Fringe is OK but
> there 's enough people involved worldwide for companies
> to still invest in it, that's good enough!!!!!
You don't understand much, do you? Companies don't "invest" in your well-being. They develop products that will make profits, they create a need with magazines 2008 new board reviews and make sails .02 meters apart so you feel you need to buy more to be like the pros they flash all over the net and mags and videos you buy. NONE of the current windsurfing suppliers are NPOs. And this is all normal.
And prices are not going down at all because fewer people sail, no scale savings, less competition, etc.
Back to the topic: yes it is fringe now. I don't care about being a freak (I do freestyle, and often sail old gear, so I'd better not care about being a freak).
I just find it sad for those who could get into our great sport and don't, that's all. All those that wanted, were taught on the wrong equipment/conditions and gave up. Those that think it's an expensive sport by looking at the quiver guys (it's not an expensive sport) and won't try. Those that go to stores and are told that kiting is more fun and the "in" thing, and so on.
Too bad for them. Not enough sports and outdoor activity in our society - no need for stats here.
Not enough passion - just look around. Too many people watch TV and shop and renovate their house forever.
Not enough cheap fun in our society - skiers always require the latest expensive gear, all local sailboats here are brand new and quarter million min, etc.