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Old 26th January 2008, 02:36 AM   #23
Poster 18
Posts: n/a

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.
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