I am new to windsurfing (started about 9months ago). I am now totally addicted. But I gotta say at first I wondered if it was worth the trouble. For a newbie, the different range of kit and combinations of sails/boards/fins that do or don't work together and do or don't work in particular wind strengths, wave sizes, and general alignment of the moon with other planets in the solar system is nuts.
And retailers are often no help, I can't tell you how many times I got advice, that knowing what I know now, was total BS and trying to sell me something that was not suited to my level. Problem for retailers is that they are hungery and not thinking long term.
I believe one of the reasons windsurfing is not as popular as it used to be is that the industry has made it way too complicated. Combine that with the fact that it is not easy to learn the sport anyway (many of you who have sailed for years might have forgotten this :-) ) and it is tough to get into windsurfing.
Anyone want to buy some of the 'mistakes' I was bought in the last 9 months? I have some great deals going :-).
I suspect the industry has largely given up on bringing in new people and is determined to milk already addicted windsurfers for everything they can get. That is the only logic I can apply to the way gear is developed and marketed.