• MISTRAL BRAND HERITAGE
  • The Godfather of Mistral
  • IMCO
  • robby naish and the eighties
  • Mistral Competition
  • Olympic years
  • Mistral  under  license
  • Mistral Red Dot Division
  • Mistral’s success story starts in 1976, when, due to its passion for water and wind, the originally Swiss brand develops an innovative concept: surfboards with a sail. A new surfing dimension is born and proves to be an international hit. Mistral sets the tone in the development of windsurfing boards. Technological innovations rapidly follow, new materials are developed and tested. Mistral turns windsurfing into an international sport and even launches the Mistral World Cup Team. The brand becomes synonymous with windsurfing: Mistral is windsurfing, windsurfing is Mistral!

    Mistral was at its height in the ‘eighties. All surf professionals embrace Mistral, the intensely coloured creations with the legendary red dot rule the waves at beaches throughout the world. Mistral is expressive, visible and in demand. Sport, innovation, technology and most of all fun are inextricably bound to this new lifestyle.

    The colourful ‘eighties and the relaxed coastal life are still at the heart of the Mistral brand. The collection consists of everything that makes coastal life so beautiful: from innovative surfboards and SUP boards to clothing, footwear and lifestyle products. The mix of maximum quality, perfection and the link to Mistral’s origin give all of the products the distinct Mistral character.

  • Ernstfried Prade the designer of the Mistral logo and still active for Mistral International.

  • Mistral gained immediate international recognition in 1976 with the creation of the International Mistral Class Organisation (IMCO) founded in the United Kingdom, which still survives to this day. The company recognizes this as it’s true ‘arrival’ and foundation year.

  • During this decade, members of the Mistral World Cup Team became global heroes in their sport. The “Mistral Dream Team” was made up of top ranking windsurfers with a young Robby Naish as the leader of the pack. In the following years Mistral set the standard for windsurfers worldwide with signature sails and designer boards.

  • The Mistral Competition introduced in the early 1980s, sold over 260,000 units. In the past 30 years, Mistral has sold over 850,000 boards worldwide.

  • In 1989 The Mistral one design was produced. It was this board that was chosen to be the official board for windsurfing as an Olympic discipline and even the only board until now that made it as the official board choice for the Olympic discipline in 3 successions; 1996, 2000 and 2004.

  • 2002, the Windsurfing industry is in decline. 2008, Mistral splits into two parts. Anders Bringdal takes on Mistral windsurfing. Part of the companies consideration was now Stand Up Paddle Boarding the rapidly growing new water sport. Mistral Red Dot is created.

  • In 2014, Mistral Red Dot takes back the Mistral Windsurfing license. Steve West enters with a lifetime of water sports knowledge and over 25 years competition experience in the Pacific wide sport of Outrigger Canoeing, a two time world champion and author of over a dozen books and one time pro-Windsurfer. Together with wife Mandy West, an accomplished Windsurfer and SUP paddler they bring with them a life time of on water and industry experience.

  • Start
  • 1972
  • 1976
  • 1981
  • 1982
  • 1989
  • 2008
  • 2014

MISTRAL BRAND HERITAGE

1972

Mistral’s success story starts in 1976, when, due to its passion for water and wind, the originally Swiss brand develops an innovative concept: surfboards with a sail. A new surfing dimension is born and proves to be an international hit. Mistral sets the tone in the development of windsurfing boards. Technological innovations rapidly follow, new materials are developed and tested. Mistral turns windsurfing into an international sport and even launches the Mistral World Cup Team. The brand becomes synonymous with windsurfing: Mistral is windsurfing, windsurfing is Mistral!

Mistral was at its height in the ‘eighties. All surf professionals embrace Mistral, the intensely coloured creations with the legendary red dot rule the waves at beaches throughout the world. Mistral is expressive, visible and in demand. Sport, innovation, technology and most of all fun are inextricably bound to this new lifestyle.

The colourful ‘eighties and the relaxed coastal life are still at the heart of the Mistral brand. The collection consists of everything that makes coastal life so beautiful: from innovative surfboards and SUP boards to clothing, footwear and lifestyle products. The mix of maximum quality, perfection and the link to Mistral’s origin give all of the products the distinct Mistral character.

The Godfather of Mistral

1972

Ernstfried Prade the designer of the Mistral logo and still active for Mistral International.

IMCO

1976

Mistral gained immediate international recognition in 1976 with the creation of the International Mistral Class Organisation (IMCO) founded in the United Kingdom, which still survives to this day. The company recognizes this as it’s true ‘arrival’ and foundation year.

robby naish and the eighties

1981

During this decade, members of the Mistral World Cup Team became global heroes in their sport. The “Mistral Dream Team” was made up of top ranking windsurfers with a young Robby Naish as the leader of the pack. In the following years Mistral set the standard for windsurfers worldwide with signature sails and designer boards.

Mistral Competition

1982

The Mistral Competition introduced in the early 1980s, sold over 260,000 units. In the past 30 years, Mistral has sold over 850,000 boards worldwide.

