The sail brand and manufacturer GUNSAILS announces its partnership with the Australian label Sunova - premium manufacturer of surfboards, SUPs and also windsurf boards. Thilo von Osterhausen, head of product development at GUNSAILS, answered a few questions about it to the Surf Magazine.
THILO VON OSTERHAUSEN Head of GUNSAILS R&D
“SUNOVA is the Board partner we have been waiting for… We do not only have the same goals but do also share the same values and perspectives. “
So far Sunova is rather unknown in the windsurfing sector. How did the cooperation evolve? As our development department as well as our own surf brand KANOA is very much involved in composite and lightweight constructions, Sunova and their know-how has been known to us for a long time. In fact, we were already in contact four years ago to talk about a cooperation. When we finally got to know each other in person this year at the boot Düsseldorf, it was quite obvious that the time of our cooperation had come and where our common path should lead us. Apart from the distribution of the windsurf boards we will also work closely together in the development, but we will reveal more about this another day.
Why are you expanding your portfolio with windsurfing boards when this market is limited and still incredibly competitive? That's right, there's a vast number of windsurf brands out there. However, almost all of the boards come from Cobra (the biggest manufacturer based in Thailand, the Red.) and are characterized by very similar construction methods. For us it was clear: If we make our way back to the board market, then only with something special. Boards that stand out from the crowd. And here Sunova has something extremely special with its unique balsa wood construction. After the construction method has been used for surfboards for a long time, Sunova has been testing and developing a complete windsurfing range with the American windsurf designer Jonah Lepak for four years. With its know-how and its own production facility, Sunova not only has an absolute unique position, but also meets our quality requirements with excellence. The first impressions of your magazine were also very positive (you can find a test of the Sunova Freestyle-Wave 85 in the issue surf 3/2020, the editor). As a direct seller we can't afford any quality defects, as this causes huge additional costs and unnecessary stress for our customers. Here we can absolutely vouch for the fact that Sunova keeps its promises - better forever - since 1976!
Can you tell us something about the background of the brand? There are three founders behind Sunova, whose skills and know-how complement each other perfectly. The two Germans Klaus Müller and Martin Jandke can both look back on many years of experience at Cobra and have realized their personal ideas and ideals of surfboard production in their company "The Board Factory". The third in the group is none other than the Australian Bert Burger. He was once co-founder of the world-famous surfing brand Firewire, and is the Shaper of the Year 2007. The distribution through GunSails will be limited to windsurf, SUP and foil boards for the time being. The Swiss and French markets will continue to be supplied by the importers based there.
What does this novelty mean to you? What do you think makes the Sunova windsurf boards special? Sunova is the board partner we have been waiting for many years. What we like most about Sunova windsurf boards is the construction and the resulting unique feeling. The bottom is equipped with a special dampening balsa layer. This absorbs impacts and chops and gives the boards an incomparably controlled and soft characteristic. The balsa boards not only look great with their unmistakable wooden design, but also contain some exciting technological features. The deck is equipped with so-called "mini I-Beams", which are grooves that are milled into the balsa wood before lamination. The laminated material then interlocks with these grooves, which massively increases stiffness and durability. At the nose and tail there are multi-layer blocks of wood, which complete the construction in its look and stability.
Up to now Sunova has mainly been a subject in the surfing and SUP sector. What does the current range of windsurfing products look like? The current windsurf range consists of three waveboards and a freestyler as well as a freeride board and a freeracer, which are of course 'foil ready'. Additionally there is an intermediate board, a pure foil concept and a 4in1 for foil, SUP, windsurfing and wing use. All models are available in the GunSails Onlineshop at www.gunsails. com from the end of June. Are there any plans to sign team riders as well? Sure, we are of course aiming to equip some of our team riders with the Sunova/GUNSAILS combination.