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Unregistered
25th August 2008, 08:39 PM
Made you look.

Seriously how can they not be on the table.

This is why -
http://www.forum.lbwindsurfing.com/longboard-discussion/did-the-iwa-issue-diktat-over-the-fod-class-t526.html

steveC
26th August 2008, 02:46 AM
Now C249 has always been a very vocal advocate for classic longboards, and he has gone to the extent of compiling quite a bit of data contrasting the number of sailors worldwide that race longboards versus formula/FE. Although his findings suggest that there is more interest in longboards and a displacement style of sailing amoungst the racing community in the past, they do not necessarily reflect what is wanted by the windsurfing community as a whole.

Quite frankly, longboards have had an extended period in the sun on the racing scene (like forever). Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side of our sport? No question, the vast number of windsurfers do it for the benefits of planing, and I personally think that the time is ripe for change. Change is understandably difficult for some to tolerate, but it not like the death of the longboard and its place in some part of the racing scene. For the Olympics though, I think the FOD approach deserves a chance to blossum and grow.

pierrec45
26th August 2008, 07:41 AM
> No question, the vast number of windsurfers do it for the benefits of planing

I re-read the entire Olympic so-many-boards, so-many-rigs thread, which is along this one. 13 pages.

I don't understand. Planing is not a benefit or a skill, it's the state of a board in certain conditions, which granted is fun to do and is achieved faster and easier with more modern equipment. I've summarised the reasons for change in the Olympics in 3 categories.

If the reason for those threads is to attract more non-windsurfing viewership to Olympics, well sorry, but planing per se is as unexciting to watch (from a gentile spectator point of view) as what we saw on TV 1-2 weeks ago. Might make the pumping obsolete, which can be accomplished anytime thru rules anyways.

If it is to be more representative, and we often read "what we do" (who the hell is 'we'??), then I don't see how just planing - at any speed - is any more exciting to watch.

And if it's to attract viewership from 'planers', then I know very few sailors that go watch the others plane when they don't sail themselves, in fact, not a single one at all.

The Tube sailors watch, and used to buy, other than x-rated stuff, are all about jumping waves and sometimes freestyle, probably extremely few about planing and sailing straight. Just look at the viewing counters on YouTube. The idea of the Olympics is not to mimic the purely recreational side of a sport, which is great in itself, but to reproduce said sport at the highest level of competition. Competition in this case = racing with a everything-else-being-equal gear, because very unfortunately jumping and freestyle are unlikely to be part of the olympics in my lifetime.

One more point: to think that Serenity or others will fit the bill for 4-8 years (at least 1-2 cycles), not a chance. In 1-2 years, Serenity and others will have been made obsolete just like any other gear in the last 25 years, with no exception whatsoever. In 1-2-3 years max, subscribers to this and other fora will say how short sighted a choice that was, that the new such-such board performs much better than the antiquated 2008 designs.

So going for this moment's fancy equipment will buy 1-2 years max - less than a full Olympic cycle.

Rant over. It's the same circular discussion in most forums anyways...

Unregistered
26th August 2008, 01:53 PM
For once I agree with pierrec45. I would also add that if one is into planning sports and performance, go speed sailing. Really.

An Olympic board should be one that everyone can easily get there hands on and use fairly easily, like a javelin, bike or swim. I can use those without much effort which means I might even get into it at school or something. FOW is a piece of fancy equipment that will do nothing to the overall level of competition and will be limited to those who call themselves "we".

SteveC said "Quite frankly, longboards have had an extended period in the sun on the racing scene (like forever). Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side of our sport?"

ooooh quick lets change the look of the javelin, lets make bikes have 3 wheelers, lets put jets on swimmers, lets....blah blah.

I have actually raced in a few FOW races and thought it to be awesome just like wavesailing, etc. I think unfortunaly most windsurfers today have never sailed longboards and so it doesn't surprise me what's going on with FOD, IWA and the Olympics.

Leave the Olympic sport alone or risk not having it.

I'd like to see a double javelin with a wing - that'd go fast an further........thats my rant.

Chris 249
26th August 2008, 03:34 PM
Now C249 has always been a very vocal advocate for classic longboards, and he has gone to the extent of compiling quite a bit of data contrasting the number of sailors worldwide that race longboards versus formula/FE. Although his findings suggest that there is more interest in longboards and a displacement style of sailing amoungst the racing community in the past, they do not necessarily reflect what is wanted by the windsurfing community as a whole.

Quite frankly, longboards have had an extended period in the sun on the racing scene (like forever). Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side of our sport? No question, the vast number of windsurfers do it for the benefits of planing, and I personally think that the time is ripe for change. Change is understandably difficult for some to tolerate, but it not like the death of the longboard and its place in some part of the racing scene. For the Olympics though, I think the FOD approach deserves a chance to blossum and grow.

Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side?

Well, that's not a new approach.....it's been around for 25 years or so. So it's not a case of some of us being stuck in the past*. The fact is that the quarter-century of focussing on the planing side has harmed the sport.

Try this idea for size;

Windsurfing did not follow the typical adoption curve of most active sports. After reaching a very strong peak it declined precipitously leveling off at a much lower participation rate than similar sports. They typical boom/leveling cycle for active sports goes through a very fast growth period when the sport is “cool” and everyone knows about it, then declines to a maintenance level at perhaps 60 percent of the peak. Windsurfing declined to something like 20 percent of the peak participation.

That was because all manufacturers focused solely on the performance end of the market, abandoning longboards and the simple fun of being on a board in light wind in favor of sinker shortboards and high-performance sails that required careful selection and tuning to meet conditions. They are looking to SUP to rectify that problem!

* Those of us who advocate longboards are certainly not all stuck in the past.

I know of longboard advocates who in the last couple of years have brought in two new classes, taken part in an inaugural "new school" events and are planning another new event (probably unlike any ever before in the sport), been involved in developing new sailing patents, and at least some are trying to create basically yet another new style of windsurfing.

Look at guys like Ciamparlo and Jeff Henderson.....they are into longboards but is that whole SUP sailing really "stuck in the past"?

That's a lot more innovative than bringing up the old "windsurfing = planing" idea from 1982.

Kip
26th August 2008, 05:13 PM
For every claim and counter claim as to why windsurfing peaked then died, people seem lto like to start to blame the media and the rise of the extreme aspect of the sport.

That may have been part of it, but overlooks the reality that much of the hype of windsurfing was that it was new....just like alpine carving snowboarding; it peaked when lots of people tried it; they found it hard, and switched to easier endeavours......alpine snowboarding is now like 0.1% of the total snowboard market at a guess. Windsurf racing is probably a similar proportion, maybe a tad higher. And windsurfing compared to body boarding or wakeboarding has fallen off too. It is growing again now, but that's after a bunch of mistakes in the past and not just the lack of light wind gear (I don't say longboards, because the issue is sailing in light winds for which longboards are just one answer).

