THE SIMMER STYLE STORY

Simmer Style and its history date back to the very foundation of hi-performance windsurfing on Maui in the beginning of the 80’s. Haiku, Maui was a different place back in 1981. Hookipa, as well as the entire North Shore of Maui was an unpanned goldmine of potential. The constant trade winds and pounding surf demanded more than the stock boards could handle at the time. Back then, Malte and his brother Klaus were the hardest chargers at Hookipa. Malte was hitting big waves super late and defying the odds, usually paying a very steep price for it. You were scared just watching the guy from the safety of the beach. The Simmer brothers motto was:  " If I eat it, I eat it....at least the gear can handle it! "  a attitude that is the foundation of our core values yet today.


Malte Simmer started as an intern with a local sail manufacturer, but in 1981 he branched out and formed his own brand, Simmer Style. Immediately his new design, the scalloped-edge wave sail, redefined the common logic. This sail allowed for late off the lips, and had a more locked in draft, and propelled Malte into his signature late off the lips. A reputation emerged, Malte was in fact ahead of the pack in many ways, especially his penchant for fearlessly charging big waves at Hookipa’s H-Poko point. There were several defining moments over the next few years as contests such as the Maui Grand Prix, and O’neill Invitational provided a stage for the emergence of his power wave sailing style. While he may not have always won the favor of the judges, Malte certainly was a crowd favorite for his radical approach. Time and time again, in and out of the contests, the bearded charger from Haiku blew minds with his fearless, yet stylish antics at Hookipa. Innovations developed very quickly, almost overnight. The full batten wave sail became the standard, and just as soon, the foot batten wave sail as well became the norm.


As Simmer Style grew, Malte adopted a philosophy of not being one of the hyped self-promoting sort, he let his sailing, and his innovations do the talking. By 1984, Windsurfing was big business worldwide, a full world tour was happening with giant crowds in Europe, but the sport’s focus seemed to remain strong on that beach on Maui’s north shore as well, if not more. In late February of that year, a landmark swell hit the Hawaiian Islands. Closed out, giant 50 foot walls of death were challenged by Malte and a very small crew. This session captured attention on a global scale. That single session defined a generation. Malte was at the forefront of it, and as more and more focus came to be placed on Maui, more and more people recognized that Malte was in a league of his own.



The remainder of the 80’ became what one barely remembers as the brightly colorful and spectacular party years of the sport. Simmer Style coined the phrase " the ultimate in high performance " and its products delivered exactly that. Brother Klaus, having retired from the World Cup, came onboard as a partner, and brought the company to new heights internationally.


Finally Simmer Style was in league with the other big companies, but without the unnecessary hype. The team featured hard core sailors only, guys like Rich Myers, Mike Waltze, Craig Yester, and the legendary Kihei Kids:  Eric Sharp, Ian Boyd, The Wetter Brothers. They carried on the core of what Malte had started. Hard charging fun on the big stage. Sadly a bidding war with a rival brand took the Kihei Kids away from Simmer after a short time, and that left Malte feeling cold, since the money had spoiled the true nature of what he was doing this for in the first place, the love of windsurfing.  That core value has remained the fundamental principle for which any Simmer Style team rider is judged upon. Hard core love of windsurfing over everything else.


With three events a year at Hookipa, most all of the international touring professionals were required to make a stop on Maui and battle it out with the local Hookipa crew, and Simmer riders consistently finished at the top, tormenting the traveling professionals who considered themselves to be the best in the world. (That is, until they came to Hookipa.) Around that time, Klaus took over business side of the brand, and Malte, who had seen enough of the hype and glory, remained on as a consultant and part time designer. Klaus also brought aboard sail designer Tomas Persson, a friend from the World Cup days.


Tomas began his design work with Simmer Style by handling the duties of the race and flat-water designs, and straight away established his craftsmanship and attention to detail as top notch. The wave designs also improved instantly on Tomas’s watch, his guiding hand helping the other designers along the way as construction innovations such as the first monofilm wave sail, the Wave Comp blazed new paths and obliterated performance boundaries.



