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Unregistered
20th January 2011, 11:58 AM
How do we promote windsurfing?
By introducing another class of board like what NP has done?

Do we need RS:One, RS:X, Kona, Mistral-1-design, raceboard, formula, formula experience & BIC Techno293 to promote fair competition? Windsurfers who are interested in competition are being spread among so many classes!


iWish

Unregistered
21st January 2011, 03:17 PM
Hi,

I would like to hear from windsurfers who have been in this sport for 10 years or more.
I used to race when Mistral 1 design was the Olympic board because everyone used the same equipment and the same set of rig and board can also qualify for the raceboard class. The equipment was affordable and relatively cheap. There were many racing events for this class in many countries. The equipment was suitable for youth, ladies, masters, grandmasters, olympic sailors or weekend sailors.
Fast forward to present day, the racing scene is rather "quiet". I want to race again but RS:X seems to be the only class widely organised. However, I do not like RS:X firstly for its price and secondly, it is heavier than Mistral 1 design. I'm not young anymore and would prefer something easier on my body.

So it makes me wonder what has caused this sad state of windsurfing to happen and hence my questions in the previous post. Is there something that can be done by the manufacturers or ISAF?

By having so many different class of board, has it brought more people to the sport? ;-)


iWish

sergio k
21st January 2011, 10:38 PM
RS:One is just a logic step from NP masculine in on Bic 293 business, money, money...From
talks I had with people, nobody likes RSX but if you want to do Olympics that's the only game in town,
and it would be easier to train if you had a very similar feeder class. The only hope on change if star-board gets back trying to get some version of formula into Olympics, they are the only other big fish that has a chance against NP.

Unregistered
21st January 2011, 10:49 PM
Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!



It can never be regained.

sergio k
21st January 2011, 11:28 PM
Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!



It can never be regained.
in 80's there were very few choices, now we have more and more, SUP as a latest trend that was a promise
to bring more into windsurfing, instead with family's limited budget in time/money, people
bought a new SUP board and spent time/money on that instead of windsurfing, before that kitesurfing did same thing, etc...
Blaming technological progress in windsurfing on it's lack of popularity is silly, current gear is so much more fun and probably the thing that's keeping it alive, how many people you know that want to sail with teak boom and old unstable Dacron sail..? Plus, sport is still relatively cheap, specially with all used gear on the market,
did you check the price on SUP board or paddle lately, that doesn't stop people from buying...

Philip
22nd January 2011, 09:56 AM
The way I see things the gear has got a lot simpler to use as everyone figured out what works. The ultimate in streamlined design has to be those higher wind boards and the sails to match. Of course there are design flourishes that probably make zero difference in real sailing conditions. Given good modern gear it still comes down to the time honoured TOW - that is something that never changes!

Unregistered
22nd January 2011, 03:20 PM
Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!

It can never be regained.

Well, i don't think it's too late. Windsurfing is still a 'young' sport. It is still evolving. The 'fun' factor is there and not many sports can give you that kind of adrenalin rush.

After i quitted racing Mistral 1 design, I still sail every now and then using freeride, slalom or freestyle board or whatever the rental centres have.

My point of raising this issue is that there isn't any concerted effort in this sport to promote one class of board which is good enough for all ages and also for the Olympics. I think it is fair to say all countries' national sailing association would only support one class of windsurfing and it is the Olympic class. To promote this sport, we need this class of board to be attractive to average windsurfers who like racing (which the RS:X is not).

It would be great if someone from Starboard could tell us if they are going to give another go in the Olympic class board. Afterall Starboard is still the most innovative board company and if they don't do it, then naturally NP would monopolize this area.

iWish

Unregistered
22nd January 2011, 05:51 PM
Its exactly that attitude of sailors dont want to use "wooden booms" and "dacron" sails which manufacturers/trade fostered that stopped sport being mainsteam ;and anyone who thinks wooden booms were part of massive explosion windsurfing enjoyed wasnt there !!

Had the interest in cheap accessible sailing been maintained we WOULD be still enjoying massive numbers. The sport in mid 80`s was quickly promoted away from inland sailing with big boards and reggata type sails towards coast and strong winds. We were encouraged in mags; at shops; at shows ;on holiday to throw away that big old fashioned "plank" and take up what the mags (and tele;remember the washing powder ad?) were pushing which was ultimately not available on more than a handfull of days a year to the average sailor. (ie 80 windy days a year;knock off work ;family and cold days and what you left with ?)
Sport went from being mainstream to a holiday activity akin to snow skiing. and with the high tech male jewelery ego bullshit now prevelant in our sport.

Numbers at our lake dropped from perhaps 80 every thursday evening to 10 or 15 in two years. It just wasnt "fashionable" to sail big boards.They got zero coverage from anybody; no where. Quite the reverse the mags and trade could not get us off them quick enough. The wanted to sell us "fun boards" and sinkers and slalom boards and then sell us 4 or 5 sails so we could hope to sail as much as we did on our "planks". At the time some informed people were telling trade this and it was ignored !!!

SUPing is a joke at side of numbers on boards like sailboard sport even with its dacron sail and 270 boom (Not wooden !!!)

My old sailboard sport would still sail on more days in any given year than 95% of boards sold now;there`s just nobody left to sail it against !!!

Sailboarder
22nd January 2011, 07:42 PM
Well, I still sail my Sailboard Vario...

Nowadays, one of the inclusive approach that could bring more people to fun racing is the Kona One. I see it as a Laser dinghy that is reliable, widespread and can be used in many conditions. I see it as my responsability to ignore atempts such as NP's to create new classes.

COACHG
23rd January 2011, 01:32 AM
I donít think you will get any argument over the fact that the windsurfing industry did abandon the longboard , light wind sport of the 80ís for the higher wind freeride/wave industry of the 90ís and beyond. But the argument that windsurfing would have maintained its popularity of the 80ís if the industry stayed with promoting longboards carries no weight.

The biggest blow to windsurfing came from outside the sport. The development of the plastic kayak in the early 80ís overwhelmed the windsurifng industry for family watersports. The kayaks cost half as much, were about the same length and width, required less up keep, didnít require you to lift a heavy dacrons sail-impossible for kids- could carry more people at once and required far less training to use. The only disadvantage to the kayak was in weight.

I used to take both my kayak and windsurfer to the local lakes. The kayak got all the use. Kids only wanted the windsurf board to paddle on or jump off. For the adults the windsurfer was a novelty to try once before going for a kayak ride. Rental companies made far better profit renting kayaks as far more people could use them and far less rental damage repair costs. A family of four could load up a lunch and go explore a lake, something not easily done on two windsurfers.

My perspective over the last 20 years is at an aquatic center that offers both windsurfing and kayaking along with many other water sports. From what Iíve seen the windsurfing industry move to high wind venues may have saved the sport. The people who wanted "easy" were going to go to kayaks anyway and the more adventurous would have gotten bored with tooling around a lake on a windsurfer and turned to jetskiís or kiting.


Coachg

PrydeMan
23rd January 2011, 06:21 AM
I'm looking at helping bring back the weekend racer in my part of the world. We have a lot of interest, but with the same questions listed above. The biggest problem is if the manufactories and suppliers don't market and have available their equipment, then that style of board will not succeed in that area. I'm not listing brands or types of boards here, but if one comes up with support that is affordable then this show commitment that we will work with. Until then I know your concerns and hope something will change soon. I believe it will as the interest in weekend racers is high again, as I helped host a race yesterday and with winds being so low we still had plenty competitors with different centre board style boards, including SUPs. Maybe we might be heading towards what we had in the 80s. Let's hope.

