MISTRAL and COREBAN - As a stand alone brand, Mistral has stood tall for over 40 years, swaying to the ever changing winds of water sports trends and while the end-users are the beneficiaries of water sports equipment, it remains a tough and demanding industry. Coreban, a relative newcomer, founded by Ivan van Vuuren in Hawaii in 2005, has moved between Australia and South Africa, where it was finally acquired by Gary Van Rooyen and partners in 2013, with its head office located in Cape Town.
It’s a brand built on a reputation for sup surf designs in particular and in recent years, there has been a focus on downwind designs, which is a particular speciality of the region, whether paddling surf skis or sups embracing their prevailing conditions.
In an historic precedent for Mistral, Coreban will undergo a shedding of its skin so as to rebrand its boards and persona into that of Mistral. Gary van Rooyen comments, “Our strengths have been ocean-specific, downwind boards, high performance wave boards and California styled nose-riders, so together with Steve West from Mistral Red Dot, we have designed a range of boards specific to our conditions under the Mistral label that will complete our offering to the growing SUP market.”
The impetus came about as a result of Coreban having been granted the distribution rights for Mistral in South Africa and the growing need to fast track improved build quality, a broader range of designs and the economic realities of surviving in a tough market place.
“We welcome this process of osmosis, as it immediately expands our think-tank of design ideas and of course our testing grounds in a well respected hard core water sports proximity of the world. In addition, we will be working with South African talent in representing Mistral and providing valued feedback on designs. Through this association, you will see, with immediate effect the Mistral name associated in South Africa with a variety of their most significant SUP race series and events, including the countries famous down wind race series, including this weekends, SA SUP Wave Riding and Racing Championships. Some of Coreban's more popular boards specifically for downwinding, entry surf and recreation are currently being sampled and rebranded and will soon be on South African waters. There is a healthy interest in foiling in South Africa and potential to experiment with this growing fascination for something which is being perfected more each day for use with kites, surfboards, windsurfing and sup. Over time, it's feasible that through our collaboration, we will see these desings being available and offered outside of South Africa." Steve West, Mistral.