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Old 20th January 2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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Question Are manufacturers killing/promoting the sport?

How do we promote windsurfing?
By introducing another class of board like what NP has done?

Do we need RS:One, RS:X, Kona, Mistral-1-design, raceboard, formula, formula experience & BIC Techno293 to promote fair competition? Windsurfers who are interested in competition are being spread among so many classes!


iWish
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Old 21st January 2011, 02:17 PM   #2
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Hi,

I would like to hear from windsurfers who have been in this sport for 10 years or more.
I used to race when Mistral 1 design was the Olympic board because everyone used the same equipment and the same set of rig and board can also qualify for the raceboard class. The equipment was affordable and relatively cheap. There were many racing events for this class in many countries. The equipment was suitable for youth, ladies, masters, grandmasters, olympic sailors or weekend sailors.
Fast forward to present day, the racing scene is rather "quiet". I want to race again but RS:X seems to be the only class widely organised. However, I do not like RS:X firstly for its price and secondly, it is heavier than Mistral 1 design. I'm not young anymore and would prefer something easier on my body.

So it makes me wonder what has caused this sad state of windsurfing to happen and hence my questions in the previous post. Is there something that can be done by the manufacturers or ISAF?

By having so many different class of board, has it brought more people to the sport? ;-)


iWish
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:38 PM   #3
sergio k
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RS:One is just a logic step from NP masculine in on Bic 293 business, money, money...From
talks I had with people, nobody likes RSX but if you want to do Olympics that's the only game in town,
and it would be easier to train if you had a very similar feeder class. The only hope on change if star-board gets back trying to get some version of formula into Olympics, they are the only other big fish that has a chance against NP.
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Old 21st January 2011, 09:49 PM   #4
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Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!



It can never be regained.
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Old 21st January 2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!



It can never be regained.
in 80's there were very few choices, now we have more and more, SUP as a latest trend that was a promise
to bring more into windsurfing, instead with family's limited budget in time/money, people
bought a new SUP board and spent time/money on that instead of windsurfing, before that kitesurfing did same thing, etc...
Blaming technological progress in windsurfing on it's lack of popularity is silly, current gear is so much more fun and probably the thing that's keeping it alive, how many people you know that want to sail with teak boom and old unstable Dacron sail..? Plus, sport is still relatively cheap, specially with all used gear on the market,
did you check the price on SUP board or paddle lately, that doesn't stop people from buying...
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Old 22nd January 2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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The way I see things the gear has got a lot simpler to use as everyone figured out what works. The ultimate in streamlined design has to be those higher wind boards and the sails to match. Of course there are design flourishes that probably make zero difference in real sailing conditions. Given good modern gear it still comes down to the time honoured TOW - that is something that never changes!
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Old 22nd January 2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Manufacturers have been there own worse enemies over years and its too late now.

In 80`s when sport was mainstream and numbers sailing unbelievably high people came into sport for its simplicity and cheapness. That wasnt good enough for the trade. They wanted us all spending more on more specialised high wind kit to the extent that the very reason people came in had gone !!!

It can never be regained.
Well, i don't think it's too late. Windsurfing is still a 'young' sport. It is still evolving. The 'fun' factor is there and not many sports can give you that kind of adrenalin rush.

After i quitted racing Mistral 1 design, I still sail every now and then using freeride, slalom or freestyle board or whatever the rental centres have.

My point of raising this issue is that there isn't any concerted effort in this sport to promote one class of board which is good enough for all ages and also for the Olympics. I think it is fair to say all countries' national sailing association would only support one class of windsurfing and it is the Olympic class. To promote this sport, we need this class of board to be attractive to average windsurfers who like racing (which the RS:X is not).

It would be great if someone from Starboard could tell us if they are going to give another go in the Olympic class board. Afterall Starboard is still the most innovative board company and if they don't do it, then naturally NP would monopolize this area.

iWish
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Old 22nd January 2011, 04:51 PM   #8
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Its exactly that attitude of sailors dont want to use "wooden booms" and "dacron" sails which manufacturers/trade fostered that stopped sport being mainsteam ;and anyone who thinks wooden booms were part of massive explosion windsurfing enjoyed wasnt there !!

Had the interest in cheap accessible sailing been maintained we WOULD be still enjoying massive numbers. The sport in mid 80`s was quickly promoted away from inland sailing with big boards and reggata type sails towards coast and strong winds. We were encouraged in mags; at shops; at shows ;on holiday to throw away that big old fashioned "plank" and take up what the mags (and tele;remember the washing powder ad?) were pushing which was ultimately not available on more than a handfull of days a year to the average sailor. (ie 80 windy days a year;knock off work ;family and cold days and what you left with ?)
Sport went from being mainstream to a holiday activity akin to snow skiing. and with the high tech male jewelery ego bullshit now prevelant in our sport.

Numbers at our lake dropped from perhaps 80 every thursday evening to 10 or 15 in two years. It just wasnt "fashionable" to sail big boards.They got zero coverage from anybody; no where. Quite the reverse the mags and trade could not get us off them quick enough. The wanted to sell us "fun boards" and sinkers and slalom boards and then sell us 4 or 5 sails so we could hope to sail as much as we did on our "planks". At the time some informed people were telling trade this and it was ignored !!!

SUPing is a joke at side of numbers on boards like sailboard sport even with its dacron sail and 270 boom (Not wooden !!!)

My old sailboard sport would still sail on more days in any given year than 95% of boards sold now;there`s just nobody left to sail it against !!!
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Old 22nd January 2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Well, I still sail my Sailboard Vario...

Nowadays, one of the inclusive approach that could bring more people to fun racing is the Kona One. I see it as a Laser dinghy that is reliable, widespread and can be used in many conditions. I see it as my responsability to ignore atempts such as NP's to create new classes.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 12:32 AM   #10
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I donít think you will get any argument over the fact that the windsurfing industry did abandon the longboard , light wind sport of the 80ís for the higher wind freeride/wave industry of the 90ís and beyond. But the argument that windsurfing would have maintained its popularity of the 80ís if the industry stayed with promoting longboards carries no weight.

The biggest blow to windsurfing came from outside the sport. The development of the plastic kayak in the early 80ís overwhelmed the windsurifng industry for family watersports. The kayaks cost half as much, were about the same length and width, required less up keep, didnít require you to lift a heavy dacrons sail-impossible for kids- could carry more people at once and required far less training to use. The only disadvantage to the kayak was in weight.

I used to take both my kayak and windsurfer to the local lakes. The kayak got all the use. Kids only wanted the windsurf board to paddle on or jump off. For the adults the windsurfer was a novelty to try once before going for a kayak ride. Rental companies made far better profit renting kayaks as far more people could use them and far less rental damage repair costs. A family of four could load up a lunch and go explore a lake, something not easily done on two windsurfers.

My perspective over the last 20 years is at an aquatic center that offers both windsurfing and kayaking along with many other water sports. From what Iíve seen the windsurfing industry move to high wind venues may have saved the sport. The people who wanted "easy" were going to go to kayaks anyway and the more adventurous would have gotten bored with tooling around a lake on a windsurfer and turned to jetskiís or kiting.


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