I've been windsurfing for almost 30 years, and have seen windsurf evolve from a large audience sport at the beginning of the 80s to a narrow audience activity for specialists today.
This evolution was reflected in gear, which initially was accessible, affordable, simple, and currently has often lost these characteristics.
Certain attempts were done to revive windsurf as an accessible practise, through beginner's boards for example, but generally they resulted in unbalanced compromises. Accessibility but complete lack of performance.
I think Starboard, with this actual capacity of innovation and quality, could do much to revive windsurf as a large audience sport. What they need for that is a board which would be a link between beginners, who need an accessible board, but able to follow them in their progression, and specialists, who need an interesting, performing, technical board. This perfect compromise is not unachievable, Starboard already has it, it is the Phantom Race 320.
I have 30 years of windsurf, still I find this board extremely interesting and pleasant to sail. It is a precious complement to my 4 short boards, which results in the simple fact that I sail 10 times more than before, and always with great fun. However, it is perfectly accessible to a beginner. Accessibility and performance.
I suggested Starboard makes it a monotype class, and defines for these purposes an also performing but accessible monotype rig (not larger than 7.5 sqm). Gear would remain sufficiently affordable with a tufskin construction.
Unfortunately, I already tried to advocate this here without success, Starboard does not seem to be interested. I hope this board finds success despite lack of promotion efforts, and they eventually change their mind.
Kona did this with success with the Kona One, despite the mediocre quality of the design, and mistakes in terms of accessibility, notably the excessive size of their one design rig (9.5). Starboard could do much better.
What they also could do is work together with other board companies to define a common one design, which each could build and sell with its brand and colors, but with sustantially identical technical characteristics. But apparently again, this is not deemed possible. Too bad, windsurf amateur competition could be revived, and the whole sport with it.
Last edited by ZedZdeD; 31st December 2009 at 03:22 AM.