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Old 26th August 2008, 02:34 PM   #5
Chris 249
Posts: n/a

Originally Posted by steveC View Post
Now C249 has always been a very vocal advocate for classic longboards, and he has gone to the extent of compiling quite a bit of data contrasting the number of sailors worldwide that race longboards versus formula/FE. Although his findings suggest that there is more interest in longboards and a displacement style of sailing amoungst the racing community in the past, they do not necessarily reflect what is wanted by the windsurfing community as a whole.

Quite frankly, longboards have had an extended period in the sun on the racing scene (like forever). Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side of our sport? No question, the vast number of windsurfers do it for the benefits of planing, and I personally think that the time is ripe for change. Change is understandably difficult for some to tolerate, but it not like the death of the longboard and its place in some part of the racing scene. For the Olympics though, I think the FOD approach deserves a chance to blossum and grow.
Why not look to a different approach, one that promotes and focuses on the planing side?

Well, that's not a new's been around for 25 years or so. So it's not a case of some of us being stuck in the past*. The fact is that the quarter-century of focussing on the planing side has harmed the sport.

Try this idea for size;

Windsurfing did not follow the typical adoption curve of most active sports. After reaching a very strong peak it declined precipitously leveling off at a much lower participation rate than similar sports. They typical boom/leveling cycle for active sports goes through a very fast growth period when the sport is “cool” and everyone knows about it, then declines to a maintenance level at perhaps 60 percent of the peak. Windsurfing declined to something like 20 percent of the peak participation.

That was because all manufacturers focused solely on the performance end of the market, abandoning longboards and the simple fun of being on a board in light wind in favor of sinker shortboards and high-performance sails that required careful selection and tuning to meet conditions. They are looking to SUP to rectify that problem!

* Those of us who advocate longboards are certainly not all stuck in the past.

I know of longboard advocates who in the last couple of years have brought in two new classes, taken part in an inaugural "new school" events and are planning another new event (probably unlike any ever before in the sport), been involved in developing new sailing patents, and at least some are trying to create basically yet another new style of windsurfing.

Look at guys like Ciamparlo and Jeff Henderson.....they are into longboards but is that whole SUP sailing really "stuck in the past"?

That's a lot more innovative than bringing up the old "windsurfing = planing" idea from 1982.
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