|29th February 2008 04:33 AM|
Why grow the sport?
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!
|29th February 2008 04:18 AM|
Unfortunately there is no magic bullet to grow the sport.
|27th February 2008 09:02 AM|
|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.
|27th February 2008 02:18 AM|
Each to their own
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.
|26th February 2008 10:12 PM|
|yoyo||Hey Hardie I thought you'd canned the international idea.|
|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?
|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.
|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.
|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.
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