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.