Unregistered
23rd January 2011, 05:59 PM
It wasn`t outside attractions that pulled windsurfers away.They lost interest because of lack of organisation on larger scale promoting events/racing etc and because of the poor image attached to the sport at the time.It was pressure from within attracting people away ! Sailors developed skill to sail in waves;high wind ;slalom conditions etc and were drawn down the dead end of lack of sailing days;after which you then question the viability of a sport you only enjoy a handful of dayds a year.(and often abroad)

The mags/trade were responsible for this.It was said at time this would happen. Magazines were full of Robbie Nash; Mark Woods;Duncan Coombs etc etc with pictures of them "ripping" it up in waves with not a single page for what was actually happening at home. Our sailing became unexciting;boring etc and we were told not by "plastic canoe" manufacturers but our own mags/peeers/trade/shops .

The old Div1 race scene should have been promoted... it wasn`t .

Attracting back in is loads harder than keeping hold...

Just get any magazine from 80`s. I used to buy them (occasionally) it had nothing to do with what I was doing or any of mates. In 80`s I could have listed a hundred sailors from my area (80 miles inland) perhaps ten now. None of those that left bought canoes/went kiting .

It would have been possible by now to sell a board (such as Sailboard Sport complete(first one)) for next to nothing; (Price of a cheap canoe?) Promote events in mags; make it "fashionable" (Mags ????) ..
Industry wanted to sell us carbon fibre/cambers/tube battens.
"Why sell a cheap board when a dear one will do job" was the mantra and it still goes on !! (Kona and carbon rig ???)

We will never reattract those numbers back. WE SHOULD HAVE KEPT THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rotomoulded poly boards could be made as cheap as canoes .The canoeing world embraced polyethylene ; us snobbish gits said it was for washing up bowls ! (aided by mags/trade)
I`m afraid our sport became esoteric and full of its own importance chasing big waves; strong winds and speed records none of which really interested 95% of grass roots sailors going out on local lake on a Sunday afternoon !! It persists.

A group of us in the 80`s (involved in trade at time) used to think selling the new kit it was like us trying to sell snow skiing kit to people with no snow which is exactly what it became..

Remember an 18 stone bloke at our lake had bought a chapter with at most 90 litres. Shop had told him it would be fine !!!!! Thats why folk left.. They were actually cheated by trade / mags. Really.

Unregistered
23rd January 2011, 10:51 PM
Partly true but dont forget an awful lot more grew up, got married etc etc and dropped out through lack of time.
Personally, I think its a shame that the Mistral One Design (or even the Windsurfer OD) didnt survive.
So simple.
OK it probably needed some updating but I dont like the muscling in by NP.

Philip
24th January 2011, 07:59 AM
Many sports and organisations which flourished in the 80's are facing declining membership and participation rates because the world is different now with so many competing interests. Mountain biking and cycling became big, adventure racing sports came onto the scene and the list goes on. With the benefit of hindsight it might be that a lot of such activities in the 80's were simply seeing an unsustainable boom. If WS has become esoteric/ specialised is that any different to sailing generally and its sub disciplines like regatta or ocean sailing? If so is that so bad? Is that not the essence of WS?

Sailboarder
24th January 2011, 09:19 AM
I think Coachg is right.

In any business, a lot of sales are for entry level stuff. Since entry level longboards of the 80,s were said to be boring, no one wanted to be caught with one. This endures to this day, everything with a daggeboard is supposedly for beginners only.

I'm surprised to see much more dinghys on the lake closeby than sailboards. It is so much easier to carry a board around... I think this is the market that could be retrieved if affordable gliding boards such as SUP with sails have some success.

BTW, I was looking yesterday for the price of a SB Phantom Race 320 and was unable to find one in US$. How can you sell any if it is not marketed decently? As a potential buyer, it makes me feel that this is a bad product that nobody wants.

Unregistered
24th January 2011, 03:37 PM
Personally, I think its a shame that the Mistral One Design (or even the Windsurfer OD) didnt survive.
So simple.
OK it probably needed some updating but I dont like the muscling in by NP.

Yeah! now i know i'm not alone feeling that way about NP.

Remi
24th January 2011, 06:06 PM
Hi Sailboarder,

Are from USA & Canada area?

If yes please contact Trident to get the price, thanks

All the best

Det.John Kimble
24th January 2011, 11:09 PM
This topic has been talked about many many times. The whole idea NOW is how to maintain the sport keep people itnerested and get new people out .
But we can learn form the past.
That being said , things have changed and there is no going back.
A few things in my mind that took much of the wind out of windsurfing a perfect storm of sorts which killed more then windsurfing and many Mom and Pop stores.
To put this in perspective i live in a small city of 130, 000 people in the Canadian north, sailing season is short May to October and we are 7 to 15 hours by car away from bigger cities. What happened here was a microcosm of a bigger trend , it happened quicker and affected sailors faster.

1. Mail Order. One of the BIGGEST changes. It happened before the widespread advent of the net. ( which really effected the sport, now IMHO in a good way)
Magazines ads had big shops that sold to anyone with a phone. Local shops could not compete.
Large shop buy more stock and pay less for it : volume discounts. Discounts that manufacturers in turn encourage to the wholesaler selling to the shop.
BUT the large shop can now sell the product for less then the smaller shop . sometimes even costs , and still make a reasonable profit.
So the small shop goes out of business as it cannot keep the multiple sails boards etc that people see the large shop has . There is just too much kit.
Locally in my experience , many ( luckily not all) locals here would mail order a sail they had never seen in person just to save 20 bucks, then in time complain what they bought was no good ... and do it again .........maddening .

After mail order , shops here lasted 5 years, other more diverisfied shops lasted longer but then carried hardly any kit and had sales people who knew nothing. Now there is no kit within a 5 hour drive across the border to the US.

But it goes beyond that.
The small shops were the ones sponsoring local events reagattas, learn to windsurf days etc.
More importantly they also had a "visual presence", a storefront. People knew the sport existed when they came in to say buy clothing or a kayak even , they then saw a windsurfer rigged up in the shop stopped to look, enquire and perhaps, take a lesson!

But although its lamentable it happened its over and it was "natural selection".

Add to this some hyping of the high end of the sport and it was a perfect storm.

However look at the contrary, the internet. Internet sales do the same thing ( mind you the small stores are all but gone now)
But one can argue the internet ( which i say in some part killed the small shop) now allows people better access to kit and used kit as well!

I think it does! the info, the forums the videos are unbelievable. All at your fingertips.

Kiting, well that another volume to discuss bit it diluted the sport. Kayaking ( which is very prevalent in my area) did get bigger with the plastic kayak.
As to the kayak, Windsurfing manufacters did not ignore the kayak, many marketed windsurfers that were sit down paddle boards as well but the hull forms were to slow. There was even a Drake invented trimaran windsurfer.
See people were innovating the sport well beyond the norm.


Here locally me and a friend still promote and do the sport. Our store front is the local beach and the vans we both drive ( mine all stickered up boards ON TOP..visual advertising!)

Today the best thing i think i have seen is the SUP sailboard,

This may be the boundary crosser that would appeal to kayaks surfers and sailors alike not perfect but a VERY reasonable compromise.
In fact i have been thinking all this winter is that THIS is what needs to be promoted to help sailboarding the most.
think about it the kids can play on it, jump off it ( they cant jump off 95 % of "kayaks") it etc the kayak-er can SUP it, and then maybe..............just maybe buy a rig and sail it!

But i need a new angle, this summer i think this will be what I use out at camp that will get my wife out SUPing, the neighbours as well .

And i can show it too my Kayaking buddies.

Cross some boundaries and get people out



Jeff Earnshaw
Wild Winds Windsurfing
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada






and We are 15 hours away from Toronto !

