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Meet the Team

For the Inquiring Mind

Steve West

Steve West heads up the Mistral R&D Team. Drawing upon a lifetime of involvement first with kayaking, then windsurfing and over 25 years with outrigger canoeing in which he made a study of the sport on all its levels, including design aspects. The Vortex, Equinox and Slipstream, are testimony to his understanding of design and how to work at a highly intuitive level, in communicating this to a skilled shaper, in this case Chris Diplock. He has an intimate connection with the Pacific and this is evidenced in Mistral's ever strengthening connection with Tahiti and her islands in particular.

Chris Diplock

I became interested in making boards on my first trip to Australia in 1987. When I came back I worked for our local shaper at that time learning the basics, earning just enough for the next surf trip. I was there for several years then moved on and got work with Ocean Magic. Here I production shaped for seven years, learning the finer details of shaping across the whole range of surfboards from kite boards, kneeboards, to eleven foot mals.

Now on my own I’ve teamed up with Paul Fluin who is an extremely talented board builder, in doing so we have created an unsurpassed dream team, producing high quality surfboards for all shapes, sizes and styles. A lot of the inspiration for making boards comes from the people we worked with along my long road, some of them glassers, shapers, designers, sanders, and sprayers. They all contribute to the finished board without them it wouldn't work and here's a few names we’ve been fortunate to rub shoulders with: Albert Whiteman, Errol Hickman, Phil Northey, Larry Loggins, Rich Pavel, Mandala, Nigel Semmens, Matt Biolos, Simon Lockley, Daz Needham, Brian Bulkley.

Today working alongside Steve West and Mistral, combining his invaluable knowledge of paddle sports, with that of windsurfing, has allowed me to use my shaping knowledge in a new and exciting way and open my eyes to the world of SUP design. I'm happy to say, our first run of race boards in particular have been an overwhelming success story. It's also been fantastic to work with Mistral UK Team Rider Ryan James in getting his feedback and support.

Stéphan Lambert

Stéphan Lambert the quintessential intuitive coach in matters of life and on the water. Mistral are fortunate to have Stéphan acting is Mistral Team Tahiti Manager and trainer to our team riders. In addition to this his involvement and creation of the WTT and Ironmana makes for perfect synergy

Maurits Huisman

Our International Sales Manager is full of enthusiasm for water sports, the lifestyle it affords others and most of all a passion for Mistral. You'll find him open and receptive. Fluent in a number of languages including Dutch, English and Spanish, he relates well to everyone as his job dictates and will always work with our customers to find the best solution for everyone. Contact him directly maurits@mistral-int.com

Mandy West

A past professional windsurfer and UK Champion, Mandy West is the Director of Operations for Mistral's R&D Division in Mauritius. An accomplished paddler of outrigger canoes, she forms an important part of our testing team and lends her photographic skills and keen design eye over many of our projects.

David Rogers

Mistral's primary graphic artist, is David Rogers (Dévid) who studied at 'Studio M' - Montpellier, France and resides on the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius, where he works closely with Mistral's R&D Team. He loves illustrating, all forms of graphic art, enjoys all water sports, including surfing and SUP which helps, when it comes to contributing to the look and feel of Mistral related products and promotional items.

 

Thoughts

Steve West - Mistral

You need a few key ingredients when you set out to nurture a great brand and in doing this you must also stay true to it roots. In respect of design, you need a shaper you can work with and who can work with you, so as ideas flow to bring about a great result. They need to be experienced enough to bring a rationale consideration of what’s needed to create a range which is appealing to the eye and functional. Design ideas for the fastest race boards, have led to a polarisation of design concepts, narrowing down the possibilities of which designs work for given circumstances. From the outset, we did not cloud our design process with too much science, but applied the principles of what we know works, in the knowledge that the ultimate limitation of any board design, will be that of the rider and that all boards are powered by the relatively diminutive power of human fragility. Added to this Mistral needs a foundation of inspiration from which to draw upon and in late 2016, Steve West together with a kindred spirit of over 20 years, Stéphan Lambert set the foundation for a strong relationship with Tahiti and her islands in addition to the tropical test grounds of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, where Mistral's R&D Centre is positioned.