Olympic years

1989

In 1989 The Mistral one design was produced. It was this board that was chosen to be the official board for windsurfing as an Olympic discipline and even the only board until now that made it as the official board choice for the Olympic discipline in 3 successions; 1996, 2000 and 2004.

Mistral  under  license

2008

2002, the Windsurfing industry is in decline. 2008, Mistral splits into two parts. Anders Bringdal takes on Mistral windsurfing. Part of the companies consideration was now Stand Up Paddle Boarding the rapidly growing new water sport. Mistral Red Dot is created.

Mistral Red Dot Division

2014

In 2014, Mistral Red Dot takes back the Mistral Windsurfing license. Steve West enters with a lifetime of water sports knowledge and over 25 years competition experience in the Pacific wide sport of Outrigger Canoeing, a two time world champion and author of over a dozen books and one time pro-Windsurfer. Together with wife Mandy West, an accomplished Windsurfer and SUP paddler they bring with them a life time of on water and industry experience.

The Second Coming of SUP

It is no secret, SUP has something of an identity crisis, a situation neither helpful or constructive for the would-be participant. If you recognise SUP for its most basic attributes, it is no more than a plank-like craft upon which you stand, propelled almost exclusively by use of an extended canoe paddle by any other name. As simple as this analysis may be, the industry and many first of type users, have since the early days, insisted stand up paddle boarding is ‘surfing’ first and foremost, beyond any other reasonable consideration or rationale, regardless if learnt and participated for the most part in the complete absence of waves or whether 100 miles inland.

The basis of this mind-set, was due in part to a belief it was the best way to promote the sport, regardless of any rationale definition, or of its complicated nomenclature. Promoted as part of surfing, the sport would have an instant association with a Bohemian laid back lifestyle, sun tans, fit bodies, aloha shirts, tropical locations, peeling waves and sun kissed beaches; everything a brand could want in order to fast track and win over customers to a somewhat eclectic sport.
In the maelstrom of the maturation years of SUP, some facts remain in situ and are irrefutable. Critical to the learning phases of SUP, is the learning of paddling technique, the variants of paddle strokes and knowledge as to how a paddle works in theoretical terms, both hydro-dynamically and bio-mechanically.

Knowledge of variants of designs and applications, in addition to ensuring the paddle is of the correct length and blade area and shape for your personal use. Knowing its anatomy and the differences in materials and perhaps some history of their evolution and the variants used for different paddle sports, will have you embracing the paddle, not just as a means of propulsion, but indeed serve to strengthen your connection to its powerful symbolism, the very defining item of the sport itself; without which, the discussion as to whether more or less a surf or paddle sport, would become a moot point, being as there would be no discussion to be had. It could be said at this juncture, while the association with surfing has served its purpose to kick start the sport and make easy to sell, in terms of inbuilt inherent sex appeal associated with surfing, the time has come to recognise a very much broader, wider and readily established gene pool of would-be stand up paddlers, all but ignored from the growth process; that of canoe and kayak paddlers.

It is with no sense of irony, that during the learning process of SUP, an experienced canoe (or kayak) paddler will be better able to guide you with instruction than say a surfer, in relation to paddle skills and indeed access and use of flat waters up to and including safe practice, dynamic risk assessments upon inland waterways and sheltered waters, rights of way and more besides. With this in mind, it may seem counter-intuitive to put your faith in a surfers knowledge base, to teach you something they know little about, from the mechanics of paddling to the complexities of inland waterways, whose core interest is surfing and where their associates are largely not for SUP, but indeed against it. This is in juxtaposition to those experienced paddlers already aligned with canoeing and kayaking, who understand paddling theory and skills and are versed in inland waterway rules and regulations and whose associates embrace stand up paddle boarding as a transition from sitting to standing while using a paddle.

If you’re not already aware, some of the leading exponents of the sport of SUP, hail from an outrigger canoeing background and as we move further into the sports maturation, it seems fitting the focus for growth can and must now manifest from those currently involved in other paddle sports, where their gravitation towards SUP would benefit every sit down paddler across all competitive and recreational paddle sports, bio-mechanically and holistically speaking.
It is this relatively untapped and vastly larger gene pool of paddlers over that of surfers, who will ultimately come to define SUP in a new and emerging way, to the benefit of the sport as a whole, sending a broader clearer message of the sports benefits and ease of access.

Moving into the future, there can be no question, if at any point SUP were to become remotely viable as an Olympic sport, the craft which competitors would use, would almost certainly by more canoe-like than board-like, where stand in boards permit faster hull shapes, affording improved balance by lowering the paddlers centre of gravity. Indeed such design concepts are not just a figment of imagination, but are now in use, contradicting in no uncertain terms SUP has ever-growing powerful associations and appeal to those who already paddle, representing a very much larger gene pool than those who already surf and while racing should not define SUP per se, the learning phases and the central skills acquisitions certainly should. Our Vortex SD1 is a classic example of this evolution.

