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Unregistered
22nd January 2008, 01:11 PM
Since I read a post saying windsurfing decline, and read that at least 3 posters thought it was the opposite I wrote this one.

I feel in my country windsurfing was growing slow but growing in the last 6 years, but since 1 year ago I feel that low speed of growing is now medium to fast speed growing...

I think new ideas in windsurfing has influenced a lot and is taking windsurfers back to their sport and is catching new people in the sport. Clubs want to have a windsurf school and its becoming more popular in kids too.

Does you feel the same in your countries?

Best luck
Ricardo

crazychemical
22nd January 2008, 05:35 PM
i did notice that i find more and more people that windsurf too. But very few are new to the sport, most of them have been at it for a couple of years. But windsurfing is losing ground though, it had it massive growth in the 80ies, declined in the 90, regrew but then came kitesurfing which is attracting a lot of sailors.

pierrec45
22nd January 2008, 06:58 PM
> I feel in my country windsurfing was growing slow

Good on you'z. And sorry, missed the place. Where is that?

> I think new ideas in windsurfing has influenced a lot and is taking windsurfers back
> to their sport and is catching new people in the sport.

I know very few that were sailing 10 years ago, were waiting for some improvement, and are coming back just *because* Starboard introduced a new this-that thing. Those few that are coming are 45-50 and resuming their old sport on whatever is not a 70-liter sinker.

> Clubs want to have a windsurf school and its becoming more popular in kids too.

Yeah, there a few of those, very few.

> People coming back from kiting.

I would not count those are "new" arrivals. Very best case, it's statu quo there.

All of the above in my personal reckoning, of course.

Unregistered
23rd January 2008, 02:24 PM
Hi,

well, i dont think Starboard is the only one influencing the sport.
I see starboard doing a great job in Serenity, Apollos and for sure other type of light wind boards, but other companies are doing good job. Exocet is doing a great job and I see people in North supporting a great job in Florida for example. I see also, more and more people in Caribbeand around freestyling in light wind conditions. No maneouvers in any sport can be done in 6 knots...yes, you can do them in windsurfing. Just check Bonaire people and how this ideas are being spread in the world.

About kiting, its ok, its growing too, but I dont think kite compares to windsurf. People can kite and windsurf or windsurf and kite or windsurf and surf or windsurf and wake or windsurfing and skate or windsurf and work. Its just another sport there that shares the same conditions. But I think are different and I hear in lots of places that people is attracted to windsurfing now when maybe 2-4 years ago it was not happening.

Luke

Hardie
23rd January 2008, 06:57 PM
I geuss we all have to do something ourselves to promote and help our sport, in australia we did the following which seems to have boosted interest and numbers: www.gpsteamchallenge.com.au

Floyd
24th January 2008, 04:53 AM
Why do so many people have these hangups about promoting our sport.
Wether its a minority or has mass appeal actually makes no difference to those already involved. The sport is always going to survive; if folk want to get nvolved thats fine; if they leave thats fine too.If they kite surf fine.Live and let live.
We spend to much time trying to attract new customers. Its silly.
Information is so readilly available everyone knows what the sport is.
Just get on with sailing and enjoy it.
Our best advert is enjoying it no whinging about lack of numbers.

Ken
24th January 2008, 06:43 AM
Floyd,

To some extent I agree with you. However, as the number of windsurfers grows, the more competition there is between the manufacturers, which equals more R & D, so the bottom line is better gear for the users at a better price. The greater the production numbers, the lower the price to you and me.

Let it grow, let it grow.

Jim65
24th January 2008, 10:11 AM
I found this interesting thought from a site called LBWS on Longboards.


"Lessons from other sports"

Written by Chris Thompson


When sales of new boards started to decline, many high-wind fanatics blamed the drop on everything else in sight –the weather, the kids of today….. Others blamed the rising popularity of other sports, but that ignored the fact that one reason that sports like kiting and wakeboarding were growing was because (unlike high wind sailing) they didn’t demand good conditions. The resurgence of long surfboards was a perfect example. In the early ‘80s, those of us who surfed longboards were a mocked minority, like longboarder windsurfers were just a couple of years ago. Today longboard surfboards sell about as well as short surfboards, and the laid-back soulful longboard style could be a model for windsurfing’s future. Kiting was also attractive because it’s fun in light winds. Bruno Legaignoux, co-inventor of the sport, warned kiters about following windsurfing’s path; “remember (windsurfers saying) "Hey guy, how many cambers do you have ? Only six ? ... and your board, what size ? 2.26m ? Too bad! mine is 2.195m !". Windsurfing is dying for this reason. "

Unregistered
24th January 2008, 01:21 PM
I found this interesting thought from a site called LBWS on Longboards.



Windsurfing is dying for this reason. "


Is that a fact is it? Dying?, big statement, Windsurfing is growing where I live, bigger numbers over the last 2 years, more and more windsurfers on the water!! Local windsurf shops report biggest sales in years, better get your facts right

Unregistered
24th January 2008, 07:57 PM
Floyd,

To some extent I agree with you. However, as the number of windsurfers grows, the more competition there is between the manufacturers, which equals more R & D, so the bottom line is better gear for the users at a better price. The greater the production numbers, the lower the price to you and me.

Let it grow, let it grow.

not only that but a growth in the profile of the sport would attract bigger sponsors to events leading to bigger events with more publicity, even if you don't compete it can be good to see these events with pro sailors pushing the boundaries.

Floyd
25th January 2008, 02:21 AM
Our sport is difficult.It can`t be learnt in a weekend.You have to put lots of effort in before you get real returns.On occasions its cold.Lots of the time there is NOT enough wind.You will have lots of wasted jouneys.You will on many occasions be on the wrong kit.You will probably never gybe as you want to.Sometimes it will be too rough and occasionally too windy.You will break kit and might need rescuing.You will miss family get togethers because its windy and wasn`t the previous the Sunday.
Not many Sports offer less early returns for the beginner.
It will be quite sometime before you can sail confidently in F4+ winds.
But if you persevere its the best cheapest safest way to be involved in an exciting , challenging and extremely rewarding sport.

I used to coach waterskiing.We could get anybody up and skiing on the first morning.
That is not the case with windsurfing.

If beginners come into the sport knowing all this they will make long term sailors.

Personally would rather sail with 15 sailors on beach than 150.

Let te sport be.It will take care of itself.

Ken
25th January 2008, 04:35 AM
Here we go again -

I somewhat agree with Floyd, however anyone can climb up on a Start board with a small sail and be sailing in a few minutes with some premiminary beach instruction. These days, it's pretty easy to get started, but it takes lots of time and practice before you are carving jibes in 20 knots of wind.

Same with water skiing, you can get up on two skis after a few tries, but it take lots of time and practice before you can carve tight slalom turns at 36mph. Finding flat water to ski on is a bit like finding good wind to sail in.

Actually, I did both for over 10 years, which was a good combination. Windy - go Windsurfing. No wind - go water sking. However, as I got better and better at windsurfing I lost interest in the water skiing and was paying too much for insurance and boat storage for the few occasions on the water, so I sold the boat. Plus Formula boards and big sails lowered the wind minimums to have an an exciting time on the water

pierrec45
25th January 2008, 04:42 AM
> get your facts straight

Firstly, there are no facts, just what people feel and live and witness (think that they) in their part of the world. That's why there is a forum and a discussion.

> Windsurfing is growing where I live, bigger numbers

Damn I wished people stated the location (or did you and I missed it?). There's been a few of those statements, pros or cons, but I never get what is their "where I live". Just curious, so we can get a picture.

> over the last 2 years, more and more windsurfers on the water!!

Doubly interesting - state location again. Wherever I go (few cities North America, admittedly work-related) and talk to people it seems down. Hope you're not referring to Bonaire and Hatteras, which are nice and growing, but not representative of the rest.

> local windsurf shops report biggest sales in years, better get your facts right

This argument was debated elsewhere: I find more and more sailors buy multiple gear and renew yearly. Good on them if they can afford and it makes them much better sailors. But more sales does not necessarily correlates with more sailors. Esp. that more and more shops sell kites now and must include those profitable sales in their success.

Personally, am torn between "let it be, screw them, I'll sail in my dwindling crowd, I'm my own world", and "it used to be social and fun, and not a big Tupperware party, I'd like to share my great weekly fun with my fellow peers".

Tough call...

Unregistered
25th January 2008, 06:10 AM
> get your facts straight

Firstly, there are no facts, just what people feel and live and witness (think that they) in their part of the world. That's why there is a forum and a discussion.

> Windsurfing is growing where I live, bigger numbers

Damn I wished people stated the location (or did you and I missed it?). There's been a few of those statements, pros or cons, but I never get what is their "where I live". Just curious, so we can get a picture.

> over the last 2 years, more and more windsurfers on the water!!

Doubly interesting - state location again. Wherever I go (few cities North America, admittedly work-related) and talk to people it seems down. Hope you're not referring to Bonaire and Hatteras, which are nice and growing, but not representative of the rest.

> local windsurf shops report biggest sales in years, better get your facts right

This argument was debated elsewhere: I find more and more sailors buy multiple gear and renew yearly. Good on them if they can afford and it makes them much better sailors. But more sales does not necessarily correlates with more sailors. Esp. that more and more shops sell kites now and must include those profitable sales in their success.

Personally, am torn between "let it be, screw them, I'll sail in my dwindling crowd, I'm my own world", and "it used to be social and fun, and not a big Tupperware party, I'd like to share my great weekly fun with my fellow peers".

Tough call...

Perth Western Australia

Unregistered
25th January 2008, 11:28 AM
Hi guys, what an interesting discussion. Here my experience and what I know as I have done a complete marketing research of all water sports this year as a need for a company that asked me for this.

Well, dont know about sales numbers in the world, except that I hear from factories they are increasing production and marketing studies that show interesting growth in windsurfing again.
I did numbers after checking it and found an interesting growth in North America of people that windsurfed during a year and found that numbers done by the biggest company of sports reasearch in the USA said a growth in windsurfing of 28% from 2004 to 2005, an 109% from 2005 to 2006 and the comparison 2004-2006 was of 167% growth.

This are real numbers, not talking just of any invented numbers. Others sports growing but at a lower speed are wakeboarding (30% in the last year) and kayac lower.

Kiting does not appear, the issue is that windsurfing have about 25 million people in the world and that is a representative number to measure in a sport. Kiting have a population of 1/100 than windsurfing in the world what is not yet an important number to measure, yes, they are growing but we are talking about sizes of market. In the USA there is an estimate of 1.1 million windsurfers. This is real numbers.

In my personal experience and the work we are doing here:
In my country, for sure Kiting is growing, but windsurfing is growing too. Lots of people is sailing, this year more than the others. I owe THE WIND ADVENTURE, a company dedicated to distribute sails and boards and sales have grown at least 50% this year and 20% last year. I see windsurfing here growing fast. faster than any other sailing sport. Its incredible but true.
The reason, windsurfing is attractive in light winds - say 3-8 knots - the answer is YES, its attractive as we are pushing flotable boards of 100cm wide for light wind freestyle and this looks nice, is fun and no need of planning to have fun. By the other side...longboards are coming back and center fins too...and they are fun. I tried one of this boards last year and said: oh! I forgot this sensation (having fun gliding in a board effortlessly in 6 knots)...in that wind, slalom guys, kite guys and sailing guys dont have fun...and surfers and wakeboarders and skieers hate that 5-8 knots as is not good for flat water or clean waves...

The other reason, Formula. Once the wind is 9 knots you can get in a Formula and big sail and have fun, and dont need to worry about if the wind drops or not, have fun, cruise everywhere: have you promote this light wind planning cruising adventures? do it..
Well, in the 9 knots sailing becomes better but not as fun as planning full speed. Then kiting...could be from 12, but kiting in light winds 9-13 knots is not as fun as planning full speed. Realistically, its not that wow that people say, not really. And if wind drops a bit, then its not fun, not floaty. Formula is easy, and if wind drops you still can have fun...or go back home. Then, still we can promote windsurfing in those light wind spots.

Go over 16 knots, got planning? we are promoting those thrilling slalom recreational championships, we are promoting some freestyling and some long distance.In this winds you can choose whatever you want to sail, windsurf, kite or whatever...anyway, its about having fun not about choosing one or the other. One day can be windsurfing, other kiting and other sailing in a boat.

But be clear, most clubs, spots and nice places to go to the beach have 3-10 knots...in that wind, light wind freestyle, learning windsurfing in a school or using a lonboard...is the best choice you can have.

Just focus:

1) light wind spots : best place to do some light wind freestyle (maximum exposure) and learn windsurf (easy and fun for a begginer). If you have not seen how cool look this...go to the post in the forum: spectacular light wind freestyle
2) longboards: best way to have fun and dont worry about the wind. Why not go back to the 80s...?
3) after that: shortboard is fun, formula is fun, but this are choices that windsurfers must find and they will. If they found them...go slalom, go freestyle and go long distance. And dont forget, Formula is the easier way to have fun for an average person leaving in a place 9-14 knots.

I was in bonaire last year and could understand why .... Got impressed, is a nice wind spot but there are days of no wind (for a shortboard) as in any place in the world...but those days, is lot of people learning and freestyling in the beach.

We are following their example in some way. DONT NEED WIND to promote windsurfing, need to HAVE FUN in a breeze. Then, windsurfers come to windy days and to the sport.

best luck!!
Ricardo Guglielmino
THE WIND ADVENTURE
PERU

Unregistered
25th January 2008, 12:10 PM
you're right on the money, promoting light wind equipment in predomenatly
lighter wind places is the key, buying a sinkers and waiting for that 5 days of high wind
a year as a lot of windsurfers do in inland US is was stomping the grows in many places.
interesting, many of them don't even remember how to jibe, they just go fast and out of control for as long as they can, than fall...

Floyd
25th January 2008, 04:35 PM
Hi Ken
Our backgrounds sound similar.
With water skiing even on that first attempt you will be skmming ovr water/wind in your hair and excited and skiing at perhaps 20mph. First attempts on a big (ish) board your max speed will be 5 mph ???
In WS your initial experiences are nothing like those you get perhaps 2 seaons down line.
First time you jump off a cliff (Tandem) in HG you kow precisely what you re getting into.
Our beginers can only imagine and watch and accept there is a lot of learning to do before the "adrenalin" side of sport can be accessed.
Problem is we tend to attract people into sport as an adrenalin one; which it isn`t for at least a season or we "push" big boards which do not reflect what the sport is really about.(Sorry big board sailors) Hence the number who leave.
Just let the sport develop without trying to steer it one way or another.
We really should not be in the busiess of "selling" our sport.
Let it sell itslf. Its best port in world.

Rolls Royce do not advertise.They dont need to. Neither do we.

PS Daughter mono skied on her first day`s skiing.(At 8)She still cant gybe properly 18 years later.(Hope she doesn`t read this though)
Thats the nature/attraction of our sport.Very very few ever fully master it.
How do you sell that ????

Unregistered
25th January 2008, 07:47 PM
I'm very much with Ricardo on this - being able to sail gear that goes really well in the conditions we normally get (longboards, FW) is a key to reviving the sport.

With respect to Floyd, I don't agree with what you said.

"Our sport is difficult.It can`t be learnt in a weekend.You have to put lots of effort in before you get real returns."

I teach lots of people, who generally go on to buy their own gear. We just had an email today from a guy we taught a few weeks ago. He's annoying the family by spending his holidays windsurfing on a longboard. He's a typical guy, and like just about everyone he was windsurfing from the very first lesson (longboard with 4.5m or 3.5m sail). It didn't take much effort.

Sure, he wasn't planing (although he can now) but he has been spending hours each week and is totally turned on by his 21kg longboard. As soon as we stop defining windsurfing as being planing, then you CAN learn in a weekend.


"Lots of the time there is NOT enough wind.You will have lots of wasted jouneys.You will on many occasions be on the wrong kit."

Not on a one design longboard; there's almost always enough wind, and there is no "wrong kit" - you sail what you have. If I go bike riding and conditions change (like I get into the hills), I don't go home and swap bikes - I use the bike I have. Same with windsurfing.

"You will probably never gybe as you want to."

So let's redefine what we accept as the right level of gybing, rather than drive people away from the sport.

"You will break kit"

We will only break kit regularly if we accept the current (limited) vision of the sport, which is that it's all about fairly fragile kit driven to the limits of its performance. In the one design longboards I sail I've broken 1 mast (in extreme winds) and gone through a few sails in the last 5 years of national-level racing. That's no problem.

"You will miss family get togethers because its windy and wasn`t the previous the Sunday."

Easy solution - get gear that works on normal days, not gear designed just for windy days. My last sail was in 4-8 knots, I never planed, and I had a wonderful time.

"I used to coach waterskiing.We could get anybody up and skiing on the first morning.
That is not the case with windsurfing."

Well, it depends on how you define the sports. If you define learning to windsurf as learning how to sail a board in light winds (or strong), then anyone can learn it; this week I got a pic of my daughter sailing with her mother and grandmother; granny has been on a board about 6 times but can tack and gybe the longboard with 3m quite well.

If you define windsurfing as being able to carve in 26 knots, sure most people will never learn - so redefine the sport and take it back to what it was designed to be and what it was like when it was huge.

My family used to waterski. If we defined "being able to waterski" as having the ability to perform at the level of a shortboard sailor, we wouldn't have been able to teach people how to waterski. But we defined "being able to waterski" as being able to go slowly on doubles in flat water, just like we SHOULD define "being able to windsurf" as being able to sail a longboard in light winds.

If we defined waterskiiing by doing what the family team could do (win our class in the world's biggest waterski race, high speed barefooting etc) then not many people could have done it.

Floyd
25th January 2008, 11:38 PM
Poster 18
You dont realise how ironic your post is.
If you enjoy sailing longboards/old Div1/ perhaps old D2/modern raceboards and to a lesser extent Formula you post makes perfect sense. Personlly I do not enjoy sailing "big" boards and unfortunately thats excatly the same view as I would guess 90% of the WS population.So when you say take up WS what you really mean is the sort you enjoy.
If you xamine board sales I`m pretty sure you will find that medium to high wind boards outsell big boards at least 10 to 1. Go to any renowned sailing venue. (Canaries/Leucate/Tariffa/Dahab/Rhodes etc etc) and just see how many peope sail in under F3.Again the ratio will be of order 10 to 1.(Compared to numbers on water at F5+)

If its not windy go biking;skiing; or whatever. There are other things in life.

We should stop this continual recirculation of ideas to lower limit for enjoyable sailing.
Its just a myth. At least 80% of current sailors only want to sail when its windy. Its like trying to snowski when there is no snow. Why ????

A good anology is with motorbikes.When its windy my board responds and feels like a Fireblade.(More exciting and way less dangerous actually)When its not I`m back on a moped.Its just fact.
If you like mopeds great.But dont tell me I should or that its anything like a fireblade !
Its just simple power to weight ratios.

