A few short questions to Kip, just for sake of argument
"AFAIK the online shops in USA longboards aren't massively outselling shortboards. The local resorts here ALL have longboards for rent; they sit there unused except on the really light days and some beginner/intermediates like them.
I've sailed them. My GF have sailed sailed them. All my friends have sailed them that sail where I sail as they are available for rent. And most consider it as a fun thing, but not on par with a shortboard in planing conditions."
In order not to mix old oranges and new apples it would be nice to know what models of longboards are available at these local resorts. What generation do they represent?
"Actually, to be honest I tried a star board race board that I think was very similar to the raceboard they used in the raceboard worlds, that was the only longboard that I got excited about; that thing was FUN to sail. The rest were, heavy fairly unexciting when planing, but yes, they all went upwind ok which I guess is the point."
If the Starboard Race 380 was FUN to sail, shouldn't it be possible to make slightly more recreational boards with similar attributes? Would that be exiting?
"If so concerned, why don't you guys ask to distribute longboards direct until volumes build up?"
I have actually done exactly that for a few years. But I can see that it isn't everyone's cup of tea (or even coffee). It requires a relationship to the brand importer, significant risk capital (in the range of 1500 Euro per complete set), significant risk in marketing and publicity, lots of time to promote, demonstrate, show, sell, etc. It does in fact mean running a windsurfing shop (in my case virtual).