If the lack of longboards on the market is the reason why windsurfing is failing, then how come virtually every major brand has long boards on the market and yet they aren't outselling shortboards 10 to 1 already; the Kona has been on the market for 3 years or more now; how come so often people go out on these boards and don't just buy them?

The reasons why is that the longboard has a lot of strengths (can sail in any winds, rails, feels nice to sail in displacement mode, excellent race machines) but also weaknesses (they are frigging heavy, they sail like a barge IMHO, they plane up slower than a formula board). Clearly the FACT is right now there are longboards on the market, and many consumers either have already gone to do something else, prefer to sail on something else (and the FACT is the majority of the windsurf market is planing shortboards, I'd guess maybe 90%) and/or have no interest in racing.

Whether formula is any better as a representative of windsurfing at an Olympic level, I am unsure. It is certainly more planing orientated, and if that is the sole judge of windsurfing you'd have to say I guess perhaps more representative than a Div 2 type board, but those big longboards like the Kona plane up too; just a little slower. The majority of sailors consider formula to be not that much representative of what they do recreationally either; and even fewer think longboards are representative of their sport. Because 99% of windsurfers, IMHO, don't have any interest in racing. 99.9% of snowboarders have no interest in racing either! (guesses on the stats but I stand by them)

So...where does that leave us? We should admit that the windsurfer is never going to be like in 1984 ever again; because back then there were far fewer choices of board. We should also admit that the majority, the vast majority of windsurfers are not particularly interested in formula or longboards, and likely never will be. It isn't a media thing, it isn't the board companies, it is freedom of choice and the majority of sailors would rather sail something like a carve 122 with a 7m. And it certainly is not the attempt of starboard to fix or fool anyone by launching an SUP - totally different sport. I would never buy a longboard. I might consider an SUP. I would happily buy and race formula again now that the gear issues seem to be fixed. But I do not represent all sailors, that's for sure.

The Olympics will always require a compromise board. In the same way the 49er and the tornado kind of suck in light weather, so will the board. There is no way around it. The pumping you could argue doesn't help; it increases the emphasis on athleticism and away from sailing some say. But Tom Ashley proved that when the sailing is in pressure he is the man. So the best man won, even on the RSX a board fairly universally disliked AFAIK simply because it isn't the best possible hybrid; it is like a windows beta version hybrid.

I'm not sure Formula is necessarily the answer, but whatever is chosen, it is a given that the board will be obsolete within 2 years. Then the choice becomes should it be like the Finn then where it doesn't matter? I don't think so; the best idea that could occur is that 4 years prior to the Olympics there is a bidding contest every time where each company can bid their board and rig; thus the gear is always modern. The boards must meet certain criteria, and let's face it no one other than Olympians bought RSXs; no modern boards are likely to last more than 4 years anyhow. They all get made in Cobra; the bidders all get to brand their boards and use their distribution networks and the board is selected based on the prevailing winds and a range of target weights; a universal voting system and it must meet price, sub planing, max wind speed, weight, reliability criteria.

This is the only way around obsolescence. There is no way around certain body types being favoured in certain conditions. There is no way to have a one size fits all conditions board when you can have Greece type conditions followed by the storms of China. And there is no way to persuade people living in the free world to be interested at all in the Olympics or windsurf racing. You come up with something fun to sail, challenging and exciting and I believe people will come.

The best way to do that is an Amcup style development process that gets locked every 4 years. Since it is cost controlled with a single manufacturer, none of the development class rules impact the cost. Athletes get 4 years to adapt.

That's my belief anyway.

rob134
26th August 2008, 06:33 PM
If the lack of longboards on the market is the reason why windsurfing is failing, then how come virtually every major brand has long boards on the market and yet they aren't outselling shortboards 10 to 1 already; the Kona has been on the market for 3 years or more now; how come so often people go out on these boards and don't just buy them?

Every major brand have only just got into longboards after dropping them for many years.

Mate, not every windsurfing store is selling them, probably because they don't understand them or just choose to offload their short board gear which is fair enough it's their store.
I know of crew that have been waiting for longboards here in Aus for months. Even the second hand market is dire with prices increasing (simple supply and demand) and thats world wide.

So really Kip, if longboards are in every store with at least some sort of marketing plan, longboards might have half a chance.

Unregistered
26th August 2008, 09:16 PM
Every major brand have only just got into longboards after dropping them for many years.

Mate, not every windsurfing store is selling them, probably because they don't understand them or just choose to offload their short board gear which is fair enough it's their store.
I know of crew that have been waiting for longboards here in Aus for months.

I said every brand has them, I didn't talk about retail; as we all know there are lots of issues with logistics; one of the problems with longboards is the retailer skepticism that anyone will buy them. Fear of the unknown and I guess dollars talk.

AFAIK the online shops in USA longboards aren't massively outselling shortboards. The local resorts here ALL have longboards for rent; they sit there unused except on the really light days and some beginner/intermediates like them.

Longboard enthusiasts have a right to feel miffed that maybe their sport isn't being expanded. (and it is a rather different angle on the sport than shortboards). At least in the case of starboard, contact Svein/Tiesda directly explain you definitely want to order and watch the ripple effect back to the distributor.

I've sailed them. My GF have sailed sailed them. All my friends have sailed them that sail where I sail as they are available for rent. And most consider it as a fun thing, but not on par with a shortboard in planing conditions. None of us go island hopping or cruising. The only reason to get one would be to race, (which they would be very practical for) but since the majority of racing here is either IMCO, formula or 85cm slalom and usually plagued by no wind, I quit windsurf racing years ago to do sailing instead; windsurfing is just for 12 knots +. Back when I had formula gear, 8+ knots.

So if you want longboards to catch on, you have to accept that more than 50% of the market probably has the same mindset as me, and perhaps higher given that I at least have tried and played on longboards (and I have to admit I like the gemini a LOT). Actually, to be honest I tried a star board race board that I think was very similar to the raceboard they used in the raceboard worlds, that was the only longboard that I got excited about; that thing was FUN to sail. The rest were, heavy fairly unexciting when planing, but yes, they all went upwind ok which I guess is the point.

Formula has all the same issues; buy on special order and all that. RSX you cannot even get one if you aren't in the national team here AFAIK.

If so concerned, why don't you guys ask to distribute longboards direct until volumes build up? Inthe alpine snowboard industry (hard boots, plate bindings) we went through the same cycle, in the end bomberonline is a major source of gear, grew the sport and now after 5 years of no retailing, we now see hard boots and bindings back in a few stores. But as a carver, i appreciate that the majority of snowboarders will never have the slightest interest in the way I ride. I think longboarders probably need to accept the same thing (and 15-20 years ago, almost everyone in Europe snowboarded in plate bindings, just like 20+ years ago just about all windsurfers were longboards).

