
Fiberspar starts the IMCS standard.
Robby Naish starts Naish sails after leaving Gaastra with his team ?
Another Italian, Roberto Ricci comes from Tuscany and has been shaping RRD (Roberto Ricci Designs) boards since 1995. It is a young brand but well respected with many test winners.
1996 Mistral One Design IMCO replaces Lechner II as the Olympic board
A trend towards sails with shorter luff begin to appear with sails like Gaastra Total Flow. Flapper course racing boards influence sail design.
1997 Camless sails are resurrected with Naish’s Noa. Retro came out not long afterwards.
Australian wave sailing legend Jason Polakow launched his own board brand, JP-AUSTRALIA. JP are known for their popular wave and freestyle designs.
1998 Robby Naish wins kite-surfing world title
The TEAM is strong => Scott Fenton, Matt n Kevin Pritchard, Phil McGain and Barry Spanier.
Starboard GO is released
Recreation cam-less revolution begins with the release of the Sailworks Retro and Naish Noa.
1999 World’s first Formula board - Starboard
BIC  releases Techno 283 – one of the best selling boards of all time.
Maui Sails’ work stopped with NP
Monty Spindler started The Loft which is windsurfing’s new brand but the fruit of Monty’s lifelong experience and passion.


2000
Starboard/SB GO was released in 1999, but did not go big until 2000.Maui Sails’ Barry and Phil McGain work with Gaastra
KP beats Dunker @ PWA as a result of MauiSails ??
2001 High Tech Kid’s gear:-)
X-ply starts to gain popularity
2002 IWA International Windsurfing Association setup in Duesseldorf
Windsurf foils are looking like they are working …
2004 Winter windsurfing is gaining popularity => kites with snowboards, windski and the snowfer (from Ontario - Lake Simcoe %^&*()) {that's where i am from %^&*}
Neil Prye’s RS4 race sail brings the double luff sleeve back.
In 2004 Sebastian Wenzel, German company Fanatic’s shaper since the mid 1990s, implemented a revolutionary process in production board design with his CAD/CNC system.
Sails become more UV resistant, colorful with the use of metal induced X-ply.
2005 Finian Maynard sets world record of 48.7 knots over 500 m (90.91 km/h - 56.49 mph) he held the record from 2004 until 2008
Barry Spanier, Phil McGain and Kevin Pritchard resurrect Maui Sails (TR-1 sail) – 2008 Pritchard leaves – prior to that KP says Gaastra Nitro 2 was best sail ever …
StarBoard releases the super long Serenity
2006 Aerotech starts to use cuben fibre. MauiSails starts using technora 2 years later TR4-XT 2008 special order?.
2008 Kite-wings have been around about 10 years and are starting to gain popularity => more for snowboards and wakeboards
Antoine Albeau sets new speed record over 500 m of 49.09 knots
Niel Pryde RS-X to be used first time in summer Olympics (time to pump)
Exocet Formula Black Machine WARP 100 – did it start here in 2008 ??
    => 50 knot limit broken and the battle is on – kite surfers, big sailboats/trimarans, etc
2009 Matt/MP breaks both legs - will KP stay with Gaastra?
=> Kona and SB Phantom 380 type boards seem to indicate a longboard revival, there is talk of a new Mistral Equipe III
2010 WISSA comes to La Baie. Apparently it is NOT the first time they have been to Québec. This year is the 30th anniversary. Were here 2008 and 2006 !!! How come we never hear about this ??
Joe WindSurfer is back on the snow-sled .
SUPs with sails seem to be coming out around this time
JP puts out a Formula 100 tested by Antoine Albeau and Micah Buzianis with input from shaper Mike Zajicek {Mike’s Lab ?}
Somewhere around here slot boxes showed up on wave boards. Similiar to US/A-box , butt without the tab , weigh less with 2 side screw holding fin into place.
2011 SB GO 151 and 171 have center fin option AND there is a GO windsurfer 171 with daggerboard
JP SuperLight 154 with 90 cm width is making a hit – even Paul of CT is checking it out
Even MS TR-7 has a reduced clew –  Barry Spanier gave in to trends ?
Can it be that Quebec based company Makani fins has only been around since 2010 ? Well, they seem to be making a name for themselves !!
