Mistral owes its kudos and status to a very long list of unsung legends of water sports and it’s long overdue some of these individuals of the past were recognised.
It’s no secret that Rick Naish was the key designer for Mistral, Robby the ultimate windsurfing test pilot and then there was Harold ‘Iggy’ Ige. Simply put, “For those whose windsurfing roots reach into the mid-80s, you will recall that there were production boards, and then there was Mistral. Nearly every shape was created by Harold’s hands, and that magic resonated through Mistral’s performance lineup. He was the plug shaper (the board from which a windsurfing mould is made) for boards such as the Screamer’s, Shredders, Stingers, leading up to the modern boards and more besides.”
An Illustrious Career . . .
A surfboard shaper from the early 1960s Harold worked with famous names such as Greg Noll in California and Dewey Weber until moving to Hawaii in the 1970s. “I started a company called Surfboard Shaping Company, Inc., and did some local business; I started working under five different brands. Eventually I began shaping my own boards.”
Then Naish Hawaii founded in 1979, teamed up with Mistral. Harold was hired in 1982 by Rick Naish to keep up with demands of Naish Custom windsurfing boards and Mistral designs. “Both Rick and I designed custom windsurf boards for Mistral for 20 years,” says Harold. “We were shaping all the prototypes and Naish custom windsurf boards, and Robby would ride.”
Not just a shaper and designer he was a water man who had a pure affinity with the ocean.
Tragically Harold “Iggy” Ige, died at the age of 71 on January the 4th 2012 from a presumed heart attack while testing some of the newest SUP prototypes together with his friend and colleague Randy Naish. Iggy’s contribution to Mistral cannot be overstated and for the current Mistral team it’s important for us to acknowledge this openly and to ensure his legacy is never forgotten.