Kip

steveC
27th August 2008, 04:18 AM
Well thanks Kip for weighing in here with your thoughts. Quite frankly, I agree wholly with everything you've said, and I also believe that it's a very fair assessment of things overall. Without a doubt though, the longboard advocates here are a testy group that often prefers to consider themselves as being victims. I guess that's easier for them to blame others for their predicament.

While I entered the sport of windsurfing to target planing as my primary driving goal, my first board was a planing style F2 longboard with footstraps because I believed that was the best way at the time to teach myself how to windsurf (I would have never bought the original rotomolded Windsurfer one design). I sailed it for a year and a half before buying my first shortboard, and sold it right afterward. I've been super happy with the path I chose and I have been avidly involved in the sport for about 23 years now. Could a longboard have kept my interest over all these years. Not a chance really, but that's me. Outside of my preferences, I would never have looked down on a windsurfer that chose the traditional longboard path. We're all brothers in windsurfing.

In the last year or so I decided to entertain the path of longboards again to expand into the 5-10 knot range, as I do live in an area where winds can be relatively light at times during the year. It's been a year now that I have been trying to get myself a Serenity, and I've had a hard order (with a substantial deposit paid) on the books with a retailer since the end of January 2008. While the board exists in NA, my deal is conditioned on receiving the board together with the taylored Starboard bag for it. It was always claimed that the bag could be delivered, but Starboard in Asia hasn't be been able to deliver. The regional distributor for NA has offered repeated promises on a series of delivery targets to my retailer, but none have ever materialized. I'm beginning to think about cancelling the order and getting my money back, because I've apparently created the impossible deal.

Am I inclined to buy a SUP or traditional longboard instead? No, but if I did, I would still expect that a taylored bay would be required as part of the deal. Maybe I should just continue to enjoy what windsurfing has been for me for so many years. Quite frankly, I really don't have a problem with what the sport has offered for so many years. Who knows, maybe by waiting some more time and being patient, something better than the Serenity might hit the scene in the future, but a bag will still be a requirement.

Then again, I still have my hopes that Starboard will be able to come through for me.

Unregistered
27th August 2008, 05:13 AM
Its always been a nightnare (in SE Asia anyway) getting the bags with the boards.
Probably because the zips are made in Japan, the cloth in East Timor, the foam in Greenland and they are assembled on Christmas Island by Bangladeshis.
Then Starboard mark up the price 100%.
Which brings me on to not being able to buy race sails with the recommended masts but thats another long sad story !!

C 249
27th August 2008, 04:36 PM
Steve, I think it's a bit over the top to say "the longboard advocates here are a testy group". Look at the IWA decision that spurred this thread; they have supported a decision that seems to state incorrect facts and was made apparently without widespread consultation. Were we to just bend over and take it?

I'm sure you're wrong if you think that it's just longboarders who think it's easier to blame others. You, for example, have repeatedly said that most people lack the stick-to-it you need for windsurfing, which seems to be blaming the vast majority of people today in a way. Look through any of the "why is windsurfing smaller" threads and you'll see people blaming things they cannot fix....jetskis, computer games, SUVs etc.

We, on the other hand, may believe that WE, the sport, took a wrong turn and that WE, the sport, can fix it. That is much less of a victim mentality, surely?

Plenty of us are out there, doing things like running clubs, classes, training, kid's classes, regattas, websites, etc. That is not the behaviour of people who are sitting back and blaming others. We ourselves did wrong in the past - we didn't state our case well enough. We have had enough of that mistake.

But the main point is that the quote "windsurfing declined much more than most new sports "BECAUSE ALL MANUFACTURERS FOCUSED SOLELY ON THE PERFORMANCE END OF THE MARKET, ABANDONING LONGBOARDS AND THE SIMPLE FUN OF BEING ON THE WATER..." comes from Pono Bill's report of a talk by Svein, the head honco of the biggest windsurfer builder in the world. See

http://www.kenalu.com/2008/08/17/starboard-dealer-meeting-general/

It's not a bunch of stuck in the mud old one-eyed longboarders who are having their say on the source of the problem - it's the man who sells more boards than anyone else.


Kip, about the fact that "the vast majority of windsurfers are not particularly interested in formula or longboards, and likely never will be."

What we call "the vast majority" of windsurfers is tiny compared to the number of past and potential windsurfers (ie, the number is 8% to 20% what it was, depending on which well-placed source you hear) and therefore their preferences of the remaining minority may not be a good guide to the future.

20 years ago it would have been true to say "the vast majority of surfers are not interested at all in longboards and most likely never will be" and yet now longboards make up the majority of the surfing market. Twenty years ago you could have said "the vast majority of US and Australian large car buyers are not interested at all in 4wds/SUPs" and yet now SUPs and 4WDs make up the majority of privately-bought large vehicles.

About "if the lack of longboards on the market is the reason why windsurfing is failing, then how come virtually every major brand has long boards on the market and yet they aren't outselling shortboards 10 to 1 already; the Kona has been on the market for 3 years or more now".

The Kona claims (without contradiction I've seen) to be the #1 selling board in the world; the fact that longboards are the fastest-growing type seems to indicate that they are in fact selling. But there may be a lot of inertia from the 25 year old "windsurfing = planing" thing. ng newbies that way..

And

"how come so often people go out on these boards and don't just buy them?"

'Maybe 'cause the people who are still in the sport (who are the minority) who have good reasons to prefer just a shortboard? Or maybe for the same reason that I hop onto FW and freestyle and new freeride boards, have fun, and then hand them back.....I've already got gear that's good for what I do.

Hell, shortboards are fantastic. Ain't none of us ever said they aren't. The more people love them, the better....it's just not all of the sport.

PG
27th August 2008, 06:11 PM
A few short questions to Kip, just for sake of argument

You say:
"AFAIK the online shops in USA longboards aren't massively outselling shortboards. The local resorts here ALL have longboards for rent; they sit there unused except on the really light days and some beginner/intermediates like them.

I've sailed them. My GF have sailed sailed them. All my friends have sailed them that sail where I sail as they are available for rent. And most consider it as a fun thing, but not on par with a shortboard in planing conditions."

In order not to mix old oranges and new apples it would be nice to know what models of longboards are available at these local resorts. What generation do they represent?

You stated
"Actually, to be honest I tried a star board race board that I think was very similar to the raceboard they used in the raceboard worlds, that was the only longboard that I got excited about; that thing was FUN to sail. The rest were, heavy fairly unexciting when planing, but yes, they all went upwind ok which I guess is the point."

If the Starboard Race 380 was FUN to sail, shouldn't it be possible to make slightly more recreational boards with similar attributes? Would that be exiting?

