From 2020, Mistral branded Windsurfer LT boards will form an exciting part of our inventory, where the M-Dot can fly high again in celebration of days gone by with the view for the future in growing the sport.
Forged from the contemporary design of the modern day Windsurfer® stretching back to 1968, the Windsurfer LT has been reinvented and reborn as a lighter, updated craft, with improved rig, sail and retractable daggerboard. Only the Mistral Competition could revival the Windsurfer® in respect of its global popularity and One Design racing status. Mistral, with its European origins wanted to create its own interpretation of the Windsurfer® which it did so in 1978, with the evolution of the Mistral Competition which triggered the establishment of the International Mistral Class Organisation.
It could be contested and indeed the question is being asked, “Why did Mistral not re-release the Mistral Competition rather than brand a Windsurfer LT Mistral?” This is an important question for which we have some important answers. If we re-released the Mistral Competition, it would rekindle the old days of being in competition with the original Windsurfer® One Design and at this point of the sports history, it is our position, it is more important to nurture and grow grass roots Windsurfing, than it is to re-release an alternative choice of board that would serve to dilute the potential to grow a singular Class of board.
With the Kona board in recent times having built up a loyal following and with the release of the Windsurfer LT, Mistral’s production of the Mistral Competition, could be seen as disingenuous, when we and the world recognise Hoyle Schweitzer’s original Windsurfer® as the seminal foundation board of the sport and the impact it can have through it’s own re-birth.
Not insignificantly, in economic terms this is not 80s when the sport was so big and growth so vertical, investments were justifiable; whereas today, it makes commercial sense to support an in-situ opportunity for a symbiotic expression of support for an iconic product that is ‘tooled-up’ for production, ready to go and being offered unilaterally between brands.
Mistral’s iconic status is not without influence and it is our belief that our support, investment and absorption of the Mistral Windsurfer LT into our inventory, will assist in the growth of the sport that we and so many thousands of participants worldwide are wanting. This is not the time for rivalries, but consolidation in the interest of the big picture.
Mistral’s embrace of the Mistral Windsurfer LT is an endorsement and open hearted genuine wish for old school windsurfing skills and ideologies to be nurtured once again, a board which, just like the Mistral Competition, suits young and old and everyone in-between; a board for learning, recreational fun or racing – a board truly for the masses.
No two board designs could be recognised more for their contribution to the global popularity of the sport, in respect of entry level, recreation through to racing. Ironically, both the Windsurfer® and Mistral Competition were to fall victim to the eventual decline of the sport as it over-shot the market with over focus on the high end extremes of niche interests.
Today in response to an overwhelming out pouring of nostalgia, passion and love of the sport, the Mistral Windsurfer LT marks the rebirth of old school, original long board Windsurfing, in which Mistral has embraced in the spirit of supporting the growth of this original One Design icon. New ventures, new beginnings!