|21st November 2008, 01:07 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Seattle, Wa. U.S.
Formula or Daggerboard choice...
Formula or Daggerboard Choice…
*** Edited to add, "What kind of board REALLY makes sense for average people from all around the world, to sail in the common winds where they live???
I am not new to windsurfing (free-sailing, teaching and club racing for 28 years) but I am new to this Starboard forum. I have been reading many of the posts here for a number of days, including the 20 page, 195 post “Formula One Design” thread.
I know that the decision for the Olympics has been made to keep the RS:X for 4 more years, instead of the FOD proposal. But I think this is still an interesting discussion regarding what we can do to promote and build the sport of windsurfing.
All the posts on this subject were written over the last few months, but I read them all over just a couple days, so I noticed a couple things to comment on. There were many good points made on both sides of this issue… but in some areas there were inconsistencies.
If I recall correctly… it was said many times that only one FW race had been canceled since 2001, implying that there is plenty of wind to hold good races for these boards. However, please correct me if I’m wrong, but most all of these “World Cup” “PWA” type events are held in traditionally windy places, right? That is why they schedule them at these spots.
However, the Olympic Organizing Committee doesn’t pick host cities based on windy, open water locations. They pick cities because they have the ability to provide lots of stadiums… pools… gymnasiums… airports… hotels, etc. I would bet that looking for cities that traditionally have great sailing venues, is low on their priority list.
Therefore we need a board that works well in low and variable winds to have interesting racing in the Olympics. It should also work well in higher winds, just in case a storm blows through during your scheduled racing time. A Raceboard like the Mistral IMCO, or a more modern designed raceboard (affordable options, please), is a very good choice for Olympic type racing.
Another point that you all spent a lot of time discussing was: What do racers want to race on? What do most people race on? Etc. There were lots data presented and opinions given. But there is a clarification that was never really talked about. One side said there are more FW racers, and one side said there are more longboard racers.
To clear this up, isn’t the following really the correct facts?
In the professional arena (PWA, PBA, World Cup, whatever) there ARE more FW. I'm sure that IS true… since they don’t race longboards anymore… and they hold events in windy places… and they found a new design that goes very fast up and down wind, in consistent windy conditions.
However, in the amateur arena, windsurfing club racing is held all over the world… near where you live, inland lakes, and rivers, whatever. Racing is done in whatever conditions it’s blowing this coming weekend. Light (1 to 3 knots) winds, variable conditions… or maybe you get lucky and a good breeze blows in for your race. Anyway, I believe there are WAY more windsurfers racing boards with daggerboards all over the world in these conditions that they have at home, as opposed to the relatively small number of professional, that fly in to windy beaches for the few major races.
Why did windsurfing die down more than other sports? I’m sure it’s a combination of all the reasons you all gave… But I believe that when the magazines, media, manufacturers, racing, etc went on totally focusing on the planning aspect of windsurfing only… that was a major contributor.
Hey, I love shortboarding too… I have 4 shortboards, besides 2 longboards. But I never gave up on light wind sailing. If I want to get out on the water, when I have free time, it’s not usually going to be planning conditions where I live… so, if I want to have fun, it’ll be on a longboard.
Of course, I have friends that say, “If it’s not windy, then I’ll do something else” And some times it is windy, but that is when you’re busy with work, or school or your family, etc. Later, when you have “free time” it’s only blowing 2 to 10… so you know what happens? They just don’t go windsurfing at all.
For some that’s just the way it is. But for others… if the industry promoted lightwind sailing and versatile longboards.. I think some more people would be doing it.
Good winds to all, Greg
Seattle, Wa. U.S.
Last edited by GregNW44; 25th November 2008 at 02:31 AM.