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Best Sailboard Manufacturer Of All Time?

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Created by gollyone Friday, 31 Jul 2020
gollyone
VIC, 27 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 3:27PM
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stehsegler
WA, 3113 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 2:02PM
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ah... the brand of dentists and doctors... at least that's what their reputation was in Germany. Their boards cost well over $3,000 back in the late 80's / early 90's. At the same time you could get an F2 for $1,500 and a Fanatic for $1,800.

I think that's what eventually killed them. The shop I worked at would shift 200+ F2s and about the same number of Fanatic's each season. It always came down to price and image with the Mistral boards.

To be honest I think the most underrated boards at the time were the first Cobra epoxy boards with full carpet deck. We sold those for $900 to $1,200. People weren't keen on them because the brand didn't quite have the same standing as the F2 Sunset or the Fanatic Boa / Mamba but everyone that bought loved them... when they didn't break.

Roy
VIC, 96 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 6:14PM
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Not sure their current range is the "greatest of all time"

www.mistral.com/windsurfing-boards/

Roy
VIC, 96 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 6:21PM
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Actually their functional wear has a certain retro charm
www.mistral.com/functional-wear/

AUS4
NSW, 1104 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 7:55PM
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Select to expand quote
stehsegler said..
ah... the brand of dentists and doctors... at least that's what their reputation was in Germany. Their boards cost well over $3,000 back in the late 80's / early 90's. At the same time you could get an F2 for $1,500 and a Fanatic for $1,800.

I think that's what eventually killed them. The shop I worked at would shift 200+ F2s and about the same number of Fanatic's each season. It always came down to price and image with the Mistral boards.

To be honest I think the most underrated boards at the time were the first Cobra epoxy boards with full carpet deck. We sold those for $900 to $1,200. People weren't keen on them because the brand didn't quite have the same standing as the F2 Sunset or the Fanatic Boa / Mamba but everyone that bought loved them... when they didn't break.


Strange, in Australia Mistral, Fanatic and F2 were the same price.

Krusty
NSW, 438 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 9:38PM
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I've got fond memories of AHD boards.
But I think F2 had many winners in their line ups, their lightning raceboards, the Sputnik, the axis and I've got some great memories of their more recent Maui project wave boards with "mad pop",(Levi siver).

BSN101
WA, 1839 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 8:00PM
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I have Mistral Equipe 2 Carbon 258 litres & OD 235 litres.

stonny
NSW, 18 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 10:28PM
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Let's face it. Mistral died the second Robby Naish went .

forceten
1174 posts
Friday , 31 Jul 2020 9:24PM
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Are you in quarantine

segler
461 posts
Saturday , 31 Jul 2020 11:00PM
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The three best of all time for both design and build:

Mike Zajicek (Mike's Lab)
Rob Mulder (Roberts)
Art Colyer (GEM and now North Pacific)

LeeD
1538 posts
Saturday , 31 Jul 2020 11:49PM
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I thought you foilers preferred Tillo.
Worked at a Mistral dealership for 10 years before year 2000. Only liked the Energy and Eruption. Raced on different 26 lbs. [no straps, track, cassettes, or fin] Equipes.
Liked Sputniks, especially the 265.

Nicko29
16 posts
Saturday , 31 Jul 2020 11:52PM
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Strange nobody mention Quatro yet.
They are legendary from day one.

I guess that s because they are Maui born, focused on waves and always had iconic riders.

Mark _australia
WA, 19877 posts
Saturday , 31 Jul 2020 11:56PM
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Mike descascio and JP invented the modern wave board rocker line

Mistral? Almost a non event when really they made boards for 15yrs out of 40
i would say companies with more impact are Starboard and BiC

gollyone
VIC, 27 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 11:56AM
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Select to expand quote
Roy said..
Not sure their current range is the "greatest of all time"

www.mistral.com/windsurfing-boards/



Select to expand quote
Roy said..
Not sure their current range is the "greatest of all time"

www.mistral.com/windsurfing-boards/



What a disaster. What has gone wrong at Mistral? They use to make innovative boards with flair and style that went fast.

sailquik
VIC, 5047 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 12:24PM
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Sorry, that is just a nonsensical question!

Unless it is designed to start pointles (but possibly entertaining) arguments.

stehsegler
WA, 3113 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 10:38AM
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Select to expand quote
AUS4 said..

Strange, in Australia Mistral, Fanatic and F2 were the same price.


Strange indeed... perhaps something to do with the pricing set by the local importer or maybe volume discounts. I remember our wholesale discount on North Sails in good years was hovering around 30%. That's 30% discount on the wholesale price due to volume of sales ordered. We would also buy up almost everything F2 had left in the warehouse at the end of the season. Often this was only the boards with no accessories. I remember selling those for $790 to $990. We'd then throw in some cheap foot straps and fins bought from a small manufacturer in the Czech Republic.

stehsegler
WA, 3113 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 10:41AM
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Select to expand quote
Krusty said..
But I think F2 had many winners in their line ups, their lightning raceboards, the Sputnik, the axis and I've got some great memories of their more recent Maui project wave boards with "mad pop",(Levi siver).