And also:
"If so concerned, why don't you guys ask to distribute longboards direct until volumes build up?"
I have actually done exactly that for a few years. But I can see that it isn't everyone's cup of tea (or even coffee). It requires a relationship to the brand importer, significant risk capital (in the range of 1500 Euro per complete set), significant risk in marketing and publicity, lots of time to promote, demonstrate, show, sell, etc. It does in fact mean running a windsurfing shop (in my case virtual).

pierrec45
27th August 2008, 07:51 PM
Not sure how this thread went into the planing and longboard thing, but fact is. Yes planing is fun to do and super-easy to achieve on modern gear, gliding about, long reaches and all that. No, it's not a crowd pleaser, since everyone does it at the local beach. It's not for bystanders, it's not even a crowd pleaser amongst windsurfers !!

Nobody will line up the shores at the Olympics to watch racing just because it has early planing fancy boards flavour-of-the-month. ("Serenity now" - Seinfeld show)

The goal of the Olympics and ISAF is probably not uniquely to please recreational windsurfers per se, though it's only my opinion and I could be wrong on that.

steveC
28th August 2008, 01:19 AM
C249, you have to admit that the majority of your posts pertaining to the longboard theme almost always include a degree of finger pointing at the industry, media and shortboarders for the overall decline of windsurfing. It's been a very consistent theme over time.

Now you're right that I have in the past highlighted the fact many folks lack the dedication over time to stick with windsurfing. There are a myriad of reasons for that, but I must emphasize that I'm not blaming those that fade from or abandon the sport. Admittedly, it's a bit disheartening to see folks leave the sport, but it does take quite an investment in time and energy to maintain over the long haul. Also, nature doesn't always cooperate with our schedules, so windsurfing requires a significant degree of patience on one hand, and conversely, strong persistence on the other hand. As you know from your past surfing background, there's not always a swell to rely on, so one has to be able to float it through the flat times when you want to surf but it's just not there. Perhaps being seasoned by this type environment gives us the strength of purpose to participate over time. Not everybody can do this, and those that can't find other activities that better suit their personality and disposition.

Getting back to the FOD idea, I think it would be great to have an Olympic event that's focused on the planing side of things. I know your disappointed with this kind of direction, because you would prefer that the Olympics reverted back to classic longboard choice. So now, Starboard is being targeted for blame because they elected to pursue a campaign without holding an election amoungst the racers of the world. While Starboard does manufacture a number of longboards, and they could have promoted them for the next Olympic cycle, they didn't. It seems quite clear that the direction chosen coincides with the thoughts of folks like myself. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Ct 249
28th August 2008, 04:22 AM
Sure, Steve, i have often pointed the finger at the industry's excessive focus on one (wonderful) part of the sport; and now the head of Starboard has come out and apparently said the same thing.

My ideal for the Games isn't just a longboard, but a longboard and a shortboard; the setup may still be cheaper than the RSX and would show our sport in all its fantastic width, unlike ANY one-board class.

Just for me, I would much rather see the FOD class in the Games than the RSX, but there's a big difference between what we want as individuals and what is good for the sport. Given experience in three or four similar situations, you'd also have to worry about FW's future if the FOD concept took off. We've created Olympic OD classes from open classes before, and the open class has ALWAYS suffered. Why hurt FW?

I'm not targeting Starboard for blame for not holding an election. I never said that, or anything like it. Starboard's FOD campaign does say things that are arguably untrue (they claim that most racers want a "planing board"; where is the evidence? If that is true, why do most racers sail hybrids or longboards?) but my concern is with the fact that the IWA apparently chose to back the bid without asking its constituents, or warning them. They have also backed a bid that puts words in the mouths of racing sailors (words that are contradicted by what many or most racing sailors choose to sail) and that may not be a great thing.

steveC
28th August 2008, 10:46 AM
C249,

My apologies about the Starboard/IWA thing, as I apparently misunderstood that part of the drift. So, as I understand it now, you're really at odds with the IWA, and not necessarily with Starboard's responsive proposal. That's an important difference in the overall scheme of things.

When it really comes down to it, I'm truly supportive of the two board approach to the problem of racing. This initially came up in an earlier thread where the introduction of the Serenity, along with Starboard's FOD concept, would make the perfect combination for literally almost any condition possible. I really liked this suggestion, and said so at the time. Not only would it be relatively inexpensive, it would create a well rounded sailor/athlete that was well prepared for almost any outcome, even those where wind was very light. Rather than creat a single board that doesn't do anything really well because it's trying to cover to many bases, the two board approach really leverages off the strategies that so many windsurfers depend on. Each design sophisticates it's design focus and is clearly unencumbered by added weight and compromise required by the single approach concept. I carry a 6 board quiver (and that doesn't include the Serenity I'm trying add to the mix) to meet my needs, so the conditions rarely leave me without some alternatives.

Kip
28th August 2008, 01:12 PM
A few short questions to Kip, just for sake of argument
In order not to mix old oranges and new apples it would be nice to know what models of longboards are available at these local resorts. What generation do they represent?

If the Starboard Race 380 was FUN to sail, shouldn't it be possible to make slightly more recreational boards with similar attributes? Would that be exiting?

[re selling longboards]...significant risk capital (in the range of 1500 Euro per complete set), significant risk in marketing and publicity, lots of time to promote, demonstrate, show, sell, etc. It does in fact mean running a windsurfing shop (in my case virtual).

I've sailed The Kona, the smaller Kona, the larger Manolo, about 3 versions of the starboard raceboard. There are no raceboards of the older generation here available to rent/trial. The IMCOs belong to the Thai windsurf assocation.

The starboard 380 that I liked was not liked as much by the majority of people who tried it, they preferred something slightly shorter and wider; which to me start to get back to that barge feeling; I think the preferred one for most people was that 320 one. And no, it was not more exciting (for me), it felt like sailing a starboard start board vs. a formula board. I guess my point is that longboards excel for racing, but I cannot ever see the majority of shortboarders wanting to race at all, and I certainly can't see them all wanting to race on a longboard.

The Kona, incidentally, is not popular really here in Thailand at all. Most people still prefer to sail a shortboard, and if the wind is light....go do something else. The guys who raced in the Kona worlds, I think a few of them actually sail the Kona for freestyle and mucking around in the light; it is a very nice board. Of course, has all the same issues as formula because mostly everyone then cannot afford to run multiple rigs, and ends up finding the biggest possible rig to get planing in the lowest possible winds.... sail area is king in light winds, that is why rig improvement is key to improving the sport.

C249
I am still not convinced we can compare the majority of a small market today with the massive market of 20 years ago then draw any meaningful conclusions. At the end of the day..... times change. We don't see flares, ford escorts, telegraphs, mobile phone bricks, houses built with real timber floors etc much these days either - not saying in any way that longboards are a fad on par with flares but just saying that each of these products were huge at one time and a variety of reasons cause them not to be huge now; it isn't just that 'ford escorts were boxy and they sold really well, modern fords are quite curvy and don't sell as well, so let's make fords boxy again, as we sold 20,000,000 ford escorts back then'.