PS Anybody can barefoot on first mornng. We never had a failure.Some even did so before skiing.
And no I don`t define being able to windsurf as carving in 26 knots(Where did that come from)

I was in it when it was huge. It was rubbish at side of today.
Non planing windsurfing is Sailboarding.Sailboarding was huge and virtually died out.
WindSURFING means planing.(Dont think you can Surf without planing)
I`m not interested in Sailboarding.Good luck if you are but dont try and convert me.
Windsurfing is a difficult sport to learn .Fact.

I`m off on my moped.

Ken
26th January 2008, 12:45 AM
Floyd,

I think part of the issue, at least for me is limited time. To balance family and work with windsurfing, I only go when it is 10 knots or more (Formula with an 11.0), so if the wind is light, I don't go out. I usually go, sail and come home and don't spend the day at the lake. Got to keep my honey happy.

However, if I had more time or no family, I would be working on light wind freestyle on those non-planing days. You may not want to go out in 5-10 knots, but there are plenty that do.

Back in the mid 80's when the crowds were really big, the experts and beginners were all out on the light wind days on their long boards. Those with the skills would "show off" their tricks to the beginners by doing pivot jibes, back to sail, helicopter tacks, sail 360's, rail rides or more advanced freestyle skills. In my first couple of years of windsurfing, I remember how impressed I was at the longboard freestyle skills some of the sailors had. I was not intimidated, just excited about the possibilites with some practice.

When the winds picked up, the few that had shortboards were out and many others were on their "transition boards", learning short board skills. There were and are still, more light wind weekends than there are windy weekends. I live in Dallas, Texas by the way. Lots of lakes (reservoirs) to sail on - 6 within 45 minutes of my house.

Racing was big in the 80's because the typical local regatta was in light wind and we all had long boards. In many ways, racing long boards in light winds was very challenging and fun. Subtle performance sailing techniques made the difference between winning and losing and just about everyone could race, regardless of skill.

Many of our local regattas in the past few years were run in light winds, much like the 80's, only fewer long boards. I still race my 1985 Mistral Superlight with the original 6.3 regatta sail in these light wind races. Great fun and I love to "kick butt" with my 23 year old gear.

In Dallas today, I would say that windsurfing is growing just a little, but nothing like it was 25 years ago.

For what it's worth -

Floyd
26th January 2008, 02:22 AM
Hi Ken
Sounds good to me. We were very similar.As strong wind skills and equipment developed the longboards began to take a back seat originally with strong competition from mountain biking;and then from all sorts of things. We acually got into waterskiing as a lightwind alternative.
Personally dont think lightwind "sailboarding" irrespective of initiatives (and new equipment)will ever get back to what it was.
There are just too many competitors (and with avantages) in light winds.
We shouldn`t worry about promoting the sport or the total number of participants.

steveC
26th January 2008, 03:24 AM
The concept of growing windsurfing is a bit of a paradox. Surely its not like growing plants, where a regular focused effort in the garden is almost a guarantee of success.

Is it possible to grow windsurfing? Frankly, I have to admit that I don't really think so, as all my efforts to interest folks has never yielded any fruit. Nevertheless, I do believe that it's possible to promote the sport, and that can be done in a myriad of ways. But, and that's a big but, success really depends on folks seeing the vision and wanting to become a part of it. Yet, that's only the first of many hurdles to becoming a windsurfer, and that doesn't even begin to address the task of hanging on over the long haul.

The nature of participation is a very complex concept, and one that is continually tested over time in so many ways. I think we all have watched the picture change, and it's something we have almost no control of. I guess the only thing we can do as individuals is keep showing up at the beach and going for it, even if you're the only one there.

While much is up in the air and there's always a bit of mystery at every turn, I'm confident that the sport of windsurfing is here to stay. I think that the windsurfing industry (with Starboard being one of the leaders) is promoting a truly multifacited face to the sport. There are so many paths to follow, and this allows folks the opportunity to define what windsurfing will be for them. No matter what your idea of the sport might be, there's a kit out there to help you realize a good time and do it with style. All the tools are out there just waiting for those with the vision and desire to participate.

Poster 18
26th January 2008, 03:36 AM
Floyd, I never tried to tell you what to like. If you like just sailing in strong winds, go for it - just don't try to tell me and my friends what we should like, as shortboarders so often do with their diktat about what the sport is "really" all about.

All I was saying is that the idea that the sport is all about one thing (high wind planing) is not correct (IMHO) and also that that idea affects almost everything about the sport - where it can be done, how hard it is, who can do it, how much it costs, etc - and that we should not limit this broad sport by only looking at one aspect.

About "If its not windy go biking;skiing; or whatever. There are other things in life."

I've been MTBing since its early days - but I don't want to go MTBing when I want to windsurf. I used to race behind a blown 427 Chevy skiboat - but I'd go windsurfing. I still sail boats, but when I want to windsurf, I want to windsurf; I don't want to have to wait for the wind.

About "At least 80% of current sailors only want to sail when its windy."

I think you're missing the point - we are saying that the fact that most of today's sailors only sail when it's windy is the reason WHY the sport is smaller than it used to be. Many sources say it's less than 20% as big as it used to be. Arguably, all that's happened is that we have kept some of the high wind fanatics, who were always there, and got rid of the other 90%.

It's not that the people who used to windsurf prefer strong winds, it's that we have got rid of all those who don't and therefore of course the tiny fragment that remain like strong winds - especially when they are still fed the "windsurfing is planing" line and when they rarely get to see a longboard or light wind board sailed well. There's many a high-wind sailor who has been very surprised at the way longboards can go.

I've recently been in a renowned strong wind location; the wind was light most days and I had more fun in 12-14 on a longboard. That's just personal choice. But the important fact when it comes to looking at the numbers in high winds locations is that looking at what is happening today, now that the sport is a tiny fraction of what it used to be, cannot be seen as a recipe for success when it comes to growing the sport. Most people have other things in life, they don't want to have to go away to get their windsurfing fix.

It's not that the drop was all caused by new sports. Kiting is tiny compared to what windsurfing was. In the UK there's been a boom in surfing. It happened after windsurfing dropped off and it shows that there were people out there looking for a watersport. Of course, surfing is smart and they now sell about 50% longboards. Dinghy sailing is increasing in the UK, and interestingly the growth is mainly in old-style dinghies (like longboards) not the much-hyped skiffs. The big dinghy builders tried turning towards fast gear and they found that no one wanted them, unlike windsurfer builders they had the mental flexibility to return to light winds and simplicity when sales faltered - now they seem to be growing once more.

"Its like trying to snowski when there is no snow. Why ????"

Nope, nothing like it. If there's no snow, there's no snow. If there's a light wind, there's still wind. Not having ideal conditions to windsurf is different from not having enough snow to ski at all.

20 knots winds are like deep fresh untracked powder snow - in many places if you won't go out in anything less, you won't get out enough to enjoy the sport. I think in many places (Scandanavia) lots of people love cross country skiing which seems something like light wind windsurfing.

"When its windy my board responds and feels like a Fireblade.(More exciting and way less dangerous actually)When its not I`m back on a moped.Its just fact."

Of course your board doesn't handle like a Fireblade when it's windy - it wasn't designed for it. You can't base light wind windsurfing on strong wind gear any more than you can say that MTBing is dumb after trying to do it on a triathlon bike.

And I don't give a rat's if my light wind board doesn't feel like a Fireblade; it might feel like a Laser in 7 knots, or like a mountain bike on a singletrack, or like a long surfboard does in 2- 3' waves - and they are all good. Not ideal, not the most powerful or the fastesst, but still great fun.

About "WindSURFING means planing.(Dont think you can Surf without planing)". Come one, the name "windsurfing" was created in about 1969- when the whole sport was about longboards and very few people could sail in strong winds.

If we take the name of the sport apart apart to try to define it, we won't be able to "windsurf" on flat water because there's no surf on flat water - so FW and flatwater freestyle are - what??????

The term "sailboarding" didn't come about because the sport was different from windsurfing, it came about because the original company was trying to protect its trade name. As someone who used to get their legal letters I can assure you the change was about trademark law, not the nature of the sport.

I've taught lots of people. I think the majority of those who are still in hte country (many were foreign students) now own their own boards and some sail them up to world title level. It's easy to teach people how to windsurf.

It's interesting to hear that barefooting is easy to learn these days, it wasn't when I waterskied.

Ken
26th January 2008, 04:38 AM
Poster 18,

Barefooting is relatively easy these days because they have a fixed bar on the side of the ski boat that you hold onto and can support your weight as you set your feet on the water. From there, you start working with a very short line and keep extending it. I haven't acutally done this since my barefoot days was back when you stepped of a slalom ski, 75 feet behind the boat at 40 mph. I had more than my share of water blown into every orifice of my body, my balls busted and my head ripped off while learning to barefoot. I never did get very good at it and gave it up before long. That was 35 years ago and I am now older and wiser.

Floyd
26th January 2008, 06:16 AM
Poster 18
You must be a quick writer.I get logged off before I`ve written that much.

My comments were based on the sailing I witness (regards the strength of winds sailed in). Sailing in lighter winds will just never be as popular as it was because in general sailors just dont want to sail in lighter winds.Thats not insulting those that do.How many sailors will actually spend £1500+ to sail in under F3.Not many.
The board sales/hire centres and popular venues demontrate this.Look at size of sails/boards available at venues mentioned.
I`m not trying to alter anything.I`m saying it as I see it and I would explain our sport and all its faults(which it does have) to any prospective beginner.
Selling the sport and saying its something it isn`t is actually more damaging than just leaving it alone.
I just find it strange that many sailors see it as their duty to "sell" the sport,even though they are not invoved in the industry and try and promote it with little sincerity. Why????

Floyd
26th January 2008, 06:31 AM
PS
The refernce to the Fireblade was an ANOLOGY and obviuosly not a direct comparison.The Fireblade would sink !!!

Unregistered
26th January 2008, 06:42 AM
Windsurfing is at it most efficient in planing coditions.(For most 13knots +?) I suspect to maintain interest in under this you really need to be racing.And if racing in under 13 knots I would rather be in a Dinghy.
Its probably why non-planing windsurfing has almost died out.
So in a way I agree with Floyd

BTW the whole emphasis over past 15 years has been to lower planing threshold in WS.
There is less non-planing sailing than ever !!!

pierrec45
26th January 2008, 08:29 AM
> I have done a complete marketing research of all water sports this year

Please explain, what country, what methodology. Surveys? Driving around (as I do)? Various countries?

> except that I hear from factories they are increasing production

If you heard from factories... mmhh.

> marketing studies that show interesting growth in windsurfing again.
> I did numbers after checking it and found an interesting growth in NA

Please sources.

> biggest company of sports reasearch in the USA said a growth in
> windsurfing of 28% from 2004 to 2005, an 109% from 2005 to 2006

Please sources, so we can check methodology. Wanna see growth by sailor, not sales to a few, right?

> This are real numbers, not talking just of any invented numbers.

Please sources, then we'll judge for ourselves. It's gotta be small sampling at first, but sources, then we'll see.

> In the USA there is an estimate of 1.1 million windsurfers.
> This is real numbers.

Sources ? Surely no sources that wouldn't be on the net already?

> The reason, windsurfing is attractive in light winds - say 3-8 knots -
> By the other side...longboards are coming back and center fins too...

That's gotta be judgment, not the result of a market study, right? (Since this is all recent development).

> The other reason, Formula.

Really? Driven around non-Bonaire, non-Hawaii places lately??

> But be clear, most clubs, spots and nice places to go to the beach have 3-10 knots...

You're right mate! Inland, lakes, rivers, bad offshore places, winter in Sydney, etc.

> in that wind, light wind freestyle, learning windsurfing in a school or
> using a lonboard...is the best choice you can have.

I personally agree, don't see it happening. Little light wind freestyle other than Bonaire and that pierrec45 guy on YouTube. Precious little indeed.

> Just focus:
> longboards: best way to have fun and dont worry about the wind.
> Why not go back to the 80s...?

I agree, as I see soooo many people saying they're too good for the wind at hand, but this is still a personal belief, not happening by the truckload yet.

> go slalom, go freestyle and go long distance.

Precious few people compete these days - look at events, is a very, very, tiny small percentage of sailors. People don't want to compete. I see sooooo little slalom, racing, freestyle other than hot spots. Ya? (and good on people just having fun sailing around !!)

> I was in bonaire last year and could understand why ....
> Got impressed, is a nice wind spot but there are days of no wind
> (for a shortboard) as in any place in the world...but those days,
> is lot of people learning and freestyling in the beach.

I doubt very, very much that Bonaire is representative. That's why they're the only guys putting up Tubes of that kind of freestyle, and nobody else.

> We are following their example in some way. DONT NEED WIND to
> promote windsurfing, need to HAVE FUN in a breeze.

100% agreed mate, good on you. NOBODY is too good for the wind, ever.

Cheers,
P.

Philip
26th January 2008, 01:23 PM
The thing about slalom boarding is that for many I guess it is not the only sport. So when the wind does not co-operate there are other things to do (ride a bike, run a hill etc). Cross training. It is likely that if you only did WS then your general fitness would not be so good anyway. It works the other way for some too. If they don't have higher wind gear, then as the stronger winds come in they do other things. To have the money, gear and time to do WS in all conditions is not a reality for most people.

Unregistered
26th January 2008, 09:16 PM
Most have failed to stick with the topic 'Windsurfing growth'.

Floyd
26th January 2008, 11:26 PM
Dont think anyone said or even implied they were too good to sail in light winds.I think its actually harder (skill and physique wise) Easiest sailing there is is just well powered up.
Getting on plane in marginal conditions; tacking quickly and balancing with little power in rig ()to balance against are just as difficult as waterstarting etc in stronger winds. IMO the returns are less;thats all.
There were 18 sailors out today at our beach.Sails 4.7 to 6.Wind dropped to F2/3 everybody came in and went home.Thats reality and the norm.No lightwind sailors to be seen.

Unregistered
27th January 2008, 12:47 AM
Dont think any innovations will actually increase number of light wind sailors.
Afterall kit from 20 years ago would still take some beating in under F3.

Around 1985 I had a hollow Typhoon Turbo (Div 2) with an absolutely massive daggerboard.On it I used to put a 7.5 cambered sail.It was a challenging to sail but was only kit I ever had which could compete with almost any craft in light winds.(Used to race at a Dinghy sailing club) (Was a pig in F4 and unsailable in a 5 )but nevertheless I doubt wether much avilable now would be faster (or more challenging) in under F3.

The kit is already there; and has been for a while.We just keep reinventing it. If numbers are dropping afraid its just one of those things.

The numbers sailing in F5 and in waves isn`t declining from what I see.

PS Indicatively the Typhoon was bought from Bankrupt stock for £120.(Brand New) I made the dagger.. (Yes I know; I was robbed !!!)

Philip
27th January 2008, 04:17 AM
In a national newspaper today in Australia there is a report on the concept that elite athletes might expect in the future to be trained in several sports as their talents allow. Such cross 'training' is known to have benefits for all sports people.

In a few months time the Australian Sports Commission website will have a self assessment tool so that anyone can assess their potentials.

What this concept means for WS is important. Just as we the current WS adepts might be involved across a range of sports so we will attract like minded people who may wish to add WS into their quiver of athlectic pursuits.

WS would well be marketed this way and as some posts have already noted WS do kites and of course many do surfboard riding and I know many who snow board or ski. The point here is that if we look at WS in isolation or 'in competition' with other sports, its growth will be constrained as opposed to promoting the sport as an element of a wholistic healthy life style.

Poster 18
27th January 2008, 04:49 AM
Floyd, I'm aware that the Fireblade mention was an analogy. The point is that your strong-wind gear feels like a scooter in light winds, because it wasn't designed for light winds. Saying that light winds are boring because they make high-wind gear feel bad is like saying that strong winds are unpleasant because they made some old-style light wind gear hard to control - to continue the motorbike analogy it's like taking a Fireblade along a motocross racing track and then saying that motocross is no fun because your Fireblade felt like crud when you tried it.

I'm not saying you aren't describing the sport as it is today - a shadow of its former self and aimed at just a few aspects of what can be a wonderfully diverse sport. But the whole point is that the current shape and people's current preferences have been shaped by the way the industry re-aligned the whole sport years ago, in a short sighted and unsuccessful attempt to keep production lines churning.

This isn't just me saying it, although as a high-wind sailor on my nation's world title team, I was at manufacturer's team meetings in the boomtime where we were basically told that the company was actually and specifically trying to attack light wind windsurfing and longboards, to keep the production line running. Guys like Maui-based Barry Spanier, Jeffrey Henderson, the Tabou and Exocet/Kona crew, many of the Starboard guys, Ken Winner (boomtime legend) etc all agree that there was a short-sighted drive by the industry to kill the golden gooose of long-term growth by making people dissatisfied with their light-wind gear. They all agree that this hurt the sport, but those of us who are former members of the industry know that the "insiders" have a perspective that makes it hard for them to understand the average sailor's needs and wishes.

About cross training and other sports - sure, some people prefer to go MTBing in light winds. Good on them - all I'm saying is that the sport should allow for the fact that not all of us want to go MTBing when we feel like windsurfing. And since there's no place near me (or many people) that's ideal for MTBing, it's just as good to go windsurfing in non-ideal conditions.

It's like the "go dinghy sailing in light winds" argument - why should we, when windsurfing can be as much fun in light winds? A good longboard is just about as quick as a comparable dinghy in light winds; the original Windsurfer is as fast as a Laser Radial (comparable in "flavour" and sail area), a Div 2 board is as fast as an International Moth or Canoe (the fastest of non-spin singlehanded dinghies), etc. And the board is much quicker to rig and launch. My fiance sailed Tornado cats, one of the fastest of all sailboats, to world title level - now she's happier sailing her longboard and the cat hasn't been out in two years.

Sure, if you're the only light wind sailor in your village you may not have as much fun as we do here where longboards are popular - but that's typical, how much fun we all find our sports has a lot more to do with the social and other aspects that just sheer knots; we can't just look at speed in isolation. To continue with the dinghy aspect, that is of course why more people sail Lasers than skiffs.

Not all of us are insincere about promoting the sport. Some of us are involved in running the sport and organising racing and kid's classes. Some of us who have put the emphasis on basics (ie sailing on simple gear in all winds) have seen windsurfing at our local spot become considerably more popular as a result, and have seen kids taking up the sport as quickly as we can find them good gear. Some of us have lost a lot of earning time to play a part in the revival of a section of the sport we love.

I like seeing more people in the sport; it's nice to have someone to sail with. I like getting kids away from PLaystation and into a more active life where they do things like go to national titles interstate (or world titles overseas) and experience stuff they wouldn't have otherwise. I love seeing college professors bubble with joy about finding a physical way to love life, without the hassle of waiting for wind or driving 50 minutes to the windy areas. And while I live in one of the world's biggest sailing cities, we are down to a single windsurfing shop. If the sport dropped any more, not one of us would have anywhere to buy gear. That's a damn good reason to keep it alive.