Picture below:Chief Designer, Tomas Persson blasting with a SC5 back in 1998.

Throughout the 1990’s, Team Simmer became home to many great names in the sport. A newer crew was brought onboard in the late 80’s heading into the 1990’s that included guys like Mark Angulo, Paul Bryan, Rush Randle, Sierra Emory, Kai Katchadourian, who moved to Maui at age 16 in 1987, and even some key Europeans like Germany’s Robby Seeger and Sweden’s Anders Bringdal. Robby and Anders were the heavy hitters on the Tour, and it was an impressive overall force to be reckoned with. These guys were all mostly close friends and also very competitive with one another and it was the breeding grounds for some of the most explosive performances ever seen. Movies such as “ Radical Attitude” set the stage for immortalizing such events as the first time “Jaws” was ever sailed in April 1993. Once again, a groundbreaking event with Simmer Style at the heart of the action. There were also key competitive achievements at Hookipa, such as Paul Bryan winning the 1994 O’Neill after Kai and Mark both were in the top 4 on several occasions before.


We watched with pride in 1994 as Paul Bryan took it all the way to the title, etching his name on the O’Neill trophy the final year of the event. The first Simmer WIN at Hookipa!! In the mid 1990’s Simmer Style evolved to an international clothing empire, though short lived, this brought the name well beyond the windsurfing world. It all facilitated a bigger team than Malte could have ever imagined. The company had rising stock, and was on the list of every aspiring pro out there to be a part of the ride.


Many great names have since come and gone, but the simple attribute that defines one individual as  " Simmer Material " is a selfless love of windsurfing itself. No hype, no big show, just go out there and hit the wind and waves as hard as you can and let the sailing do the talking.


In the year 2000, Tomas Persson obtained the rights to the Simmer Style brand name, and 2007 he took over the company entirely. Tomas has since carried the ball through thick and thin to bring this legendary brand to be the international force that it is today, making great sacrifices to breathe life into the brand, and watching it pay off in spades over time with creation of sails like the unrivaled Icon and more recently the even more respected Blacktip. The brand remains strong these days on Maui, forever the spiritual home of Simmer Style, but the biggest growth has been seen in the international market in recent years, where the Simmer Style way of life has become attainable at one’s local spot without the plane ticket to Maui.


Simmer Style has become one truly complete company, offering everything you need to ride the Simmer Style way anywhere one can find wind. Top performing sail designs for every possible environment,  superior masts and booms of the highest quality and performance, a wetsuit line-up that stands toe to toe with anything in the industry, super comfortable harnesses, innovative accessories, and last but not least, our newly launched board brand. That we now offer everything we now do is the least we can do to repay the dedication that our customers have shown us.


The dedication and commitment of Simmer Style’s crew is unbelievable.  We have people that have been on the sails for over 25 years, and they are as fired up now as they were when they started with Simmer Style. This is not lost on the new generation of talent we have on the team today.


Our International team include names such as Ben Proffitt, Klaas Voget, Josep Pons and Kai Katchadourian. With an unmistakeable passion for what they do, these and other sailors within the Simmer Style family not only pave the way for the future every session, but also leave a lasting impression about what fun this whole sport has become these days.Klaus and Malte had a clear vision of hardcore performance and durability 30 years ago, we continue in their tradition to bring you the most innovative products, while pushing the limits of performance, quality and reliability.


This is the Simmer legacy.



Pictures below
MAUI LEGENDS, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Jay Doherty, Rush Randle, Klaus Simmer, Malte Simmer, Rich Myers, Laurent Vrignaut, Brian Caserio, Kai Katchadourian, Mike Waltze. Don Montague, Craig Yester, Brad Lewis, Dave Nash, Dave Collignon, Sierra Emory, Hidemi Furuya. Gary Bain, Anton Stamberger, Dale Dagger, Carol Aldred, Keri Dalidio, Tomoko Okazaki,  Travis Price.




  





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