I for one am not convinced that no matter HOW hard you push longboards or any other gear, that you will EVER see windsurfing as big as it was in the 1980s. Like other fads, including carving snowboards (which used to be something like 80% of the market in Europe and was a significant proportion of the early 90s market in USA and is now less than 1% of the entire industry) windsurfing was a big hit, it reached popular culture, people bought the gear, and then discovered..... it is not nearly as easy as it looks and the gear is heavy and cumbersome.

Hell, the entire reason why I tried windsurfing once and swore I never would waste another day on the the sport was the heavy, hard to sail board (presumably a WOD or similar) that I tried once in the mid 80s as a kid. How many people do you think were similarly affected, and as a result how many boards do you think are lying around the world rotting? There used to be a lake in Bangkok where in the 80s people would go and sail around and around in the light winds and we are talking hundreds and hundred of people...actually this is the lake where starboard is based now. The gear is still there to be used...but maybe a couple of times a week you see a person showing up to sail. Now the lake is dominated by a cable ski with rap music blasting as the new generation of water sports people show up to do something that requires not much gear, not much skill to start and is not reliant on wind.

The learner gear is here now, both quality longboards and wideboards, but that has almost no relevance to the olympic market we are talking about now. As SteveC says, this is asking for people to have patience, to dedicate time and to invest money when there are so many other choices now available to spend recreational time.

You claim most racers sail hybrid or longboards? Is there some stat for this relative to slalom/formula/etc? Certainly here in Thailand it would be close between formula and longboards, but once you include slalom racing the shortboard scene would be bigger.

And how much of that is the result of sports authorities i.e. not individuals choosing a board and then getting the teams to race them e.g. our authority has team IMCO boards for training and RSXs for the olympic team hopefuls.

Take those two out, and I would say that there are less than 10 longboard sailors in all of Thailand who own race boards....if really pushed...I cannot think of a single person but there is probably some. By comparison...... at least 20-30 formula racers, 20-30 slalom racers and all on their own gear. And if you compare who races to who just comes to sail, then you can expand the shortboards by another few hundred percent...but longboards would increase by maybe....3-10 (of which almost all are, interestingly, serenity boards I would guess).

For Olympics.....
I too think a way to go is 2 boards. But I think even better is a single board per olympic cycle based on conditions....a formula type board for the UK is probably the best solution. A longboard would have been ahead of time the best solution for CHina, Greece, LA and the various other light wind loations. And let's face it, windsurfing on the RSX was so painful to watch in the ultra light, it is going to look like that on anything other than a longboard and even then you are not going to be able to stop pumping unless you go laser anti kinetics style and have protests continuously. A formula board can be forced to sail around a course; it will suck but then can slog their way around.

This avoids obsolesence and is the closest fit with what real windsurfing is about - a 4 year cycle to prepare - a match and reflection that no olympic board has ever been able to last more than a cycle of. It is cost controlled and it means that each 4 years, the same manufacturer changes the molds to be updated.

To me, the biggest innovations are likely to be in the rigs, not the boards anyhow.

I would expect one of the best people to ask would be Tom Ashley, since he just won. Note that almost all the IMCO athletes had little trouble to adapt to the RSX. There is no way around the fact that there is an ideal favoured body type for every race situation. Not all of us will ever have the skills of someone like Ainsley.

The other alternative is to make olympics totally not linked to the recreational sport (the F1 slash Amcup approach) and just create a racer's board.

The thing is the objectives are so overreaching, I am not sure any one solution stands out as the optimum for olympic racing. However, at least in NZ, one coach has been able to take winners to the podium on Div 2, IMCO, RSX. So perhaps the sports are not as far apart as we think.....

Unregistered
28th August 2008, 02:44 PM
The Kona claims (without contradiction I've seen) to be the #1 selling board in the world; the fact that longboards are the fastest-growing type seems to indicate that they are in fact selling. But there may be a lot of inertia from the 25 year old "windsurfing = planing" thing. ng newbies that way..

Hell, shortboards are fantastic. Ain't none of us ever said they aren't. The more people love them, the better....it's just not all of the sport.

Care to back that up with a quote?

I just asked one of the people who makes boards, and he was like what the....who says??

I am fairly sure this is simply impossible to claim except as marketing fluff.

As for longboards being the fastest growing, if that includes SUP then sure. After all, we are talking formula 2001/2002 type growth i.e. the category basically didn't exist, and now it is starting again.

I doubt the actual numbers of boards is high, which would explain why we see relatively few boards on the water and also the reticence of the industry to sell them/stock them through the supply chain.

Even taking into account the massive numbers of boards being purchased by sailing authorities, I still think you will find the total size of the hybrid/raceboard market to be pretty niche. SUP market would be bigger, at a guess, than the entire hybrid/raceboard category.

I probably cannot reveal direct sources, but you know where all the boards get made right?

You also claim:
'20 years ago it would have been true to say "the vast majority of surfers are not interested at all in longboards and most likely never will be" and yet now longboards make up the majority of the surfing market. Twenty years ago you could have said "the vast majority of US and Australian large car buyers are not interested at all in 4wds/SUPs" and yet now SUPs and 4WDs make up the majority of privately-bought large vehicles.'

I surfed 20 years ago, and longboarding was reasonably popular as a minority sport back then; still seems to me to be minority of boards on the water but I don't surf much; you could well be right because like the wideboards, the longboards are great for the beginner/rental market as well as the older people, but even then I am simply not sure that the majority of surfers are long boarders, my guess is the majority of surfers might even be lidders! (bodyboarders).

I think what you mean is longboards represent the majority of retail sales in certain markets as claimed by people like Longbreak (longboarder magazine) but when you consider that a longboard is 2-3X times the cost of a shortboard and when you consider the huge 2nd hand shortboard market, then it is a bit hard to confirm whether in fact longboarding is indeed the more popular form of surfing even if the sales say it is (conversion rates, number of boards per person etc etc). At university I surfed sometimes 5 days a week; most longboarders if I am to believe the demographics claimed are affluent middle aged family men who probably surf like 1 days a week or something at the most (ref. Longbreak re stats of the types of people who longboard).

The longboard, anyway, is still surfing, so they are not so different, despite the claims of a bunch of surfers ;-)

ct 249
28th August 2008, 08:39 PM
Steve, BTW the two board concept is old; it was used from '85 on in the "Amateur Funboard World Cup" and then Formula 42. It was also used, with Lechners and slalom boards, for the '80s Tour de France.

Kip, you're probably right, windsurfing won't be as big as it was. That may be a good thing, but maybe it would be nice if it was bigger than it is. Sure, going "back" is not a recipe for success, but neither is ignoring the past and continuing on a course that has not done brilliantly.

Sure, Escorts don't sell.....but newer cars that are practical sell. The car market didn't move en masse to faster cars you can only use in certain conditions, as the windsurfer market did. And the problems of the UK and USA car industries prove that even the biggest industries can make dumb moves. If GM could blow it, why not windsurfer builders?