​Mistral is a brand without barriers and we are not beyond seeing the big picture or understand our ability to influence or act as visionaries for the sake of encouraging true growth and longevity of a sport that deserves to be more than it is.

12th July 2018

A Legend is Reborn

Our annual distributor meeting, provides Mistral Red Dot with the opportunity to share new products, insights and activities and for individual distributors from around the world to meet with one another, share ideas and discuss the industry in general. It can be a passionate process which involves a fine balance of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ between differing geographical regions of the world, each being no less relevant than the other and our recent meeting at our head office in Holland was no exception.

This years meeting was highlighted on day 2, with by the introduction of our Quickslide Freeride Windsurfing boards with matching rigs and Zonda sails and in addition our 3.2m Albatross and 3.7m Freebird boards and Revival sails and rigs, designed specifically with the recreational and learner windsurfer in mind, featuring fully retractable daggerboards and soft top decks.

Ernstfried Prade, originator of the brand and creator of the Mistral Competition amongst other iconic boards, was on hand to give his approval of the Albatross and Freebird designs, noting their ‘ . . . beautifully proportioned lines fitting to the Mistral look and feel.’ Many positive comments were welcomed of the Albatross and Freebird, one distributor describing them as ‘perfection’ and ideal for pure fun and simplicity.

We have dubbed the occasion as the “Legend Reborn” in bringing us back full circle to our roots of Windsurfing and as a result of this launch and the enthusiastic response of the distributors, we are already looking to expand our range and you can expect updates very soon leading into later and the year and into 2019. Added to this we have some very cool additions to our SUP range for 2019 and will soon be sharing these with you, but in the meantime, keep on enjoying the Mistral Water Life and Living!

5th July 2018

Mistral Inflatables

OK, so you want to buy an inflatable stand up paddle board and you’re now completely confused having begun your search and been overloaded with choice. You could go for the cheapest on the market and by this measure, you will be investing in it’s only USP (industry speak for Unique Selling Point) – the price.

If you travel this pathway, know that you will get exactly what you pay for; poor materials, poor warranty (if any), lack of rigidity and therefore performance, poor valve systems, ineffectual undersized bags, inferior hand pump and little or no resale value. All in all, they serve a niche market for the relatively disinterested end-user not particular interested in investing in quality but more of a disposable consumable, where brand quality means little. Importantly, don’t be fooled also into thinking your SUP inflatable should look surf-board like in shape, unless you aim to sup-surf only, in which case the laminated board is the best option, always. On the other hand, we’ve since discovered our Tribe boards are also fun in shallow plunging waves as we found out in Tahiti in the right hands.

Our entry level Tribe boards, Lombok, Sumatra and Java, so named to reflect the idea of a family tribe using them, were from the outset, designed to break the mould on typical elliptical shaped boards in the market. What we wanted to do was design a shape that made sense from a paddling and handling perspective.Rave reviews in the German Press, confirmed what we knew to be correct that this shape of board offered a fast, streamlined feel with improved handling upwind and in head chop, super high levels of stability with the wide tail providing excellent step back tail spinning fun. Additionally the boards hold a good line when paddled and the slide in fin makes setting up super easy.

Add to this convenient bow grab handle and cargo net, carry handle, rear and bow D-rings for mooring, D-ring for ease of leash attachment, a mix of smooth skin and diamond shaped crocodile EVA and top line striking graphics, you have a board that’s been well thought out with the end-user in mind. To seal the deal on these epic entry boards, our super neat and sturdy roller travel bag, big enough to carry your clothes for a weekend getaway all in the one back, along with our dual action hand pump. The bag, should not be overlooked in the buy-in process – it matters and we’ve put a lot of thought into them, up to and including the water-proof internal lining.

Last year we added the Bali board to the Tribe range – ideal for young children, it features all the great attributes of the other boards and presents in striking fun colours. So if you’re in the market to enter the sport or indeed kit out your school or resort, consider your purchase as an investment, not just a disposal item and reap the rewards of a Mistral designed and created product.

​Mistral Inflatables – Better By Design and What to Consider

28th June 2018

Teihotaata 3rd Air France

Up against the best names in the world Steeve Teihotaata pulled out an incredible 3rd place at the Air France Paddle Festival, the opening leg of the Paddle League Championship. It was a truly titanic battle with many big names struggling up against many new emerging paddlers and a race truly worthy of full international world class status. Sitting with the pack leaders in 6th and 7th for much of the first 35 minutes, turning out through the reef for the run home, it seemed that Steevie was off the pace. Picking a good line and selecting good bumps on his Equinox 14′ x 24″, he made great ground and was in 4th place fighting it out with Titouan Puyo in the home stretch to overtake using the great qualities of the board and his skills to make the podium in 3rd place. Congratulations to 1st and 2nd place getters. To Steevie – we salute and recognise a magnificent, heroic effort!

17th April 2018