Tell us about the stages in your life of becoming one of the world’s leading sail designers
1988 to 1989
I was 16 years old. CT sails, Southwest FL. Started sailmaking (volunteered) sail repair, big boat and windsurfing sails. I traded my time and labor for knowledge and permission to use the machines and materials in the loft.
1990 to 1991
Worked for David Ezzy and North Sails, building all sail prototypes (wave and race) and introducing new designs into production in Sri Lanka
1991 to 1999
Worked with David Ezzy relaunching the Ezzy Sails brand. Built and tested all sail prototypes (wave, freeride and race), plus introduced new designs into production in Sri Lanka twice per year.
2000 to 2001
Established working relationship with Klaus Simmer at Simmer sails testing new sails, and also establishing and running a busy and successful sail repair business in Paia, Maui.
2001 to 2007
Moved into designing sails for Simmer, starting with the hardcore wave sails. By 2007, I was designing and testing wave, freeride, trainer, kids performance, and also contributing core concepts to the cambered and race models. I also worked closely with hardware manufacturers MFC, Powerex, Streamilined and soft goods maker DaKine developing new products and offering critical feedback.
2007 to present
Commenced work for Goya. Head of sail design and rig development projects. Responsible for the entire range. Contributing tester for Goya board development.
More about Jason
Jason has an extensive history in windsurfing both as a designer and athlete. Jason’s education in design concept, sail construction and mass production has been very hands on. As a teenager he started his career racing one design windsurfing regattas and working at a big boat sail loft in Florida. He then moved to Maui in 1989 at the age of 17 to follow his dream of windsurfing and sail making and designing. Starting in 1990, Jason began working for David Ezzy (Ezzy was head designer for North Sails at the time). Jason worked as David’s right hand man for 9 years- hand building and testing over 1,000 prototypes, learning the ropes of Mass production at the North Sails Lanka factory and finally aiding in the set up of the Ezzy Sails Lanka factories. In the year 2000 Jason stepped out on his own as Simmer Style Maui’s lead surf sail designer. He had a very successful 7 year run with the Simmer team. Now, Jason has set his sights on Goya Sails and plans to use his experience and enthusiasm, combined with the talents of the existing Goya Sails crew to create his best sail designs yet.
Jason Diffin: All of my experience in windsurfing and sail making has led me here. This is my dream job! I have known and worked along side Francisco for almost 20 years now, and this new arrangement feels very natural- it just feels right. Francisco is an amazing sailor, so his input and ideas are very qualified.
We have always gotten on well together, and it’s nice have that history in place as we head down this challenging new path. Also- I am stoked to be working with a Maui based crew- all aspects of the design, marketing, administration and distribution are based in our Haiku headquarters- we can work very efficiently together. This allows more time for sailing- when the conditions are right, we sail. When it’s not, we head to the loft and the office. As I said, it’s my dream job, and I’m super honored and stoked to be a part of this team!
Though Goya Sails is a fresh face in the industry, the collaboration of Francisco and Jason – two of the sports most experienced and respected personalities- has been 20 years in the making. Jason and Francisco arrived on Maui around the same time from different parts of the world, both hungry for wind, waves, respect and success within the windsurfing community and industry. Jason found his path through design and time on the water while Francisco worked his way up the competition ladder. Over the years their paths have crossed on the water and in various sail lofts, and each encounter bred respect and admiration, planting the seed of interest for a future working relationship.