Meet Our Team of Expert Riders – Windspirit

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OWNER

Benoit Gauthier

In 1985, I discovered windsurfing for the first time with Daniel Brazeau in Roxton Pond. This encounter sparked a passion that would change my life. The following year, in 1986, I acquired my first board, a Magnum, then an F2 Comet 165L. My enthusiasm for this sport only continued to grow.

In 1987, after visiting the Nautic show and the Rondeau windsurf board factory in Quebec, I decided to venture into making my own windsurf board. Thus, Wind Obsession was born. By abandoning my studies at the University of Sherbrooke in the fall of that same year, I brought my entrepreneurial dream to life.

The path to success was not without obstacles. In 1988, my first presentation at the Montreal Nautic show did not meet the expected success. But I kept hope, with all the naivety of youth. In 1992, an internship with my favorite shaper, Jimmy Lewis in Maui, reignited my confidence. Wind Obsession was about to take off.

The following years were marked by ups and downs. In 1998, Wind Obsession experienced one of its most productive years, selling approximately 125 boards per year. In 1999, my annual trip to Maui was filled with pride as I saw Kanaha beach filled with Wind Obsession boards, thanks to all the Quebecois present there.

In 2002, intensive research was conducted to develop new products, but some concepts never saw the light of day. In 2003, the launch of molded board production was a success, thanks to a fruitful collaboration with Jean-François Ally.

However, in 2006, the custom windsurf board market was disrupted by competition from quality products from the Cobra factory in Thailand. To save my business, I had to react quickly. At the same time, I launched Wind Spirit, the second virtual windsurfing shop in Canada.

From 2006 to 2024, Wind Spirit has become a must for windsurfing enthusiasts in Quebec and North America. The advent of kitesurfing expanded our clientele, but my passion for windsurfing remains intact.

In 2017, we diversified our offerings by selling paddleboards to meet the changing needs of the market.

2020 was a busy year for Wind Spirit, as the pandemic caused people to stop traveling and seek outdoor fun! It turned out to be a record-breaking year!

In November 2021, we had to move from the family land where Wind Obsession and Wind Spirit were created. A new adventure begins after 33 years on the family land on Martineau Street!

From 2022 to 2024, the Wind Spirit team is at its best with super competent and motivated individuals. Thomas, the youngest of the team, Eric managing the website, Bruno, former owner of 2-Rad, joining the team. Not to forget JF Ally, former engineer, Benoit Dumaine, the longest-serving member of the team (35 years with us), Maryse from the family (80 years old) handling the accounting, and Claude, Martin, and Marco!

SALES | MARKETING | WEBSITE

Thomas-yves boulianne


Thomas-Yves, 23 years old, embarked on his journey into water sports during a trip to Cap Hatteras with a close friend and his family when he was 17. From the moment he first piloted a kite, he found himself deeply enamored with the sport and its community. Whether it's kitesurfing, kite foiling, wing foiling, or windsurfing, Thomas-Yves is drawn to any activity involving sailing on water, and he's completely hooked. For the past four years, he has been an integral part of the Windspirit family, dedicating himself to providing customers with comprehensive and personalized shopping experiences. During the past three winters, Thomas-Yves has resided in Mexico, where he maximizes his time on the water, testing new equipment and advising customers on products tailored to their skill level and preferences. Additionally, he regularly attends industry conferences worldwide to stay abreast of the latest developments.

sales

BRUNO ROBIDA

Following an engineering career in the ski industry, Bruno opened 2 Rad in 1991. Excelling in the windsurfing industry for his competence and service, Bruno had a lengthy career has the owner operator of 2 Rad for 32 years. Once Covid hit the greater Montreal area pretty hard, changing the economics of running the business, Bruno decided to merge with Wind spirit, where he continues, and will continue for a long time to come, to motivate and equip windsurfers with the best gear and recommendations as he as always done.

LOGISTIC EXPERT | WEBSITE

JEAN-FRANCOIS ALLY

Jean-Francois joined the Wind Spirit team during the summer of 2020 after a career in mechanical engineering and project management in the hydroelectric industry. Taking advantage of his professional experience and his expert Excel knowledge, Wind Spirit relies on him for the optimization of the product and stock management and the financial results analysis. 

