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Old 27th August 2008, 03:36 PM   #11
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Steve, I think it's a bit over the top to say "the longboard advocates here are a testy group". Look at the IWA decision that spurred this thread; they have supported a decision that seems to state incorrect facts and was made apparently without widespread consultation. Were we to just bend over and take it?

I'm sure you're wrong if you think that it's just longboarders who think it's easier to blame others. You, for example, have repeatedly said that most people lack the stick-to-it you need for windsurfing, which seems to be blaming the vast majority of people today in a way. Look through any of the "why is windsurfing smaller" threads and you'll see people blaming things they cannot fix....jetskis, computer games, SUVs etc.

We, on the other hand, may believe that WE, the sport, took a wrong turn and that WE, the sport, can fix it. That is much less of a victim mentality, surely?

Plenty of us are out there, doing things like running clubs, classes, training, kid's classes, regattas, websites, etc. That is not the behaviour of people who are sitting back and blaming others. We ourselves did wrong in the past - we didn't state our case well enough. We have had enough of that mistake.

But the main point is that the quote "windsurfing declined much more than most new sports "BECAUSE ALL MANUFACTURERS FOCUSED SOLELY ON THE PERFORMANCE END OF THE MARKET, ABANDONING LONGBOARDS AND THE SIMPLE FUN OF BEING ON THE WATER..." comes from Pono Bill's report of a talk by Svein, the head honco of the biggest windsurfer builder in the world. See

http://www.kenalu.com/2008/08/17/sta...eting-general/

It's not a bunch of stuck in the mud old one-eyed longboarders who are having their say on the source of the problem - it's the man who sells more boards than anyone else.


Kip, about the fact that "the vast majority of windsurfers are not particularly interested in formula or longboards, and likely never will be."

What we call "the vast majority" of windsurfers is tiny compared to the number of past and potential windsurfers (ie, the number is 8% to 20% what it was, depending on which well-placed source you hear) and therefore their preferences of the remaining minority may not be a good guide to the future.

20 years ago it would have been true to say "the vast majority of surfers are not interested at all in longboards and most likely never will be" and yet now longboards make up the majority of the surfing market. Twenty years ago you could have said "the vast majority of US and Australian large car buyers are not interested at all in 4wds/SUPs" and yet now SUPs and 4WDs make up the majority of privately-bought large vehicles.

About "if the lack of longboards on the market is the reason why windsurfing is failing, then how come virtually every major brand has long boards on the market and yet they aren't outselling shortboards 10 to 1 already; the Kona has been on the market for 3 years or more now".

The Kona claims (without contradiction I've seen) to be the #1 selling board in the world; the fact that longboards are the fastest-growing type seems to indicate that they are in fact selling. But there may be a lot of inertia from the 25 year old "windsurfing = planing" thing. ng newbies that way..

And

"how come so often people go out on these boards and don't just buy them?"

'Maybe 'cause the people who are still in the sport (who are the minority) who have good reasons to prefer just a shortboard? Or maybe for the same reason that I hop onto FW and freestyle and new freeride boards, have fun, and then hand them back.....I've already got gear that's good for what I do.

Hell, shortboards are fantastic. Ain't none of us ever said they aren't. The more people love them, the better....it's just not all of the sport.
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