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4th August 2012 07:35 PM
jmunkki There are a lot more women now sailing at my home spot here in Finland. I think there was some sort of culture change a few years ago: there were more demos & basic windsurfing courses at the beach and we got a whole lot of new people into the sport. In addition to the demos & courses, the local club also started improving the shared gear that the club provides for members.

From what I have seen, women seem to prefer to plan well ahead, so they don't mind that they have to reserve the gear on a web calendar. The calendar also allows them to be more social: they can book the same time slot as their friends and do the rigging and sailing together. Most of the women who started a few years ago are now on their first or second board of their own. A few of them are still using the club gear.

So, my advice would be to improve the social aspects of the sport. A simple web calendar goes a long way in achieving that.
3rd August 2012 07:53 PM
NewStoke I've taught a few girls, but I think the major thing that causes people to lose interest is the cost of everything.
10th July 2012 07:17 AM
Farlo These are just my 5 cents but... my wife was sailing much better than me when I met her. For a few years we enjoyed windsurfing together, then she gave up almost completely after our first kid. The main reason was that she didn't like it to become addictive... watching trees all the time, planning nothing on weekends just in case, waiting for gusts all day long, changing board/sails every year, reading stupid magazines (not talking of stupid forums). This is not an explanation because other sports are addictive as well. Maybe there is something special in windsurf that makes you a bit selfish.
9th July 2012 06:34 PM
Unregistered Yeh you might be right ... Nobody`s perfect and all that..
I`m in better mood now booked for Kos !!!

And I do agree... There arent enough females involved in our sport.. If you compare with other similar sports (Wakeboarding/water skiing/Snowboarding etc) I do suspect there are relatively fewer.. Not sure why..Go on a skiing holiday and its probably 50/50 on slopes.. Sailing holiday and its more like 90/10 ?? And I dont think ski schools make any allowances or offer different approaches??? Perhaps some skiing instructor might know???
Any ideas ???

Good winds

Take care..
7th July 2012 05:51 AM
windalchemist careful here, you're falling into stereotypes XD (I wish I were lighter ^^)

but yeah, I'll be working on it, I definitely want to try forward loops, I see so few people sticking or even attempting them, my windsurfing insrtuctor told it was even easier than jibes (technically speaking!)
3rd July 2012 04:04 PM
Floyd1957 PS
To answer original question.

TELL WOMEN ITS A SPORT THEY CAN BEAT THEIR BOYFRIENDS/HUSBANDS/BROTHERS AT...

Cos they CAN !!!!

They dont need any special allowances.. They`ve got the trump card. More intelligent; smaller ego`s and lighter weight... Just do it !!!
3rd July 2012 03:46 PM
Floyd1957 Hi Windalchemist
Think we are saying similar things. Do agree with much of what you say. Being father of 2 girls I have witnessed discrimination against them. In their case its only served to make them try harder.

The physical thing you mention about competing with your male friend is not exclusive to just females and its not necessarily a male female thing..Ofcourse men tend to be stronger and build muscle quicker. But dont forget you arent competing with him; you are competing with yourself (as he also is) The important issue is the relative gain of both...Not one matched against the other.. Endurance wise things are much closer than we tend to think anyway.. Big muscles consume loads of energy...(Compare male/female results in sprinting then in long distance running.Relative less difference the longer the event) Sail your own style.Dont copy his.
If we examine male/female performance over the entire spectrum of ability its quite likely that the top female s would only get towards the top 10% in males; however this also means that if a female gets towards the 75th percentile in female performance; she is well above the 50th (roughly) male..
This is just a complicated way of saying a good female sailor will beat an average male. (And that applies in all sports) Unfortunately the media only report on the top 1% of performers so the public are led to believe women are always poorer than men..Look at it another way. The top female tennis player at wimbledon would wipe the floor with your average male club player.Only thing is he doesnt know it !!!

My point is male or female need individual approaches and equipment. If this is done correctly the male/female issue is irrelevant.. The perfect kit for a 75kg sailor of a particular standard is the same be it for male or female...

I often wonder how many differences are actual nature and how many are society driven nurture..

Watersports in general are a place women CAN compete on equal terms.. Dont ever think any other.. You are giving your psyche a reason and justification to fail; for him to be better. Sure he might do higher jumps; he might go a bit faster (thats pure physics and nothing to do with ability) but make sure your gybes are neater; tighter; smoother. Work on finesse and precision. (Again not a male/female thing a simple weight/strength one !!! I`d be saying same to a lighter male)
If you tire early dont put it down to a female thing. Check your diet; your fluid intake..Work on relaxing whilst sailing..Look for cheats whilst sailing/dropping into lines. Are your lines too long/short. Are you over working a particular area.Improve your stamina and efficiency then see how things look later. Dont just accept it that males are fitter !!! They aint.. He`sworked to get where he is.. To beat him unfortunately you will just have to work that bit harder or more cleverly !!!
Train to your own limits; expectations and goals. Forget his..Sail to your strengths.
And dont think he has all benefits.. His big arms use up energy at an alarming rate. His ego will insist he sails a board thats just a touch too small and his sail just a touch too big. He`ll probably have a hangover if its sunday. He sinks in lulls way faster than you; he has to enter gybes faster to plane out. Look for your positives and train to them. When he`s in a lull ; glyde past him and make sure you wave !!!

