WindRider International receives export award


Minneapolis sailboat builder WindRider International received an Export Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The award recognizes businesses that have benefited from Commercial Service export assistance to make their first export sale or expand to new foreign markets.

WindRider International is a prime example of how innovative Minnesota businesses are tapping global markets to increase their sales, which support jobs and economic growth here at home,” Mary Joyce, Midwest regional director for the U.S. Commercial Service, said in a statement.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers are beyond U.S. borders, and we must continue to give small and medium-sized U.S. businesses a competitive edge by making the necessary investments that will lead America into the future,” she added.

WindRider is a builder of portable trimarans, or three-hulled sailboats. The company started in 1995 as a product of North Carolina-based kayak maker Wilderness Systems. A small group of enthusiasts bought WindRider in 2005 and moved production to Pine City, Minn.

In 2010, Dean Sanberg purchased WindRider, opening a production facility in Minneapolis.

“Two years ago we were exporting to only two countries, Netherlands and Canada. In the past two years we have added Australia, Chile, Thailand, France and Aruba. And hopefully soon we will have shipments going to Brazil and Spain,” Sanberg said in a statement. “Besides the growth in exports we are also proud of the fact that our sailboats are assembled in Minnesota, with 93 percent of the components manufactured in the U.S., including 74 percent of those made in Minnesota.”