KA SAILS ON TOUR
We are proud to announce that the brilliant sail brand KA Sails will be supporting the PWA in 2012. Following on from this great news we took the opportunity to find out the ins and outs about the brand and its history.
1. Firstly congratulations on joining the PWA and welcome aboard, could you tell us a little about the brand?
KA Sail is an Australian brand started by Andrew McDougall back in 1991. It has a rich history in Australia and a great reputation for creating easily accessible high performance sails. From the start KA focused on making sailors perform well, by giving them sails that were not only fast, but were also a joy to use.
The last 2-3 years has seen a bigger push into International markets, with a small core of passionate people heavily concentrating on developing and promoting the products and the brand. Andrew himself is still very much involved with the sail designs but now is also extremely busy and successful with his other passion, the Foiling Moth. He is designing these carbon racing machines built in China for the global market and the Mach2, along with KA sails, are dominating the class. Andrew is happy to see the windsurfing side growing with new input, passion and integrity to move forward.
2. When and how did you develop the idea for KA?
As mentioned above, KA started a long time ago. It evolved from our passion for windsurfing and a strong desire to give more people the opportunity to work with high class performing products at an affordable price. That is still the main philosophy behind our brand, a simple passion for Windsurfing, hence our brand slogan “Performance with Passion”
3. What does KA offer that the competition doesn’t?
Good question. When designing our products we try to keep everything very honest and not get sucked into fashion and hype. We can be no better than our product, and today’s customers are very astute so you can’t hide behind clever marketing. Coming from a small – medium size brand we focus a lot on building a good team worldwide as all our team riders represent KA and are our extended arm to customers. We like to promote sort of a family atmosphere. Our optimal goal is that people will want to join us because we have great products and a welcoming team spirit. If you look a bit deeper into KA then we have a very unique and skilled core working group with a broad range of knowledge and experiences.
4. Could you tell us about one of your latest projects?
We are constantly experimenting with new designs and ideas. This year we introduced the Killer wave sail. This is a very powerful sail that was an instant hit with our team riders. Lots of drive and planing power and unreal when wave riding. Later this year we will release our new 4 batten wave sail called Kryptonite. Currently we are testing it in WA, Maui and Europe. The race / Speed programs, KArace and Koncept, are a constant ongoing development along with our freeride lines the Koyote and Kult. The same amount of continuous development applies to our hardware, the masts and booms .
Another huge area of development is the McSail sail design hardware, the program used by the major global brands is constantly being fine-tuned by Andrew and the team in Melbourne. In Perth we have expanded with an R+D loft where we can run modifications / recuts all year round. In the Netherlands we have a new storage facility with most logistics and shipping running very efficient from here.
To say we are busy would be an under-statement!!!
5. What goals do you hope to achieve in 2012?
The PWA events are a great place to show your products and we get some healthy exposure. This is of course great for our brand that is progressively growing its network worldwide. Also more important we like to support the sport in general and spread the image of windsurfing. Our rider’s goals are all individual. Top results are not always our main focus, but we like to have team riders that are creative one way or the other with videos, pictures, stories, feedback etc. Our main goals is about making great performing products, that our customers will like and in the same time we want to have fun doing it all, the end result is always better this way. We have been very much enjoying the journey so far.
6. Who are the riders that will be representing KA in 2012
We have many national riders in different countries worldwide and that is very important for us. In the PWA we have Jesper Orth - AUS 10 and Ben Newson - AUS 23 competing in the slalom. We are currently talking to a few more possible riders that will join some of the Slalom events. Then we have Justyna Sniady - POL 1111, Amanda Beenen - H 87 who are primarily wave sailors but will also join a few slalom events. We are currently talking to a few more guys to join the team and we could see a few more interesting sailors joining KA Sail in the near future. Our Speed sailors are also an important cornerstone for KA Sail and here we have a lot of riders, especially in our Sandy Point heartland. Craig Spottiswood and Tony Wynhoven for example are always pushing the boundaries and breaking various records.
7. Is it true that KA develops their own sail design software and this is used by other leading brands?
Yes this is correct as mentioned above. We have a big advantage both using and being the developers of this software as we are always on the very leading edge of this exciting technology.