Greg, I agree with anything you said. It was great!
I never realised that. The problem is comming from magazines and videos from Hawaii. They showed us that there is only one way. The planning way.
I used to compete in Mistral One Design from 1995 to 1999. We had a training group. We were training every saturday and sunday (any conditions, no exceptions). There was one competition a month, and it's true, we use to be no more than 30 windsurfers. Then formula apeared. I stayed in Mistral, but all the racers moved to formula. Most of the races where canceled because there was no wind enough. You must now that we don't use to have more than 7-8 knots in Barcelona. Then training groups also disapeared and also local races. Yes!, now there is much more people with formula board than there used to be with mistral. The problem is that the boards are at home, and mistrals used to be in the water.
Now I live in a very beautiful place, with tremendous good conditions for wave sailing. I would like you to see my video in youtube to believe me. My level is not specially high...
But this only works from march to september. And even more, this 2008 it worked only 10 days!!! It was like some nightmare. So i decided to buy the phantom 380. Since september to now, there has been only one accpetable day for wavesailing. The rest are with 2-10 knots and disordered huge waves. With the phantom i'm sailing in the bay, without waves, every saturday and sunday, while my friends don't remember when was the last time they went to the water. Ah! and i use to go planning with it, because in the bay there is more wind. But they don't like to sail in flat water (because that is what magazines showed them). And I met a guy who has forumula board here. He told me to meet, to go sailing, but he asks for 8-20 knots and from the north, wich is the cleanest wind and without waves. So we still didn't meet, because there are never this conditions during winter.
My girlfriend got a Mistral Pandera (1986?), and she is having lot of fun also. She prefer it than Starboard Rio, because she can sail good in low winds also (she don't know magazines, only the windsurf i showed her).
Well, i would be able to write 10 more pages telling you all the days i went to the water while my friends are looking from the beach.
Ah! one funny thing. Last saturday there were arround 20knots of wind in the bay. I was with my raceboard, because i like to sail with it even in strong winds. I like to sail now with daggerboard, now without it, now i put my feet here, now i put them there. Now i go in the rail, and now i fly downwind. When i went out of the water, my girlfriend, who was looking from outside, asked me: "Why does other people sail all the time in the same place, across the wind? Isn't it boring?" She didn't know that with that boards the almost can't go upwind, and that they are afraid to go far from the beach because is not safety with small boards.
I'm editing my comment eveytime adding things. Sorry if it is too long. I want to say that we are not looking for the most efficient racing machine. That woudn't be windsurf, because for that we would need a cabin for the windsurfer. And, if you want to see fast boats compared to windsurf, see the video "everybody" in youtube. Windsurf is never going to be the most eficient boat in the water. Even if you are planning at 30knots, a jetski can pass you at 40, and a trimaran also. In windsurf we are looking for fun and sport. And i make much more sport in my longboard in 2knots of wind than at home watching tv.