He’s been a windsurf enthusiast for more than 30 years. He spent numerous months in Maui where he fell in love with wave riding. During his trips to Maui he discovered SUP wave riding, his second love. Wanting to surf more, he started kitesurfing during an early season trip to Cape Hatteras almost 10 years ago. All these passions brought him to ride in Europe, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, North America and last but not least, the Canadian Maritimes. His favorite spot is Santa Veronica. His home spot is New England’s Lake Champlain. For him, the perfect day is simple, a surf board, a 9 m² kite, warm water and good friends to share with. 

WEBSITE

ÉRIC MÉTIVIER

Eric joined the Windspirit team in 2019. Since 2014, he has been immersed in kitesurfing and paddleboarding, accumulating memories and skills that define not only his free time but also a significant part of his identity.

As a kitesurfing instructor since 2019, Eric combines his love of the sea, the sport, and sharing knowledge. Traveling and exploring new spots are passions that drive him, and his role with the team allows him to integrate all his great passions.

His favorite equipment includes:

Cabrinha Moto X sails: Known for their versatility in big air, surf, or foil conditions.

Crazyfly Raptor twin tip board: A reliable and high-performance board.

Cabrinha Logic foil board combined with Foil Fusion-X: Provides exceptional control and smooth gliding.

Cabrinha X-Breed and Squad surfboards: Offer great maneuverability and stability in the waves.

Naish Quest and Naish Hokua SUP boards: Excellent choices for stand-up paddleboarding, providing stability and performance.

MARKETING

CHARLES ST-PIERRE

After years of sailing during his summers, he had a revelation at the age of 15: windsurfing, a new passion sparked by his father.

Four years later, his passion grew so much that he began sharing his love for it at the Baie de Beauport Windsurfing School, where he had his first teaching experiences at the age of 18. Since then, his life has revolved around his passion for windsurfing and wing foiling. He is the co-founder of Wind Windsurfing School on the maggies Islands, offering courses and equipment rentals for windsurfing and wing foiling. Since 2019, he has spent his summers on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, sharing his passion with visitors and fellow enthusiasts. In winter, his playground shifts to Baja California, in Ventana. There, he has been serving as the outdoor operations coordinator at Pro Windsurf la Ventana since winter 2020.

In November 2023, he launched Wing Foil la Ventana, offering exclusive wing foiling clinics just 30 minutes from La Ventana in a paradisiacal bay with perfect conditions for beginners. And since April 2024, he has joined the Windspirit team to contribute to content creation and participate in marketing development, a thrilling new challenge in his water sports-focused journey.

WAREHOUSE SHIPPING & BOARD REPARATION

BENOIT DUMAINE

Benoit Dumaine, a windsurfer since the age of 19, has navigated rivers, lakes, oceans, accumulating countless nautical miles on Wind Obsession boards from Wind Spirit, a store he's been dedicated to for nearly 30 years. His unwavering passion for windsurfing spans four decades and continues to fuel his journey on the water.

WAREHOUSE SHIPPING & SALES

CLAUDE GRENIER

Claude joined the Wind Spirit team in 2021, bringing with him 35 years of windsurfing experience. Since 2017, he has also developed a passion for kiteboarding. Riding the waves has been a part of his life since the inception of Cabrinha Drifter in surfing. Plattsburgh, with its strong southerly winds, remains his favorite spot to ride.

WAREHOUSE SHIPPING & SALES

martin lessard

Martin, a valued member of the team since 2021, has been immersed in windsurfing since his teenage years. With a passion for kitesurfing for nearly a decade and a love for SUP, Martin brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to Wind Spirit. His favorite spots include the Iles de la Madeleine, Lac Champlain, Lac St-Pierre, Santa Veronica in Colombia, and Turks and Caicos. Martin's expertise extends to his equipment preferences, which include Cabrinha Drifter kites in 5, 7, and 9 meters, a Moto 12m, Cabrinha surf Flare 5’4 board, a Crazy Fly Raptor 136x41 twin tip board, and a Starboard wide point 9’5 x 32 SUP. With his extensive knowledge and passion for water sports, Martin is well-equipped to provide expert advice and share his passions with customers.

Leo Lavoie-mill

KITE | Rimouski

Steven Metivier

KITE | Iles de la Madeleine

Jerome Lavoie

KITE | Rimouski

Philippe Normand

KITE | Wing | Oka

Samuel Beaucage

KITE | Iles de la Madeleine

Regis Vermeulen

KITE | Montreal

Arnaud Bouchard

WINDSURF | Montreal

Jean-francois Beaulieu

WINDSURF | Wing | Oka

Denis Roy

WINDSURF | Montreal

Charles Rochette

WINDSURF | Montreal