Re-emphasising the width of the sport - pushing the light wind, cruising, racing, messing about angles as well as high wind, can be great for windsurfing's growth. We killed it once but that was carried out by a short-sighted industry whose leaders did not understand that (unlike them) the typicaal sailor did not want to spend their time in Maui and Tarifa. We can rebuild, just like surfing did when longboards came back (and I can remember all the "the sport has changed" arguments were trotted out then, and the rise of longboards has proven they were wrong).

Screamer
27th January 2008, 05:27 AM
I agree with everything Floyd said in post #11. Very well put.

I don't think that the big decline has happened ONLY because everybody in the industry (manufacturers, mags, etc) promoted high wind side of things. No way. I believe that the answer is much more complex than that, some of it already mentioned ("competing" sports/activities that didn't existed before; new, fashionable thing, a fad faded over time; etc). I think that longboard site mentioned here is very good, but they are sometimes one-sided (blame everything on high wind snobs).

Yes I've been there, sailing Div2 and longboards. Yes sometimes I miss our club regattas in 3 knot winds, 10 km cruises, gatherings with friends, the crowds, the barbicues. 250+ sailable days a year, anywhere. But it simply wasn't enough for me. It just dwindled slowly. It was my choice to pursue shortboard sailing, and I know many sailors who did the same (true, many more left for good). And no, we did not do it because of the ads in which hotshots were jumping 30 feet above monster waves. It was simply more satisfying in the end, despite the obstacles. Maybe we should have dedicated our lives to promoting light wind windsurfing, instead of selfishly enjoying planing winds? I don't know.

(Once upon a time, hundreds of millions hoola hoops were sold around the world. Everybody was doing it. Almost, a mass histery. Do we mourn those good old days? Does everything has to stay where it once was, or to grow indefinitely?)

Personally, I have nothing against sailing in 2-3 knots (thinking about Serenity actually). But I also think that windsurfing will NEVER reach the numbers it once had, for various reasons. It will never reach the level of CONVENIENCE (and let's not forget how important is that to vast majority of people) that is found in going for a bike ride, or a tennis game after work. That's not the reason for gloomy thoughts (windsurfing is dying), as some want to believe. Personally, I'll infect everyone with it, given the slightest chance, and plan on doing it for as long as I'm able to walk.

Screamer
27th January 2008, 05:43 AM
Poster 18

I see where are you coming from, a lot of valid arguments there. I was posting at the same time, and certainly don't want to oppose your enthusiasm and energy. Kudos for your work and I wish you all the best.

With the guys you mention, leading players in the industry right now, I think that "diversifying" of the sport is well under way. I'm still not sure that the mass revival is possible, at least not comparable to golden days.

Unregistered
27th January 2008, 09:49 AM
In Darwinian terms, if windsurfing is as good as we passionate windsurfers believe, then it will never die out. It is the most adaptable of sports.

If it does die out, it will be when all of us passionate windsurfers are dead, and it won't matter anymore, the world will have moved on.........

steveC
27th January 2008, 10:06 AM
Hi Screamer,

Your thoughts are always very insightful, particularly here under post 35. I can honestly say that our perspectives have been quite similar (to readily include Floyd's too), at least for me over the last 22 years. Believe me, I never felt denied a good time focusing on planing conditions.

However, I have to say that I've ordered a Serenity to expand my horizon a bit. Will sailing in 3-10 knots be interesting to me over the long run? Ultimately, only time will tell.

The thing that really got my attention is that Tiesda You has been quite candid in his feeling that the Serenity design is one of his top achievements in his career to date. Looking at the concept product, and the clear performance examples that I've seen on numerous videos, I'm inclined to agree that the design is very intriguing overall.

The thing that really tipped the scales for me is that I don't have to buy into a whole new game. If I focused on the formula concept, I would be obigated to spend a fortune on sails, masts, booms and fins, and that would be totally irrespective of buying an expensive board.

I anticipate using the 7.1 and 8.3 sails that I already own that work exceptionally well for my existing light wind planing interests. Also, in light of the fact that I sail locally in a series of very weedy and kelp oriented venues, I anticipate using weedfins I already own. Fortunately, Roger Jackson (who apparently sails in very similar situations on the US East Coast) has been very enlightening and informative about the use of the Serenity with weedfins and smaller sails. Things look very promising in my mind.

The only thing that worries me is whether the Serenity readily accepts my Lessacher Dwo Weed fins without modification, as they work exceptionally well, as is, in my Mike's Lab course slalom and slalom boards.

Overall, I thought why not open a door to a slightly different adventure. We're still talking about windsurfing here. Don't get me wrong, I already have a 6 board quiver in the van now, and that's not going to change. Yet, honestly, no reason not to give the real light wind concept a chance. I have to admit to being personally stoked about the opportunity.

Unregistered
27th January 2008, 12:28 PM
Had my 11yo boy and his friend out the other day, my boy was already competent and his friend was a first timer. Within an hour his friend was sailing, and the 2 of them were fighting for the board. My son is always complaining that I don't take him out enough. I think it will be a long time before windsurfing ever dies out, may take a few centuries, or even millenia??

Floyd
27th January 2008, 05:37 PM
Thanks Screamer. Would love to try a Serenity aswell.Not seen one yet though.

Poster 18
There is another way of looking at what "decision" makers "tried" to do as you explained. (To be honest dont think there is that sort of control over manipulating markets/behaviour )
It could be argued if they hadn`t had forsight to push/devlop high wind sailing the sport could have totally died out. Rather than blaming them for the decline (which was natural) we should be applauding them for helping develop what we now have.
The best sport in the world. Which we probably didn`t have when numbers were at their greatest.(ie in days of Sailboard Sport; Tencate Hunters and Regatta sails which to be fair were not exactly "fit or purpose".)

Britt
28th January 2008, 04:25 AM
Hi SteveC,

I love my Serenity. It is SO much FUN in light winds. The neatest thing is that in 3-9 I come back smiling and stoked that I didn't miss the day on the water. The second neatest thing is that even in that wind, the board rewards proper technique with much better performance. It reminds me on lechners in that regard, but faster in that wind.

Britt

Poster 18
28th January 2008, 04:49 AM
Floyd, you're assuming that the decline was natural. Maybe some drop was coming (or maybe not - if the manufacturers had developed and promoted light wind gear like they developed heavy wind gear who knows what would have happened?) but was it going to be a drop as big as the one we have experienced?

The sports that inspired the creation of windsurfing, dinghy sailing and surfing, have also boomed, yet neither has gone bust as badly as windsurfing. If windsurfing's drop was all part of a natural cycle, why was it so much worse than surfing or windsurfing?

Notably, surfing and dinghy sailing (in its most popular country) have both grown once more as they have moved towards gear that performs best in real-world, non-ideal conditions. This is, of course, what modern boards are doing......all I'm saying is why not take it further?

Other sports like sea kayaking have boomed on low-tech gear recently - there is an audience out there. Looking at sea kayak marketing, it seems that it's about simple family fun just like windsurfing used to be. They don't market people doing loops or surf or racing, and their sport is booming. Windsurfing pushes the areas that most people cannot do, and it's declined. More than a cooincidence, surely.

In all these cases, it seems that the boom started AFTER windsurfing declined. I can't find any evidence that these sports took people away from windsurfing. In fact their growth seems to indicate that there were still people out there, looking for something - and they saw what modern windsurfing had to offer, and turned away.

As someone who was working in the sport in the boomtime, I think there was a lot of marketing control over the sport. Influential people were openly laughing at people who sailed what they called "goatboats"; World Cup sailors were publicly heckled and abused when they sailed D2s; magazines said it was social death to sail anything that didn't sink.
We still see it today, when shops sell high-wind gear to beginners and people who tell them that they are going to sail in a light-wind location where longboards dominate for very good reason (we have FW gear with proven FW sailors and slalom gear with ex world team sailors too, but that gear rarely works well here).

If marketing doesn't work, why do we bother to try to market the sport by world cup events, pics of people looping etc? Why do other industries spend vast amounts on marketing if it fails?

I can't see why we can't applaud the industry for developing the gear we now have, AND blame them for harming what we did have. In fact maybe the high wind gear would have developed more if the industry had also pushed light wind gear, because the companies may have been bigger and more profitable and may have had more money for R & D. Note also that many of those who guided the sport early on admit that the high-wind push was a mistake. They were there, don't they know?

And there's no evidence that the performance of the gear has improved any more than it has in dinghy sailing, for instance. When the first Windsurfer came out, it was given the same racing handicap as an International Moth dinghy. Cottage-industry builders and amateurs have transformed the ply or GRP Moth into a full carbon hydrofoil. Ironically, it's similar in overall speed to the Formula boards, according to those who race good FWs and Moths against each week. In other words, the performance differential between the Moth and the board is very similar to the way it was 30+ years ago. Sure, the speed records have gone up, but that's not something that a significant section of sailing cares much about.

Surfboards seem to have progressed a lot less, but the sport has done very well since moving to longboards.

For some reason, those of us who argue for the promotion of light wind sailing AS WELL AS strong wind sailing are seen as attacking windsurfing and strong wind sailing. We are not - we're just trying to get a wider view of the sport and its attractions. We have never said that you and Steve shouldn't enjoy strong wind sailing - just that the sport should be more open minded and innovative.

Floyd
28th January 2008, 05:59 AM
Poster 18
Manufacturers simply feed demand.If there were a market ; they would fill it. Sailing today (at my local beach) there were 30 (approx) boards. No dingies; no sea Kayaks and no light wind gear.Thats the norm. (And about half a dozen kiters on beach and on water when poss)Everybody again went home when wind dropped.
Jut dont understand your demands on manufacturers (etal) for them to have to create and then fill a market to suit your view of the sport. The Serenity no doubt is fantastic but it will only ever be old in tiny numbers.If you read the blurb on this site it even states that the Serenity "can challenge" div 2 board performance.(Which we have had for 25 years) The kit for light wind sailing is already available and has been for 20 years. It just does NOT sell in numbers.Fact.You are asking manufacturers to
a) Create a market
b)Fill it with more exciting low wind kit.
In the real world they can do neither.
????
I applaud your obvious enthusiasm but dont agree that anyones to blame for decline in non-planing WS.To the vast majority of sailors its just a stage you have to go through to get to planing sailing.
That is NOT knocking anyone that sails in light winds.
Good sailing.

Floyd
28th January 2008, 06:14 AM
PS
"Sold in tiny numbers"

Philip
28th January 2008, 07:30 AM
Floyd has really sums it up very well. However, to Poster 18 rest assured you are in good company. It has been said before that those interested enough to contribute to the Forums are really keen on the sport, even a bit addicted. I like to think that I have my addiction under control - well it is a healthy one to have anyway!

Bill
28th January 2008, 08:04 AM
Starboard have helped bring windsurfing to a wider audience and made learning easier. That’s probably why they have succeeded in a very competitive market.

To me light wind non planning is a different sport to high wind planning. I prefer high wind planning because of the adrenaline rush and the gear is smaller, lighter and easier to use. Less effort more reward.

If the wind is light I hit the surf, again an adrenaline rush for a very small financial outlay.
Nearly everyone I know and see at the local surf breaks use a short surf board. Long boards are cool but very few surfers use them.

The next time you see a Laser dinghy look closely at the sail and compare it to your windsurfing sail.

For me the most exciting development has been in shorter, wider, floater boards and lighter, more maneuverable bigger sails that lower the wind strength needed to have planning fun.

In my neck of the woods the sport is growing and the gear just keeps getting better. There has never been a better time to windsurf.

steveC
28th January 2008, 08:42 AM
Hey, an updated responsive is definitely needed, at least from my perspective.

Poster 18, while can understand your frustration, the idea about structuring our outlook based on the past is a bit foolish and too old overall. What happened 20-25 years ago is frankly somewhat ancient on the current stage. Why whine about what happened so long ago? I'm 58 years old, and I've been on the game for quite a while, but the last thing I want to do is live in the past. Hell, I don't even listen to the music from back in the 60s and 70s that most older folks like me usually do. I'm thinking more about the future.

Like I tried to point out in my earlier post, the Serenity concept has my focus now, and who knows, maybe my soul. Let's be more targeted to the future and its opportunities.


Floyd, although your developed and strongly felt outlook has reflected very well with mine for so many years, I have to disagree that nothing has been done to develop a low wind kit. Quite frankly, I think Starboard has been a real innovator with the Serenity.

Of course, I have to "do the walk" so to speak, but I think that I already understand that it will be differently focused than the planing aspect of the sport (which is as you rightly say, the true majority of interest out there). Nevertheless, I have to believe that poster 18's dream of a light wind concept of windsurfing can be a reality.

Check out Remi's latest video. Rather than focusing on disappointment or other unrelated ventures, I'm thinking that the light wind focus may have rewarding benefits.

Poster 18
28th January 2008, 08:47 AM
Last post.

I'm not "demanding" anything, just discussing the growth of the sport.

About creating and altering demand - it's what advertising and marketing do.

A big reason Serenity-like equipment hasn't been used much for 20+ years is that it's true that the way marketing went in its short-sighted attempt to keep production lines running, you were publically laughed at and heckled for using a D2, as World Cup champ Nathalie Le Lievre once described to me. I don't know of any other sport where magazines have attacked the biggest section of their own sport with printed advice like "it's social death to sail anything that floats" as they did.

Lots of people seem to be in denial that this happened, but it did and still does; more recently someone in the old Starboard forum threatened serious physical harm to anyone who put a longboard in his local shop. Surely it's got to be accepted that marketing and feelings behind such actions played a significant part in curbing light wind windsurfing (as the world's biggest sailmaking guru and the #2 sailor in the boomtime, etc say it did).

I'm not saying the whole sport has to really start pushing light wind sailing, I am saying that people should stop being negative about it......just let some people do what they do without telling us that we are not "really windsurfing" and similar things. And it's easy to create light wind kit that is more exciting that 99% of the stuff being sold today.

What is happening in some spots and what current sailors look for are not guides to growing the sport, because the modern sport that is typified by those attitudes is much smaller than what it used to be. If those of us who were into the sport in the '70s have been guided by what was happening at our spots then, we wouldn't have started windsurfing in the first place. To grow the sport, we can use our imagination and not just look at where we are.

Anyway, enjoy your sailing.

steveC
28th January 2008, 09:18 AM
Poster 18, maybe you should be the prosecutor in the much needed trial to be held on the world stage concerning the responsibilities and liabilities for windsurfing's lost potential, particularly targeting those in the industry who are deemed most culpable.

Irrespective of that fantasy, can't you be a bit more positive about the future? Are you so attached to that old bone that you have a hard time moving towards a more current reality and viewpoint?

Poster 18
28th January 2008, 09:56 AM
Well, almost last post...... :-) Two replies to my previous popped up while I was writing.

Steve, good luck with the Serenity and I hope you enjoy it. Not everyone will like light winds, but it's great that you opened yourself up to the idea.

I'm not looking at structuring our sport based on what used to be; just using it as inspiration and looking at why things happened.

Bill, I see Laser sails about every second day - when I go training on my Laser. I've got or had a lot of higher-tech boat sails (we've got or had skiffs, high-performance cats like Tornadoes and F16s, and fast dinghies like Moths and Int Canoes) but for what it's meant for the Laser sail works very well, and it's better than a modern windsurfer sail in the light and shifty winds most places normally get (as Jim Drake says "Most of the really good beaches, both fresh water and salt water, have winds in the 4 to 8 knot realm").

These sails do what they do damn well, just like a modern windsurfing sail does something different damn well. By the way, that allegedly old-fashioned sail is now getting record fleets in some areas and 'round here there are more Laser dealers and more Lasers sailing than there are boards. There are many more kids who are into racing Laser 4.7s and Radials than racing FE or FW or T293.....you don't see board fleets with 300+ kids like you do in Lasers.

PS while looking for the Jim Drake bit about wind strengths, I noticed this line from Jim about widestyle boards - "Be prepared to be ridiculed by the skinny board north shore Maui crowd in return for more water time at more places. "

There is it again, from the father of windsurfing - those who want to go light wind sailing will be ridiculed. Why can't we just let people like their own vision of the sport? Oh, and it shows someone from the industry who is actually creating and pushing a vision - just like the Kona One which is said by some to be the world's top selling board.

Screamer
28th January 2008, 04:58 PM
Poster 18

You've got a lot of strong arguments there, who would argue with Jim Drake on these points? And the example of Nathalie Le Lievre is really sad, to say the least. That's not the way to go, for sure.

I thought that would be interesting to add another angle: why Olympic windsurfing, for example, has held on to lightwind gear & venues for so long (it still does, today)? Why it does not represent and promote more exciting and attractive side of the sport? While there were industry mistakes you mention, I don't think that this was a good decision either. In winter Olympics, slalom races are held on steep slopes on well prepared snow, to show the pinnacle of the sport. I know a LOT of sailors who refuse such representation of windsurfing, which brings me to another point: maybe ws should be split between displacement and planing "divisions" and I really don't mean anything negative about it (maybe similar to nordic and alpine skiing, I don't see what would be wrong with it). The crowds and kids sailing Lasers that you mention, could be easily attracted to the former, while they may not have sufficiently good conditions to enjoy latter on a regular basis. Maybe then some of them would be prepared to "endure" the (very real) hassles Floyd talks about, and go for high wind sailing sometimes. Good for all.
With regard to marketing driving development and creating demand (or the lack of it), I've had my share of mistakes with ws gear. In other sports, magazines (skiing, mtb, etc) magazines also push extremes, somehow without the ill effects seen in ws. But responsibility is also with sailors (clubs, organizations, etc) evaluating their real needs (and more importantly conditions), not falling for ads blindly. Maybe telling the manufacturers what they DON'T want, over time. That probably happens in the end anyhow.

I somehow believe there are better times ahead.

Fair winds

Poster 18 (back again)
28th January 2008, 07:52 PM
Thanks Screamer, and good post.....it dragged me back to the keyboard

I agree that effectively allowing the sport to be sort of fall into fairly separate BUT EQUALLY RESPECTED areas could be quite good. As you say, it could help both sides. I have heard that where Nordic skiing is as respected as downhilling, skiing as a whole is much more popular for the same sort of reasons (but I'm not sure about that).

Re Olympic windsurfing; for a start, presenting the sport's more extreme end may just reinforce the popular image that it is too difficult and elitist. But the question has never seriously gone that far, because Olympics are held in cities and few cities are in particularly windy areas. Secondly, the Olympics are held at times that have to suit the other sports, and few of the athletes etc want to run around in early summer when seabreezes are cranking.