Later in the year: Some interesting new concepts in the longboard world - AHD Taktik , Exocet RS D2, AHD Tactik and the SB Phantom 377 with bat wings - raceboards in disguise ?? {still NO Equipe III}
Looks like quad is here to stay as well - i am not a wave boarder and thus read less about this arena of windsurfing
2012
Jim Drake dies - sometimes called father of windsurfing - regardless of controversy
Windsurfing has been voted OUT of 2016 Olympics 11-9 :-(
KONA races are gaining popularity
By the 3rd quarter of 2012 windsurfing was BACK in the 2016 Olympics !!!
Antoine Albeau and company are breaking speed records in South Africa at over 50 knots.
The VESTA set a new world record for wind vehicle on water as well - with a 65 knot run.
Is FreeFormula coming back? SB US, JP SPLWs and in 2013 Exocet RS7, Fanatic Falcon 152 ..
FreeMove boards are out and getting wider also ...
RRD FireMove 140 liter is 90 cm wide, Fanatic Gecko ...
2013 Starboard stopping production of the Serenity ?? already ??
KONA Worlds near Montreal, CANADA
Andre Paskowski died young in August of cancer - famous freestyler and movie maker
Not much to say about 2013 - except that it feels like it was the year of the SUP & WindSUP 
oh yeah - there was the Red Bull Storm Chase !! AMAZING videos
multi-fins are getting more and more popular - flat water still seems to be single fin
2014too bad ice sailboarding is not part of the winter Olympics
3 batten wave sails - back to the past ?
RS D2 sport version - now one in Toronto halo777
1000 participants in the Défi-Wind !!!
MauiSails switches to constant curve masts :-(
FreeMoves taking off - next year NO more Fanatic Shark !!! :-( nor Hawk 135
Bjorn Dunkerbeck announces his retirement ...
2015 Maui Sails lets most people go and Phil McGain runs the show :-(
JP SLW only one version now... JP SLW91
sounds like people are LOVING the wider, thinner, narrow tail freemoves !!
hydrofoiling in windsurfing seems to be gaining popularity ==> iFoil looks COOL
NO NOSE stubby boards  are coming out ??
KONA ONE becoming more n more popular
Tinho and KONA announce new board -- Hula -- seems based on AHD ZEN 170
inflatable windSUPS and even sails ??
another death in the "family" - Peter Volwater - suicide - really ?? :-(
2016
S2MauiSails should be ready by this year http://www.s2maui.com/
it seems Barry Spanier, Artur Szpunar and Rick Whidden have NOT been idle after leaving MauiSails early 2015. There was already "talk" by May 2015 about S2MauiSails
SB AirPlane inflatable windsurf "board" is on the market - about $2500
Sailboard Hyrdrofoiling seems to be the rage this year - still too $$$ - also about $2500
people seem to be getting fed up with monofilm and going to Ezzy - in MTL
Maui Sails and others are tending more constant curve than ever
Niel Pryde sticks with flex top - so far
PWA had foil race and gues who won = AA/A²/Antoine
Newman Darby dies - the true father / inventor of windsurfing ??
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/sports/sailing/s-newma-darby-dead-sailboarding.html?_r=0&referer=https://www.google.com/
2017 Severne comes out with a BOARD called FOX with great initial reviews
Fanatic comes out with a board called BLAST - stubby and other ?? no more Hawk ??
Inflatable boards are getting stiffer - dyneema and  hard base
Starboard coming out with another Phantom - this time P299
more n more foils - JP has foil board with NP foil - available this year
saw one windfoil at La Crête beach, OKA in October 
2018 we are NOT even at the end of the 2017 windsurfing season and 2018 boards are out
starting to feel like the car industry 😏
now Fanatic has joined the foil movement with foil ready boards like Gecko 120&133
there are foil boards, foil sails and obviously windsurf foils available now = $$$
mini-foils are showing up now too
mwsails is marketing a windwing with three(3) inflatable tubes 

Interesting site regarding windsurf history: http://www.originalwindsurfer.com/site/main_1967.html

Seems our Auzzie friends really loved this one !!

Windsurfing Old School from surf fx on Vimeo.
Unfortunately I did not keep good notes on where I got this info. So, if I "stole" intellectual property, I truly apologize and if you require credit, please just let me know !!!