I know you feel longboards are heavy, but isn't that all comparative? Not too long ago, we were calling a 17kg King Cobra incredibly light. Some people think a 6.5m boat that weighs 330kg is "light", but to a sailor from the 6m 110kg Sharpie class it's 3 times too heavy! http://www.star-board.com/forum/images/icons/icon7.gif . Of course your boat is incredibly light, compared to other sportsboats, but it's still all relative.

About the number of racers; see . I have NEVER claimed those to be perfect figures, and asked for help to improve them. However, the fleets in the US Nationals, Aussie nationals, UK series, French rankings, German rankings, and world titles all added up certainly point to a predominance of boards with centreboards. Yes, as I mentioned a coouple of times in other places, this leaves out many countries (esp Poland and Asia) but it includes many of the biggest. In others, the info I can find indicates no massive shortboard fleets racing regularly; once or twice a year in La Defi or Ledge to Lancelin is different; as is GPS speedsailing.

The numbers total;

1329 junior hybrid sailors (Techno 293, + a guessed 300 T15 kids on hybrids)
625 junior Longboard sailors (assuming 500 of the 800 T-15 sailors are on longboards)
556 Kona One/Windsurfer One sailors (many Kona sailors probably on borrowed boards).
405 FW sailors (an underestimate, one assumes, although the class does not list more than 100 sailors in any country in the ISAF report)
320 adult Raceboard sailors (not counting the French Raceboard sailors as they may be RSX sailors, but assuming 50% of all "US Open" sailors are raceboarders which is probably an underestimate given that they count FW separately)
195 adult hybrid sailors (not counting the French RSX/Raceboard sailors)
100 Youth Hybrid sailors (perhaps an underestimate as some of the national rankings are not broken down)
68 FW Youth/Junior
41 FE Youth/Junior (assuming all US FE sailors are Juniors or Youth)

As I said, very, very rubbery figures but better than just looking at our own backyards - mine would show 99% longboards which is definitely wrong!


It's hard to see how a board designed for "Olympic conditions" would work. For one, what are they? The RSXs had three windy days in China, which is normally deadly light; other classes had very little wind. Athens was also atypical; light for some classes, survival conditions for those that raced other days. This year, at the time of year when the 2012 games will be one, the site had 3 days of well over 30 knots (as the Moth worlds did at the same place) yet that isn't typical. Korea was going to be a light-wind Olympics but it blew like stink. We didn't get a single big westerly in Sydney.

And what of the other Olympic circuit regattas? Hyeres (?), Kiel, SIRS, Melbourne, Princess Sofia, Palma....the class has to work there as well, which is why the Aussie FW champ raises concerns.


Unregistered, the Kona claim comes from Kona, who are obviously biased; that's why I specifically referred to it as a claim rather than as a fact. However, I've never seen a figure to back the claim that the Go or Start was the top-selling board, either.

Longboard sales; I can't find the industy mags i got a lot of the info from. But here's some, indicating the rebound;

Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sydney, 1999; "World wide they now account for 60% of surfboard sales, less than 10 years ago it was just 5% and it's just not the grey haired getting back onto them."

"By 2002, longboarders made up an estimated 40% of surfers worldwide"; "The Encyclopedia of Surfing".

"shortboards accounting for 45 percent of the total, longboards 33 percent and hybrids 22 percent. " US Surf Industy Manufacturer's Association survey 2006.

"Bill Coward of Maroochydores Bad Company Surf Shop said longboards outsell their shorter versions in his shop three to one and females were really taking to the new cut down mals." The Daily, 2006

Same seems to be happening in skating; http://www.boardsports.com/the-longboard-sect.html

CT 249
28th August 2008, 08:51 PM
By the way, to repeat something said earlier (unless Svein's speech was mis-reported) it's not just me and the rest of the alleged longboard diehards who think that the sport dropped off (and by much more than usual drop off of new sports) and that a less focussed view of the sport is best - it is in fact Svein's belief as well.

PG
29th August 2008, 02:34 AM
1) The claim that the KONA ONE is the best selling board model in the world is likely to be true. It probably sells more than any single model from any other brand, like Starboard Rio M. In the Rio case sales are split between S, M and L models. But of course Starboard make much more boards, counting all models and sizes, than Exocet. I would not be surprised if there were more Futuras than KONA One boards made...


2) One part of my brain, maybe that closest to my heart, would really like to see Formula as the Olympic board. But it certainly makes it a boatspeed only game, with very little tactical finess.
Another part of my brain says that "what if there would be one Olympics without any wind"... The result would likely be that windsurfing got kicked out of the Olympics altogether. But regardless, in order for Formula to be realistic in the Olympics the schedule would have to be very different from the other classes. The fleet would have to be on constant standby for two weeks, ready to race as many races, at any hour of the day, that is possible to cram in when (if) it is windy. It is not just about picking another board type, the whole olympic (sailboat driven) sailing scheme would have to be altered. It is not impossible, if there is a will there is a way (but would it bring any better TV-coverage?).
Maybe at the end of the day the Raceboard 9.5 class would be likely to be the most successfull over a few olympiads.

Joe
29th August 2008, 03:51 AM
Great discussions as always.

The more I think about the more I am convinced that what windsurf racing (including the olympics) needs is Formula 1.2 (1 sail, 2 boards). Take Starboard's FOD and add a serenity and you have close to the ultimate wind powered racing in <25knots for the rough equivilant cost of the rsx and much cheaper than formula.

Look at James' great chart - Formula + Serenity is the best racing for those winds. (I hope you don't mind the link James!)
http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2008/08/types-of-windsurf-racing.html

steveC
29th August 2008, 05:34 AM
C249,

You're quite right that the two board format certainly isn't new on some fronts, but for the Olympics it's my understanding that it would be in the sailing arena. Clearly Joe's thoughts coincide with this approach, and as he notes, the use of only one sail makes things fairly simple and inexpensive. All wind ranges would prove viable, and this could be accomplished with a minimum of pumping. Contrary to FE, the use of a carbon boom would polish the package off, to include possibly a choice of two fins to cover both boards (a weedfin could be a choice in some venues). Very creative, flexible and results focused. The potential conditions experienced in races can mix things up, but that's what defines the total Olympic athlete, and separates the outcome from a specialty racing formats like formula or real light wind longboards where body types often bend or skew the results.

Sail Quick
29th August 2008, 09:00 AM
The only hope we have is for KA to start making boards as well as sails, only then will have quality windsurfing equipment, although Starboard is the next best thing to KA of course.
Maybe KA, Starboard and C249 should get together and fix windsurfing?

Philip
29th August 2008, 10:11 AM
I support the FOD concept because 'less is more'. Just a personal view. Anyway the main point I offer is that WS at the recent Olympics got very little coverage here in Australia. What is more surprising though is that in the discussion on the future of WS in the Olympics I have seen very little commentary on what actually happened at the Olympics hosted by China. A recent TV report from China by an Australian journalist moreover made the point that China is now poised to massively expand its involvement in many sports including WS. A pointer to the future?