One small sport like windsurfing doesn't have the right to demand that the entire Games and schedule are redesigned around the conditions that windsurfers just happen to prefer, any more than the whitewater kayakers can. We can't demand that a city spend millions on accomodation, press centres, transport, security, spectator facilities, race committees, etc. And having spent many a day waiting for wind on the pro circuit and having shared or monitored many a FW regatta, we know that even at the right time and place we cannot be sure of planing conditions with enough regularity to suit the olympics and the TV schedule we want.

Actually we have had some windy Olympics since windsurfing came in; the Korean Olympics were windy enough to almost sink some of the 27' yachts and break the mast of one of the top 22 footers; in Athens at least one of the 23 footers almost sank. There were good winds in 2000 (ie 470 class medal races) and I think some good days in Barcelona. We still don't get windsurfing on TV, but where I am we don't get to see our FW or wave champs on TV either......we used to get windsurfing on TV years ago but that was because the whole sport was so big that powerful sponsors were into it and TV cameramen loved shots of hundreds of slow-moving but colourful sails.

The final point is that we always tend to assume that other sports are doing it better than we are in the Olympics, but they aren't in all ways. For example, windsurfers who hate one designs often point to the fact that Olympic bikes aren't one design. The underlying assumption is that the bicycle guys have it right and sailors have it wrong.

But in England, the number of bikes sold vastly outweighs the number of boats and boards that are sold - yet a vastly greater number of people compete on boats that on bikes. The UK bike racing association claims 10,000 members, the sailing association estimates there's 600,000 people in sailing associations. The Laser class alone has 20% as many paid-up members as the entire UK bike racing association. Dinghy racing ranks quite high in the list of most popular sports, but bike racing and skiing don't.

So who really has it right? I'd argue that sailing, with its concentration on more equal equipment, is demonstrably vastly better at turning people into competitors (and given the expense and hassle of sailing, probably better at getting people into the whole sport).

I worked in the bicycle and surf industries for a while, as well as in the windsurfing and sailing industries. Those sports all seemed to just be more prepared to promote the practical as well as the spectacular; you never got the same sort of pressure to just push say tow surfing or downhill racing.

I agree there's better times ahead; there are fascinating areas for the sport to move into. We can meet the modern consumers' demands by looking at what has worked and what is currently working in other sports, and by giving them the diversity that people call for these days.

For example, I'd love to see a cruising board like a sea kayak, and that may be a winter project. I don't know if it will work, but it's something new to try and I'd love to be able to cruise my coast and hidden inlets with a combination of sail and paddle, carrying my camping gear. It would have much more range than paddling. I just can't work out why there's so much hostility when we try to present novel variations of the sport like that. Are people so wedded to one or two dimensions that they get scared by other concepts??

Sounds like we both agree that strong wind sailing is great (which is why I did that circuit to the level of being in my national team) and we both think it will thrive, but maybe it will do even better if other forms of the sport are also seen with an open mind and encouraged.

Screamer
28th January 2008, 09:41 PM
Poster 18

We don't agree only that high wind sailing is great, I think we agree on a lot more. As I've said, I don't have to discover displacement windsurfing, I have a few thousand km on Div2/raceboards (although it was a long time ago), and I'm thinking about new lightwind board. I'd like to add a couple of things:
-Olympics. 1. Athletes regularly travel a lot (as in a few hundred kilometres) to different arenas anyway.Not all events are held "in the city" 2. It just doesn't seem right to see them on 15+kg boards, pumping like madmen in 3knots, when there is so much more to the sport. 3. Even though I've stated my opinion, what you say probably make more sense, with regard to wider context of sailing sports.
-Hostility. I've seen it both way, believe me. It makes no sense and nobody should encourage it. This thread has been pretty nice actually , I think ;)

Now with this sorted out, I'd like your thoughts on this: many promote longboards in recent years (which is excellent), and their advantages start to become clear. There are many circumstances when the widest boards with largest rigs won't get you (or keep you) planing, period. What puzzles me, why we don't see more of pure displacement (no planing) hulls, like Olympic Lechner/other Div2 boards (Serenity being the obvious exception)? Has longboarders forgotten that even imco's and similar run out of steam and get their a*s kicked in certain conditions? My guess is that reason for this could be in broader range in which Kona (for example) works, and it's easier to learn on (no balancing nightmare on a barrel bottom LOL) etc. But for really stupidly light winds (gnat's fart as they say; Ian Fox also used an excellent phrase: it goes in NO KNOTS), there's nothing that can come close to Div2 shapes.

Fair winds

PS Hey SteveC has your toy finally arrived? You have no excuses for not sharing the experience here. Let's all see how it goes for a seasoned sinker sailor when he tries to gybe THAT (short video footage preferred :D :D :D )

Floyd
28th January 2008, 09:48 PM
One of issues you are overlooking Poster 18 is that many WS just hate the idea of clubs. For years I had dinghies(Enterprise.505 and finally Dart) along with all the engulfing rules and regs of this and that. Free sailing was (and still is in many competitive racing clubs) looked down on. (Wasting time our commodore used to say)
Windsurfing brought along a whole new opportunity to get away from clubs /rules/regs and racing rules.Many windsurfers think Starboard is just a manufacturer. They dont know any racing rules.(Rights of way; overlaps etc etc etc)(and long may it last) WS is an escape from constraints.
Anybody who thinks WS is not healthy should look over Leucate Etang on any windy day.There will be hundreds ;outnumbering all other users easily.Virtually none will be affiliated to clubs/ associations and they would not come up on any survey apart from one on kit bought.
Windsurfers I meet dont want to belong to any organisation.They just want to sail(When its windy)
If sailing in light winds meant joining clubs to organise racing I dont think it could ever work.

Screamer
29th January 2008, 12:44 AM
Floyd again spot on. In my ramblings I forgot to add that one of the main reasons I left (longboard) WS club was that I wanted no rules whatsoever. That, and scheduled events. I know that has to be a racing calendar, but I got immeasurably more satisfaction from sailing on my own schedule, in good conditions. The same goes for light air sailing - you don't have to join a club to enjoy it. But some sort of club might be of a great help with the beginners and/or kids.

That said, I remember some long cruises I haven't had for a while. Where I live, there are two large rivers, some lakes, and (further away) a beautiful Adriatic coast, and on light days we used to cover some car-like distances on our light wind gear. That's almost forgotten in a shortboard frenzy.

PS if you have enough time to wade through a lot of posts, some good read here:
http://www.boards.co.uk/forum/search.asp?KW=longboard+vs+shortboard&SM=1&SI=PT&FM=1&OB=1

PPS Poster 18, are you C249 on some other forums? Similarity is striking ;)

steveC
29th January 2008, 02:45 AM
Hi Screamer,

I was thinking all along here that poster 18 must be C249, and I toyed with the thought of asking. In any case, I'm glad you did.

Regarding my Serenity order, I anticipate receiving it sometime in a March/April timeframe. Although the board is available right now at the distributor's facility, the taylored Starboard Serenity bag is not expected in until March/April. I don't have a garage, so I plan on storing the board outside under my carport. The bag will provide the much needed protection for both storage and transportation.

When I ultimately receive the Serenity, I expect that jibing and tacking it will be a very daunting task. I'm expecting that it will take some time and effort to master it. Yet, I'm thinking that the upside to sailing in minimal winds will be very little wind chop, and that will hopefully make things easier. Without a doubt, I'm going to need an uphaul, as I stopped using one many years ago. In the long run, I'm definitely going to share my experiences here. Although I expect to be the only one out (not even kiters), I'm wondering whether others might find an interest over time and join me.

Hi Floyd,

You're spot on about "no rules". While many racers must delight in rules and regulations as part of fun and challenge of competing, I have to admit that I have no interest in that angle at all. Having come over from surfing to windsurfing, the whole yacht club scene and club racing is totally foreign to me. I respect their focus and interest, but it wouldn't work well with my temperment and nature.

Floyd
29th January 2008, 03:34 AM
Steve
You must let us know how you go on with Serenity.I know I`m contradicting myself a bit (thats nothing new though) after seeing Remi (on YouTube) sailing Serenity made me really want to try one. Who said magazines/advertising doesn`t really affect our behaviour !!!(me !!!)
Dont think it would do 13 knots in 6 with my 103k on it but ????

Wonder how it would cope if wind picked up whilst on a "trip" ?? (Years ago decided to sail around an Island just off Abersoch.(Well not quite just) Had a right job getting back.Wind changed/ picked up a bit.Dead run an a Div 2 in rising swell !!!mmm.Cant remember being glad to get back to Wales !!!

Good sailing

Bill
29th January 2008, 03:47 AM
I am stoked that people are into windsurfing in light winds. It’s great they enjoy sailing in 4 to 8 knots of wind. It’s just that I don’t want to do it.

There are so many other fantastic water sports that I prefer to do when the wind is light. Each to their own.

Oh and the Laser sail, let a few people look at it and draw their own conclusions.

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 05:45 AM
I had one of the best windsurfs of my life last night and that's after 25yrs of doing it, I'd say it's very unlikely to die, the feeling is just too good!!!

P18 C249
29th January 2008, 06:51 AM
Yep, it's C249; I just didn't bother to put in a name and since I was then referred to as Poster 18 I thought it would be easier to use that as my tag.

Steve, I'm enormously positive - I'd have thought my message, which is that windsurfing in the future can be bigger and can be more accessible and have more fun aspects, was much MORE optimistic than the idea that it's pretty much about a couple of areas, will remain small forever, and is too hard to learn and promote.

Screamer, as you say Olympic sailing often happens away from the main Olympic city, but they can't go to another country or something in search of even better conditions.

Sure, downhill skiing is held where there's good snow - but while that's obviously better in many ways, maybe it's not so good in other ways. For example, only 2/3 as many countries have won downhill medals as sailing medals since 1936 (when the Winter Games started).....many countries probably see it as largely irrelevant since they don't get that sort of ideal conditions themselves. Downhilling gets fewer medals than cross country. Sure there are other factors, but is there really much evidence that they are doing it all that much better than sailing?????

Why did D2s die? Like you and Floyd, I sailed them and where I was they were just too hard for the average sailor to handle, but too fast for them to beat. They were then banned from most races. It would have been good if there had been a bigger move to create a detuned D2 type for the average sailor, but it never happened.....maybe that would have demanded restrictions that windsurfers supposedly hate (although they have little problem with them in the case of FW).

It was also a bit strange that the rules for the Raceboard class, conceived for offshore racing in 15 (then 12) knots +, became used for club racing. We ended up with most manufacturers building pretty similar Raceboards that (as you say) didn't sail as well as they could have in the lightish winds most places normally get. I still think the ideal messing around longboard and the ideal club longboard have yet to be created or even conceived.

Floyd, I never said the typical windsurfer would get into club racing; in light winds I imagine they would potter about like they used to, or get more into cruising like the 8 million kayaks sold each year in the USA do. Modern designs could be used to create brilliant cruising windsurfers with range and speed sea kayakers could not even conceive.....perfect for exploring and picnicking. I plan to use my first D2 (still around) as the basis for a trial cruising windsurfer because it's hollow, capacious and would paddle well. BTW having sailed the Serenity, I do have reservations about the points you and Steve identified but it's a cool board.

I have never said that the sport is dead or close to it - all I have said is that it's not as big as it used to be. That's very different.

Sure, if you go to some places, perhaps at the right time of year, there's hundreds of people windsurfing, which is great. But around here there used to be 300 people windsurfing every day of each summer weekend in several different beaches. We get 300+ people to many other sailing events each week (or 10,000+ to some annual yacht races). Sure, the sport's not about the kark it, but maybe in the grand scheme of things it's not so huge.

BTW, our club has very little organisation for our main events.

Bill, it's cool that you have other sports for light winds. All I'm trying to say is what you did - each to his own.

About the Laser sail. I've done a lot of research for work about sail design; everything from the classic sources (Marchaj, Doerner etc) to discussions with aerodynamacists and physicists working in the area, with many of the top boat sail designers (ie America's Cup winners, skiff world champs, the holder of the world sailing speed record and the owner of the fastest small cat, etc) and the head or head designers of Neil Pryde, KA Sails, Gaastra, The Loft, and Maui Sails.

For a variety of reasons; usability, the ability to generate elliptical span loading (which is after all what we want in real-world non-uniform inviscid flow, not elliptical outline), scrubbing effect of leading edge vortices on the low-aspect rig sailed by the lee, lower heeling moment/root loading, ease of use ashore, lasting power, the Laser sail's good for what it does. When I really started research I thought the Laser sail was a bit of a dog, but after getting into it with Boeing aeros etc I can see its advantages.

Sure, it would be a dog in many other craft - but for a boat with a Laser's righting moment, basic speed capacity, weight, and (most importantly) style of use the rig's not bad. The "baby Laser", the Byte dinghy, was designed with a Laser type rig but has now adopted a new carbon-sparred fully-battened film sail. It's bigger but is rated only 2% faster. If the Laser type sail is so dreadful IN THIS TYPE OF BOAT why is a bigger carbon-sparred film and fully battened roachy flextip rig only 2% quicker?

There is an idea that windsurfing always leads the way, but it's just not true. Windsurfing does lots of things very well but they tend to concentrate in just a couple of areas. Dinghy sailors were into advanced rigs many years before windsurfing even came about. The sailing canoes of the 1880s had hollow masts, full battens and big roaches. By the '40s there were solid wing masts. By the '60s, Moths had wide luff pockets on flex-tip masts with full battens and big roaches. Monofilm was used in yachts and dinghies before the first Windsurfer hit the water; carbon spars were 'round in the late '70s. It's just that much of this stuff doesn't really add much to the joy of sailing for various reasons.

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 07:35 AM
Windsurfing is like excellent wine just gets better with age!!!!!

Bill
29th January 2008, 07:45 AM
The fastest sailed powered water craft is a wind surfer. QED

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 07:59 AM
Hi Pierre,

this is Ricardo Guglielmino again answering to your source request.

I understand for some people is difficult to see what numbers say, but would be good if you go to:
http://www.sgma.com/

SGMA (Sporting goods manufacturers association) gives the World industry accurate information to take decitions or prepare their strategies. Well, for sure, you have to pay to subscribe to this companies and they study yearly not only windsurfing, but most sports available in dirt, water and snow. Their accurate marketing studies are the ones that give important information about what people want or tends to do. You can check some "free" 2-3 years old reports and still, not being 2-3 years before the growth of windsurfing important, you can find windsurfing growing fine. Once you suscribe, you can see what has happened 1-2 years ago and prepare for the future.

This information is accurate and follows stricly statistics, and for sure, is serious. There is TONS of information and marketing studies in Internet, its just about taking hours searching them and taking more time reading them. After that with lots of information its just about preparing your strategies, in case you have a goal or not. If you dont have it...no strategy is needed.

About all this discussion, I would like to add that good examples as Bonaire are the ones that once you see them, you find interesting ways to promote our/your sport in your local spot. If they can, why others not? just its about that there is people like me interested in doing it and there are others that just want to have fun and dont worry about if more people is getting into the sport in their local spot.
At the end, for some people including me, is fun being sailing with your friends and more people, its satisfactory to see some people learning and others having fun just looking from the beach.

I can go to a sailing spot with 40 knots daily here in the south of Peru...and will find few people sailing there, why? if this are the POZO world class conditions?...why there is more people sailing in the 6-15 knots spots? why?
Its just about how you want to present your sport and feel happy with it. After that...go sailing to the 40 knots spot...is fun too! and complete yourself of adrenaline.

Best luck!
Ricardo Guglielmino

C249
29th January 2008, 08:26 AM
Yes, Bill, the fastest sailing craft in terms of top timed speed over 500m is a windsurfer - but that's NOT evidence that windsurfer-type sails are better for all craft, in all conditions.

Many windsurfers are complete dogs in many conditions. Give respect where it's due, like world-record holding aerodynamacist Prof Mark Drela from MIT does when he tells glider guys how efficient sailboat rigs are for their purpose.

Just because something gets the world record does not mean it's "better" than other gear that isn't designed for world records.

The world's fastest car is the supersonic Thrust SST, but that doesn't mean that other competition cars are inferior. Thrust is useless for other purposes. A rally car, F1 car, hillclimb racer, classic or Winston Cup racer are just as good as Thrust for their forms of competition.

The world's fastest ski gear (water or snow) is no good for slalom, or bumps, or freestyle. Does that mean that the world's best mogul skis are worse, QED? Of course not - they are different.

The world record holding bicycle is no good for the Tour or a triathlon. For road or track or MTB or time trials, other bikes are faster and better.

The world's fastest sprinter is not as good as the world's best marathon runner for long distances - does that mean the sprinter is a "better runner QED".

Eric and his windsurfer would get eaten alive by an original Windsurfer, slalom or FW gear or a LAser or even an Optimist in the typical winds at most places in the world. Eric's gear is fantastic for its purpose but other gear is as good or much better for other purposes.

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 09:00 AM
This is great, a "windsurfing growth" post have already 64 posts...that means that its interesting.

And just to add, I also feel windsurfing growing...and looks like soon it will grow more with light wind boards.

Speed record is fine for some...just a very few 0.1% in the world...but sounds interesting for other some.

But having fun windsurfing in 3-10knots sounds interesting, very interesting, so interesting that I may want to sail in those conditions and have fun.

KC

steveC
29th January 2008, 09:28 AM
Hi C249,

Thanks for your thoughts. You've clearly got a signature style and outlook about sailing, and frankly, I don't doubt your overall dedication and enthusiam for all aspects of the various wind driven sports.

I've been exclusively sailing Bill Hansen's sails (Windwing and now Hansen Sails) since 1986, and I think that he is probably one of the most creative sail designers around. Yet sometimes on the big scheme of things, I don't think that he receives the real credit I think he deserves. However, with your seemingly strong interest in small boat sails, I thought you might appreciate some of the photos at Bill's initial website after left Windwing. I know virtually nothing about small boat sails, but you should check them out. From what I've seen, nobody in Santa Barbara has anything like them.

http://www.hansenaerosports.com/

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 10:53 AM
Light winds is the growth potential of the sport, high winds have so many other adrenalin sports which attract and compete against windsurfing, high wind windsurfing will always have followers and some growth, but lightwinds is the future for massive growth.

Floyd
29th January 2008, 05:15 PM
There was a detuned Div2. Not sure who it was built by but marketed through Laser network.Board was actually called a Laser !!! Had Div 2 bows going to flat around middle. Nobody knew what to classify it as. Wasn`t Div1; wasnt Div2 and certainly wan`t Fun Board. Performed Ok but to be honest no better tan best Div1`s of time.



I `ve bought a small trials bike for light wind use. Getting a bit fed up peddling MTB ??? Its great. Still look forward to F4 + days though.