Agree re the F2 boards. I had a Sunset at one point as well as a Revolution wave board. The Maui Projects boards though I never really liked. I have a couple of but both of them were a bit of dud.

Had a great AHD 267 as well.

Basher
243 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 11:29AM
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Mistral are certainly not the 'best sailboard manufacturer' of all time, they just had their heyday of popular board shapes which were ahead of the pack but which later proved to be a bit lame. Who would sail a Screamer now? After that, they produced some real duds.
And who sails a longboard like the Equipe?
But they were an OK product for a while. (Just try and name their team members, after Robby Naish). And then kiting happened.

In the UK, we never got to see any of the second generation of Mistrals, once they tried to relaunch the brand.
The F2 brand also got left behind, as the market began to shrink.

On topic, Starboard were the best brand for a decade.
Not sure who I'd give that accolade to now.

Most brands start to fail when the accountants take over from the windsurfers who led the brand in the first place.

mob dog
NSW, 36 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 4:19PM
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Patrik has a good line up I have f race 140 litre and it only weighs about 7kg yet feels pretty strong and sails awesome

Tardy
3590 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 2:37PM
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they where good quality ...2001 .106 flow was my favourite...i had the blue custom ..the rocker and the pointy nose was something else ...i laugh when i look at it now .

i learnt on the escape ,then went to Malibu,explosion, energiser ,screamer ,flow ,syncro, great boards .in their time .

petermac33
WA, 6405 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 2:50PM
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I remember using the green flow - 86 litres or something.

It was super smooth to use but i had only a few runs on it.

Patrik with their airinside technology have taken it to a whole new level.

Their other boards seem to be a bit more durable than some of the others too.

ka43
NSW, 2933 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 5:20PM
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Fanatic, going strong for 40 years!!!

mkseven
QLD, 2267 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 6:56PM
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How do you determine top, but a good topic to debate over a beer. How many bics were sold vs mistrals in the nostalgia days? It's a pity bic dropped the ball in recent years, but they & mistral cornered a guarenteed market for many years with their one design programs.

I like fanatics, I dont think fanatic have ever been the top but are consistent. For me the top when factoring long term market share vs performance vs success vs innovation is starboard. My list of top board all time brands would be:

1 Starboard
2 Bic
3 Mistral
4 F2
5 = Fanatic & JP

But there will be a change in that soon, the 3 old time performers in that list arent in good positiom & the consistency of fanatic & jp will be pushing them up.

gavnwend
NSW, 1078 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 8:19PM
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RRD had some classic boards & still have.$$$ but!

RichardG
WA, 3176 posts
Saturday , 1 Aug 2020 7:00PM
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Bic, Mistral, F2 and Bombora. The last brand invented advanced surf oriented proto windsurf boards under Mike Maguire and then later from the fertile mind of Mark Paul came the short board and prototype boards way ahead of their time with the offset asymmetrical fin box. Mistral was and must be the Rolls Royce of Sailboards in its heyday. Its old boards are now still great, not so sure about the new stuff as I like the old stuff better. Here is the 1983 catalogue, looks great even now:










Bombora 1984 protos showing offset assymetrical finboxes out of Chris Crozier's shaping bay:




LeeD
1538 posts
Sunday , 1 Aug 2020 11:45PM
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To be near "best", an element of longevity must be applied.
Don't think 20 years qualifies.
Fanatic must be near the top due to attrition.
Plenty of great 5 year span companies out there.

Madge
NSW, 259 posts
Sunday , 2 Aug 2020 6:44AM
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Anyone from the UK will get this:

1) Vinta.
2) Lodey custom.
3) Hifly.
4) Klepper.
5) Chapper channelled boards.
6) Vitamin Sea.
7) Tiga 265 slalom.
8) Alpha 230.

Lodey was the best board I ever rode I recon. The rest weren't nessaccerily the best but some of the most popular in Europe.

airsail
QLD, 445 posts
Sunday , 2 Aug 2020 8:04AM
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As Cobra has been a the manufacturer of many brands over the years, maybe this thread should be named "Best sailboard designer of all time".

Imax1
QLD, 2807 posts
Sunday , 2 Aug 2020 8:29AM
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Hifly had some great ads.

LeeD
1538 posts
Sunday , 2 Aug 2020 8:08AM
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Have you any idea what "designer" means?

Mark _australia
WA, 19877 posts
Sunday , 2 Aug 2020 10:21AM
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Nah, enlighten us



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"Best Sailboard Manufacturer Of All Time?" started by gollyone