THE HISTORY OF NORTH SAILS
In 1957, at age 30, Lowell North decided to leave aerospace engineering to become a sailmaker. He has never looked back.
Nord, who won Olympic gold and bronze medals and four stellar world championships, never relied on intuition. He was only influenced by what could be quantified, so he built a science-based society, using constant testing and rigorous scientific methodologies to build better sails. And that changed forever.
When Lowell was 10, his family moved from Missouri to Los Angeles. Lowell's father, who worked on oil discovery, bought a 36-foot fishing boat. The purchase included an offer of 8-footers, which Lowell immediately appropriated. He refurbished the boat and, at an early age, made a new sail. “I'm sure it was the worst wing in the world,” he says. "The boat would barely sail with wind." But it was a start.
Five years later, the family moved to Newport Beach, CA where Lowell honed their competitions to a local designer fleet. They later moved to San Diego, CA where the North elder purchased a used Star boat so he could crew it for his son. “Star class was way in over our heads,” recalls Lowell, “but we learned a lot. We had these awful old cotton sails. It got me thinking about what makes sails fast.”
"North Sails" was therefore born as a small laboratory in the city of San Diego, California. It was Lowell himself who asked a friend to design a logo, which we all know today, capable of identifying his products (precisely, "North's sails").
Over the years the company grew, becoming a pioneer in the use of the most advanced technologies and materials, and engaging in development projects with partners such as Formula 1 and NASA.
In 1989, with the same brand, the famous line of clothing was also born – a proponent of the great growth in popularity of North Sails – with garments inspired by the style of regattas, but which can also be used in everyday life. Today, as the company itself declares on its website, «our new challenge is sustainability, for which every year 1% of our turnover is donated to the protection of the oceans».
testimony to this commitment, in April 2018 a "capsule collection" of t-shirts will be launched, entirely made from recycled materials.