Also think you are missing point about our speed record. Anyone of us could go and buy identical kit.Sure we might not keep up with Antoine but its no great feat to do 40 knots anymore on a WS. (Even I`ve done it) WS is one of few remaining sports where man in street on a low budget can think about getting upto perhaps 90% of world record.(and more ??? look on GPS speedsurfing) Try and buy a car to do 90% of Thrusts speed; and for a few thousand pounds !!! WS is fastest sailing craft; it was even when Yellow pages held record. Its toughest and most adaptable. Tell me another craft that could survive in waves where we play. (apart from kites) Same board could then stick a fair speed on speed course.(Lots of waveboards have achieved around 40k)
Its without doubt most fit for purpose sailing craft ever built.
Yes we aven`t invented loads but we`ve brought many together in a package.

Unregistered
29th January 2008, 07:33 PM
Whilst high wind windsurfing will always have a place and a market, it will only ever be niche, big growth and participation will only ever occur at the light wind end

C249
29th January 2008, 07:55 PM
Steve, Bill seems to do some very nice work; he's a guy lots of us respect for his stuff from FW to Wyliecats. But while his (board inspired?) sails may be unusual around Santa Barbara, the boat sails seem to be fundamentally very similar to those that have been evolved by boat sailors, with little to no reference to boards, in the high-performance development classes in the UK, Australia, NZ and some parts of the US and Europe.

As far as I can see Bill's Hoot sail, for example, is a lot like the post 1993 Moth sails, which were a revival of a 1960s concept in the same class. They had elliptical outline, full battens, high aspect, and pocket luffs, just like the Hoot. Materials are different, concepts appear similar.

But while these sails are certainly generally quicker than old-style boat sails, there are quite a few people - including guys like world-renowned skiff designer Julian Bethwaite - who reckon that old-style sails are surprisingly good in many ways on some boats. Some classes in the dynamic Brit dinghy scene have backtracked from "advances" in rig design because the speed edge wasn't worth the rigging/trolleying/fragility hassle.

Floyd, there was the Laser Surfsprint, Typhoon Turbo and Bic Ken Winner in the "detuned D2" category, but they didn't get support in the sense of a separate class in many parts of the world; Division 1 was pretty much a UK class. Pity.

Sure, what boards can do is remarkable. What many speed boards or waveboards cannot do is also remarkable....they can't even float all the time!

The most adaptable? Try teaching someone on a waveboard; or doing an ocean race; or sailing a twilight race followed by a picnic aboard; or living aboard for two years; or getting through flat calms and then having a nice class race. Lots of yachts can do all those.

What other boats can do is just as remarkable. A 75' tri that can circle the globe in 70-something days under the control of one 5' nothing woman is utterly fit for purpose. A Laser is very fit for purpose (a class that attracts 300 sailors under 17 AND 320 entries in just 96 hours for an over 35's regatta is clearly enormously succesful). A 12 Foot Skiff on its home waters is fantastic; seeing the way 90 years of development, a bunch of carbon and no rules creates something so moulded to the environment. An A Class cat knifing along and eating FW boards for breakfast in many winds is elegance and efficiency in solid form.

I often find that sailing stuff from waveboards to Laser, maxis and Tornado cats is a problem in one way - when you know how well other types of sailng craft work, you just can't get that warm feeling that only YOUR sort of sailing is the best.

Floyd
29th January 2008, 09:37 PM
Hi Poster 18 (again)
I sort of agree re other sailing craft also being "fit for purpose" and it is an extremely subjecive argument (obviously). We all like to think we sail best thing afloat. I do have fairly good knowledge / experience of lots of differen craft. Each has its limitations and qualities.I`ve sailed offshore yachts;Tornadoes; Darts ( a lot) and lots of other dinghies since childhood (which is quite a while since now).
Comparing the ease of use;(transport and the rest) range of use (ie conditions it can cope in ) cost;speed and importantly survivability none of them come close in ALL respects to my allround 105 litre board.Yep it doesn`t work in under 15 mph; but it gets me back.
Ive been caught out in 45 knot gusts ; handled 10 foot swell;played on mast high waves and done 37 knots on it.Few craft can do one of these let alone all three.
On any F5 + day the only craft that would keep up with it (staight down coast or out and back in) would be other boards.(probably kiters now)It cost £500. Yep it might not sail some silly course quite so good; its pretty crap on a run.(But damned exciting for a few seconds)
My Dart was good in strong winds.(And crap on a run)It could just do 23knots. Tornado peaks out at 28 knots. (there or there abouts).I wouldnt want to be on either in heavy seas.(Yes I know they can handle it but on rough days we use upturned cats as Gybe marks.(Not to wind them up but to keep an eye on them)
Yellow Pages might be more efficient but I believe it was a Proa. (ie one direction) They wouldn`t dream of launching it in 30 knots + (or in any swell) (Think it has been known to "explode" when over sailed.(ie broke up)
How can you tell me other craft can even start to compete. Yes long distance .If you need to sleep on it !!!
Tell me one other craft that can sail in waves at Rosneighr (Sorry Spelling) one day and then scream down a speed course at 35knots next.(On same rig too) Oh and then play on flat water in 15 knots. (with a bigger rig)Yep a Kiteboard.But thats NOT sailing.
If this were not case I would sail other craft.

Perhaps it would do the sport good if more of us pushed these qualities rather than the ones its not so good at ; the light wind bit.

C249
30th January 2008, 07:18 AM
Your taste, Floyd, leads you to sail a boat that performs brilliantly when it comes to certain things, and very poorly when it comes to others. You say it's good because it can do some things and ignore the fact that (1) it's terrible at other things (2) lots of people don't want to do those things and therefore other craft are better for them.

Some people don't give a rats about doing 37 knots, because they love carving through light winds so they get craft that do that. Some people think that sailing in surf is a walk in the park compared to encountering a gale hundreds of miles offshore, so they get craft that do that. Some people want to experience the fascination of manipulating boat, sails, body and mind in a strict OD race in all conditions, so they get a craft that can you do that. How can you say that the craft of these people "can't compete" in fitness for purpose? They give their sailors joy, and that's what they are for. All these choices are valid and the craft that do them well are at least as good as a waveboard.

I've built waveboards and speedboards and wasn't a bad wavesailor (good enough to get into the prizes, although the then World Cup champ knocked me out second round in my last comp) and I understand the fascination of speed and waves, but there is a lot more to sailing and the other choices made by intelligent knowledgeable people are just as valid as yours. Oh, and a Kona One gets quite close to 37 knots, can sail okay in the surf, AND is useful for the things your board can't do - why is it inferior just because it's an allrounder?

"We all think we sail the best thing afloat". Really? Many sailors I know are very aware
that what they happen to sail is what happens to suit them in their current circumstances, and that other craft are just as good in other situations.

My Laser is one of the two best things afloat for me AT THE MOMENT. I accept that if my situation changes it won't be. My shortboards used to be the best things when I was into shortboarding. My Int Canoe or D2 are certainly NOT the best things afloat for most people most of the time. My yacht's just not as good as a custom boat I'd like. This is called reality.

I think the "silly course" remark displays your attitude neatly. I know or know of extremely intelligent succesful people who love racing around courses. Some are professional musos, some are internationally-known scientists, multimillionaire businessmen, highly succesful parents, some are top-class specialist surgeons who donate a lot of their time to charitable causes. Yet according to you, one of the leading passions in the lives of these people is "silly".

Just because you, Floyd, do not happen to enjoy something does not make it "silly". You have captured the essence of the problem - a lack of respect for the views, tastes and experience of the sailors and creators of other types of craft, whether they are longboarders, dinghy sailors, cat sailors or kiters.

But anyway, I'm outta here. Have it your way - your taste is the only valid taste, a waveboard is much better than Joyon's world-girdling tri, or an IACC boat, or a skiff, and anyone who actually likes windsurfing in light winds is a misguided moron.

Unregistered
30th January 2008, 10:39 AM
I like windsurfing

Unregistered
30th January 2008, 11:03 AM
Windsurfing has some passionate people and definitely some interesting debates. This debate is an interesting one which no-doubt has many hidden agendas. I constantly ask myself how come windsurfing declined in the 80's & 90's'? and I'm sorry Floyd but I agree with c249.

Floyd
30th January 2008, 06:37 PM
You dont have to apologise about not agreeing with me. I`m used to it !!

Think poster 18 reads a great deal between lines .I do not hold other craft/ sailors in such low regard.((The "silly" comnt re- courses was not called for. Apologies)
However;
Just begs the question why on earth is poster 18 windsurfing ?? He extols the vitues of all other craft;fails to see the real qualities of a good allound board ; pushes lightwind sailing and then questions why sport is in decline (Is it really ????) If it is its becaue we dont shout enough about how great boards acually are !

On any objective measure the modern allround board (eg Kombat/Goya FXR`s/Hawk etc) are truly amazing. And my point was that they can do the 37 knots and still play about carving flat water and play in waves. Poster 18 insults my opinions but does not objecively answer any of my points. ? What other sailing craft can do the things my Kombat can ??
(apart fom other boards)
Answer . None.
I`ve tried sailig dinghies (and cats) in waves / surf. Its horrendous.I`ve sailed big yachts. Its boring.I`ve raced around buoys on Sunays.Its frustrating.Cant afford an ocean going Tri-maran.Dont enjoy light wind sailing. I just want to windsurf in F4 +. (like other 80% of windsurfers)


If you could only choose only one craft to ever sail again what would it be ?

I`d choose my Kombat.(105) (And be very happy with it)

What would you choose poster 18 ???

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 01:35 AM
Poster 18 reminds me of the politician who promotes safe sex and family values from his brothel.
If you are really interested in promoting/developing lightwind WINDSURFING sell the laser and race your mates on a Div 2 (or even a Serenity)

I also think you have an axe to grind/chip on your shoulder about something. Rekon its your yacht.Ditch it and use the money to finance some hoidays to high wind resorts.(For some real sailing)

Floyd is a bit insulting but in his way he is promoting the sport. It is a windsurf site afterall.

Ken
31st January 2008, 03:58 AM
Wow,

What a wild ride. Nothing really new here that hasn't been hashed over a few times during the last decade, but it's good to see some emotion. Lots of possible reasons for the decline since the 80's, but nothing really obvious where the sport (sailors, shops, distributors, manufactures) could make specific changes to build the numbers.

I think the sport is somewhat complicated, confusing and challenging for the average person considering a physically active water sport or similar dryland activity. This may not reflect reality, but I think it is the perception. It is simply a tough sell.

Regardless, there will always be windsurfing and I will do it as long as my body will allow it. There is alway a challenge on the horizon regardless of one's ability, which is why it appeals to so many of us.

Yesterday in Dallas, TX, we had winds up to 59 mph (95 KPH), with 6 local airports reporting gusts over 50. One of our locals braved the 45 degree F water, 50 degree F air and gave it a go on a 3.7. His report is below, taken from our club website forum (North Texas Wind Riders).

"Wow, with the cold water temps it felt to dangerous to stay out for very long. The few runs were wild and the swell running down the lake pretty big. The max gust we recorded in the parking lot was 57, jumping to 52-55 each time we reset the anemometer. My 3.7 was way to big and seemed like a 2.0 or less would of worked (not sure that exists around here). Hope we get another one of these days in March when the water is a little warmer."

If I had only had my longboard---------------------

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 04:01 AM
Check out this sailing community working together.......

http://www.windsurfingafrica.org/PhotoGalleries/tabid/282/ctl/SlideShow/mid/663/ItemID/1146/Default.aspx


ha ha ha

Floyd
31st January 2008, 05:30 AM
"Although it might be considered a minimalistic version of a sailboat, a windsurfer offers experiences that are outside the scope of any other sailing craft design. A windsurfer holds the world speed record for sailing craft (see below); and, windsurfers can perform jumps, inverted loops, spinning maneuvers, and other "freestyle" moves that cannot be matched by any sailboat. Windsurfers were the first to ride the world's largest waves, such as Jaws on the island of Maui,".

Not a bad promotion !!!

Its there in THE Encyclopedia for C249/Poster 18 or anyone else to read.
It sort of agrees with me ???

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 06:20 AM
This thread seems to have been taken over by the egos of certain individuals and losts its focus, guys sticking your egos out there is extremely boring, you have bored me shitless!!!!!!!!!!

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 07:04 AM
I have found this discussion very interesting. What's wrong with expressing you ego. Do you not respect anyone's opinion or only your own.

pierrec45
31st January 2008, 07:51 AM
Reviewing all this, there's nothing wrong with egos and opinions.

It's wrong to state that C249 only promotes lightwind windsurfing, I didn't see that in his posts. I know a bit of his pedigree (having spent most of my windsurfing life in Australia) and know he's the one with a track record at all levels, on all kind of boards, amongst posters.

Personally, not being seaside nor in Australia these days, and not having been in Hatteras and Hawaii in a long time, I get to see mostly inland North America. What I see is people buying lotsa gear much like women at work change clothes style. For the same reason too: magazines told them so.

We can pretend and wank all we want that we sail as fast and well as the pros in Hawaii because we own fancy gear and sail at 90% their speed.

Personally, I find windsurfing is a sport, a way of life, a healthy habit. I wanna spread it, go out in strong wind and waves, else still perfect my skills in low wind, that I can use in strong wind, and so on.

Here's a final note: at the Mistral World's southern hemisphere, Botany Bay 1990 (I'm pretty sure the year, but from memory), my then-partner couldn't believe that all the pros would all go out in low wind in the morning to practice stuff - she thought I was alone doing that. Good guys wanna go out, have fun, improve, spread the gospel. They were also awesome in the arvo seabreeze, by the way.

The sport should not be a Tupperware wanking party, where guys spend their summer comparing their brand new gear comes spring.

Go out, have fun, above all, freestyle. And do what you want with this post.

For some, don't forget to renew your gear - the magazines' board reviews at the newsagent are telling you so. All that gear will make a lot faster again this year.

Poster 18
31st January 2008, 08:39 AM
Hell, drawn in again.

I really can't see how someone who is defending other people's opinions, creations and tastes (ie the right of people to prefer other sections of sailing and the efficiency and beauty of their craft) is showing off an ego. Surely the ones who are saying that THEIR favourite type of sailng and craft is "THE best" are the ones taking their ego for a stroll? Surely saying "other intelligent and educated people's opinions are as valid as yours or mine" - which is what I'm trying to say - is not being up yourself?

"If you are really interested in promoting/developing lightwind WINDSURFING sell the laser and race your mates on a Div 2 (or even a Serenity)"

I do promote light wind WINDSURFING. Over the last couple of years I've taken over running a WINDSURFING class that's good in light winds. With great assistance from others, the class is growing strongly. New fleets have been formed in two states. One new fleet has been formed in another. Three new fleets, with more to come, have been formed in a third state. There's a kid's division; it's great to see 15 or more kids out there having a ball and getting their parents to buy them gear.

When some of us are getting all that done, bringing in lots of new sailors into the sport and getting old ones back out, what's wrong with also indulging in another love of mine? What have you done for the sport lately, to allow you to tell others what to do with their time and money?

"I also think you have an axe to grind/chip on your shoulder about something. Rekon its your yacht.Ditch it and use the money to finance some hoidays to high wind resorts.(For some real sailing)"

I do have a chip on the shoulder - it's with people who think that only THEIR view of the sport is correct and valid. Since when was doing light wind windsurfing, offshore races or cruising with the family "not real sailing"? Oh, and last holiday in a high wind resort was 3 weeks ago, and my best in what you call "real sailing" was 5th in a world's event so I DO know its joys. All I'm saying is that other forms of windsurfing and sailing, and the craft that do them, are just as valid and wonderful as shortboarding.

If you really loved the sport of windsurfing, why do you think that only a bit of it is
"real sailing"? Wouldn't a real lover of the sport accept that it has many facets and that some are great even if they don't interest them personally? Personally I think people who can't accept that others have different tastes are the ones who need analysis.

Yes Floyd, a shortboard can do things no other sailing craft can do. There are also things that it cannot do and therefore it isn't "better" for all purposes. An 18 Foot Skiff can do things a shortboard and other craft can do; so can a Dragon, a Windusrfer One Design, a VO 70, a Raceboard, foiler Moth, FW, hell a Mirror or Sunfish can do things no other craft can do. What matters surely is whether it does what it does well and whether that makes people happy.

You say I insult your opinions but look at the insults you have flung at others. Big yachts are "boring" - so those who find more challenge in (say) running bow in a Fastnet gale on a VO 70 or S38 are wrong, are they? Either it's boring - in which case many many thousands of people around the world (and the TV audiences who watch their exploits in far greater numbers than watch windsurfing) are misguided idiots, or they have different tastes to you. I'm sure it's the latter and we should respect the preferences of those who happen to like things other than sailing shortboards, whether their love is light wind longboarding, FW sailing, or whatever.

Many of the yachties I know are or were windsurfers - they know the joys of windsurfing very well but they find other joys in big boats. Some love the power. Some love the teamwork. Some love the thrill of doing something much more dangerous than wavesailing. Some love the technology, or the wild contact with the elements you get when you're not a short swim or sail away from your comfy car and sheltering shore.

I no longer race big boats either, but to just say all those people are wrong and that it is "boring" seems to be putting you and your tastes in a very exalted position.

There's many things a motocross bike can do that your Fireblade can't - does that mean your Fireblade is a POS and no one should promote that area of bikes, or does it mean that they have different and equal appeals?

Why do I windsurf? Because I love the sport so much. I love being able to rig in 6 minutes and slide efficiently across glassy water in a near calm, then instantly flip into a testing freestyle trick. I love watching the kids in our kids class pick up a joy that will last them a lifetime, which they could not do around here if they were restricted to one limited vision of the sport. I love racing with my mates, knowing that were are testing each other's ability to see and anticipate the subtle changes in the wind, and to adjust board, rig and body every millisecond to ensure that each is moving in harmony with wind, waves and water. I love leaning into a hard, carving gybe, with the water furrowed deep and the G forces mounting as the sail snaps over at just the right time. I love the bottom turn, looking up at the leach, slicing the rail into the face and then looking to the lip; and launching weightlessly into space. I loved the screaming reaches on my speed boards. I love the upwind slice of a Raceboard, and the way that long, elegant nose hangs in the air on planing reaches. I love delicate slicing/carving of a D2 on a rail (and there's a board that proves that light wind windsurfing can be totally efficient).

There's so many different reasons to love this sport that I just can't see why people cannot accept that others people prefer different aspects to them. That fundamentalist "what I personally like today is right and what you like is boring and innefficient and inferior" just doesn't compute.

"fails to see the real qualities of a good allound board" - rubbish, I've sailed those boards to a much higher level than most people and know their qualities damn well. All I'm saying is that other boards and other craft are just as good in their different ways. The waveboard can do many things incredibly well, it can do many things incredibly badly. Therefore it, and the sailing it brings, are just as good as any other form of sailing that someone loves.

"If you could only choose only one craft to ever sail again what would it be ?"

