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Old 16th July 2009, 09:23 PM   #81
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Think it speaks volumes about a company when Svein is willing to come in and offer his views.I applaud his commitment and achievements with the company.
There is obviously an openess not evident in most other maufacterers.

For my part I have not criticised #B products.When so many boards have been built there are bound to be some better than others. Some great; some not so. Its bound to be the case.I have said a some dont suit me ; which is different.

The only issue I find "negative" is #B`s willingness to make quite rash claims/statements about their products and their effects on the market.

For instance (Quote)
"Slalom hardly existed anymore and the Hypersonic created renewed interest"
Is that really the case ???? I agree Slalom (competition; especially at grass roots level) had almost disappeared but
a) I cant remember that situation actually changing.(Admittedly that opinion is based on where one actually lives/ sails but I have yet to witness any slalom events in almost 20 years. (approx 100 sailing days per year) outside PWA events in Canaries. Back in 80`s there were loads of adhok race meetings/local race events/slaloms.That situation is exactly same post and pre Hypersonic.Is it different in other countries ???? Perhaps; I dont know.

b) And if slalom had become more popular how can it be assumed a particular board had caused the added interest ??? It just happened to coincide ?? With all due respect Svein that is exactly what "Hype" is. (IMO) Exaggerating the effects the board will have or has had.
Is there really any evidence to suggest that slalom was all of a sudden more popular and that Hypersonic had caused it ??? Based on sales of slalom boards ??? Number of events ??? Number of participants in events ???
It seems strange to me that such claims can be made about a board I have only ever seen 3 of ; one in a shop and 2 being sailed ? Perhaps I`m sailing/sailed at wrong venues???

Good winds. I`ll demo a Quad .(Wont be selling Evo though)
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Old 17th July 2009, 12:31 AM   #82
Ken
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Unregistered,

Slalom racing in many parts of the world died for one reason - lack of consistent winds, strong enough to support fair competiton with the old slalom gear that was available at the time.

Slalom has had a resurgance for two reasons, one of which is the development of the light wind slalom board that can handle large sails and plane in 8-10 knots. And yes, the hypersonic played a role in this new development, but so did a number of other boards. I race a Bic Techno 283 with a 9.2 sail for a few years around the time the hypersonic showed up.

The other reason is marketing and sponsorships. Course and Formula racing had and still have a tough time finding sponsors because they are not spectator friendly. On the other hand, freestyle, wave and slalom events (PWA) have great spectator appeal, which correlates with sponsorships and money.

Locally (Texas), slalom racing is still essentially dead because of the lack of wind at events, as well as the logistics of running a slalom event (downwind). Actually, this spring we had winds to 30 knots at three of our four major events, and did race slalom at two of them, but this was pretty unusual (one figure 8 and one downwind).

I do applaud Starboard for their innovativeness and broad line up of boards. Good things do happen often of you push the limits of development. Dogs will be produced from time to time, but witout risk taking, progress is limited.

Just my thoughts.........
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Old 17th July 2009, 03:20 AM   #83
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But Ken where/when was the re-surgence ?
I`ve not seen evidence of any slalom (outside PWA) let alone sub-10 knot slalom ?
Do board sales support the argument ?In which countries ? Where ???
Where are the events ? How many participants ? Did Hypersonic have anything at all to do with it?

Starboard are the No 1 manufacturer.No doubt. They ARE the leading light with innovation/development/+technically. I dont think that is in dispute and I`m pretty sure the stats are there to demonstrate this opinion. But Starboard should not make "claims". They should state facts in the position they are now in. Imagine what we would think of Ferrari as a leading technological player in the car world if they regularly made both technical claims and marketing ones which were clearly at best in dispute. Its just not good for the brand image. Fair enough lots of sailors just accept the "claims" but the older and probably more cynical delve deeper and think " hang on a minute thats not exactly how things are"
Over years there have been quite a few. Look back on forum; examine site. ???
If Starboard make a technical statement it should be beyond reproach or backed up by evidence and not heresay/opinion.

I accept it sounds pedantic but its just how things should be.If starboard make a statement like
"promotes early planing" or " cut outs reduce drag " that should be be fact with some scientific reasoning and not some testers/designers opinion. (IMO ???)
Lets face it even the volume of boards still seems to be difficult to measure which is plain crazy !!!

We`ve had it for years in WS.
Sails with wider wind range ? Boards that plane earlier year on year ; boards that go upwind better year on year ? Boards that gybe better/easier? Its at the point now where many sailors are thinking "here we go again".

Seems to me manufacturers need high volume sales but haven`t got high volume market; consequently current sailors are encouraged to chop and change chasing progress and possbly getting novelty ? Sorry Svein its how I see it .
And that is not accusing Starboard in any way of not producing a good product. They do !!!
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Old 17th July 2009, 08:33 AM   #84
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Frankly I don't care what Bjorn or whoever is doing. And windsurfing magazines always leave me feeling like I am participating in a different sport.

What I like about SB is that they build boards for light wind conditions. I first planed in the straps with a GO. My son is learning to sail with me alongside him on a Gemini. I spun my first carve Jibe on a FreeSex.

Point is: ws is a hard sport to learn. And SB seems like the only firm trying to make it easier for the masses. For that very reason alone I'm sure SB has lots of fans. And I am one.

Plus they do better graphics for ws demographics. How many 30-40 yo want to show up at the beach with graffiti painted on their boards?
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Old 17th July 2009, 02:30 PM   #85
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Well I'm certainly amongst the "older and probably more cynical" sailors referred in post #83, but I see nothing wrong in the way Starboard is doing business. It's difficult to deliver always good products worldwide. There can be poor designs and quality issues from time to time, and there can be illegitimate claims or at least not backed-up with scientific data. This is part of the game. Being number one brings a lot more attention to you, but such things happen to others brands. Having used boards from various vendors, I think that Starboard's position is deserved. Of course, there are other excellent products. Ultimately customers will vote with their money.

Last edited by Farlo; 17th July 2009 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 17th July 2009, 10:44 PM   #86
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Resurgence may be an overstatement, but since the PWA has moved in that direction for the reasons I mentioned above, slalom is appearing more often at local regattas when conditons allow. I can't back this up except for what I am observing in Texas.

I am not a big slalom advocate, especially for downwind events with large numbers and elimination brackets, basically because the average racer doesn't get much time on the water. I have always been big on course and formula racing simply because everyone gets to be on the race course for a lot more time.

Claims regarding what a new product will do or offer is just sales and marketing, and we as consumers must be skeptical about all claims regardless of who is making them.

Starboard like almost all retail companies must come up with new models every year to keep moving product. I personally think that they take steps backward occasionally in an effort to produce something new. I think the F 162 is one of those hiccups, but the upside is that overall progress for better products is probably enhanced with the pressure to produce new models every year.

I for one would like to see a successful product either stay the same or just change the color scheme for the new year (this does happen). I have a F 160 and know that it is a great formula board, so I am not compelled to replace it until it wears out, regardless of the hype for the newest model.

Your statement - "We`ve had it for years in WS. Sails with wider wind range ? Boards that plane earlier year on year; boards that go upwind better year on year? Boards that gybe better/easier? Its at the point now where many sailors are thinking "here we go again"."

Acutally, over the long haul, all of your statements are true. I started windsurfing in 1984 and can attest to the amazing progress over the last 25 years. On the other hand, things have leveled off over the last 5 years, with significant advancements at a minimum.
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