As much of the industry itself is located in Germany which also holds the biggest windsurfing market world wide it is not surprising that worldclass brands get developed there. If you followed the live stream of the last few world tour events you couldn't get around one of the most mentioned brands: SAILLOFT HAMBURG. Currently holding the status of being extremely progressive and motivated we are more but happy to announce them as an addition to the European Freestyle Pro Tour's sponsor pool. After signing up top German freestyler Adrian Beholz (Sailloft/Fanatic) for another year and extending their team with UK freestyle champ Adam Sims, the masterminds Gerrit Maaß and Olaf Hamelmann saw the potential in supporting the freestyle tour.
We have been catching up with the two sailmakers and two of their freestylers, Adrian and Adam, to find out more about the history and the philosophy of the brand, as well as about the future plans.
EFPT: Can you tell us some details about the history of SAILLOFT Hamburg?
Gerrit: In the eighties there was a scene of custom sailmakers in Germany and Olaf and me were apart of it. Whilst others were giving up we still believed in our dream of producing sails. In 1996 we merged our separate lofts and Sailloft Hamburg was founded. A new era began when we started with the first serial sails in the year 2000. Two sail lines with four sizes each, haha! Today we are producing eight sail lines with more than 50 models. We have a complete mast range and our own booms. And we are still not at an end....
EFPT: What is the philosophy of your brand?
Gerrit/Olaf: As we have our custom made history with over 2000 handcrafted sails the convenience of our customers will always be in our focus. Being sailmakers who learnt their trade right from the rock bottom we are taking quality and durability for granted. In addition to this traditional values we are always thinking about innovations for the future. An example is our Bionic sail line. As the first sailbrand ever, we introduced special laminated panels with radial arranged aramid fibers already in 2009. Like this a high-tech sail construction was born.
EFPT: Having a wave origin, SAILLOFT is now investing a lot of development and thoughts into freestyle sails. Why is that and why do you think freestyle windsurfing is valuable?
Gerrit/Olaf: A few years ago you could do more or less all freestyle moves also with a wave sail. But then so many new and fantastic moves have been created and it has become a need to have a special freestyle sail. A sail which makes modern freestyle windsurfing easy.
Developing our freestyle sail, the Quad, is not only a support for our teamriders but also for all motivated freestylers.
Today’s freestyle windsurfing is so spectacular and innovative which makes it really worthy to support it. Also, compared to wave sailing you can do it everywhere. You just need a board, a rig, a lake and some wind... okay and then you need a lot of passion to learn all the new moves!
EFPT: Adrian Beholz and Matthias Genkel are two of the top German freestylers with Adrian even currently being ranked 3rd on the EFPT. Lately you signed up Adam Sims current UK freestyle champion for your team. What makes your freestyle team special?
Gerrit/Olaf: Besides their professional skills in freestyle windsurfing all of them already have some experience in sail development. Together we are a great team and that enables us to push an already very good freestyle sail to one of the best on the market.
EFPT: Where do you see your brand in 10 years time and what are your major goals?
Gerrit/Olaf: Huuh, difficult to say. Becoming the market leader ;-) No I am kidding. We will continue what we have done all the time. Develop high quality windsurf equipment with a wide range of use. Like this I am convinced that our brand will grow step by step.
EFPT: Adam you recently changed your sail-sponsor to SAILLOFT and you already had some sessions to test out the new gear. Can you give us some words about the brand and the equipment?
Adam: Yeh, it was a shaky year for sail sponsorship but like with my boards, I always wanted to go for the best gear. So despite getting to the final stages in discussions with a couple other brands, it was the first try on Sailloft that changed my mind. The sails are really well balanced and have the biggest range of any sail I have used. I've used them a few times now and I can say that as I get used to them they only get better. Also I was lucky to have the chance to meet Gerrit and Olaf in Hamburg a couple weeks ago and see the loft for myself. It was really interesting and I'm excited by the opportunity to work with them, Adi (Beholz) and Mathias Genkel on developing the sails further.
EFPT: We hear that you will also be the agent for the UK! What are your plans on this?
Adam: Yes, we discussed this when I was in Hamburg and worked out that it would fit in well with Patrik and that competing wouldn't be a problem. So I'm pretty stoked to be taking on the brand and pushing it alongside Patrik Diethelm in the UK.
EFPT: Adrian, we know that sail brands have been chasing you up to get a contract with you for the next season. We just heard that SAILLOFT sealed the deal again. What are your thoughts about that? What can you tell us about the SAILLOFT Quad?
Adrian: I’m just super happy to stay with Sailloft. Sailloft’s location in Hamburg makes our development so easy and efficient. Working in the Loft with those super competent sailmakers teaches me so much and to be able to bring some own ideas into the development process is great!
The sails are really good as well and they cover all my needs. I didn´t really want to give them away! ;-)
For 2013 I’m happy to welcome Adam as a team mate. Together we can definitely push the freestyle and wave sails even further. The next months we will develop a lot for sure! :-)
EFPT: Thanks to everyone for the words and we are really looking forward to work together with Sailloft Hamburg and it's riders throughout the next seasons!
Photocredits: Hanna Poschinger, Martin Reiter, Matthew James Martin