It's a choice I would honestly hate to make. I would probably choose a Raceboard - but there's no damn way that I would abuse and insult anyone who chose a Skiff, waveboard, Formula board, cat, big boat, National 12 dinghy, old gaffer, Volvo 70 or speed board that their personal preference was inferior or "boring".

The type of windsurfing you do could be very, very dull by the standards of someone used to sailing Jaws to the level of a top pro. You love it, therefore it is not "boring" - but why not allow other people to like what they enjoy - whether its sailing an 18 Foot Skiff under assy kite, or an old Dufour Wing in 8 knots, or a custom-made racing dinghy in 12 knots on the Thames - without insulting them and the excellence of their craft too.

Ken, I agree that the perception of the sport is complicated, confusing and challenging. That's why I think it could be good for the sport to push (IN ADDITION TO ITS CURRENT IMAGE) the side of the sport that is less complicated; less confusing; and in some ways less challenging.

Why present only one image when we can present more?

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 09:12 AM
Hi all,

this is one of the most interesting discussions i have followed.
1- The original topic stated windsurfing was growing. I agree, and numbers say the same thing. And that makes me feel happy.

2- Why windsurfing is growing and why I expect it will grow more? well, my answer is simple, despite there are many choices in the light wind scene...windsurfing is having new fans in the light wind scene. Today the rate of light winds windsurfing sailors is growing fast and stable while 5 years ago it was negative.

3- About the future of hi wind windsurfing, I think is stable and will be in the next years but with a tendency to grow as new people is starting windsurfing in the light scene and that is a step to try hi wind windsurfing. So, I think we will see more people in some years.

Windsurfing is a mature sport with 25 000 000 people sailing in the world. And this numbers is still growing.

About exact examples, yes are places like Bonaire that are not in any place in the world, but still, their example is really motivating, and when something is good, why not immitate it.

In 1 week we are going to have in Peru a Freestyle camp, 2 days hi wind and 1 day light wind and CAESAR FINIES from Bonaire is coming to be the instructor. He is one of the best innovators of light wind freestyle. I think after that...a new story will be written in Peru again, and after the good story we are writing each day here on windsurfing.
As a conclusion, 5 years ago I never saw the opportunity of organizing a light wind freestyle clnic in a 5-8 knot spot...no one will register...today, the its another story.

Just follow the leaders and you will feel fine, happy and will enjoy more your sport!

One more thing...I bet to organize combinated events light wind freestyle (10 knots or less) with Formula events (10+ knots). That will make people enjoy more an event if wind is not good. And I bet you to plan in one year not only a formula or course champ, but a light wind freestyle nationals... and why not think in 1 year in a light wind freestyle Worlds?
For hi winds we share formula, slalom, freestyle, wave, and so others...for light windsurf just have raceboard...why not to have the other recreational side on events.
A fever will come, just look at it.

best luck!
Ricardo Guglielmino

Floyd
31st January 2008, 12:09 PM
I all sincerity poster 18 I do apologise if my comments offend; which they obviosly do.
If we were speaking you would probably realise many things I say are not in jest but with tongue in cheek.Your responses show you care deeply for all apects of the sport.(and sailing in general)
My guilt is only really caring for windsurfing. (and in ALL its forms) Lightwind included.

I think the lightwind kit is already as good as its going to get and it would be more successful NOW if people wanted to do it. (To be honest I do not think the Serenity will be popular (numbers wise)but I hope I`m proved wrong)
We will never see the numbers as we had in the 80`s. I don`t want to.

I have spent hours. (no years) drifting around "silly bouys" myself. I should have spent that time doing something else. (IMHO) I found/find people wanting to be first back to clubhouse after sailing around bouys both a little futile and egotistical.So I stopped doing it.
Thats my opinion. You won¬t change it.
It does not mean I think those still dong it are morons.Quite the reverse; they were loads better dinghy sailors than me.(And always lighter; and generally more intelligent and better paid !!!)
I`ve never felt I`ve wasted any of my time sailing in F4 + on my board.My time on Yachts was wasted.

I think you perhaps take it a touch too seriously; its our leisure time.

This debate is fantastic;definitely the best I`ve read since SB reorganised site but it has drifted into an argument.

Pretty sure we both love the sport. Yes we have differences of opinion but so what ?

I accept some of your aruments.Not all.

Windsurfing to my mind IS the best sailing sport bar none.Sorry but thats what I think.
It is a WS site. We are here to promote interest/argument/debate in WINDSURFING. Not Dinghies/Cats/Lasers/Trimarans/Offshore Yachts or the likes.
I hate golf.Its a stupid game.Are you perhaps going to defend golfers ??

If I really thought any particular sailing craft could give more time/ enjoyment than my board I would have one.(If funds permitted) I`ve tried them all over years. Nothing but Nothing even comes close. Tomorrow if given the choice between a good day at coast on my 105 in 6 metre weather and a day on Yellow Pages I would choose board. It would be an easy decision too.

Wish we could have a days real sailing together. (ie On a board (each; you aint sharing mine)not on some poncy cat)


Each to his own.

Sell all your other sailing kit and spend the money on new SB kit.

Floyd
31st January 2008, 12:45 PM
Was going to write this but forgot after reading P18 ??
Any how
One thing which has really helped with our time on water which no one has mentioned is the far better forecasts now available.

25 years ago wind prediction was abysmal.Now its not.
Hell; there are so many places to get forecasts from (Windfinder/Windguru/Met/BBC/ etc etc) that you can always find exactly the forecast you want to justify the trip.

Even coastguard can now tell you what it is doing when you phone him.(I reckon 20 years ago they used to try and put you off coming; either increasing or decreasing what it was really doing )

Seriously though it has had a big effect. They are not far off now.It is getting possible to plan events ahead with sme measure of success around the desired wind. (Dave White organisig one at moment ??? and its looking good)

However,I`ve been informed Windguru record their Archive from Forecast ; which seems barmy.Its got to effect choices of venue.They should record acual otherwise places seem loads windier than they are.

Forecasting has improved.Its got to help.

Poster 18
31st January 2008, 01:10 PM
Thanks for that, Flod, honestly, and you make some very good points, Floyd. And yep, communication on the net is difficult.

Yes, I do get irate (that's obvious....my tagline should be "light fuse then stand weeeellllll back :-0) when I think people are attacking other forms of the sport; yep I do go over the top and I apologise for that. I am passionate about a sport or sports that has meant a lot of me and was my livelihood for years and hopefully in the future. Switching from type to type as I do may mean being able to see the good in every type of sailing or windsurfing, and the "only my way is any good" approach does so much damage that it hits me deeply. Or perhaps I was just dropped on my head as a baby :-)

Sure, this is a windsurfing site. I think the boats crept in when someone said we should be sailing boats rather than boards in light stuff whereas people like me find a board to be just as good in light stuff especially if that's what we're into at the time for all sorts of reasons (time, family, geographic, social, kids, novelty,competition etc).

However, we can surely learn quite a bit of stuff from boats; particularly sea kayaking and some dinghies. You're right, the numbers of the '80s are gone and that's a good thing in many ways.

I've used plenty of brand-new gear recently. I really like the modern wider shortboards; (those '90s DSBs etc never suited me, personally, I didn't like the lack of bottom end) but they're not for what I'm into at the moment. If I really thought it was worth it for me at the moment, I'd have it.

I think that all I, and those who feel like me, want is just for that "each to his own" approach you mention to be the norm. We don't want to convert you to light winds, we just want people to stop abusing that area of the sport.

Floyd, I honestly hope you have a great season now you're getting winter winds.


Ricardo, it's great to hear what's happening in Peru. We've always had light-wind freestyle competitions and I think they're great, but then again I admit I'm biased in that respect.

Like you, we all want high wind windsurfing to grow again, and like you some of us think that light wind windsurfing can only help that to happen.

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 01:27 PM
The ego's thing was me, sorry.

Some good stuff was said, it just got repetitive and personal, that's why I referred to ego's, but some intelligent points were made by all, sorry for the ego comment.

Floyd
31st January 2008, 03:28 PM
Nice one P18 and P88
Thanks
Good sailing to you all.

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 06:55 PM
Can we now continue with growing the sport of windsurfing? any way we won't.

Unregistered
31st January 2008, 06:56 PM
I mean want

Floyd
31st January 2008, 07:02 PM
Does sound a bit arrogant to simply say WS will never see numbers we had in 80`s without an explantion.
Here goes.
When a beginner comes to any new sport(or activity) they ask themselves (at some stage) 4 fundamental questions;
1) Can they afford it ?
2) Is it safe ? (enough for them and situation they are in)
3) Will it be exciting , challenging; enjoyable or whatever floats your boat.
4) Is it accessable ? (for them mentally; physically and geographically)

If the answer is "yes" to each question they stay in sport.
If they get a "no" they are likely to leave.

Mass appeal sports must easily answer yes to all.Try fishing /football/Golf.

Going back to mid/late 70`s we all had sailing in our minds somewhere.Gypsy Moth had sailed around world but yacht sailing was a "no" for most on Q1.We all seemed to know someone who`s brother or Dad or Uncle had built a mirror dinghy.But to be fair much as it was a fanastic little boat and had provided enjoyment for many it wasn`t ; well sexy. Saatchi and Saatchi certainly would not have advertised it. It wasn`t really accesable; trailers; clubs ;rigging derigging.It got a no on q4 for most.
But yet thousands were wanting more than football.Hangliding ; well my teacher killed himself doing that. Waterskiing; well yes but clubs; observer; driver: trailer :storage. If you were really motivated well great.Snow Skiing ? Drive to Scotland ? Just on holidays ? Probably but what about rest of year and it wasn`t cheap.
Windsurfing was in its infancy but for (as Clarkson would say) beardie wierdos.But then we all saw old big ears himsef sailing.I`m pretty convinced Prince Charles being seen on tele windsurfing was turning point. (Was it 77?)
Is it cheap ? Yep
Is it safe ? Yep must be. They wouldn`t let Charlie boy do it otherwise.
Is it challenging ; exciting.? Too right it is.Its faster than those dinghies ! I actually thought (at time) it was faster / more exciting in lighter winds than my 505.So did nearly everyone else.They¬d already beaten most (common) dinghies in top speed.
Is it accesable ? Could not be more.
Ideal sport then. (And it was at the time)
Thousands jumped on bandwagon.
We were all learning together.Trying to get through that F4 barrier. A whole generation took to the water;almost simultaneously.(79 to 83) You could not book lessons.Booked up May to October.
And we all got through barrier together. (Roughly)
Problem was to keep interest in sub F3 we had to race.Loads did fo a while but slowly this was becoming a minority.Question 3 was getting lots of no`s.
So we`ll sail in strong winds.
Well New Waves and Chapters are better for that.Dont like racing so loads sold big kit and bought smaller boards.(On a trip to Cornwall !!!)
Then the maths starts.
In UK I reckon we get (about) 30% F4 + days. 30% of 365 is loads.Thats above 100 days a year. Yep but you work Monday to Friday; So only have 52 weekends; thats 104 days which gives me 30 days sailing. Yep but its freeszing for a third of year so we are now down to 20 days a year. But my holidays. They were for kids.
All of a sudden entire sport gets a "no" for accessability.Unless you have a job where you can work 9 til F3+ you are strugging.Unless you want to race; but you can do that in Dinghies.
Hence it will always be a great minority sport for either those that want to race or those that have such flexible lifstyles that they can arrange them around the wind.

Lowering the threshold has helped.We get more sailing days.
But the bulge was actually caused by us not unerstanding exactly what WS was.
People now know.
Its not kites; its not people in charge;its not magazines (For a while they tried to stop us sailing short boards.
Quote from "ON Board circa 1980
"The vast magority of sailors will never achieve required standard to sail sinkers" (Or something very similar)

Sorry its boring.
Should write a book !

I have the flexible lifestyle now but struggling with Q4.

Floyd
31st January 2008, 07:12 PM
PS I`m glad you`ve changed it to "want" Didnt understand it before.

A bit like "Highest Ranking Officer" in Life Of Bwian ??

Bill
1st February 2008, 05:19 AM
[QUOTE=pierrec45;18341

For some, don't forget to renew your gear - the magazines' board reviews at the newsagent are telling you so. All that gear will make a lot faster again this year.[/QUOTE]

Hi pierrec,

Cheer up.

Are you jealous of people who can afford new gear and leave you in their tracks?

Poster 18 C249
1st February 2008, 08:00 AM
I think Floyd's on the money with much of his analysis. I still can't go sailing (bronchitis) so I'll rave on about his four points;

"When a beginner comes to any new sport(or activity) they ask themselves (at some stage) 4 fundamental questions;
1) Can they afford it ?
2) Is it safe ? (enough for them and situation they are in)
3) Will it be exciting , challenging; enjoyable or whatever floats your boat.
4) Is it accessable ? (for them mentally; physically and geographically)"

I think we should also add

1a) "Is it promoted enough for me to hear about it and is that promotion positive or negative?" (I realise that some sort of promotion comes before Floyd's 1-4).

ie the promotion of "funboards", as Ken Winner (one of the world's fastest and most advanced windsurfers of the time) inherently made old-style "workboards" seem daggy (nerdy) and old fashioned. Yes, some of the magazines put in the occasional caveat about the limitations of "funboarding" but they got very much submerged beneath the wave pics, speed articles, and ads promoting the "new style".

One example would be a chart from Jeremy Evans' windsurfing book which was also produced in Boards. The chart showed how a sailor would move to a smaller and smaller board as they became more experienced. Nowhere in this chart was there any concession to wind conditions etc - the message was that someone living in London, working 9-5 and sailing on Queen Mary every second Sunday just HAD to move to a sinker..... I've gone through my old mag collection and the "you must go funboarding" messages greatly outnumbered the "it's not perfect for everyone" warnings.

With respect, Prince Charles' windsurfing didn't do much to lift the profile in the USA, Germany, France, (the biggest two markets), the Asia/Pacific etc. But we still saw lots of stuff promoting windsurfing as a fun beach activity; it was covered in women's magazines etc so people saw that it covered your 4 points and my extra one.

I agree that most windsurfers didn't want to race. For a start, racing dropped the ball because we were racing like boats yet boards inherently create a bigger gap between the top sailors and the rest. The middle and back of the fleet can get discouraged because courses set for the good guys are too hard for them and the good guys get too far ahead. We didn't handle that gap well.

And many of the fast longboards were too hard to handle for Joe and Joanna Average, who may love the sport but also have a family and career outside windsurfing (unlike most of those leading the industry and competitions). This is a recurring story in sailing - classes develop too far for the keen weekend warrior. So the racing side dropped the ball.

However, like you say most people weren't going to race. But does that really mean they were going to get bored? Look at the number of people day sailing on yachts. Look at the 8 million kayaks sold each year in the USA. The windsurfer is a great thing for messing about in harbours, gunkholing, cruising across the bay to a picnic spot like yachts and sea kayaks do. We almost totally missed that side of the sport, partly because it's harder to highlight its appeal in a glamour ad or centrefold. While we wouldn't have sold 8 million cruisng boards pa, we could have had a hell of a lot of people out there having fun if we'd taken our eyes away from the blasting and racing.

But we put all our inventiveness and energy into developing just one aspect of the sport, and we largely ignored the needs of the average sailor - even the average longboard racer is sailing on lakes and dams on gear basically designed for pros to race offshore in strong/medium winds. I find it interesting that many sailors on the Boards forum say they still can't gybe well after 15 or so years - maybe even B&J gear is too exotic.

I still don't think we "didn't understand what WS is" because what we were doing was exactly what the creators of the sport, and the vastly greater number who did it then, thought that windsurfing WAS. It's like the fact that skiing is still skiing (X-C, alpine whatever) despite the fact that extreme skiing has arrived. Sailing is still sailing although a 90' tri or 49er are not like boats of the 1800s or 1950s. It would seem illogical that the Aussies and Americans who still sail original Windsurfers are not "windsurfing".

Again, let's let "windsurfing" become open once more to all its facets, because the versatility of this amazing sport is one of its greatest aspects.


Bill, those of us who are not interested in updating every year are not necessarily jealous, or poor. We just don't always want to, for various reasons.

Personally, I just cannot see the point in getting excited about going past someone because I'm on 2008 gear and he's on 2007 gear, or the wrong brand. What is the point? There's no challenge in walking down to the shop and laying down a small plastic card to get a big new plastic sheet. Sure, I may go a bit faster but to me speed is relative (in the same way that I don't get excited about doing 120km down the freeway or 800km in a 747) so that doesn't count.

I'm fascinated by chopping into some of my own gear to make it quicker within certain parameters, but have little interest in handing the mortgage over to someone else to do the same job.

I really notice a mindset difference between my strict one design gear and my development gear. When I'm sailing development gear, my mind is often on how well it works, but sometimes it's also on the flaws - is that fin too small? Is that leach too tight? That pointing's not good enough, is it? And of course, a lot of the time my mind is going "ohhh man this stuff is good".

In contrast, sailing the OD gear all the flaws are a given, can't be changed, and therefore can be ignored. It's a zen-like acceptance that the world, and my windsurfer, is not perfect. Perhaps the board doesn't balance well in a big breeze, but hey y'know, sometimes the sky isn't always a perfect blue either. Perhaps the fin is too small but how does that rate as a flaw in the world compared to the environment.... Maybe I could do with a looser leach but if I'm going to get annoyed about that I may as well get annoyed about the fact that the wind is fluctating from 13 to 17 knots and not the ideal 19.65 the board and I are best in. I'm windsurfing, the world is beautiful, if I start worrying about the broadseaming where will the criticism stop?

Development can also cause problems - my development gear is harder to rig, normally a lot more expensive (although it may be worth it in many respects) and it's often developed for people sailing in conditions better than the ones I normally sail in. So for some (not all!) of us, less "developed" gear is just more fun.

This weekend I'll be racing one guy with a $5 mill house and another guy whose immediate family is (depending on stock market moves) the richest in the country and whose father owns the world's fastest ocean racing monohull. They can afford to sail development gear but they love the simplicity and challenge of sailing on a level playing field.

Of course, some people I know look at it the other way around - they can't ignore the problems with OD gear and they love the challenge of improving stuff. That's great, it's a game I play with some of my gear, but it's not the ONLY game in town.

it's great that there are people like you who like to develop stuff, but there are plenty of people who act as if buying newer gear puts them on a higher plane and that's just not true.

Poster 18/C249
1st February 2008, 08:12 AM
Just a quick apology for the length of my post; I forget you can't edit on the forum.

The brief summary for those who don't have 30 minutes - lots of what Floyd says seems right but I submit that we can grow the sport by catering more for the average sailor and light winds (cruising, freestyle, potering about, racing, whatever). BTW many more people race dinghies in the UK and other countries so it can't bee too baad if it's properly done.