Unregistered
25th January 2011, 06:40 AM
was hoping longboards would be the answer !!

used my old longboard as a SUP with a canoe paddle and my 6 year old son lay in front
everyone exclaimed how much fun we seemed to be having

IF he woulda learned a little more swimming, he woulda bin on the board with sail as well !!

my point -- SUP with sail is okay, butt why not longboard and SUP on that
.................why can't Cobra and SB make cheap long boards that SUP, sail, etc ??
..................maybe BIC should get a jump on everyone AND get as popular was they were in the 80's ??

every summer , for the last 3 years, i show 4 to 5 people what windsurfing is all about
what do they say ?
they want access to a chalet like i do and that is where they would windsurf
so, add the cost of a chalet to the $2000+ kit = yeah, right
on a sadder note - there is now blue, green algae in some of the lakes :-(

no worries, i will continue as windsurf ambassador and i suggest we all take that role :-)

Unregistered
25th January 2011, 02:48 PM
Thank you to all who gave their opinion.

There are some side tracks to my original questions, perhaps I should rephrase my questions. With hindsight, how can we promote windsurfing with one class of board which is suitable for youth, ladies, masters or grandmastr; and also suitable for competitions at club, national, regional and international level?

I would really love to hear from someone from Starboard. Mr Tsieda You, what's your take on the current situation? Is it an impossible wish?


iWish

Unregistered
25th January 2011, 05:46 PM
as i stated earlier :

was hoping longboards would be the answer !!

keyes1
26th January 2011, 02:40 AM
As a relatively young newcomer to the sport (which from my point of view seems quite rare these days), in an area where windsurfing is not at all popular (Canadian praries), I may have a bit of a different perspective.

I had tried windsurfing when I was very young, without much success. More than 10 years later when trying to re-enter the sport I found that trying to dig up some reasonable equipment was a pretty daunting task. In most every other sport there is a relatively cheap back door to getting in....cheap skis, cheap mountain bike, or a cheap skateboard are all very easily acquired. Sadly, there aren't really any cheap (and decent) windsurfing rigs around these days....at least where I am. Believe me...I looked. I also didn't want to outgrow some crappy setup after one season so In the end I got stuck spending about $2000 for a pretty decent setup. Unfortunately, in windsurfing, a beginner setup is not necessarily a cheap alternative. In fact, most of the cheap, used gear available these days (that hasn't been rotting away behind a lakeside cabin for 10 years) are smaller volume rigs with high wind sails. Although I was willing to do it, it's not something everybody is ready to invest just to try it out. Most people are too busy surfing the internet and buying $600 cellphones to want to plunk down the cash for the equipment and lessons needed break into windsurfing.

They also don't fit as easily into a honda civic as they did into an 85 Grand Marquis!

On another quite note...just like every semi-extreme sport, the introduction of new composite materials has skyrocketed the quality, selection and price of equipment everywhere. Expensive twin-tip skis and massive downhill mountain bikes are two very good examples. Outside of those willing to invest the cash, it's hard to keep up with the massive changes in the sports.

As a newcomer, especially one not living on the coast, I see absolutely no appeal in SUP's. If I wanted to go paddle around on a lake, I would do it in a canoe. I look at it as a way to squeeze a little more cash out of a very small market....not a revival. Young newcomers to the sport are growing up in the redbull generation....they want to get out there and rip! Unfortunately, that takes an investment of quite a bit of money and even more time to break the initial barriers you come up against when starting to windsurf. Let's face it...it's not a particularly "easy" sport.

I love it, and I promote it endlessly. In the end, for most people I talk to, it's a question of money.

keyes1
26th January 2011, 02:42 AM
Just another quick question maybe someone can clear up....why do people buy longboards nowadays? (ie: what niche do they fill that can't be filled by another, more versatile board?)

If you're looking for a nice, floaty,stable rig why wouldn't someone just do what I did and get a GO? Maybe I'm confused...I don't know much about the differences between various rigs.

Unregistered
26th January 2011, 04:59 AM
the new SB GO Windsurfer IS a longboard :-)

the 151 and the 171 now have center/centre "fin"

so, the GO IS slowly becoming a "longboard" :-)

Unregistered
26th January 2011, 08:32 AM
Just another quick question maybe someone can clear up....why do people buy longboards nowadays? (ie: what niche do they fill that can't be filled by another, more versatile board?)

If you're looking for a nice, floaty,stable rig why wouldn't someone just do what I did and get a GO? Maybe I'm confused...I don't know much about the differences between various rigs.

Hi Keyes1,

I started windsurfing on longboard, then moved on to formula which became quite expensive over the last few years and now I'm on slalom (for speed) and freeride(for bump and jump) board.

The advantage of a longboard is that you can go higher upwind, get more time on water (TOW) and even participate in course racing. You get more TOW because you can sail it in displacement mode during light wind but it is also pretty fast when the wind picks up. Just kick up the daggerboard and pull back the mast track and you could go almost as fast as a slalom board.

The disadvantage of a longboard is that the learning curve could be longer for most people. But I guess the new generation longboards could be easier to learn. I have never sailed on a GO but it certainly looks like an easier board to learn the basics.

Post #19 may be right, longboard could be the answer to a revival to windsurfing :)

Unregistered
26th January 2011, 08:41 AM
iWish,
I dont think SB have the answer.
Big as they are, they are unlikley to have the financial muscle to compete with NP.
Whilst I dont like the muscling in, if NP (really) get behind the RS1 as a "OD" then the die is cast.
Its a bit sad for Kona and Bic Techno etc who have made a valiant effort to promote their own OD's. Perhaps more so for Bic as theirs had (I think) become the unofficial RSX "feeder"
Worse still for me is that you actually need a "feeder" OD class for the RSX.
Mistral OD was all things to all men and women (old and young)
If the RS1 goes worldwide and takes off then the problem has been solved by Neil.
No doubt the conglomerate that owns NP will be very pleased to see 1000's of RS1's and RSX's being sold.
But then the IOC will deciede we dont need windsurfing at the Olympics.
NP will go bust and Mistral will re-introduce the One Design.

PrydeMan
26th January 2011, 10:51 AM
Partly true but dont forget an awful lot more grew up, got married etc etc and dropped out through lack of time.
Personally, I think its a shame that the Mistral One Design (or even the Windsurfer OD) didnt survive.
So simple.
OK it probably needed some updating but I dont like the muscling in by NP.

The Windsurfer One Design has survived here in Aus. We have the nationals on here now. With over 50 entrants.

Unregistered
28th January 2011, 07:59 AM
But then the IOC will deciede we dont need windsurfing at the Olympics.
NP will go bust and Mistral will re-introduce the One Design.

Great prophecy!

Darko_Z
28th January 2011, 03:08 PM
Iím windsurfing from 1985, I donít agree that windsurfing is in decline, You are focusing to much on windsurfing competition. Only very small percentage of windsurfers participates at competitions, most people are windsurfing only for fun. If somebody primarily wants to prove that he is better then others he can do this much cheaper in other sports. Discussions how many types and competition classes are good to promote windsurfing competition are totally pointless for vast majority of windsurfers since they have no interest to compete them selves. Even more, in last few years events like Defiwind and Langebaan where you can ride all types of windsurf gear are growing in popularity. Main goal for most windsurfers on these events is to participate, socialize and have fun.

It is true that in 80ís millions of people were windsurfing, but assumption that same millions of people would still windsurfing today if manufacturers would produce same windsurf boards for 30 years is totally wrong.

Unregistered
28th January 2011, 07:34 PM
Hey Prydeman,
Where are the results ?
Any famous "old men" still racing these?
I watched Laclan Gilbert nearly beat Stefan VandenBerg on Div 2 boards in Penang in 1984. (The Nedlloyd Cup)
Is he still sailing ?

Philip
29th January 2011, 04:18 AM
Agree with Darko Z. There are other formally organised competitive sports most of my WS buddies do that are not weather dependent. WS for most seems to be a healthy way to have fun without organisational overheads. Get a GPS unit and test the speed on the day; that is about as far as most want to go within the informal setting of a community just enjoying another great day on the water - any day on the water is great.