Comment from PierreC45 from Auzzie forum in MAY 2011:
Hey Joe, fun blog you have.

Just a precision or discussion on the history part.

Technically, yes the crappy Windglider was chosen for course racing in 1984, for all sort of bad reasons including east-west politics (there was a plant in Hungary, from memory). I guess you already know that Windsurfer One-Design was used as a side (demo?) event at the same event.

Both Windglider and course racing in the Olympics ever since, disappeared from the scene. It was ignored, boring as it is. Even the use of a terrible board couldn't make it interesting to anyone.

However, the Windsurfer part was very popular. The events (slalom, freestyle) were held close to shore, some of them in strong winds, and attracted fairly large crowds. So I would say that windsurfing at the Olympics was successful at least once. Proving to me that in the right format, which is faraway from the Tupperware approach, windsurfing can be made attractive to laypeople.

By the way, the Windsurfer Worlds in 1983 in Kingston, Ontario (you canuck?) had some 500 participants, 450 sails (!!!), and attracted large crowds. In fact the freestyle and slalom finals were a full-room event. I'm pretty sure the champs in Perth 1984 were fully attended too, but couldn't make it to W.A. that year...

Cheers mate,
PC

4 comments :

  1. Hi just found this site. Great work, indeed!
    As one of the first windsurfers in Germany, let me provide some informations from a slightly insider view perspective.
    Dieter Hellwig, Germany, one of the best race boat designers and racer in the sixties and seventies got in 1974 my Ten Cate windsurfer and created on of the first planing boards due to his experiences in outboard race boats. At that time, most windsurfers followed the principles of real boats and competitions had been held on classical regatta courses.
    Hellwig invented the rubber joint to provide a torque free conniption between the board and the mast foot.
    During a field test from a German surf magazine at the Lake Garda, Peter Brockhaus, Ernstfried Prade and Mr. Ostermann from Windglider directly found out that this 'Diabolo-joint' was much better than their plastic or stainless steel joint with a certain blocked position.
    After this tests in Italy, Mr. Prade called Dieter Hellwig to send him some copies in order to test them for the first surfboard from Mistral, the Competition with the black rubber line.
    Teh Mistral Competition was a conventional, not planing surfboard but very successful in the market.
    A shortened hollow surfboard from Hellwig, the 'BlowUp' very light and due to the cutter tail with a more backwards positioned daggerboard position had been tested by Malte und Karl Simmer made them thinking about planing boards instead of displacement boards.
    A short time later the KingCobra was launched by Cobra, Thailand. This was the break threw for longer planing boards worldwide.

    OK, let's stop now…….Hang Loose!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow that's so interesting. I'm so impressed at how much information you have compiled on here! I'm so surprised that one of the first places that modern windsurfing gained popularity was Germany of all places! Simply stunned how quick some of the more recent speed records are! Keep up the great work

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  3. Very well researched, thanks. Somewhere I read (probably in Wooden Boat Magazine) that the Kennedys, on the East Coast of Florida, sailed a sailboard-type of boat long before it was popular, so I suppose if I can find it that could be added to the top of your list. However, just as we now know it wasn't Christopher Columbus who first discovered America, but rather the Vikings (or was it Saint Brendan), going back as long as boards and sails have been around, the concept was probably tested out this way or that. But certainly Drake and Schweitzer had the drive, creativity, training, intellect to carry it forward - what a beautiful, simple design the original windsurfer is, and has certainly been proven over the years.
    Now, one other quibble, with the commenter who called the Windglider "crappy". As someone who actually owned a Windsurfer, but also sailed Windgliders, they were pretty comparable. (I recall the fin was tiny, so that was one flaw.) Sure, the designer of the Windsurfer would call the Windglider a poor choice, but according to the article below, it came down to a question of patents and legal issues with the Windsurfer. Anyway, main point is, Windglider was a perfectly good board. https://books.google.com/books?id=QUfoKBdS3b4C&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=windglider+vs+windsurfer&source=bl&ots=wrRpCZaE5b&sig=F8G6vEUwD-ZzVJwqkzIHdB7ZSKw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEsQ6AEwC2oVChMIjL-N-6L9xwIVwwuSCh0PPw9e#v=onepage&q=windglider%20vs%20windsurfer&f=false

    ReplyDelete

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