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Old 5th March 2010, 12:12 PM   #7
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There should and will always need to be beachfront windsurfing concessions to rent gear, give lessons, demo boards, and sell accessories. These establishments are vital to the growth and visibility of the sport. They can also be vital to the visibility of brands that support a rental / demo center.

However, most industries are moving beyond the age of JIT (just in time) production to an era of nearly infinite customization. With CAD CAM construction technologies I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to order the specially configured board of my choice at a competitive price. As consumers get more and more used to being able to customize their big ticket item purchases (think dell computer, any car manufacturer, and high end road bikes like serrota) we will also expect to be able to configure our windsurfing gear as well. Hot sails already has a version of this with their superfreak graphics. I'm sure some of the smaller brands are doing similar things with boards already. Its pretty standard stuff.

In other words we are moving back to an era of "custom" boards. But rather than custom in the traditional sense where you purchase a really intimate experience with a shaper who intuits the shape of your board. Your "custom" board is really a sum of how you configure various color, fin, and shape combinations. In this sense what you are customizing is the style. But that is OK.
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