PrydeMan
29th January 2011, 12:29 PM
Hey Prydeman,
Where are the results ?
Any famous "old men" still racing these?
I watched Laclan Gilbert nearly beat Stefan VandenBerg on Div 2 boards in Penang in 1984. (The Nedlloyd Cup)
Is he still sailing ?

I'm waiting to hear back from Mark Lloyd for the final results so I can publish in the Windsurfing Victroia newsletter. Not sure about Laclan Gilbert.

Unregistered
30th January 2011, 02:26 PM
Lachlan Gilbert didn't race, although he still gets on a One Design every couple of years. His brother Stu (former world champ in One Designs many years ago) was there and finished 3rd.

We didn't get 50 entries, but 43 or so was pretty good considering that the bulk of the fleet live 1000 km ago and several had to drop out for reasons ranging from injuries to competing at the Miami Olympic regatta.

With over a dozen Youth and Junior competitors, the fleet continues to get younger and the kids are starting to show real potential, with Sam Treharne taking one race overall. A bunch of One Design sailors also went to the Kona Worlds and the top sailors finished 6th (Dennis Winstanley) and 7th (Stu Gilbert) in a class they'd never seen before, which was a pretty damn fine effort.

With good quality boards in production and shipments going to the USA and Italy, lots of kids and a good relationship with the Kona class, the One Designs are looking pretty healthy and we're planning some more promotions.

Unregistered
30th January 2011, 07:29 PM
I donít think you will get any argument over the fact that the windsurfing industry did abandon the longboard , light wind sport of the 80ís for the higher wind freeride/wave industry of the 90ís and beyond. But the argument that windsurfing would have maintained its popularity of the 80ís if the industry stayed with promoting longboards carries no weight.

The biggest blow to windsurfing came from outside the sport. The development of the plastic kayak in the early 80ís overwhelmed the windsurifng industry for family watersports. The kayaks cost half as much, were about the same length and width, required less up keep, didnít require you to lift a heavy dacrons sail-impossible for kids- could carry more people at once and required far less training to use. The only disadvantage to the kayak was in weight.

I used to take both my kayak and windsurfer to the local lakes. The kayak got all the use. Kids only wanted the windsurf board to paddle on or jump off. For the adults the windsurfer was a novelty to try once before going for a kayak ride. Rental companies made far better profit renting kayaks as far more people could use them and far less rental damage repair costs. A family of four could load up a lunch and go explore a lake, something not easily done on two windsurfers.

My perspective over the last 20 years is at an aquatic center that offers both windsurfing and kayaking along with many other water sports. From what Iíve seen the windsurfing industry move to high wind venues may have saved the sport. The people who wanted "easy" were going to go to kayaks anyway and the more adventurous would have gotten bored with tooling around a lake on a windsurfer and turned to jetskiís or kiting.


Coachg

Kayaking had been around for decades before that, so it wasn't just kayaking - some of those who were IN the plastic kayak industry say that windsurfing hurt itself by focussing too much in strong winds.

Tim Niemier, called "the Malibu teenager who made sit-on-top kayaks the most revolutionary innovation in the kayak industry" said that windsurfing stuffed itself up around 1986; "One of the things that happened was that windsurfing got too technical and the sit-on-tops moved right in on that"

There's more stuff in a similar vein online somewhere that I can't find, but the point is that one of the leaders of the plastic kayak movement says directly that windsurfing made itself too technical and that is where the move to kayaks started. Certainly you CAN say that windsurfing would have stayed stronger if it hadn't abandoned the loingboard, and according to websites Svein is now saying just that, as are many other windsurfer manufacturers from AHD to Maui Sails.

Unregistered
30th January 2011, 07:33 PM
the new SB GO Windsurfer IS a longboard :-)

the 151 and the 171 now have center/centre "fin"

so, the GO IS slowly becoming a "longboard" :-)

2.4m is hardly a longboard when traditional longboards were around 3.5m or more!

We've had people try to race Gos against longboards; in light winds the Go just isn't long enough. We've never had one come back to have another try in strong winds.

Unregistered
31st January 2011, 03:11 AM
so perhaps in terms of longboard, it should be called "NO GO" ? ;-)

COACHG
31st January 2011, 03:27 AM
The Kyak industry was around long before the 1980's, but in the expensive wood & fiberglass versions. Inexpensive platic kayaks did not become available until the 1980's.

I CAN'T say the industry would have remained stronger based on where I live and my experiences with windsurfing. I teach windsurfing at a small lake in northern California. Not all companies abandoned the longboard-we continued to purchase Hifly Primos into the early 2000's until the company folded. We also added the Starboard Start's to our fleet in the early 200's and now offer the Rio as well.

We teach hundreds of people to windruf each year. Our sails remained rigged and ready to go. We have consistant if fluky sub 12 mph winds so we are your typical inland lake. But student after student will switch to kyaks, rowing or SUP's over the long run on our lake because of the greater flexebility. The students that do stick to windsurfing move on Rio Vista where the wind is stonger and more consistant.

In my perspective, if the industry didn't offer us higher wind gear that can be used at Rio Vista, then there would be far fewer people windsurfing where I live. If the indusrty would have only stayed with longboards and never developed the high wind gear then yes, you would have more people doing longboard sailing then you have today. But overall, I think you would have far fewer people windsurfing in general.

Coachg

Unregistered
31st January 2011, 11:35 AM
Coach, I wasn't suggesting that the industry shouldn't have developed high-wind gear. Instead, I was saying that the issue was the promotion of high-wind gear in a way that specifically ignored low-wind gear and made it appear unattractive.

I wasn't doubting what happened on your lake. The point is that what happens on our own individual bits of water isn't necessarily a good guide to what happens on other bits of water. On your lake shortboards may have been the saviour of the sport, but on the other hand on my bay longboards completely dominate....different strokes for different folks. The industry, however, tried to kill off one type (and there WAS an intention to do that, according to my memory of meetings of the manufacturer's team I was on, and according to importers who recall the meetings they went to).

Yes, kayaks had been available for years, in expensive versions. Yes, they only really exploded in popularity when the cheap plastic ones came out - that's a critical factor, because the boards crashed when they moved from cheap plastic to expensive materials, and the kayaks exploded when they went from expensive materials to cheap plastic. Arguably, it's the fact that the windsurfing industry pushed the expensive high-wind high-performance option that was the problem, and the fact that the kayak industry pushed the cheap low-performance simple option that was the success.

Tim Niemier's viewpoint, as one of those who (if I recall correctly) actually bought the machinery from the original Windsurfer factory, is that of a person who was right at the forefront of the kayak boom and actually employed a lot of ex-windsurfer salesmen. Surely the man who was at the forefront of the kayak boom has an excellent viewpoint about why they took over from windsurfers, in terms of being the top product?

By the way, the Primo and Rio-style boards, from everything I've ever seen, aren't the sort of longboards that the sport boomed on the back of; they were shorter and much more aimed at high-wind performance and stability for beginners. Good in their way, but arguably less interesting to sail in the normal 11 knot winds as the earlier boards that the industry deemed uncool. Certainly in the racing around here, the 3m boards (Technos, Gos etc) are normally left a lap or two behind the longboards (including Windsurfer One Designs) in light winds, even when the 3m boards are sailed by youth and slalom champs.

Surely we shouldn't judge the overall appeal and performance of longboards on our impressions of 3m boards that are designed for beginners; they are quite different from longboards designed for experienced sailors, just as a beginner's shortboard is different to an expert's high-wind waveboard.

No one's saying design shouldn't have progressed or that high wind sailing isn't great and shouldn't have arrived. Some of us - and now they include people like Robby (in a recent US mag interview) and Svein and AHD and many other leaders in the windsurfing world - simply say that light wind windsurfing wasn't respected enough and that that caused major issues for the sport.

