Make our voices heard
The Starboard community must all be aware of this post by CT249 of LBWS.
Show your support.
Certainly a well argued position.
If making a personal choice for recreation sailing or club racing (where available locally) it would be a long board with a moderate sail size. However, I favour FOD as an alternative to RSX which is expensive and not generally available anyway.
The retail part of the industry here in Australia does not promote sales of long or hybrid boards - I am happy to be corrected on this partial impression -otherwise we have to ask why is it so? Lack of a local club racing scene? Too expensive? This is not a criticism of the retailers, but only the idea that their market testing suggests that is not where the sales are going to be? Or self forefilling prophesy?
FOD by contrast at least superficially looks like the wide kind of board that Joe public sails and the 'less is more' approach does have its own attraction.
So yes poll the sailors but also ask the retailers in the front line too?
I should point out that in a lively behind-the-scenes exchange about this letter (and for once it was not me who was being provocative) the executive of the IWA have behaved in a thoroughly professional and gentlemanly fashion. Ceri Williams, who took the lead in presenting the IWA's position, was a pleasure to deal with.
I should also point out the point is NOT to promote the RSX or any longboard over the FOD for the Games. Leaving the whole OG games question aside, personally I'd much rather get a FOD than an RSX!
The issues - and they remain live ones - is whether or not the IWA should lend its name to a bid from one of its classes, without asking the national bodies and the sailors. Secondly, whether the IWA should support a bid that claims to speak for what racers want, when the world's racers have not been asked what they want and when most racing doesn't appear to be on "planing" boards.
The market may not support longboards, because they tend not to be the sort of thing that gets replaced every year or two. And some do have some odd preconceptions; at least one retailer has stated that he believes that LBs are for people who cannot afford FW, which is pretty weird considering that many of the longboard crowd are very comfortable financially. Then again, the same guy says that LBs are for people who aren't competitive enough for RSX, which is odd considering the top man and woman at the RSX nats both sail LBs and at least one of them does not win there.
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