Originally Posted by C 249
The Kona claims (without contradiction I've seen) to be the #1 selling board in the world; the fact that longboards are the fastest-growing type seems to indicate that they are in fact selling. But there may be a lot of inertia from the 25 year old "windsurfing = planing" thing. ng newbies that way..
Hell, shortboards are fantastic. Ain't none of us ever said they aren't. The more people love them, the better....it's just not all of the sport.
Care to back that up with a quote?
I just asked one of the people who makes boards, and he was like what the....who says??
I am fairly sure this is simply impossible to claim except as marketing fluff.
As for longboards being the fastest growing, if that includes SUP then sure. After all, we are talking formula 2001/2002 type growth i.e. the category basically didn't exist, and now it is starting again.
I doubt the actual numbers of boards is high, which would explain why we see relatively few boards on the water and also the reticence of the industry to sell them/stock them through the supply chain.
Even taking into account the massive numbers of boards being purchased by sailing authorities, I still think you will find the total size of the hybrid/raceboard market to be pretty niche. SUP market would be bigger, at a guess, than the entire hybrid/raceboard category.
I probably cannot reveal direct sources, but you know where all the boards get made right?
You also claim:
'20 years ago it would have been true to say "the vast majority of surfers are not interested at all in longboards and most likely never will be" and yet now longboards make up the majority of the surfing market. Twenty years ago you could have said "the vast majority of US and Australian large car buyers are not interested at all in 4wds/SUPs" and yet now SUPs and 4WDs make up the majority of privately-bought large vehicles.'
I surfed 20 years ago, and longboarding was reasonably popular as a minority sport back then; still seems to me to be minority of boards on the water but I don't surf much; you could well be right because like the wideboards, the longboards are great for the beginner/rental market as well as the older people, but even then I am simply not sure that the majority of surfers are long boarders, my guess is the majority of surfers might even be lidders! (bodyboarders).
I think what you mean is longboards represent the majority of retail sales in certain markets as claimed by people like Longbreak (longboarder magazine) but when you consider that a longboard is 2-3X times the cost of a shortboard and when you consider the huge 2nd hand shortboard market, then it is a bit hard to confirm whether in fact longboarding is indeed the more popular form of surfing even if the sales say it is (conversion rates, number of boards per person etc etc). At university I surfed sometimes 5 days a week; most longboarders if I am to believe the demographics claimed are affluent middle aged family men who probably surf like 1 days a week or something at the most (ref. Longbreak re stats of the types of people who longboard).
The longboard, anyway, is still surfing, so they are not so different, despite the claims of a bunch of surfers ;-)