Paul Elvstrøm started his own sail loft, Elvström Dinghy Sails with only one sewing machine in the basement of his childhood home in Northern Copenhagen. Our signature, the red crown was designed by Paul Elvstrøm himself at this early stage and is still today our company logo and trademark. The crown has the clever feature that it can be drawn entirely with a compass tool. Each outer point is always one, two or three times the smallest radius.
The company, now employing 20 people, moved to its new premises in Rungsted Havn.
Elvström Dinghy Sails expanded quickly and by 1968 it had outgrown its facilities twice. 1968 marked the opening of the first real factory for Elvstrøm Sails – a new, sail-only facility which Elvstrøm opened in Kokkedal in 1968.
Paul Elvstrøm sold his majority holding in Elvstrøm Sails to focus fully on design and production of boats and surfboards under the name of Elvstrøm/Kjaerulff Yachtdesign. The new owners, Hans Fogh and Henning Olsen moved the production across Denmark when they in 1976 established the facility in Aabenraa, Denmark under the name of Fogh-Sails Europe A/S.
Three years later, Henning Olsen took over Elvstrøm Sails in Hørsholm and Fogh Sails changed its name to Elvstrøm Sails with Henning Olsen as the owner. Paul Elvstrøm himself stayed in the company as a designer and consultant while Hans Fogh retired.
Henning Olsen passed and left the management of Elvstrøm Sails to his son Claus Olsen. Throughout the coming years product development and marketing was intensified forming a close relationship to some of the best sailors in international sailing.
Elvstrøm Sails marked its 40th anniversary in a world of sailing which never sleeps. Digital design and computer simulations were already an integral part of the process at this point, and it followed the 1993 launch of the Elvstrøm Nucat – a radical new genoa design which saved almost one third of the weight over a comparable regular version.
The Furlström was introduced and marked a change in the way spinnakers were used. The Furlström combined the properties of a regular spinnaker, but as it was furling, it made life much easier when sailing singlehanded – a spinnaker was normally not possible to handle as it required too many hands onboard. Today, almost three decades later, the Furlström lives on as a part of our product line.
The double Olympic Gold-winner Jesper Bank became a member of the board of directors and was also operating Sales Director of Elvstrøm Sails.
Furling solutions are a very important parameter of the business at Elvstrøm Sails to this day – and so it has been for more than three decades. Elvstrøm Sails entered the new millennium with the launch of the new MainStar booms. An in-boom furling system where Elvstrøm Sails also supplied the boom – tailor-made to any type of mast.
Elvstrøm Sails acquired the American sailmakers Sobstad who brought with them the Genesis technology which was the first generation of what is today the EPEX technology. It also led to a name change to Elvstrøm Sobstad.
The company moved into its new, 4500 m2 premises on the newly named road Paul Elvstrøms Vej in Aabenraa, named to commemorate Paul Elvstrøms sporting legacy. This was also the first leap for the Genesis technology as this was the first time in history when it was possible to construct a sail without conventional cloth (Genesis was based on aligned load bearing threads laminated on a film material such as Mylar). This was the early principle of what was later to become EPEX. To round off the trivia regarding street names, the plaza outside the home club of Paul Elvstrøm in Hellerup was also renamed in 2017 – it now holds the name Paul Elvstrøms Plads and features a big mosaic of the Elvstrøm Crown.
Jesper Bank rejoins the Elvstrøm Sails Team as a Partner, after racing in the America's Cup. Today, Jesper Bank oversees Elvstrøm Sails Palma and Elvstrøm Superyacht. 2008 was also the year where EPEX was born. EPEX was named by combining the words Apex and Epochal in one. The technology has been part of the Elvstrøm Sails product programme ever since. The product has always been aimed at the performance cruising segment as well as the dedicated racers.
2010's - today
Claus Olsen steps down as the CEO of Elvstrøm Sails after 33 years at the helm of the company. The new CEO appointed is Niels Bjerregaard, who took over the leadership of the loft which by then employed 70 people.
On 7 December 2016 Paul Elvstrøm died at the age of 88. At Elvstrøm Sails we will do our outmost to carry on his legacy in his spirit and based on his values, making sure that Paul Elvstrøm’s DNA stays in our products and with our company for the future.
Elvstrøm Sails A/S acquired all the activities of its French sibling, Elvstrøm Sails Sarl, effective as of August 28, 2017. The transaction unified the two Elvstrøm companies after more than 50 years of separation.
Nic Johansen, the CEO of Elvstrøm Sails France and son of Erik Johansen who founded Elvstrøm Dingy Sails together with Paul Elvstrøm in 1954, passed away. Nic was an authority in the sail making industry, having worked most of his life within the industry.
In 2021, Niels Bjerregaard left for pastures new and Morten Gantriis Sørensen was appointed as the new CEO of Elvstrøm Sails.
Elvstrøm Sails acquired the activities of the Tunisian factory, STEB. STEB employs around 200 people in total.
Elvstrøm Sails is back in the clothing industry with the introduction of Elvstrøm Sailwear.
Elvstrøm Sails employs close to 300 people operating from the headquarters in Aabenraa, Denmark and the subsidiaries in France, England, and Tunisia.
In addition, Elvstrøm Sails is represented by over 60 qualified SailPoints, mainly on the European continent – but with an ever-increasing presence outside Europe (iElvstrøm Sails entered the American market in 2016).
As an active player since 1954 we take pride in being one of the oldest sailmakers in the world.