OUR HISTORY

    Founded by the American sailor and Olympic Gold Medalist Lowell North, North Sails has grown into one of the world's leading sails makers.
    Now, Lowell's inspiration of building sails that were faster than any competitor's, lives on in North Sails apparel as well, as it is designed and developed so that our customers can focus on what’s important for them – taking on the sea or just navigating modern life.

    1945

    The Star World Championship

    Lowell North wins the Star Worlds. As a 15-year-old he crewed for the 17-year old Malin Burnham.
    He won the Star Worlds five times, a feat that has never been equaled.

    1957 - The beginning of North Sails

    It all started in a rented 20 x 80 foot space at the B Street Pier in downtown San Diego. Lowell quit his job as an aerospace engineer at Narmco, and went to work on the floor building Snipe and Star sails.

    No one could predict that Lowell’s new company would eventually grow into the largest sailmaking business in the world. Or that along the way, Lowell would become a world champion sailor and two-time Olympic medalist.

    1960s - The Olympic Games

    North Sails has a deep heritage with the Olympics, which has showcased North Sails as the sail of choice to the best sailors in the world. In both the 1964 and 1968 Olympics, Lowell North was the helmsman on medal-winning boats. Since then, many people within North Sails have continued the Olympic legacy of success started by the company’s founder; both sails and designing sails that win medals.

    1970s

    North Sails introduces digital sails design.
    From the beginning, Lowell embraced a scientific approach to making sails, and North Sails has followed a path of increased development in sail design and production ever since.

    1980s - The America’s Cup

    The competition features the world's best sailors racing boats that are pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
    North Sails has been on all 12 winning boats since 1980, and has supplied every America's Cup Defender and Challenger since 1988.
    Our shared story is one of innovation, often resulting in breakthrough sail design and materials.

    1987 - The first Men's Collection

    North Sails Collection launches in Italy its first men's collection, which combines a classic Italian design with the history and real heritage of the American brand.
    The North Sails’ motto is "Go Beyond", which means to go where others cannot. Exploration and innovation are the key and fundamental elements on which the brand has always been based.

    The Volvo Ocean Race

    North Sails relationship with the Volvo Ocean Race today goes back all the way to the late 1980s. The 2010 edition of the race served as the ultimate testing ground for 3Di technology. This race is 45,000 nautical miles and demands sails that can withstand extreme conditions and four equator crossings.
    North Sails unique technology has proved itself worthy of this epic adventure and has been the sail of choice of all 6 winner boats since 1997-98.

    1990s - An Icon is born

    The sailor jacket got its shape from the aviator bomber, also known as the flight bomber or bombardier jacket, which was originally created for pilots by the Aviation Clothing Board in 1917.
    In the 1980s, competitive sailors felt strongly that there was a need for a sporting jacket, which was more comfortable than the classic wet weather gear. North Sails came up with the idea of replacing the traditional fabric used in bomber-style jackets with waterproof Kevlar, commonly used to make sails.

    2007 - North Sails Gold Edition

    To celebrate its 50th year, North Sails Collection launched a special and more technical capsule.
    The Gold Edition was made using a high-level fabric and had a special detailing which gave the items a more urban and tech look.

    2010

    3Di Innovative technology

    North Sails 3Di exemplifies outstanding value with industry-leading shape holding and longer service life compared to other sailmaking technologies. Proprietary engineering and construction methods allow 3Di sails to maintain their shape to an unprecedented level. Superyachts now use one set of 3Di sails for racing, cruising, and deliveries. Volvo Ocean Race teams trust one mainsail for 35,000+ miles around the world.

    2016

    2016 Olympics report-card: 11 of a possible 12 medals, with 3 gold medals.
    2020 Olympics-objective: must do better

    #WriteNewHistory

    The World Speed Record

    Fastest sails around the world.

    North Sails holds all 4 Around-The-World speed records since 2016

    2018

    Every breath you take and every drop of water you drink comes from the sea. The ocean generates 50% of the oxygen we breathe, it regulates the climate and is an essential source of food, energy and life.
    Although we cannot deny that something is changing. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic pollute it each year – that’s a truck full of plastic every minute.
    North Sails has its roots in the sea and decided to act for it, by raising awareness on the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. We are only at the beginning of this challenging, yet stimulating, journey.
    Starting from Spring/Summer ’18 we’re donating 1% of our revenues to the Ocean Family Foundation and launched our first sustainable collection.

    2019

    We’ve begun our journey towards a more sustainable future.
    Today, we’re taking bigger and bolder steps to bring sustainability even deeper into our collection, wherever we can. Resources are limited, and we have the responsibility to innovate and use wisely. We must reduce our consumption to explore more, experience more and enjoy more.
    Our philosophy of conservation comes through as RE-USE: recycling sails and using recycled fabric and padding; and USE LESS: using less plastic, by choosing natural fibers, and using less energy, water and chemicals through more sustainable dyeing methods.
     
    We’re working towards a better future. Join us and be part of our journey.



     Inspired by the success stories of the past