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About Hurricane Sails

Hurricane Sails is a small custom sail loft focusing on windsurfing sails and located in the Columbia River Gorge. Sailmaker/sail designer Douglas Van Zandt operates Hurricane as a one-man operation. 

The loft currently offers one line of sails – the Eldorado. The sails are designed and specifically optimized for the conditions the Columbia River Gorge delivers – big gusty winds with current running against the wind (most of the time) making huge swells. To get the most out of the conditions Douglas feels that the sailor needs a sail that has a massive wind range, is very maneuverable and forgiving, extremely durable and can easily be tuned for light sailors as well as heavy sailors.

(C) 2022 Hurricane Sails

Add in the largest choice of color combinations for the sails anywhere and you have all the characteristics the Eldorado delivers. The sails are made almost exclusively out of American made or sourced material.

Originally established in 1985 in Connecticut the business was moved to The Gorge in 1988 to be located in a much larger marketplace with far more sailors per square mile. Upon arriving to Hood River the Hurricane brand very quickly established itself in The Gorge – know for building the most durable sails that were Fun, Fast and Built to Last.  

Hurricane was a true pioneer in the windsurfing industry for pushing the envelope/performance of RAF full batten sails. Most of the other sail designers and brands premier sails were focused on camber-induced sails - whether it was a single cam sail or multiple cam sails. They claimed that RAF could not possibly deliver the draft stability and range of camber-induced sails. 

The main sail line, the Super-Nuker was a line that was optimized for the conditions The Gorge delivered. The sails jumped high, turned fast, had enormous range and tune-ability and were legendary for their durability.  Perceived as heavy because of the vinyl window and durable scrim the sails were made of – weighing the sails told a different story. The lightweight yet durable sails violated conventional wisdom by combining foam core battens with different weight scrim laminates, and anti-stretch load strips through the window to achieve the legendary durability along with broad wind range allowing sailors to sail a smaller sail – always a key to better maneuverability and light weight in hand when on the water.  The vinyl window also allowed the sail to be designed with characteristics to enhance its performance that sails based around monofilm windows could not do.

Early Super Nuker 2.jpg

Hurricane operated for 14-years, but after the windsurfing market started to sputter, Douglas made the hard decision to have the 1998-season be Hurricane’s last. A letter was sent out to his past customers offering them the opportunity to purchase one of Hurricane’s Final Edition Super-Nukers. Over a hundred sails were ordered and Douglas spent the 1998 season building all those sails by himself. On January 15, he did what he thought was the last sweep of a Hurricane Sail Loft. 

Fast forward 17-years past a college education and almost 10-years in various aspects of the solar industry, Hurricane Sails was brought out of retirement.

All Hurricane Sails past and present have and will always be built in the USA - A fact that no other direct competitors can say.

Contact Douglas today and have him build you a quiver of brand new Hurricane sails today. 

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