500000 to 40000 ...
in 1984 close to 500000 Boards were sold in the year...
Now we are around 40000, twelve time less...
More precise: yearly sales figures from the french market:
1984: 80000 board sold
1998: 20000 sold (the daggerboard-boards were starting to disapear from the offer of most of the brands, and they were ignored by all the magazines for the last 10 years: "daggerboard = beginner without talent")
2004: 11640 sold
2005: 14342 sold, (+25%!!!) mostly because the willing to offer more easy boards like the tecno 283 and 293 and the OD hybrids with...a daggerboard (shame!)
To be point out: the same year 2005, only 151 extreme boards (Formula AND wave) were sold!
That is the point: in the last years of 80, and until now, all the magazines are promoting only the extreme boards and practice (less than 5% of the sales), and ignoring the other practice (95% of the market).
It is the human default to be a predator: when the concept of only-planning board appeared, it was not sufficiant to have new form of practices (slalom, speed and waves): the previous one must be killed!
No care for the mass of customers who just want to sail, or race, or enjoy "the all wind and going everywhere (upwind, downwind, etc) practice", or live in a little wind area, or have to get in water in a deap bay, with the wind blowing half a mile away, or living inshore and practicing on lakes, etc etc... all this stupid mass who count for more than 90% of the market!
Now the discussion is about having the Olympic Games on Formulas, (less than 151 sold in France (take it as a panel) out of 14342 boards sold : 1%!).
If we speak of media interest, what will be more popular: a spectacular (if windy enough) Formula olympic class, spectacular, but practiced by few hundreds through the world; or a (said) not spectacular longboard (Kona or other), but practiced by hundreds of thousands (in the 80's) through the world?
If the willing to kill the popular practice was not amplified year after year by all the magazines, we would be millions on water... sailing longboards 380 to 330cm with daggerboards, any day, windy or not, AND anywhere!
And the concept of the next OG boards would not be such a discussion!
Sailing a longboard is still the first in number practiced, despite the zero promotion of the concept, despite the poor quality of the production, despite the close to zero event offered to the concept, and if any, without media coverage!
Promoting the Formula as the only (why not two concepts: longboard and shortboard?) Olympic game wind-surf board is just one more step to kill the industry.
Sorry for my bad english!