Innovation

Southern Spars Treading New Waters

In an industry weighed down by tradition, it took a Kiwi firm to turn the tide. Since 1988, Southern Spars has pioneered the use of composite materials on land, water, and in the air. Want to see the stuff innovations are made of? We know a place.

treading new waters

 In an industry weighed down by tradition, it took a Kiwi firm to turn the tide. Since 1988, Southern Spars has pioneered the use of composite materials on land, water, and in the air. Want to see the stuff innovations are made of? We know a place.

For centuries, masts and rigging were made of timber and steel. Today, they’re crafted from carbon fibre. It’s lighter, stronger and more versatile than anything else on the planet. And it’s the team at Southern Stars that blazed the trail.

Southern Spars has become a sailing powerhouse, thanks to the fusion of Kiwi ingenuity with the global reach of American-based owner, North Technology Group. Now, the company enjoys a presence in Europe, Sri Lanka, and North America. But the true genius of Southern Spars, its design excellence and custom manufacturing, remains in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

INSPIRED BY NATURE

New Zealanders are known around the world for their success in building boats, winning races and thinking outside the square. Kiwis have often paved the way, such as introducing cycling on America’s Cup boats, or being the first to perfect foiling. Whilst a great deal of design and technology goes into that, much of the ingenuity comes from hands-on practice.

"New Zealand is surrounded by oceans, so it’s natural for us to test and learn by doing the sailing ourselves. " Mark Hauser, Southern Spars

RIDING THE WAVE

When the opportunity to apply that know-how to the cycling industry presented itself, the team didn’t hesitate for a second. Rob Waddell, Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Olympic Team at the time, paid a visit to Southern Spars and brought wheels with him. Once the team started working closely with Cycling NZ it became apparent that improvements could be made. And they did by producing a wheel that was 30 – 40 % stiffer and lighter than the best wheels on the market.

"We received a product that was faster than anything we’ve tested before. Our athletes lined up with huge confidence that they had the edge over their opposition. " Rob Waddell.

Given that Kiwis are naturally open-minded and adaptable, it’s no surprise that Southern Spars continue to set their sights set even higher. The company is now looking to lend its technology and skills to the High Performance New Zealand working with athletes to give them a competitive edge.

"With our intimate knowledge of composites, there are plentiful opportunities to tap into other markets. If carbon fibre can survive the Southern Ocean, it can survive anything. " Mark Hauser

So watch this space.

Looking for a place where the imagination knows no bounds? We know a place. New Zealand. Together we can do amazing things.