It all started back in 1973 when California transplant, Mike “Thor” Horgan put one of the first sailboards into Kailua bay. He embraced the new sport and was soon named Windsurfer distributor for Oahu by Hoyle Schweitzer.
In 1974 he named his business Windsurfing Hawaii. Searching for converts to the fledging sport, Thor found a very able and enthusiastic student in surfer Larry “Stan” Stanley.
Thor and Stan became friends and soon pushed themselves and their standard Windsurfer gear to the limit. In late 1974 Stan and another friend, Ken Kleid, bought Windsurfing Hawaii from Thor.
Their tight circle remained together, however, and in 1975 sailmaker Pat Love, world-class Windsurfer and Hobie sailor joined the Kailua crew. Pat’s creativity and sewing ability added a new dimension in design talents to the group.
International media coverage of Stan, Pat, and Thor windsurfing, flooded the press. From T.V. commercials to feature articles in major magazines, the coverage opened the eyes of the world to Kailua.
As a result, hordes of Mainlanders and Europeans descended on Kailua beach to visit the first Mecca of the sport.
In 1977 Pan – Am pilot Colin Perry became an avid windsurfer and convinced that “The Kailua Kids” were on to something, provided the capital to move the operation permanently out of Stan’s garage and into a storefront on Hamakua Drive in Kailua. Windsurfing Hawaii Inc. was created in march 1978.
As the sport grew and diversified, so did Windsurfing Hawaii. The company earned an international reputation for outstanding product quality and innovation, particularly for the Harness (1975), Footstraps (1977), Highwind Sails (1976), Adjustable booms(1979) and the adjustable base (1980). Demand for their products and accessories came from the world over.
Licenses to market Windsurfing Hawaii have also been granted in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Brazil.
In 1990, Windsurfing Hawaii moved to the Columbia River Gorge to have greater access to the conditions required to test the company’s new products.
In 1995, Windsurfing Hawaii was sold to Jon and Michael Davies. With the help of Stan, they have brought Windsurfing Hawaii back to full strength.
The company plans to provide the finest windsurfing gear and service to our loyal customers for the next twenty years… (at least).