Floyd
1st February 2008, 09:08 PM
Hi P18

Just a quck reply.(Well it was going to be)
I do really agree with loads of what you have to say.
Just 2 things I would like point out.
You mention we did know in early days what WS was.
We might have but had not got a clue what it was capable of.
I dont think anyone in around 1980 (depends where you were really) would ever have guessed where sport would be in just a decade. (or less)
The sport I started in (like everyone) in 1978 (ish) was definitely Sailboarding.
Some pioneering individual somewhere had brainwave to try (and persevere) with our rigs on what was effecively a Surfboard.On that day a new sport was invented ..Windurfing .
The sport (of Sailboarding) did not "develop" into this.In early days everyboard (fom major players)were 360 + cm.The custom waveboard builders built really small stuff (relativley) and there wasn`t stuff in between.It was one or the other. We had to drive 250 miles (To NewWaves/Chapter) to purchase "small boards".Which were surf board designs enlarged.
At that point we all started almost again, in a new sport.(Waterstarting/footsteering/Carving etc)

I do think it would have been beneficial if this distinction had been maintained.
The Div2 is the extreme of Saiboarding (along with perhaps the Serenity) with the small waveboard the extreme end of "Windsurfing".In the middle the sports overlap both in designs and skills.
Why not have both sports represented at Olympics ???
But really how can it be expected for any organisaion (or bsinss)to promote both ends of the Spectrum of the single sport without showing bias .We should have realised and accepted the monumental differences (skills/accesability/performance) and set up bodies to promote each sport.Not just the one !
Effectively "Sailboarding" (ie a small boat on which you stand and steer with the rig) was "killed off".(The word I mean)
Windsurfing (A large surf board with a sail which you steer with your feet) was deemed "The Sport". Sailboarding which we all start off doing was demoted;forgotten.
(Magazine even changed its name)

In a way this is agreeing enirely with your view.
Promote "Sailboarding" ??? Bring it back.(It never really disappeared but ???)
Think you get my point.
There are two distinct sports. (As different as Rugby is from Football)
Its like we are trying to just call Rugby and Football "Ballgame".
Take care. (PS I`ve got a bad neck !!)

Bill
2nd February 2008, 01:25 AM
Guys this thread is really amusing.

You are all now trying to be nice to each other while sticking the knife in.

The bottom line is light wind windsurfing is incredibly boring.

The majority of people prefer high windsurfing.

Its as simple as that.

Screamer
2nd February 2008, 01:50 AM
Bill

That wink in your title is no excuse for what you wrote after ("sticking the knife";"incredibly boring";"majority of people prefer this or that").

If you don't like the discussion, nobody's forcing you to participate.

It's as simple as that.

Bil
2nd February 2008, 03:18 AM
Bill

That wink in your title is no excuse for what you wrote after ("sticking the knife";"incredibly boring";"majority of people prefer this or that").

If you don't like the discussion, nobody's forcing you to participate.

It's as simple as that.

I love the discussion.

I feel the majority of people like high wind windsurfing and think that light wind windsurfing is boring.

It's only my feeling and of course I am always ready to be proved wrong.

Unregistered
2nd February 2008, 06:31 AM
Boredom is not something that exists in the physical universe. Boredom is only a perception it exists in peoples minds, it is a stateof mind. Maybe you have a mind that is boring. Light Wind Windsurfing is not boring, only some people will perceive it as boring because of the way they perceive the world, it is what they tell themselves about the world.

Floyd
2nd February 2008, 06:38 AM
No Bill ; think we were trying to accept that all sides are entitled to an opinion yet still contribute their own ; without insuling others.

I haven`t agreed with a lot of what P18 has said but its a pity not all sailors are as enthusiastic and as well informed.

Come on Bill give us a break and make a worthwhile contribution.
You know ; one about the topic.

steveC
2nd February 2008, 11:29 AM
When I witnessed high wind windsurfing in 1984, I was sold on a commitment to investing in the sport. Although it took me probably almost a year to pull it off (nobody was leading me in this, as it was solely a personal decision in a void of support), my first kit was an 11'10" F2 Strato with a 5.7 high aspect RAF sail.

However, I must emphasize that I didn't start in the old "Windsurfer" days (that focus wouldn't have ever caught my attention and eventual dedication). While I sailed a longboard to learn and grow in the sport (I was smart enough to know, I had to start that way), the ultimate goal was always moving towards a smaller board and a more technical/planing outcome. Believe or not, some have been attracted to windsurfing because of the more interesting planing side of the sport.

Some like me gravitated to windsurfing because of the short board opportunities, because the earlier non-planing side to the windsurfing concept really had no foothold on my interests. I came from surfing, so the sailing (racing) or true lightwind orientation was never a turning or starting point.

While I've hung tough on the planing side of the sport for over 22 years, I'm now wanting to augment my outlook and focus to include the high performance/low wind opportunities offered by the Serenity concept. While I can't say yet that the low wind game will capture my soul, I'm now quite willing to open the door. Still, no racing here, but a bit of adventure and awesome exploration potential is at hand. Quite frankly, I'm enthusiastic about the option, and I don't think that I will be bored.

Although I will never veer from the high energy side of windsurfing, I'm thinking that there are other inviting options to increase my days on the water. Imagination and new opportunities are interesting doors to explore.

Unregistered
2nd February 2008, 02:41 PM
Try and tell my 11 yo old son light wind windsurfing is boring, he wouldn't know what you were talking about, he's too enthralled by it all, you can't wipe the smile off his face.............. "Light wind windsurfing is Boring By Bill the Dill", It's just your thick head mate, it's not open enough

Screamer
2nd February 2008, 04:42 PM
I do think it would have been beneficial if this distinction had been maintained.
The Div2 is the extreme of Saiboarding (along with perhaps the Serenity) with the small waveboard the extreme end of "Windsurfing".In the middle the sports overlap both in designs and skills.
Why not have both sports represented at Olympics ???
But really how can it be expected for any organisaion (or bsinss)to promote both ends of the Spectrum of the single sport without showing bias .We should have realised and accepted the monumental differences (skills/accesability/performance) and set up bodies to promote each sport.Not just the one !
Effectively "Sailboarding" (ie a small boat on which you stand and steer with the rig) was "killed off".(The word I mean)
Windsurfing (A large surf board with a sail which you steer with your feet) was deemed "The Sport". Sailboarding which we all start off doing was demoted;forgotten.
(Magazine even changed its name)

In a way this is agreeing enirely with your view.
Promote "Sailboarding" ??? Bring it back.(It never really disappeared but ???)
Think you get my point.
There are two distinct sports. (As different as Rugby is from Football)
Its like we are trying to just call Rugby and Football "Ballgame".


I always thought that the idea of two windsurfing "divisions" was an interesting one, and maybe beneficial for both (see my post #51). I'm not sure these two sports are that far away though. When you are cruising on an Imco (or a Kona), you often switch between displacement and planing mode, quite unlike rugby/football ;-)

On the other hand, I can't imagine how would it all go with the official bodies/organizations. We witnessed the mess over Olympic board choice, won by RSX (although it doesn't displace well (compared to Div2), and it doesn't plane well either (compared to wide shortboards), it covers a huge range of wind conditions so there we have it). There would be a zillion questions to answer/choices to make within both hypothetical classes: pure displacement class or one with some planing performance (which we have now)? Which shortboard class would be Olympic (course racing/slalom/waves/freestyle)? All of them? Class equipment is locked (like sailing) or developed (alpine skiing)? Etc.....
With all the "street" sports gaining Olympic status over the past 10-20 years, I sometimes wonder why does it have to be so complicated with windsurfing? I don't have the answer.


Fair winds

PS C249/poster18, shoot me a mail:
screamer_bgd at yahoo dot com

Screamer
2nd February 2008, 04:44 PM
A new catchphrase born in this thread:

BOREDOM IS IN THE EYE OF A BEHOLDER

T-shirts, anyone?

Poster 18/C249
2nd February 2008, 07:18 PM
I'll email you the day after tomorrow, Screamer; sorry I didn't get to you earlier but I'm running a regatta. The strongest wind was about 5 knots, the dinghies didn't race, but we had some great sailing and the juniors and sub-juniors (under 13 years) had a ball.

PS I totally agree that many longboards, especially raceboards, flick between "windsurfing" and "sailboarding". And the original Windsurfer, handled properly, can record 25+ knots and is quite nice to flick through a full-planing duck gybe (a duck is actually the best way to keep it planing fast throughout the gybe) and isn't much worse than a modern SUP in the waves, which sort of underlines that the "division" between the two types is very blurred.

PPS - to reiterate to others, the term "sailboarding" only came about because the owners of the Windsurfer trademark wanted to keep the term out of common use as that destroys the trademark. The term "Windsurfer" definitely belongs to the original style of the sport.

Unregistered
2nd February 2008, 11:18 PM
Dont think the names are terribly important its the disticntion in usage;skills and capabilities which are.On that score Floyd has a very good point.

Perhaps it is time to accept we are involved in 2 sports.
How can you say a Serenity (which never planes BTW) is same sport as Evo 80 ???
They just arent the same sport.
They need promoting in completely different ways.

Britt
3rd February 2008, 04:34 AM
I have both a Serenity and a Evo 80. I consider them both windsurfing. Just different tools for the conditions. I enjoy them both. I assume just like golf clubs.

Bill
3rd February 2008, 05:18 AM
It’s great that people can get excited windsurfing in 4 to 8 knots of wind.

Of course some people probably get excited cutting the lawn and painting the house and that’s great too.

Poster 18/C249
3rd February 2008, 05:51 PM
A Serenity does plane; the simple facts are that it develops hydrodynamic lift that lifts it up. That's planing. Just because it may not feel like a sinker does when its planing doesn't mean that it's not planing. A hangglider doesn't feel like a 747 but both are still flying.

As Screamer says, the idea that windsurfing is different from boardsailing doesn't fly, because the middle ground is so blurred. Not only Robby Naish can loop a Raceboard; I'm told that the Olympians could do forwards on chop with their IMCOs (I missed that regatta).

A Raceboard or even a Windsurfer can carve gybe, planes at 32 knots + or 25 knots +. A SUP works well in waves; the pics of Antione looping a Kona are well known. The pioneer in modern longboard/SUP surfsailing, Jeff Henderson, says that the SUPs are very similar to an original Windsurfer in many ways, and an original Windsurfer can jump; plane; carve gybe; and sail waves; probably loop if fitted with straps.

In other words, longboards can plane fast, loop, jump, sail waves, carve.....pretty much what a shortboard can do. Wavesailing, slalom sailing and longboard racing aren't that dissimilar; I used to shift from one to the other within a few minutes. Last year alone I shifted from longboards to high-wind slalom in the time it took me to grab a board. In almost every way, the slalom sailing was similar to the sailing I would have had on the longboard. Different sport? No way.

If a board can loop, jump, carve, hit 30+ knots, plane, etc, then where do you draw the line between windsurfing and boardsailing? 3300mm length? 3000mm length? 2800mm length? 2000mm length? If you say "only boards of X length that plane in Y knots are real windsurfers" happens to the board that can do just the same sort of stuff but is X+10mm in length?

The ends of the sport are different but they are a continuum and there's no dividing line between windsurfing (the original sport, in the original spirit) and "modern" windsurfing.

Bill....well, I assume this isn't Bill Hansen as someone said, because he wouldn't be so one-eyed.

What is "living on the edge" about normal shortboard sailing? Is it dangerous? No - how many of your friends have been killed doing it? Does it always require a lot of skill? No. Does it require leading-edge thinking - nope, it's just a 25 year old idea. Does it require high-tech gear? Nope, the stuff the typical board and sail are built out of don't really rate super high in a world of ti, 3dl and high-temp pre-preg carbon over Nomex. Is it novel? Nope, it's just doing what you are told to do by the windsurfing industry.

Is it great? Yeah. Is it fun? Hell yeah. Is the gear good? You betcha.

Is it "living on the edge"? No way.

Floyd
3rd February 2008, 06:58 PM
Yet again Bill astounds us all with his incisive informed comments.

Hi C249
Sure there is massive overlap between "Windsurfing" and "Sailboarding" and yes of course there are boards that do both.Lowest volume sinker must displacement sail at some point and roundest Div 2 will eventually plane. (Not sure about Serenity; take your word for it but its only very recently that Cats plane (spitfire). Dart certainly does not. But its OT anyway. (Hull serenity was taken from does not plane with just paddling.Sea kayak will plane down a wave but not self propelled.Planing (IMO) is when upthrust exceeds weight of craft;if we accept any other definition all craft plane.ie they all experience some upthrust.)

Anyway back to point.
Moto "X" motorcycles could get around a Grand prix circuit.(Quick aswell)
Where`s the distinction between a Kart and a Car ??
A rally car is damned quick on a track.
The list goes on.
Dinghies and Yachts ?

However each has its own governing body;identity and followers.
In this way the people promoting their chosen sport do not have to get held back by the inerests (and hiden agendas) of the other so called supporters.

I was involved in Wakeboarding.The moment we managed to get our own identity ;(ie away from just another form of "Water Skiing" the sport moved forward.We could decide what was best for sport ; not some slalom skier.

Look at the compromises (and argument) made to get RSX accepted; and it does not represent the sailing anyone does.(or very few anyhow)
Formula could represent "Windsuring"(ie essentialy designed to plane)
Old Div 2 (or Raceboards) represent "Sailboarding"(Yes I know rounded hulls do plane but are essentialy designed for efficiency in Displacement mode. (Which Formula certainly isnt)

Yes a good wavesailor will be good on a Div2. Just like a good rally driver would be good in F1.
Motor sport has diversified into loads of distinct sports.(Which it wasn`t originally)
This has helped the sports develop by their own design and not paying lip service to others.

We are involved in at last two distinct sports.Probably more !

It would help development of sport (especially part of spectum you are promoting) if it had distinct and self governing /promoting areas.

Div 2 racing is further removed from wavesailing than F1 is from Rallycross.Yet we expect both sports to be promoted in same magazines by same people and same buying public purchase mags (etc). Why ????

Floyd
3rd February 2008, 07:04 PM
BTW
I broke my neck wavesailing !!!

Unregistered
4th February 2008, 01:17 AM
Serenity isn`t dsigned for planing.
Have a read of
http://www.powermultihulls.com/magazine/articles/displacement%20or%20plane.htm

steveC
4th February 2008, 01:53 AM
Hi Floyd,

Your two sports focus does have some merit, particularly since it gathers folks together with like outlooks and interests. Yet honestly, I tend to doubt that the "sailboarding" side it will develop a strong movement on its own. Certainly, if it did happen to blossum with the clear strength of numbers, you would be able to confirm it through their own specialized publications.

I'm afraid as things stand right now, that the non-planing side to the sport of windsurfing is essentially doomed to trying to get the attention and respect of the larger more powerful planing side of the sport. Not very rewarding for the "sailboarding" side, as evidenced by C249's strong feelings of frustration. While I would never seriously rag on the non-planing scene, and I never really have, it's clear that some will, as seen here in this thread.

With the introduction and strong growth of kiting, I kind of understand how C249 might feel, as virtually all my old windsurfing friends totally abandoned windsurfing for kiting. I do have to take a ribbing at times, but that often comes with the territory of being a bit different than the majority. Fortunately, the greatest majority of folks out there that share the wind are respectful and are not rude and devisive in nature.

Of course, there will always be this feeling that my side of things is the best out there, so we must all temper our sensitivity at times when some folks get too carried away. Frankly, I think that it builds character to perservere with your dedication and strength of purpose as an individual, even if you happen to be alone at times.

Unregistered
4th February 2008, 06:38 AM
Lightwind windsurfing may never be appealing in places like West Aust, Maui, Canary Is, but those places are not the majority of the world, what about China, India, with light winds most of the time, and their populations, and increasing wealth, lightwind windsurfing could be huge. A bit of lateral thinking here guys, the world doesn't revolve around what we do, we are a small minority who are a bit obsessed with ourselves.

The future is about China and India, Starboard, get onto it, get your 5 and 10 yearplans working, focus on light winds, and china and india, and you will be one of the biggest sport companies in the world.

Unregistered
4th February 2008, 08:28 AM
Yes never thought about China or India, bit of a prejudice I geuss, with their growing affluence and increasing middle-classes, could be ideal markets???? What do others think? Is Starboard thinking about these markets?

Unregistered
4th February 2008, 04:41 PM
WS is decreasing. Tennis has very rich and powerfull ambasadors. Soccer has. Windsurfing hasn't persons on media who signd huge contracts, are earning a lot from windsurfing. WS isn't sign of success.

badgb21
4th February 2008, 09:24 PM
( I have only read some of this thread, so aplogies if this has been repeated)
As a long term windsurfer, I'm now doing more kiting than ever, but will not sell all my windsurf kit as I enjoy both. I was able to learn kitesurfing much quicker than windsurfing, ok some advantages of sailing did help, but you can be kiting after hours/days, whereas windsurfing can take much much longer to grasp.
I see many schools will old equipment teaching beginners- narrow, tippy boards and poor sails - some are even old triangle type ones.
I'm totally sure if they were on modern kit, they would learn quicker and would probably take up the sport.
Perhaps someway to fund beginner baords to schools, maybe through a government grant/lottery deal, would really help to get people into our sport.

Unregistered
4th February 2008, 09:27 PM
Been reading this thread all morning.Loads of good insights but would like to add;

a) Starboard have been more responsible than anyone for decline in displacement sailing ! For last 20 years (??) they`ve been working at (and succesfully) lowering the planing threshold.

b) #B have never built Div 2 or any boards aimed specifically at non-planing racing.They put their efforts into wide planing boards ; a design which is blatantly alien to efficiency under planing threshold.(Non-planing any raceboard (even from 25 years ago) would easily beat Formula.Hows that supporting entire spectrum of sport ???

c) Movement of sailors to Formula decimated most other racing.(Which #B actively supported ???)

d) Serenity is SB`s first attempt at non-planing displacement sailing.

e) Perhaps boards designed specifically to excell in non-planing.(Sailboards as called on here) should have stamped their mark 20 years ago.The time for the separate sport has long gone.Dedicated racing fleets from 20 years ago should have had some security rather than been at call of "marketeers" changing designs for short term big increases in fleets.

Bill
5th February 2008, 02:17 AM
Sail boring is a word I feel may be used by some people to describe light wind non planning windsurfing.

Do you agree?

Jean-Marc
5th February 2008, 03:11 AM
Sail boring is a word I feel may be used by some people to describe light wind non planning windsurfing.

Do you agree?

Nope. Get on a Serenity with a 11.0 sail in light 6-7 knots wind and you'll discover how challenging and exciting it can become to be gliding on the upper range edge. Pure adrenaline is guaranteed to flush in your blood flow to keep control of such a beasty beauty, believe me...Get the right gear for the right conditions is key to get your daily fix. Funniest than 20 years ago, no questions.

Cheers !

JM

Jean-Marc
5th February 2008, 03:54 AM
[quote]Effectively "Sailboarding" (ie a small boat on which you stand and steer with the rig) was "killed off".(The word I mean)
Windsurfing (A large surf board with a sail which you steer with your feet) was deemed "The Sport".

