P – Peter Chilvers: inventor of the windsurfer

Peter Chilvers is credited as being the godfather and inventor of the modern windsurfer as we know it. Pete created his sailboard in 1958 and used the waters surrounding Hayling Island, south coast, UK, as testing grounds for his invention.

During the 1980s a lawsuit was filed against Chilvers/Tabur Marine by Windsurfing International who disputed Pete’s patent. The court eventually ruled in favour of Tabur Marine as they saw that although Windsurfing International’s design was slightly different it was Pete’s original that had all the main parts that are familiar today. The case set important precedents for future patent law.

Pete Chilvers also spearheaded the bid for a £40m windsurfing and sailing facility that would help regenerate the area and further recognise HylingIsland as the birthplace of windsurfing. His story was featured on the One Show in 2009 where a replica of Pete’s original design can be seen. Peter passed away in 2015 from lung cancer.




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