COACHG
31st January 2011, 01:39 PM
Shortboards have not replaced longboards on my lake as there is not enough wind. Point taken on the majority of the industry forsaking longboards. That I can't deny as is noted by the fact that we had to go the route of the Primo, Start then Rio for modern boards with a centerboard. We looked at the Prodigy but it was too costly and damage prone. A centerboard is a requirement for our lake and there really has not been much offering out there for that type of board.

I'm just not sure that even if there were better offerings in the light wind windsurfing that it would have made much more of an impact when there were so many other water sports becoming available. Kyaking and jet skis in the 80's & 90's and now kiting & SUP not to mention the huge following that we have seen with the Laser fleets.

Coachg

Unregistered
1st February 2011, 03:36 PM
This is off topic, but I must compliment poster no. 38.
In this sms era, it is rare to find something written in good English in forums.

Darko_Z
1st February 2011, 04:16 PM
Just to avoid misunderstanding, windsurf sales boom, we are talking about was around 1985, after 1990 windsurf sales already dropped by 80%. Windsurf boards used in 1985 were usually longer than 4m, well over 20kg heavy, some of them with fixed centerboard. Sail was rigged on aluminum mast and boom was tied on mast with special knot, no boom clamp. If you were not able to tie special knots, you could not assemble windsurf gear properly, today you can assemble windsurf gear without any knots. Not to mention that everything was prone to failure, retractable centerboards were usually hard to fix in desired position, mast base was pooping out or rubber joint was broken.
At the end of 90ís windsurf gear was optimized for ideal conditions. But on most windsurfing spots conditions are far from ideal so there you could use this windsurf gear only for few days every year, I could use it only 10 to 15 days per year, result was that many people started kiting. Luckily there was a reaction from windsurf industry, planing threshold was lowered under 10kn, sail range was increased, new boards for non planning conditions (Serenity) were introduced. Now I can windsurf more than 40 days per year (planing), even on inland lakes. Last few years I can see more windsurfers on windsurfing spots than before, many people went back from kiting to windsurfing. For example now Iím using kite mostly only for snowkiting.

Unregistered
1st February 2011, 11:26 PM
Darko
I started sailing in 77. Cant ever remember a single board over 4m (biggest 395 normally div2) and by 85 good board such as Sailboard sport/Hifly 555/Fanatic Lightning/Mistral One design/ Sailboard 365 Masterclass/ etc were all on scence. (masterclass may have been 87?) None of these board weighed over 20k (lighning circa 15k and available in carbon) and none had fixed dagger boards. Infact cant rember any board with "fixed" board. A few had non-retractable and had an oversize board to help upwind and made board semi-retractable. (but still pivoting)

The removable wooden dagger board was a throwback to 70`s but persisted in class racing of Windglider.
(They could be seen sailing down wind with(dagger) boards over shoulders BUT most sailors already thought that ridiculous by 85)

The old F2 lighning could today with a modern rig beat 90% of any boards built today around a course on any GIVEN day . (ie over a full season sailed every weekend)

The boards were not unreliable by any means and had nothing at all to do with driving people out. They were the boards that brought them in !!!

The mistral and klepper method of attachment came out circa 86.Was just as tight as any clamp but if you got it wrong you broke the mast. Only aluminium mast available was Serfiac V1 D and it was fantastic until it snapped (or rotted) Mast of choice by 86 was Rotho Wave. They would stand up to nearly as much punishment as modern stuff but was touch heavy. I broke 2 sailing in big waves (Lanzarote /East UK/ West Wales) in whole decade. (Going in Tush Concepts(85) and then Vectors(87))

Yes modern kit is fantastic but sport had "modernised" by 85. We were even using carbon fins by 87 !!!

Weakest link in entire kit was Fin box. Not sure when Power box or Trim box came out (both 90ish?) but for me that was the revolution.
I`ve got a Slalom 2 New Waves (Custom to 295,the standard one was 285) Circa 86 that last year clocked 27 knots..(I believe the proto of this board held record in 85/86 at 18 knots !!)
Same day my Mistral Red Dot Syncro 124 did 29 !!!
This speaks volumes on the rig development ???
Mind you I can gybe the mistral and its not as prone to spin out. Slalom 2 unsailable without vented fin but it weighed 9kg (with straps) Bit heavier now its taken on water but not bad in 25 years !!!

Ken
2nd February 2011, 03:17 AM
My first board was a HiFly 500 that I bought in 1984. About 4 meters long, It was one of the first to have a fully retractable dagger & adjustable boom. I am not sure about the mast extension. It was a heavy poly board with a fiberglass mast. However, I think the boom was a tie on.

It was durable and could accommodate a variety of sails, but I got into racing right away and the HiFly was a dog. In 1985 I bought a Mistral Superlight with the "racing" dagger board and dagger well gasket, plus a deck pad that covered the dagger board when fully retracted. It was so big that it came up through the deck of the 260 liter, 4 meter board.

I still have it and race it a couple of times a year with the original regatta sail. It takes an 8.5 or larger sail on a Mistral Equipe, F2 Lightening, Mistral one design or similar long board to beat it with its 6.3 Dacron regatta sail, but only if the wind is over 9-10 knots. With winds under 8 knots, almost nothing is faster except Div. II boards or a Serenity. A couple of years ago I chased Roger around on his Serenity for a while and he was faster, but he had a larger sail.

I also had an 1992 Mistral Equipe II XR - What a great board. Nothing today really comes close in overall performance between 3 to 30 knots. Yes, some are faster in light winds and some faster in strong winds, but the Equipe did it all. It was faster than the F2 Lightening, I had one of those too.

There were some pretty good boards in the 80's and 90's, and I miss the multitude of racers in the old longboard fleets. The Mistral Worlds were in Corpus Christi in 1988. I remember lining up on the start line for the long distance race with 200 other sailors, all on Mistral One Design boards.

Clearly, there are a lot of GREAT boards and rigs today, but the old days weren't as bad as some may think.

Philip
2nd February 2011, 04:42 AM
Like Ken I had some very nice race boards including a F2 Lightning Race which railed upwind like a train, went into slalom and a quite few years and down the track could find no replacement for the F2. The Mistral Prodigy looked promising but the guys here in Aus generally advised against it and there was no local fleet so I simply moved into slalom full time and as they say the die is cast. It might be that for newer people to WS they could be encouraged into 'long boards' if there were any such like the boards Ken speaks of but probably it is past the point for many of us who are years into their WS and specialising by dint of the history of the sport - other than those who had the foresight and wisdom to hang onto their cherished long boards.

Unregistered
2nd February 2011, 05:07 AM
There were no 4 metre boards I ever saw !!!
Longest (and probably still fastest (ie in Dinghy world it would get lowest handicap)
was Lechner Div 2 as used in 88 Olympics. It was 3.9 m (13 ft)

Ken
2nd February 2011, 10:04 PM
Unregistered,

Yes, you are correct. The boards I had were 12 ft to 12 ft 6 in, not 4 meters. I used the 4 meter designation, just to identify a "longboard".

Unregistered
3rd February 2011, 10:24 PM
Most of my windsurfing buddies has turned to kiteboarding . Causing close up of all windsurfing shops in
my local area . Look the popular resort in Asia like Vietnam or Hua Hin , there is hardly any windsurfing
board . Young people are just not interested in windsurfing !

Erik Loots
3rd February 2011, 11:19 PM
At my homespot windsurfing grows for sure, I noticed the first time I arrived late on a sunny day. NO place to park my car, also rather difficult to rig OR walk to the water between all windsurfing equipment.

I think the biggest increase of windsurfing started when the windsurfing school started. Also this program funded to teach primary school kids has positive effects. I did help teach myself a few times, and the kids are really enjoying near 2 hours windsurfing. Everybody leaves the water with some good tacks and surfing, some talented groups even have time to learn how to go upwind/downwind.