Good thread on a topic that has been a bugbear of mine..Sorry if it sounds like a crusade. Its an important issue.
3rd July 2012 01:18 PM
windalchemist I totally agree with you Floyd, unfortunately nowadays brands and ads plus old and new prejudices contribute to make us oversexualized and stereotyped human beings, instead of human beings first. Men and women are not different species as they are marketized. However I don't think you could say that they are exactly the same either, a few individuals apart.
I consider myself more as tom boy than a delicate creature on some aspects and never really was subject to discrimination, being a little bit "special" (I don't really know how to say this...).


So this all comes down to changing minds and societies in the end! Same old story, as old as the world itself. Some told me that at the beginning of the sport, there was no discrimination against any age or gender, the ads only showed young people having fun together in all kinds of conditions? Things look less bright now...

Any Starboard marketing pro in there to explain how stereotypes won over time?


PS: about "when she is good enough to practice by herself - with friends - do not leave her coping with all the house chores and babysitting that will eventually prevent her from sailing, and make her quit" it's not from me, it's from a female windsurfer complaining about her husband not involving himlself as much as he should to enable her to go windsurfing more often and relaxed.

The other statements are generalities that tend to be more or less true depending on the customs and countries, again, relax! If I compare with a friend of mine, they are all true! And I sometimes envy his strength and his ability to go 100% any time, any conditions. I try harder, try to level up my technique, and in the end I'm still no match for him most of the time (yet ^^). It's ennerving, it's not fair, I didn't develop enough skills to compensate my lack of big muscles (and maybe I don't have these skills) but it's the way it is for now.
2nd July 2012 06:04 PM
Floyd1957 Windalchemist

Agree with your last post (not so much your first) but with greatest respect comments from other posters along lines of...

"The difference is that we (men) are more enthusiast and able to bear a lot of hits and falls "

"I guess most women have no interest for technical stuff"

"otherwise they simply refuse to keep trying"

"few of them like to push their limits like most of the men do".

"when she is good enough to practice by herself - with friends - do not leave her coping with all the house chores and babysitting that will eventually prevent her from sailing, and make her quit"

--- are without doubt sexist. I admire your standpoint of either ignoring it or looking for best etc etc but many women in nearly every sport (and work) have been (and still are) subjected to this type of discrimination.(Actually utter BS)

It starts at home.(I had comments from relatives "what is he doing taking his girls skiing?")
If we are to more attract people into our sport we can not do it paying homage to the stereotyping seen in this thread. There are no great sportspeople who have achieved the outstanding by somebody somewhere making "allowances". We are all individuals needing certain help;praise . cajoling and at times contructive criticism. Being a "girl" should neither bring advantages or add barriers. There are females who can tolerate cold ; there are some that cant. There are men who push themselves ; there are many that dont. The most driven individual I ever coached was a girl.The least tolerant to water temperature was a bloke. I can not say from that women are driven and men dont like the cold..It varies within both groups.

Getting more females into sport is about changing stigma in society and not about changing the sports. (Same arguments apply to getting more women into engineering/law/surgery/politics etc etc.)

IMHO comments on here reflect this..
2nd July 2012 04:03 PM
windalchemist nakaniko gets my point, it's not about sexism guys...

Being a girl and windsurfing myself, I don't feel concerned about 99% of the stuffs I summed up. Really a matter of individuals and habits, with general trends that separate the 2 genders. It's hard not to make generalities when raising such issues.
I was the first on my spot off the wetsuit, then without lycra while guys were still in shorties, many of them asking: "ain't you cold?" well, if I were, I wouldn't be wearing a boardshort... X)
I quite feel like an outsider myself now that I've realized that there are actually not that many girls really into windsurfing. The spirit doesn't "grow" on everyone. On the other hand, I know I shouldn't feel so special with that level of mine... Anyway.

Probably the right answer was simply this: "The sport will attract those of the right disposition. Male or female."
Too bad then if there's only 15% women/85% (approx) men in windsurfing and probably the same in kitesurfing? The current situation is absolutely not a problem for me, I'm getting along pretty well with most of the windsurfers I meet. I was only wondering why it was uncommon, if there were "solutions", and curious to have men's points of view, to see how they see us.


And sorry for all the grammar mistakes, feel free to correct me!
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