Semantic note : Serenity turning is actually done by foot steering (opposite to funboarding foot-steering though), not much by sail steering (except tacking/jibing as per funboarding). Serenity is "Windsurfing" by your definition and has nothing in common with the original "Sailboarding" Windsurfer barge, especially in ultralight winds...

Cheers !

JM

Unregistered
5th February 2008, 04:05 PM
So SB have made best / funnest / fastest displacment board on their first attempt !!

Unregistered
5th February 2008, 05:25 PM
Dont think you need much understanding of sport to recognise distinction been made on here between Windsurfing / Sailboarding. Serenity is a Sailboard.
Besides it does NOT steer with feet.
Going in a straight line anywhere with it depends on getting CoE of Sail over centre of resitance of board. Of course "negative" footsteering affects it.Lie all boards.

Perhaps its he barge commnts that helped destroy displacement sailing in first place.

C249
5th February 2008, 07:21 PM
Floyd is possibly right to say that longboards and light wind windsurfing would be better off with their own movement, but then again distinct disciplines like karting and rallying are both covered by UIM and in some cases the same mags etc. Skiing from XC to jumping to freestyle all come under the same banner, like sailing does from 98 foot maxis to Optis. There's probably less difference between a wavesailor and a longboarder than there is between maxi and its bowman and a cruising yacht and its cook, or a 12 Voetsjoel and its skipper - yet everyone from Ellen Macarthur to the Opti kids and cruisers are "sailors".

And it's weird to say that just because a sport has developed (grown, then shrunk, with technological and design and accent changes like most activities) then the original form of doing that sport and the original equipment has lost its original name to a newer form.

That's like saying that the Wright Flyer III was not an aeroplane and didn't fly, because there are modern aircraft like the SR72 Blackbird and 747 that look different and fly differently.

Look at the two sports that created windsurfing, boat sailing and surfing. Surfing has changed radically over hundreds of years, but no one says that The Duke or King Kamehamaha "weren't surfers" and that the ancient redwood boards "aren't surfboards". I'd love to see some people here tell longboard surfing world champ Nat Young that he's "not a surfer" and his longboard is "not a surfboard" because it's longer than a modern thruster and doesn't get used for tow surfing! I think you'll get a very sharp reply 'cause "Nat's Nat and That's That".

The sport of boat sailing - one of the inspirations for the first Windsurfer (TM) - has changed one hell of a lot over 150 or so years, but it's still called sailing and an old yacht or skiff is still called what it was called years before. No one says that the original schooner America isn't a yacht just because it's not like a modern IACC racer. No one tells the guys who sail replica 18 Foot Skiffs that they aren't sailing skiffs because their boats aren't lightweight trapeze-powered planing flyers.

No one tells a cross-country skier that he's not skiing because downhilling and freestyle have been invented more recently.

No one tells the guys who race historic F1 cars that they aren't racing cars because they are not carbon Ferraris or Red Bulls.

Sure, language changes, but you know what really shows this "longboards and lightwinds are not windsurfing" claim to be way off the air?? If it was true, then if you put Schweitzer, Drake, and Bert Salisbury (the man who invented the term "windsurfer" and applied it to a 12' long board sailed in light winds) all on Windsurfer (TM) longboards they wouldn't be "windsurfing" as the revisionists define it.

Now, it's bizarre to say that if the people who created the sport and called it "windsurfing" were sailing a board that is and was sold, trademarked, and called the Windsurfer (TM) and which gave its name to the sport, they wouldn't be "windsurfing" on a "windsurfer". It's bizarre to say that the competitions that have existed for the Windsurfer (TM) class for 30 years are "not windsurfing".

The other really bizarre thing is that the efforts to create the name "boardsailing" or "sailboarding" only came about after longboard sailing had become huge, short boards had appeared, and Windsurfing Int tried to keep its cool name from becoming a generic. Until then, the sport WAS windsurfing.

Sure, the term used for the sport has changed, but there is no logical reason whatsoever for sailing in the original style to have its original trademarked name taken from it. The sport of windsurfing is much wider than the wonderful high-wind stuff that some people keep trying to straightjacket it into - that's just one aspect.

By the way, the original Windsurfer, like Div 2 boards, Raceboards and other longboards, is and was steered by the feet when that is most efficient - and the "barge" can be carve gybed, tacked and foot steered a lot better than a Serenity in my experience! The Serenity is nice, but whether it is the "best, fastest and funnest displacement board" is a very open question.

FLOYD; re planing.

You don't create a planing hull by having dynamic lift that exceeds weight - that would create an aircraft! And there is always some buoyancy lift in a hull (confirmed by Mr Drake and the renowed Daniel Savitsky, planing hull research guru).

Yes, many hulls create dynamic lift but non-planing ones also create suction aft and that, with the growth of the midships trough, causes the C of G of the hull to actually sink lower - "squatting". A planing hull is one that passes through this inevitable stage and then has its C of G rise above the static (ie bouyancy lift only) position because of dynamic lift.

Have you read Marchaj, Larsson and Eliasson, Gutelle etc? They are all quite good on this.
Interestingly Marchaj uses tank test data of an International Canoe at the National Physics Laboratory (IIRC) for his planing hull drag graphs. The Canoe is a lot like a heavier, flatter Serenity and Marchaj and the NPL guys and every sailor who knows them reckons the Canoe planes;

see http://www.intcanoe.org.uk/gallery/displayimage.php?album=2&pos=6

and

http://www.intcanoe.org.uk/gallery/displayimage.php?album=2&pos=13

they are certainly planing and the Serenity feels "planier".

I have done a lot of sailing against the world's best A Class cats, which have "planier" type hulls than the Spit and Stealth - the Serenity, like a D2 or a Windsurfer or the Olympic Windglider, is much much more of a planing hull.

PPS - Unregistered is right, comments like "barge" are the sort of thing that hurt the sport.

C249
5th February 2008, 07:32 PM
PS Floyd, bummer about breaking the neck. I didn't do something that bad but I put myself into hospital for an operation after wavesailing and in a separate incident came scarily close to karking it - but no one I know has died doing it (unlike my other sport) and I'm not sure that being a lover of high wind sailing, like Bill is, means that he can brag about "living on the edge".

Unregistered
5th February 2008, 07:37 PM
Light wind windsurfing has the biggest growth potential as mentioned earlier, it's up to countries like Starboard to make that happen just imagine the possibilities in China alone, look at it's growth and emerging middleclass

Ken
5th February 2008, 10:05 PM
If you have seen some of the light wind freestyle that is being done, "boring" is a loooooooong way from describing light wind windsurfing (freestyle).

There is something for everyone out there - I think it's all exciting in its own way.

Bill
6th February 2008, 12:28 AM
Hi Ricardo,

It’s been fun on this thread, I have enjoyed the banter.

I agree with you that windsurfing is growing. I think you make an important point about new ideas in windsurfing attracting people back into the sport and attracting new faces.

I started windsurfing on long boards with an emphasis on displacement rather than planning. There were no foot straps, harnesses, or fully batten sails.

At the time a book by Ken Winner called the “Wind is Free” was an inspiration to me.

To-day I have all the modern, light, strong, efficient gear.

To me Starboard are a breath of fresh air and have brought and continue to bring many people into the sport.

There has never been a more exciting time in windsurfing.

It’s clear to see the passion and enjoyment that people are discovering and some have never lost for light wind sailing.

Speed sailing has made a comeback helped no doubt by GPS and the fascination in breaking the 50 knot barrier.

Slalom racing and wave sailing are growing again in popularity.

Freestyle remains popular and I watch with interest the development of light wind freestyle.

I have watched a few video’s of light wind freestyle on You Tube and they are amazing.

There’s racing and the Olympics.

Of course burn and turn will always be popular.

Long may it continue in its various forms.

Floyd
6th February 2008, 02:29 AM
Good post P18 (and Bill)
It has been (is) a very interesting thread.
Just to clear 2 things up
I never said anybody wasn`t a "Windsurfer" (or sailboarder)Think we are all both.
Just think "sailboarding or lightwindsailing or Div2 or Div1 or Displacment sailing" (whatever you want to call it.) should have maintained its own idenity. (ie to try and foster some security in purchasing race oriented (All wind) kit.Everybody (mags;manufacturers forgot about highly efficient low wind diplacment kit.Serenity is #B first forray into efficent non-planing hulls.(After 20years???)
Secondly
You are correct re- upthrust exceeding weight.(Its when control problems occur;and why thin tails /cut outs aid high speed control) Should have said equal.(ie board fully planing when upthrust equals weight)
Above certain speeds buoyancy (on flat water) has very little effect.(apart from negative ones) Modern Wakeboards are bouyancy neutral.(ie no bouyancy;no float;they weigh same as water but the still plane fine). A neutal buoyancy (sail ???)board would work above 3mph ????(in sufficient wind)


Have a look at older thread about planing theory. (momentum exchange)

Putting it simply most "models" of planing are under attack/review.Many (Scientists/Engineers) arguing simple momentum exchange but its OT.

Unregistered
6th February 2008, 06:33 AM
If this is a discussion about wsurfing growth why aren't we talking about places like india, srilanka, china, dubai, these are surely the potential of growth for the future of ws. I think only small to moderate growth could be expected in the western world.

Unregistered
6th February 2008, 07:35 AM
CAESAR FINIES is arriving tomorrow to Peru for the first light wind international freestyle camp here. We expect to have a lots of fun and lots of people its just getting freak to expect some of those maneouvers.

Some people also is exceptical...but I saw some of them then alone trying the light wind maneouvers.... its about time.

I also doubted about SUP 1 year ago...now I am 200% sure of its potential and second windsurfing value boards...yes, they are good to teach your family, kids, girlfriend or just go freestyling again.


I stick that we must look to light wind surfirfing (fun, freestyle, racing, paddling) , and in all the world including China and far countries. Hi wind surfing comes a bit later....why not to evolution to something fun?

Ricardo

mmoritz
15th February 2008, 06:46 PM
Back to the top.

If we want to grow the sport (of sailing, of windsurfing, whatever) ....

Are they having fun or what? I remember my days with friends and lasers, then at my 15th birthday my dad gave me a ... surprise... Windglider board and rig. I cursed all day, I had never seen one, I didn't know even how to attach the boom (no clamp-on these days) or steer that thing, called some boys at the lake they showed me how and I spend 3 days falling from it but it was love for a lifetime, then first runs, and then fun with the new friends and converted old ones, just like the end of this video (around 2:30 min), that was what we used to do for fun ... and sometimes the regattas. It was fun, it is fun, it will always be fun. All we have to do is bring the kids together and have lots of fun. Of course, low cost, light wind fast boards with dagger, etc... humm, these little boats tells us something ? (one last thing at 3:05 one boy does a "windsurfing" tack)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l6wIzg3SKI

pierrec45
17th February 2008, 08:49 PM
You're right, they're having fun, they're one-design. No gimmick, no Tupperware party. This is the nearest thing I've seen to the original days, which most sailors have never known. They do "freestyle", move about, try things, fall, etc.

That's the only way. People who bore with the sport are those not doing that, going right and left for 1km reaches, and buying fancy equipment too to do that.

mitchiedog
26th February 2008, 02:48 PM
its my opinion that windsurfing is great, but WAY too expensive to get mass appeal among all the sports etc that people now have open to them. I always say to my friends who don't sail that "windsurfing is more like yachting than surfing, in every respect". I think the manufacturers spend way too much effort on design rather than production. If they poured more effort into researching cheaper materials, (yes goodbye carbon/kevlar) and lowering the cost of producing them, instead of putting all their time and energy into tweaking rocker lines, vees and concaves, then maybe young people could afford to get involved. The current R&D does nothing except for the experienced and advanced enough to notice these differences.

None of the carribean freestyle hotshot kids went out and bought $3000 worth of windsurfing gear. In interviews they all say they were given unwanted gear by wealthy tourists until they got sponsored.

Bring on the US$500 beginner board & rig and sell it in outdoor sports stores or walmarts around the world. Then maybe those curious enough, could afford just to try it.

You can buy a good mountain bike, or a surfboard, or a snowboard and resort pass, for $500, but nowadays that might buy one of my sails.

pierrec45
26th February 2008, 04:04 PM
> its my opinion that windsurfing is WAY too expensive

This is a choice, not a fact. I see guys out there who need to renew the gear and ever buy more equipment. And I see others that don't. Frankly the former bitches about prices and often seems to have less fun on the beach. Esp. that now with kitesurfing there is more cheap recent gear than ever.

I use older gear, I seldom buy new, and I hang on to it quite a few years. Sure there are Tupperware sailors out there, but personally I need a constant feel for my freestyle and sailing the waves. That's me.

But you're right that many feel the pressure to do like the Jones' - their problem.

Hardie
26th February 2008, 08:28 PM
One thing we did in australia was to use the internet, the advent of gps technology, and the idea of windsurfing in teams, listening to what people wanted, and we generated quite a bit of interest with our www.gpsteamchallenge.com.au We have 203 registered users,26 teams australia wide, and the biggest new growth has been not "new entrants" to the sport, but particularly guys (Returnee's) that hadn't sailed for up to 10 years that returned to be part of the teams challenge. (about 15 guys returned after years of absence) So I think teams is an issue that uses the social element that humans enjoy, I'm sure teams is not purely an Australian phenomenom.

Check the website and contact us if you want to join an international teams challenge which is the next step?

yoyo
26th February 2008, 10:12 PM
Hey Hardie I thought you'd canned the international idea.

Bill
27th February 2008, 02:18 AM
I feel at times there is some type of inverted snobbery with certain people who feel it is in some way wrong to buy new kit.

It’s a bit like only the foolish or rather naive people buy new gear while those who hold onto their gear for years or buy second hand are cool and sophisticated.

Each to their own.

Boards are lighter, stronger, stiffer and faster than ever before.

Not to mention more fun.

If the customer wanted them cheaper with the associated loss in performance then the manufactures would provide them.

C249
27th February 2008, 04:00 AM
Bill, I think the "each to his own" attitude is great - that's all some of us are trying to say. It's great if people want to follow a different part of this fantastic sport, we just don't want them abusing those who have different tastes.

You're right, modern boards are faster in some conditions. However, most modern boards are slower than old boards in light and/or gusty winds, and in most of the world the wind is normally light and/or gusty. So today's boards are often actually slower than older boards a lot of the time - perhaps most of the time, depending when and where you sail. So maybe neither is simply "faster" or "slower" - just suited to different stuff. As you say, to each his own.

In some ways they are more fun, but in other ways they are less fun. Not everyone judges fun by planing speed. Some people find exploring bays fun, or racing in light winds, or simple gear. Again, to each his own.

If light and stiff is so important to Joe Average, why is Joe Average surfer getting longer heavier boards; Joe Average dinghy sailor sailing the same old boats; and Joe Average kayaker buying a heavy flexy plastic kayak?? Sure, to some people light and stiff is vital, to others long-lasting and tough is more important.

The industry is not perfect when it comes to satisfying the marketplace. This is the same industry that tried to sell lots of hollow, fragile Div 2 boards; then lots of tiny sinkers that people couldn't sail; then lots of skinny DSBs that people couldn't gybe; and ignored widestyle boards that could lower the planing threshold. It's been said that the Kona One is the world's top selling board, yet that concept was utterly ignored and ridiculed by the industry for years.

In other words, the industry has got it wrong many, many times before, just like many much bigger industries (the UK and US car industries, for example) got it wrong for decades.

If the industry is always right and always responds to consumer demand, why did they ignore light-wind planing for so many years? And most of all, how come windsurfing has declined over the long term, at a time when similar sports (dinghy sailing in some places, surfing, kayaking) where about to increase???

I admit that I can definitely be an inverted snob about buying new gear. To me, it often seems as if people are blaming something else (last year's gear and those who created it) for their own lack of technique. And inverted snobbery is an unfortunate but perhaps
natural reaction to the gear snobbery that we often see.

So sure,modern gear is great in many ways, but the current route is not the only one to follow to grow the sport.

Hardie
27th February 2008, 09:02 AM
Hey Hardie I thought you'd canned the international idea.

Yes have canned changing the Aussie comp in any way, apparently Nebbs says there is a way to have a seperate site .............. Dunno the technical aspects??? This would keep the 2 comps totally separate with an option for in if you want??????????

Bill
29th February 2008, 04:18 AM
Bill, I think the "each to his own" attitude is great - that's all some of us are trying to say. It's great if people want to follow a different part of this fantastic sport, we just don't want them abusing those who have different tastes.

You're right, modern boards are faster in some conditions. However, most modern boards are slower than old boards in light and/or gusty winds, and in most of the world the wind is normally light and/or gusty. So today's boards are often actually slower than older boards a lot of the time - perhaps most of the time, depending when and where you sail. So maybe neither is simply "faster" or "slower" - just suited to different stuff. As you say, to each his own.

In some ways they are more fun, but in other ways they are less fun. Not everyone judges fun by planing speed. Some people find exploring bays fun, or racing in light winds, or simple gear. Again, to each his own.

If light and stiff is so important to Joe Average, why is Joe Average surfer getting longer heavier boards; Joe Average dinghy sailor sailing the same old boats; and Joe Average kayaker buying a heavy flexy plastic kayak?? Sure, to some people light and stiff is vital, to others long-lasting and tough is more important.

The industry is not perfect when it comes to satisfying the marketplace. This is the same industry that tried to sell lots of hollow, fragile Div 2 boards; then lots of tiny sinkers that people couldn't sail; then lots of skinny DSBs that people couldn't gybe; and ignored widestyle boards that could lower the planing threshold. It's been said that the Kona One is the world's top selling board, yet that concept was utterly ignored and ridiculed by the industry for years.

In other words, the industry has got it wrong many, many times before, just like many much bigger industries (the UK and US car industries, for example) got it wrong for decades.

If the industry is always right and always responds to consumer demand, why did they ignore light-wind planing for so many years? And most of all, how come windsurfing has declined over the long term, at a time when similar sports (dinghy sailing in some places, surfing, kayaking) where about to increase???

I admit that I can definitely be an inverted snob about buying new gear. To me, it often seems as if people are blaming something else (last year's gear and those who created it) for their own lack of technique. And inverted snobbery is an unfortunate but perhaps
natural reaction to the gear snobbery that we often see.

So sure,modern gear is great in many ways, but the current route is not the only one to follow to grow the sport.

Yep agree with most of what you say.

Unfortunately there is no magic bullet to grow the sport.

Jacobowitz
29th February 2008, 04:33 AM
I'm happy with declining numbers. Even the controversy on Maui. Windsurf schools? Shut em all down!

I know it sounds harsh, but it is way too crowded as it is. Less is more. More waves and wind for us all if there are less windsurfers.

Instead of thinking the glass is half empty, think it's half full!

Peace out!