Unregistered
29th August 2008, 12:59 PM
tactical sailing???

We all know the windsurfer is an athletic contest at the moment, and was in the IMCO days as well; it is not going to make much difference whether you stick with longboards or go formula; upwind in this type of craft is more strategic than tactical (i.e. right side of the course; leverage over key competitors vs. roll tacking on every single little shift).

DOwnwind, anyone that says planing craft are less tactical than the plow to the mark subplaners probably has not spent much time on them. Formula is hugly strategic and tactical downwind because gybes are planing gybes and you have a constant VMG tradeoff that can be leverage to screw up others; ditto for other planing craft as well. I have to tolerate this crap from the keelboat guys I sail with, who claim my planing yacht (downwind) is 'not tactical' (and therefore in their eyes rubbish) even though I have yet to see any tactics downwind in them sailing with virtually no place changes race after race straight at the downwind mark and very minor manipulations of the rules; by comparison the gains or losses and ability to put the hurt on with a downwind gybing machine like a formula board is far more IMHO.

Upwind ok sure there is less tactics to sailing a Tornado (I am told) than a Finn because of the relative losses in tacking vs. fully powered up boat speed. Are any windsurfers truly tactical other than slalom racing? (I don't know the answer, and hope someone can answer).

Once they allowed people to plow into marks, to touch eachother and to have full kinetics, you already have pretty much relegated windsurfing to be a relatively non tactical sport. I suspect the height of tactics would have been the period of the Div 2 boards, where you can not lose too much by tacking and where in light winds it was not the pump fest it has evolved to - unlike the current crop of boards (including formula) but they are all much the same except perhaps the Kona racing which theoretically doesn't allow pumping; obviously if it ever evolved to Olympic level that would be almost impossible to police.

The only way the Kona could be the biggest selling model is that they haven't changed the model year on year for 3 years now, and there is really only one model of board. by that criteria, the WOD and the IMCO are probably bigger sellers than the Kona. Smoke and mirrors - although a lovely mirror, it is a great board. Volumes are definitely miles lower than what would be implied by saying it is the world's biggest selling board; I think they mean it is the world's biggest selling single model of board when calculated over the life of the board and excluding any boards not still in production. Which it probably is ;-)

PG - formula needs to be prepared to have racing in slog conditions if they want to be olympic; there is no way around it. The same as the tornados and 49ers which look just as lame in those conditions, but it is part of the game. We saw most of the world spending serious cash in order to optimise their body weight and even rig plans (e.g. tornado American team custom kite) to deal with that. The windsurfer is far easier, as it is possible to simply create a board tilted towards those conditions, and let everyone have that board. For Formula, that is in general the earliest possible planer, with the ability to still race in sub planing mode. The skill is high but the viewing spectacle of Dempsey in Greece was probably enough to convince most people that no matter what board you put someone on, racing a windsurfer in sub 3 knots is pure pumping, pure pain and purely painful to watch.

A mega fin is probably what is required. Sure it will look stupid, be a luckfest and people will complain, but that is not significantly different to the moaners in Greece, Aussie, LA etc who weren't happy with the lack of breeze and the viewing spectacle of windsurfing in light winds. That's the sport of sailing. I don't bother in sub 3 knots unless to race, but as an Olympian or yacht racer or any sort, you have to be prepared to go out in that or come last.

With board rig development formula could be considerably better than it is now, that I think is part of the concept of Apollo project, and I was very surprised how well the board sailed in one of the first iterations 2 years ago (I am not that good and was quite easily able to plane up in about 7 knots and then point up and down from there); I am sure it would be more advanced from there.

To compare longboard surfing now with 30 years ago, it is easy to forget the boards are cmopletely different in weight, strength and how easy they are to use, even though they may superficially look very similar. If windsurfing is to do the same for longboards, then it probably needs to go through a modernisation smiilar to what surfing did; the market for the original longboards e.g. atlas woods era remains very expensive, very small and very focused on art rather than actualy riding the boards...because let's face it surfing on those old heavy boards is way harder than using quality modern gear.

Same same for the windsurf industry - if they can sort out the weight issue then the longboards stand a good chance of earlier planing and more market acceptance. e.g. my GF can handle a formula board (weight 8kg) she cannot easily even lift most of the longboards which are up around almost 20kg. And yes, with a smaller rig she can sail either. She just struggles to get the longboard to the water.

We are talking about two completely different issues of course; olympics and general public. But they are somewhat interlinked as the Laser Radial new rig for olympics/women/youths has shown.

fran4065
29th August 2008, 09:24 PM
What about the research field of a 3.20 to 3.80m board without daggerboard, but with a deep fin, may be two positions, and enough rail to go well upwind ?

This board could be as light as 9 to 10 kgs, without the factory nightmare which is the dagerboard hole,( which is very costly also.)

Fairly fast upwind, and in sub planning conditions, very close to the formula performance in planning conditions, much easier than the formula in strong wind, and downwind...

I have no memory of such a concept...
Am I wrong?

Ricko
30th August 2008, 07:09 AM
I will say this again.....If you want to race in 0-25 Knots plenty of tactics and no pumping needed, bring back the Division 1 board MISTRAL SUPERLIGHT length 380cm width 68cm volume 260 liters WEIGHT 16 kgs it had a 6.3m2 sail and thats all it needed, ofcourse you could modenise the sail if you like. I would be more than happy to race again with this board. If anyone wants a photo I can send you one.

PG
30th August 2008, 12:38 PM
Clarification: "The only way the Kona could be the biggest selling model is that they haven't changed the model year on year for 3 years now, and there is really only one model of board. by that criteria, the WOD and the IMCO are probably bigger sellers than the Kona."

The claim was of course ANNUALLY.

I believe it is pretty much impossible today to reach the sales figures of yesteryear, and thus become the best selling board ever. The market back then was some 400% bigger!

But the sales numbers are irrelevant when it comes to picking the next Olympic board...

C249
30th August 2008, 04:19 PM
It's crap to say that there's no tactics in gybing downwind; it's also wrong IMHO to say there's no tactics in boat that perform best DDW. Whether it's a board or cat in strong winds when you're gybing through 90, or a Laser running DDW in light, it's intensely tactical...maybe more in the latter case IMHO because the fleet tends to be more packed. In something like a Laser fleet you are going up and down to intercept each puff, rolling away or heating up or going BTL for best VMG, while working leverage and angles over your competitors, intensely trying to synchronise puffs and the angle and size of waves for surfing opportunities, and trying to anticipate the mark rounding. Since it's common to go around overlapped with several other competitors, even 5cm is vital.