At times I let someone check their speed with my GPS and its fun, share it, and it will all be OK. Be positive. I didn't read every post before but is this one already posted http://www.star-board.com/SpringSummer2011/sharewindsurfing/friends.php

Darko_Z
4th February 2011, 02:31 PM
For Olympic Games in Los Angeles Windglider boards were used.
You can see description of this board if you follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windglider

This was in 1984.

It may be, that at that time, more advanced windsurf equipment was used from some competition windsurfers, but recreational windsurfers, probably most of them from what I could see, was using windsurf gear similar to Windglider.

Unregistered
5th February 2011, 02:59 PM
No Darko they were`nt !!!

Farlo
5th February 2011, 04:06 PM
In 1984 the Tiga Fun Cup II was already available. It was a polyethylene longboard of about 15 Kg with retractable daggerboard, not suited for competition but well designed for recreational sailing. The wishbone was tied by a very simple and quite reliable knot. Such boards were very popular in France; my girlfriend had one. BTW I tried a few times but didn't really start windsurfing before 1986 when shortboards became affordable.

Unregistered
7th February 2011, 12:25 AM
Biggest sellers in 84 were big fun boards. (HiFly 555; Tencate Runner/Hunter; Sailboard Vario)

Winglider was starting its demise. (Along with Sea Panther ?)

A couple of blokes persisted with Windglider near us but got knackered quick without harnesses (if it was windy) I never liked it; my favourite was Sailboard Start. Sailboard also made a Div2 but cant remember its name. In UK Start was biggest seller ? followed by HiFly 555 which was better in strong winds but Start left it upwind. Dont think F2 were on scene in 84 ??? (Not around us anyway) Seem to remember it starting in 84; but by 86/87 Lighning was board to have for any conditions or around any course. (There was a smaller version called Stratos which was superb in strong winds)

I believe Ten Cate Hunter (with its footstraps fitted and centre board retracted) held speed record for a while.(In 84) (I think 17 knots) But wasn`t any where near as quick around course as Sailboard Start;which because it was so competitive in course racing (You could buy or make a great big centre board for it) Sailboard quickly changed its name to Sailboard Sport. It was cheapest but fastest board in range !!! but that didnt last long; they put its price up to same as Vario. It was a great time to be involved with new innovations every year. First Tush Concept was none-rotational until Tush read Niel Pryde brochure and realised Concept was actually an RAF but NP had patented the word. They started calling them rotational .Think cambers came in 85 / 86. (from Hang Gliders but ours had to rotate) .

(I was top finishing Amateur at Filey and Scarborough in 86 on a Start. Blew a hooley both times; I had Concept 5.7 (my storm sail !!) I think on both occasions I was behind Lester Noble and Roger Tushingham ( I followed Lester down); we all got bolocked for turning around south side Scarborough and sailing back to North. ( follwed Roger back;dont think he even realised) Think Dave King was around somewhere too. There were at least 80 starters !!!! Cant remember seeing a Windglider but it would have been at back ? (Sorry if you liked them , I thought they were hopeless;unless chopped in half;which is how smallboard revolution started!!!)

I had a windsurf shop 83 to 90.. Talked bolox then too ????

GURGLETROUSERS
7th February 2011, 04:47 AM
Ah! Remember it well unregistered. I was on a newly bought Bic Be-Bop (1986)

No doubt you also remember the Vinta Roller Coaster races!

(If you're who I think, I bought a New Waves 288 from you. Happy days!)

Unregistered
7th February 2011, 07:14 AM
Bic be-bop was 1988
F2 started in 82- , first lightnig has Diamond tail (82-83) ,84 pintail en big rails .

Reliving yesterdays fall of the best sport ever will not bring it back...

AHD Tactik can bring a new start, but even the distributers will not back it (leave alone stock it or demo it) it is "bad" for the reputation of there macho sport.

The only thing we learn from history is we don't learn anything from histery

1981 the Euro's D2 had over 200 !!!! registrations ...

Then German "SURF" decided only Highwind and sinkers are "cool" end the sport down the drain.

Van Den Berg raceboard are still the best (if only for the light-strong construction) but the manufactors did not like custom-made so enforce "productionboards".

Sailboarder
7th February 2011, 08:20 AM
Unregistered,

You seem knowledgable about the Sailboards.

I happen to own a Vario and I would like to know how much they weighted brand new? Mine has water in it.

I also saw a Sailboard Start in the classified. It looks in good shape. Is it worth buying cheap if I retire my Vario?

Thanks!

GURGLETROUSERS
7th February 2011, 04:40 PM
Sorry, but your memory fails you. The Bic Be-Bop was new in 1986, and was tested in Boards mag by Bornhoft and Leonard as the first of the 375's, along with Klepper, Tiga, and Alpha. (Have test here in front of me.)

I collected mine new hull only (£320) from Guy Chilvers in may 86, at a Whitstable meeting, and raced it for the rest of 86 in the local N.E. race meets. (N.E.W.S.) It was replaced by an early Ace-Tec Bamba which is still going strong.

Agreed we can't bring back the past boards, but the club racing scene was a large part of windsurfing then, and when it fizzled out many windsurfers left the game. That COULD be revived along with the right boards. Kona was an attempt (have one) which just didn't take off over here.

Unregistered
7th February 2011, 05:07 PM
The first REAL raceboard Ron Van den Berg shaped for Big (Full raceboard not de downtuned tin railed 360cm all-round boards) was not before 1988

I may be wrong about the (musicstyle) name .

Anyway I hope you and the boys had a great time back thene , like I had on a local lake and open water in 0 to 25 Kn .

The Kona is a missed chance : to heavy , low tech rigg and no suport by the glossy windsurfpress .

If you are in to racing FW is cool , kona , rsx , Fexp any OD is for losers .

Analysing the problem will not solve it , so :A good idea , anybody ?

Farlo
7th February 2011, 06:04 PM
And what is the problem exactly? Are we talking about a single class, affordable raceboard that would attract more people in the sport? Or the overall decline of windsurfing? Do we really want our spots full of beginners like in the 80's, on top of the fancy kitesurfers? Of course we like to see new faces from time to time, but I guess many of us are proud to be in a demanding discipline which requires fitness, experience and dedication. And this has nothing to do with magazines. We are big enough to choose between longboards or shortboards. Just some thoughts.

Unregistered
7th February 2011, 06:48 PM
Excactly what killed the sport !

If it is hard to do and I can do it , I must be SUPERMAN !

If every nobody is doing it it will not attract any nice girl ...

The beach gets full of biginners and ,who knows, one off them get better than my ! That is not cool !

So lets keep it like we made it in the 80's ; "Only for the best" and "locals".

Protecting you EGO by selecting the axcess is the best way to stay special .

The big boss of IOC kept the Olymic limit SO high for years so he was the LAST Belgian to make it to the games ...

Maybe I will start a New Sport (BOARDSAILING ?) in 0-15Kn on lakes on affordable good stuff and turn my back on the EGOTRIPPERS and have fun on the water again ...

Farlo
7th February 2011, 07:29 PM
Sorry but windsurfing is not dead. At my spot there is still a strong community and newbies (including a few ladies) on a regular basis. Everybody is willing to help them. Anyway it looks like it was already in decline in 86 when I started, so my contribution must have been very small. However I will never regret the time and money I spent into it. In my mind it has been since constantly evolving and, to the contrary, became easier and easier. Unfortunately my kids think otherwise. Despite all efforts none of them has bitten into it, and believe me I would be happy if they've gone faster/better than me.

GURGLETROUSERS
7th February 2011, 09:22 PM
We all use slalom boards, we all use wave boards in surf, and we all love it BUT, the death of longboarding that happened for such a time, and the loss of the club atmosphere and fun that went with the weekend gatherings, also fizzled out.

