> No question, the vast number of windsurfers do it for the benefits of planing
I re-read the entire Olympic so-many-boards, so-many-rigs thread, which is along this one. 13 pages.
I don't understand. Planing is not a benefit or a skill, it's the state of a board in certain conditions, which granted is fun to do and is achieved faster and easier with more modern equipment. I've summarised the reasons for change in the Olympics in 3 categories.
If the reason for those threads is to attract more non-windsurfing viewership to Olympics, well sorry, but planing per se is as unexciting to watch (from a gentile spectator point of view) as what we saw on TV 1-2 weeks ago. Might make the pumping obsolete, which can be accomplished anytime thru rules anyways.
If it is to be more representative, and we often read "what we do" (who the hell is 'we'??), then I don't see how just planing - at any speed - is any more exciting to watch.
And if it's to attract viewership from 'planers', then I know very few sailors that go watch the others plane when they don't sail themselves, in fact, not a single one at all.
The Tube sailors watch, and used to buy, other than x-rated stuff, are all about jumping waves and sometimes freestyle, probably extremely few about planing and sailing straight. Just look at the viewing counters on YouTube. The idea of the Olympics is not to mimic the purely recreational side of a sport, which is great in itself, but to reproduce said sport at the highest level of competition. Competition in this case = racing with a everything-else-being-equal gear, because very unfortunately jumping and freestyle are unlikely to be part of the olympics in my lifetime.
One more point: to think that Serenity or others will fit the bill for 4-8 years (at least 1-2 cycles), not a chance. In 1-2 years, Serenity and others will have been made obsolete just like any other gear in the last 25 years, with no exception whatsoever. In 1-2-3 years max, subscribers to this and other fora will say how short sighted a choice that was, that the new such-such board performs much better than the antiquated 2008 designs.
So going for this moment's fancy equipment will buy 1-2 years max - less than a full Olympic cycle.
Rant over. It's the same circular discussion in most forums anyways...