Sure, some people go from DDW classes to faster boats and say there's more tactics - but isn't that because they already know the DDW tactics from years of experience and then find there's a whole new box of tricks to learn? But the new box of tricks is not any harder than the old box of tricks....as the last Olympics proved (ex laser sailors 1st and 3rd) you can go from a DDW class to a tacking-downwind class, but skiff champs do poorly in Lasers, indicating that it's not dead easy to go the other way.

Some of the stuff I sail goes from DDW in the light to gybing through about 70 to 80 in the breeze. IMHo there's no difference in the importance of tactics.

"Are any windsurfers truly tactical other than slalom racing? (I don't know the answer, and hope someone can answer)."

It seems to me that non-pumping longboards can be truly tactical, in the style of Etchells or Lasers, but in the boats most of the fleet is pretty much competitive in speed and handling whereas in the boards only a minority are as competitive in speed and handling. Therefore in boards there are therefore fewer competitors who you have a real tactical battle with IMHO; most of them you can just speed away from. So it's less tactical overall. God knows why that's a problem; the ability to get more straight-line speed (a skill fast gear tests more) is just as important IMHO (and I'm not much good at it).

In big winds or on faster boards, in my experience, the boards are distinctly less tactical. Others may disagree but how many of them have good records in slow gear? If they cannot win on slow gear, then how do they know the tactics needed in slow gear and therefore how can they compare the two?


Fran, in the normal variable conditions how would you choose where to put the fin? The rails are low aspect and therefore inherently not efficient in terms of preventing leeway, aren't they?

Cats can have very deep, narrow shapes and a cat without boards cannot compete with a cat with boards.

Modern sails with a wide wind range are twice as heavy as original sails. We happily accept doubling the weight for more adjustability in our sails, so accepting a 20% increase in weight for a 100% adjustability in CB size looks okay by comparison. The production costs are, of course, a problem, but then modern fast boards are hard to produce cheaply too.

About the Kona numbers - are people going on opinion or fact? If it's fact, care to share?

C249
30th August 2008, 04:21 PM
Sorry, the bit about the last Olympics was meant to say "as the last Olympics in the Tornado cat (which tacks downwind at about 90 degrees) proved....

fran4065
30th August 2008, 06:57 PM
C249:
Fran, in the normal variable conditions how would you choose where to put the fin? The rails are low aspect and therefore inherently not efficient in terms of preventing leeway, aren't they?

Cats can have very deep, narrow shapes and a cat without boards cannot compete with a cat with boards.

You may be right C249, what about a "sabre" daggerboard with a simple dagerboard hole: light and much more easy to built than the large ones...
...Maybe dangerous to have the daggerboard half out on the deck, or on the arm when speeding more than 30 knots!

Unregistered
31st August 2008, 06:19 PM
kona numbers my source is the factory that makes them, but they would not be able to give much information other than the question whether in fact it is the biggest selling board as of now. The Futura or Go would probably have that title - multiple models of course.

Biggest selling model perhaps, still think that is possible. And let's not sell the board short, it is frigging awesome no matter what the sales.

Chris - there are a lot of rules in play now in windsurfing where you can plow into marks, pumping ok etc that make it decidely less tactical than boat rules coming into marks and fewer kinetics would be (which windsurfing used to have); it is the hardest event, IMHO to win at the olympics, but right now, I agree with your assessment that the boat speeds aren't equal; that stems from the massive importance of pumping strength and atheleticism. That may explain why the Chinese (with relatively less sailing/tactical knowledge) have jumped into this class so successfully, yet been relatively a lot less successful in the other classes.

I am not saying there is more tactics in a downwind planer, perhaps I was a bit too knee jerk. But to think they have no tactics (the usual DDW line which I hear every single time I go out sailing, and which I am sure almost every high performance sailing sailor has heard if they front up with a skiff, planing board, or otherwise) is not disimilar to the lines levelled at windsurfing by non windsurfers - 'it is just air rowing, there aren't much tactics are there?' and so on. If that is why people choose or don't choose a class......at least the facts should be right.

My crew is 9th at the Hobie worlds, SEA champion, Asian games champion in Hobie 16s, 420s, 470s, tactician on a farr 40 and also has won the Platus here and more recently with me, sportboats in some of our regattas.

He doesn't think the slower boats are less tactical. He also doesnt' think they are more tactical. He certainly does point out specific angles though; especially downwind split gybes where a planer/cat or similar can make or break; upwind where the cost of each tack is so much more in the Hobie than the 420. he also doesn't think that dinghies are less tactical than keelers for the most part, despite the massive information advantage they have on a keeler.

All this of course, you well know, and I think we can put to rest that a board should be selected or not selected on the basis of 'that one is tactical, this one is not' unless we start to bring in significant kinetics, at which point tactics will start to come second to kinetics generating ability, which I think is a problem (note many others do not, and love the pump fest).

Unregistered
1st September 2008, 07:19 AM
Formula would be nice, but this is the issue

Final day - event reports
16:06 | I am afraid that is it for this event - we do not have time to validate these championships. The prize giving will go ahead - but no european titles this year. The organisers have done everything expected of them ; unfortunately this championship will be remembered for lack of wind.


Longboards with 10.5/9.0 sail selection can cover all winds

Unregistered
1st September 2008, 02:14 PM
Formula would be nice, but this is the issue

Final day - event reports
16:06 | I am afraid that is it for this event - we do not have time to validate these championships. The prize giving will go ahead - but no european titles this year. The organisers have done everything expected of them ; unfortunately this championship will be remembered for lack of wind.


Longboards with 10.5/9.0 sail selection can cover all winds

very true.

although you can run formula racing in sub planing; it just totally sucks. Formula organisers insist on it being a minimum of (if I recall) 6 knots min wind speed average of 8 or something like that, with consistent wind direction.

In fact, I've raced boats where we could have protested the race committee when the wind swung so far that the upwind legs were layable in one hit; so it isn't only wind strength but also direction, and direction affects all classes.

The 49ers and Tornados claim I think a minimum wind strength of 6 knots to start, but they can race in less. The formula guys if they are serious about wanting olympic selection, need to prove that the class can still somehow drift around the course in sub 6. It is going to occur on some days for sure.

Unregistered
4th September 2008, 05:34 AM
I will say this again.....If you want to race in 0-25 Knots plenty of tactics and no pumping needed, bring back the Division 1 board MISTRAL SUPERLIGHT length 380cm width 68cm volume 260 liters WEIGHT 16 kgs it had a 6.3m2 sail and thats all it needed, ofcourse you could modenise the sail if you like. I would be more than happy to race again with this board. If anyone wants a photo I can send you one.

me to. Bring back the superlight!

Unregistered
23rd September 2008, 08:47 PM
This is by far the most interesting topic I have read in ages. I really do hope the longboard makes a return to the Olympics. It was so much more exciting when everyone had the IMCO, it was good for everything and it plains. I am really disapointed with the whole formula thing, no soul.