For example, Filey sailing club was a mixed dinghy/windsurfing venue which used to have a large contingent of keen windsurfers, from learners to good intermediates.We would all use our longboards at the drop of a hat for some improptu session.

The dinghy folk still do their thing (raciong and occasional cruising) but the windsurfing contingent have long since packed up and gone.Where there were once loads on the water, now there are none. The conditions haven't changed, just the nature of windsurfing!

One of the factors which led to the decline was the death of longboard racing. The bulk of the field used to be ordinary competent windsurfers, but most dropped away when cheque book racing began to take hold. It was no longer fun to be at the rear of the field because of less competitive equipment.

I gave up trying (and went cruising instead) when a less good person started to beat me in every event because of his expensive new board and state of the art multi battened racing rig, all of which cost an arm and a leg.

If there had been a level playing field with a decent one design class at the time (e.g. Kona) then perhaps longboard racing would never have withered away. It is far harder to re start something from scratch, than to keep it alive in the first place.

The magazines, manufacturers, and shops simply threw out the baby with the bathwater.

WILDWINDSCA
7th February 2011, 11:09 PM
Clearly, there are a lot of GREAT boards and rigs today, but the old days weren't as bad as some may think.

Ken, your quite right here in central Canada/ midwestern USA , old raceboards are still competitive and are actively being sought..
There is bit of a longboard revival in north america.

We are always looking at ways to get more people out windsurfing and have been through the good years and now the big lull.
Recently i went to a reagatta last summer and there was 30 plus sailors registered, not a bad number.

Boards ranged from a few new phantoms, to many board of older pedigree like equipe of all years and contruction types. Also I saw 1 AHD, a Windsurfer brand Div 2 (hollow!) , aYspi Wayler ( and yes it was competitive as there was little and its hull form made it fast) a new exocet raceboard 380 . Me I had an old lightning WC race.

It was a great event and everone is ready for more this upcoming summer.

BUT .... and here we get back to windsurfing dying and the good years,
what to do to revitalize the sport??

Ive thought about this alot , and getting people into it is not getting them the best kit for free.

To me it has to be a social sport to survive , more then one thinks.

Having sailed maui, cabarete, lake arenal , the gorge etc etc its more then just ripping up the water. It about the experience and sharing it .
The parking lot ,the rigging area, is where the sport lives or dies. This is where the talk story happens The hype lives here, its starts on the water but it lives here . This is where the sport get exposure to the public.
If windsurfing retailers could set there shop up at the local sailing site you darn right they would!

Many sailing clubs, be it keelboating , dingy sailing struggle with getting people out, keeping the ones they have and attracting newbies.
So where do newbies, get info talk to people about windsurfing.
Again the beach the event site.

This is where the sport lives and dies, so for you that want to actively promote windsurfing remember talk it up, plan a barbecue at your site invite non sailors who may be interested and introduce them to the gang.
Everyone loves company.

Jeff

Ken
8th February 2011, 12:52 AM
Jeff,

I hear you. Our local club hosts two regattas each year. The Texas State Championships in May (36 racers), but the winds were up to 28 knots so several registered racers sat on the beach. In the fall, we have the Pumpkin Cup (19 racers), but the wind never got over 10 knots, so many sailors state wide chose not to attend. If winds are forecast to be in the 10-20 knot range, then attendance can reach as high as 50 racers.

We try to not get too serious about the racing so the intimidation factor is low for the rookies and novice sailors. However, for the formula/longboard sailors, good long upwind downwind racing is the call. For the shortboards and novice sailors, it's figure 8 slalom or just out and back for the rookies.

Our club also hosts 3 or 4 "learn to windsurf" one day events in the summer. All fill up quickly. Our club members volunteer to teach under the guidance of a certified instructor.

We have no problem with rookie sailors and we all do what we can to encourage and help them get into the sport.

Our local shop hosts 2-3 "swap" meets each summer where there is always a good selection of cheap equipment. Easy for beginners to get started for a few hundred dollars or less. It's actually a consignment deal where volunteer experienced sailors match/sell equipment according to the skill of the buyers. Sellers get 90% of the sales price with the shop taking 10%. However, the sellers can get 100% if it comes as shop credit. It works out well for all involved.

Farlo
8th February 2011, 03:53 PM
Windsurfing is still very alive on my spot, but not because of racing. The local club disappeared a few years ago and racing events have become very rare now. There are still longboards in big racks near the beach, but most of them have not moved for a decade or so. However the proximity of a shop, social events, web site, demo days and speed challenge have kept a strong community of about 100 regular sailors, some driving from 80 miles away on good windy days. There's almost no longboard on water, although it is an inland lake with pretty uneven conditions sometimes. Would a single class revive the good old days? I doubt it. These times are gone forever.

GURGLETROUSERS
8th February 2011, 04:33 PM
But windsurfing is competitive Farlo. Nobody suggests that longboards should replace what we now have, such as slalom, speed, wave riding, and freestyle, but it is an extra to cater for many who don't want the high octane extreme end of the sport, yet who still want to compete somehow.

Don't forget that longboards are the ONLY means of getting anywhere in light winds, which most windsurfers, including formula, now avoid. It can often be the only sensible option on many club weekends. Wouldn't it be more likely to bring in extra participants, as it did in the 80's, if regular events were held.

There is no feeling quite like being one out of a couple of hundred others all battling it out together. Whether planing or not, it just doesn't seem to matter at times like that, not to mention the post mortem and banter after such an event. Surely, such an extra could only be good for windsurfing?

Farlo
8th February 2011, 07:19 PM
Certainly longboards are far better in light winds. A few will cruise on our lake in calm summer days but sadly many will stay in racks (while other boards don't even show up). I'm quite sure these can be fun and competitive in higher wind too. We just don't see them on water. Is it the best way to bring new people to the sport? I'm not sure. Most beginners I see start on short/wide boards. There must be good (or bad) reasons for that. Another question: would an affordable, rock solid, single class longboard become available, would you adopt it or stick to your cherished F2 Lightning, Fanatic Cat, Mistral Equipe II and the like?

Ken
8th February 2011, 09:59 PM
Farlo,

Good question. Speaking for my self, I doubt I would be a leader and if there was a new very good racing longboard on the market. I wouldn't be the first to buy one. However, if the numbers grew and a one-design or open class fleets were emerging, I would probably join in and buy the board.

Some of my most enjoyable racing was in the 80's and 90's when I was on my Superlight, F2 Lightning and Equipe II XR. I have since done a fair amount of formula and some slalom racing, but the longboards were simply more enjoyable. Less stress and anxiety for me, with tactics being the key and not "big ba##$" for formula in 25 knots.

However, I will not give up my formula gear since it is perfect for freeriding in 8-15 knots.

GURGLETROUSERS
8th February 2011, 11:25 PM
In answer to your question Farlo, if a reasonable O.D. class really brought in the numbers I would buy into it.

There are very few longboard meets nowadays so I use a Kona 1 as the favoured longboard for going places, and general fun. It's modern and has an extremely good and comfortable higher wind planing performance, at the sacrifice of a slight amount of glide compared to the older classics. In using longboards it's more a state of mind than just a chase for ultimate performance.

On light wind hot sunny Summer days you can play about for hours, or cruise the coast, and it's at such times that strangers come up to talk as I'm derigging on the prom. Their usual line is that they've been watching me having easy fun, and you can see that they are thinking, 'I could be doing that!'

That's why the welcoming club scene used to be so important. It brought people in and encouraged them by like minded company.

The fondest memories of competing fleets in light wind races are of latching onto others of similar skill and equipment and furiously fighting to outpoint or gain a few feet on them. We frequently used to pinch each others wind and edge ahead, and it was worth it just to hear the string of cursing and blinding (all in fun) before the other in turn pulled the same tactic.

