A beautiful coffee table-sized book
with 256 lavishly illustrated pages
Stories about the sport’s origins from almost 50 years ago are presented throughout 256 lavishly illustrated pages within this beautiful coffee table-sized book; the perfect gift for old-school windsurfers and newcomers, printed in the highest quality and full colour in an impressive 24 x 33 cm format.
Researcher and author Steve West skillfully leads the reader on an evolutionary journey covering five decades of Windsurfing history. He explores the boom years and describes how the addictive windsurfing culture influenced the lifestyle of a whole generation. He shines a light on the competitive drive and the egos of the main protagonists of the sport and how the early brands like Windsurfer®, Windsurfing Hawaii, Mistral® and F2 evolved from an endlessly changing market.
Accompanied by iconic images of Ulli Seer, Mistral’s principal photographer for some twenty years and other leading photographers, it reveals windsurfing’s progress through the decades, from rudimentary wooden booms to carbon-enhanced performance. The iconic Mistral brand is an example of the ups and downs of a fledgling sport that exploded in which six different owners between 1976 to 2022 each left their mark. Tensions, egos and agendas between individuals and how a brand can survive through those highs and lows are classically exemplified. This engaging, visual book, told through personal stories and anecdotes and edited by Professor Ben Oakley former Mistral World Champion and coach of the British Olympic Team, may well relate to your journey in the exciting sport of windsurfing.
About the authors
Steve West is an award-winning ocean sportswriter, author, educator, and accomplished ocean athlete; his diverse career originated as a pioneering professional windsurfer, freelance journalist, and photographer. More recently, his on-water activities and high-profile publications have been dedicated to the Pacific-wide sport of outrigger canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. Since 2013, he has been a senior consultant to Mistral in the areas of marketing, production, and design, which in part, led to this body of work amassed from interviews, first-hand experience, and research.
Ulli Seer a keen sailor from childhood, began Windsurfing in his early 20s while studying Graphic Art and Photography at Augsburg and Munich Technical College. Fascinated by the new sport of the time, he would become one of the world‘s first, full-time freelance Windsurfing Photographers, which coincided with working with the newly established Mistral brand as primary Photographer and Graphic Designer, responsible for worldwide advertising over a period of 20 years.
Ben Oakley is a Professor of Sports Performance Education at the Open University (UK). His original career was in windsurfing. He won the 1985 Mistral One Design World Championships and was British Olympic Coach, 1987 – 95. Ben’s role was as Editor, in addition to contributing some specific chapters.
What has fuelled him to excellence?
Our conversations with Robby explore his journey with his family’s business, Mistral and the modern Naish brand as one of the only surviving companies from the 1970s. His down-to-earth honesty is revealed in talking about life, his preference to sail alone, his World Cup years and the evolution of board sports.