They still have original Windsurfer class racing in Australia, and it's popular enough for them to be producing new boards to the same original design. Doesn't that tell us something?

Ken
8th February 2011, 11:34 PM
The new/old windsurfers are pretty fast in light winds in the right hands. At our fall regatta, Ted Schweitzer was there with the new windsurfers. I managed to stay ahead of him in all but one race on my superlight, but all the races were close. Winds in the 3-10 knot range.

Our largest class (7 sailors) was in the 7.5 limited class. All longboards with the superlight and windsurfer dominating all other boards with our 6.3 sails.

WILDWINDSCA
9th February 2011, 12:52 AM
Well there no one answer as to what board class is the best but i dont believe one board will get the "Mojo" back.
Formula died in the midwest USA due to a predominance of low wind conditions in which hybrids or formula just would not work. Even an old longboard would kill hybrids formula in these conditions , so formula people stayed in the beach and in time went back to longboards.
As to having the lastest kit, I have 6 boards all ranging form an old 1980 vintage Lightning World cup edition ( i got it two summer ago for 300 USD ) which is probably the most versatile of the whole lot, a few shortboards and the original formula 155,
So what I am saying is this , I am pretty keen, so if I balk at buying the latest phantom ( and i sell starboard gear so i get it at cost plus shipping ) what about the so-so longboard buyer , he/she will definatley balk at the price of the phantom!
I thought of the phantom 360 and that what i will try and promote that inexpensive and durable. But still alot of people here have mortgages and other costs.
So i proposed this we have a "share what you race format"
This being, every race you change up your board, but you keep your rig. So everyone gets on the latest and the not so latest boards and we race a series of races and see what happens.
Theoretically the best sailors should average out and win.
Theoretically LOL

p.s. getting back on the longboard has been the best thing since i bought my formula 155. The 155 got me planing at windspeeds i have never planed at before. BUT the longboard has the ability with a big sail to get me to any end of any body of water no matter the wind direction.
Not to mention the glide , the gliding feeling is sooo nice even when not planing.
The local kiters a few years back showed us windsurfers light air performance, but my lightning and a 9.5 are so fast in light airs i am moving by them quite quickly at wind minimums that they cannot even figure eight a big kite in.
Moving i might add pretty quickly , especially upwind, daggerboard down rail up and in 6 knots these boards fly.
This summer i am promoting the 360 and the starbaord 12'6' SUP for a crossover of sailign and SUPing
the longboard will return.

Unregistered
14th February 2011, 09:11 AM
Farlo,

Good question. Speaking for my self, I doubt I would be a leader and if there was a new very good racing longboard on the market. I wouldn't be the first to buy one. However, if the numbers grew and a one-design or open class fleets were emerging, I would probably join in and buy the board.



Now with NP muscling in with RS1 to compete with Kona1 and other 1-design classes, there is going to be a drawn out battle in this area. All of us who are sitting on the fence waiting for the eventual winner might have to wait even longer.

Unregistered
15th February 2011, 07:27 AM
wildwinsca:

you use a 9.5 with your old longboards ?
i never ventured past 8.5
it was fine and i do have a 10.0 full race cammed sail
should i try it on the old longboard ??

do my own longboard revival :-)

Ken
15th February 2011, 09:58 PM
I used sails up to 10.6 on my Equipe II XR. However this was over 10 years ago and the sail was a Neil Pryde Light Wind Racer that had a tight leach and no twist. Winds over 10 knots and it got dicey. I also used a newer 9.2 on the same board which had some twist and did well up to about 15 knots.

This was for racing and I did everything I could to go fast in light wind, including a pretty long fin for the Equipe (I don't remember the length). However, I only used it in winds under 10 knots, then went to the regular fin over 10 knots. I could get the board to rail up nicely an point high in about 5-7 knots of wind.

WILDWINDSCA
17th February 2011, 03:19 PM
yes i used a maui sauil MS-2 9.5 it seemed to be no problem at all , handled well until it started blowing up then it was an handfull especially on reaches..

WILDWINDSCA
17th February 2011, 03:22 PM
looks fun!! i see more then a few beauty setups there on the floor

Unregistered
26th February 2011, 01:50 AM
Great discussion!
I have thought for some time that a formula 1.2 system would work - 2 boards 1 sail (+1 paddle).
Longboard (eg: new manufactured mistral superlight style) + shortboard (90cm wide formula type board - eg: bic formula techno) + 10m2 sail +/- and a paddle.
- upwind/downwind courses
- sailor decides what to sail (or paddle)
- alot of windsurfers would want this setup anyway
- able to race in all conditions - this the key and is why windsurfing #'s have declined!
- run open (run what you brung) and formula 1.2 divisions on the same start

JeL

Ken
26th February 2011, 03:53 AM
JeL,

Sounds interesting, but I may be the only local sailor with both a longboard and a formula board. Some have formula, several have longboards, a few have SUP's and almost all have slalom boards.

However, choosing one sail would be tough with our changing and variable wind conditions. Most would not like that option.

Unregistered
7th March 2011, 12:46 PM
can someone tell me why SUP is classified as a sub category of windsurfing??
I find that is it as different to windsurfing as surfing.

Unregistered
7th March 2011, 12:49 PM
Great discussion!
I have thought for some time that a formula 1.2 system would work - 2 boards 1 sail (+1 paddle).
Longboard (eg: new manufactured mistral superlight style) + shortboard (90cm wide formula type board - eg: bic formula techno) + 10m2 sail +/- and a paddle.
- upwind/downwind courses
- sailor decides what to sail (or paddle)
- alot of windsurfers would want this setup anyway
- able to race in all conditions - this the key and is why windsurfing #'s have declined!
- run open (run what you brung) and formula 1.2 divisions on the same start

JeL

Don't you think a 2.2 system would be even better? a long board and a medium size slalom board and 2 sails. Longboard for 1-12kts and slalom board for 12kts or more :)

Ken
7th March 2011, 10:33 PM
Unregistered, Post 78,

An sup isn't a windsurfer, but where I live and sail, the only people on sup's are windsurfers. That's why I included them. I was just trying to describe the typical "quiver" of boards that I see in my inland area.

Unregistered
16th March 2011, 12:08 AM
Why do we have to have one brand events? Why not have all the brands get together and run mass events with kit from all the brands similar to Defi wind. There can be class winners, prizes for the NP One class, the Bic 293 class, the Kona class etc etc.

I am not sure if there enough mass for individual events but there certainly is for mixed events. Yes, I know not all teams are singing from the same hymn sheet so lets bang head together and do something about it. Here in the UK for example we have masterblaster events at the superb NWF in hayling where we do have class prizes. It works and when you see 300+ entrants and thousands of spectators on a wet windy day you realise what we could have.

Phill

PrydeMan
16th March 2011, 09:46 AM
Why do we have to have one brand events? Why not have all the brands get together and run mass events with kit from all the brands similar to Defi wind. There can be class winners, prizes for the NP One class, the Bic 293 class, the Kona class etc etc.

I am not sure if there enough mass for individual events but there certainly is for mixed events. Yes, I know not all teams are singing from the same hymn sheet so lets bang head together and do something about it. Here in the UK for example we have masterblaster events at the superb NWF in hayling where we do have class prizes. It works and when you see 300+ entrants and thousands of spectators on a wet windy day you realise what we could have.

Phill

Thats my aim done here Vic Aus.

Unregistered
25th March 2011, 08:09 AM
What ever happened to the idea of brightly-colored sails, turquoise water, and the occasional cute topless chick as promotion???

GURGLETROUSERS
28th March 2011, 01:35 AM
The water up here is dirty grey.

My sails are all covered in sand and sh$te.

The topless 80's chics all died of pneumonia!