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Old 23rd January 2011, 05:21 AM   #11
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 86

I'm looking at helping bring back the weekend racer in my part of the world. We have a lot of interest, but with the same questions listed above. The biggest problem is if the manufactories and suppliers don't market and have available their equipment, then that style of board will not succeed in that area. I'm not listing brands or types of boards here, but if one comes up with support that is affordable then this show commitment that we will work with. Until then I know your concerns and hope something will change soon. I believe it will as the interest in weekend racers is high again, as I helped host a race yesterday and with winds being so low we still had plenty competitors with different centre board style boards, including SUPs. Maybe we might be heading towards what we had in the 80s. Let's hope.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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It wasn`t outside attractions that pulled windsurfers away.They lost interest because of lack of organisation on larger scale promoting events/racing etc and because of the poor image attached to the sport at the time.It was pressure from within attracting people away ! Sailors developed skill to sail in waves;high wind ;slalom conditions etc and were drawn down the dead end of lack of sailing days;after which you then question the viability of a sport you only enjoy a handful of dayds a year.(and often abroad)

The mags/trade were responsible for this.It was said at time this would happen. Magazines were full of Robbie Nash; Mark Woods;Duncan Coombs etc etc with pictures of them "ripping" it up in waves with not a single page for what was actually happening at home. Our sailing became unexciting;boring etc and we were told not by "plastic canoe" manufacturers but our own mags/peeers/trade/shops .

The old Div1 race scene should have been promoted... it wasn`t .

Attracting back in is loads harder than keeping hold...

Just get any magazine from 80`s. I used to buy them (occasionally) it had nothing to do with what I was doing or any of mates. In 80`s I could have listed a hundred sailors from my area (80 miles inland) perhaps ten now. None of those that left bought canoes/went kiting .

It would have been possible by now to sell a board (such as Sailboard Sport complete(first one)) for next to nothing; (Price of a cheap canoe?) Promote events in mags; make it "fashionable" (Mags ????) ..
Industry wanted to sell us carbon fibre/cambers/tube battens.
"Why sell a cheap board when a dear one will do job" was the mantra and it still goes on !! (Kona and carbon rig ???)

We will never reattract those numbers back. WE SHOULD HAVE KEPT THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rotomoulded poly boards could be made as cheap as canoes .The canoeing world embraced polyethylene ; us snobbish gits said it was for washing up bowls ! (aided by mags/trade)
I`m afraid our sport became esoteric and full of its own importance chasing big waves; strong winds and speed records none of which really interested 95% of grass roots sailors going out on local lake on a Sunday afternoon !! It persists.

A group of us in the 80`s (involved in trade at time) used to think selling the new kit it was like us trying to sell snow skiing kit to people with no snow which is exactly what it became..

Remember an 18 stone bloke at our lake had bought a chapter with at most 90 litres. Shop had told him it would be fine !!!!! Thats why folk left.. They were actually cheated by trade / mags. Really.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 09:51 PM   #13
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Partly true but dont forget an awful lot more grew up, got married etc etc and dropped out through lack of time.
Personally, I think its a shame that the Mistral One Design (or even the Windsurfer OD) didnt survive.
So simple.
OK it probably needed some updating but I dont like the muscling in by NP.
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Old 24th January 2011, 06:59 AM   #14
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 160

Many sports and organisations which flourished in the 80's are facing declining membership and participation rates because the world is different now with so many competing interests. Mountain biking and cycling became big, adventure racing sports came onto the scene and the list goes on. With the benefit of hindsight it might be that a lot of such activities in the 80's were simply seeing an unsustainable boom. If WS has become esoteric/ specialised is that any different to sailing generally and its sub disciplines like regatta or ocean sailing? If so is that so bad? Is that not the essence of WS?
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Old 24th January 2011, 08:19 AM   #15
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 70

I think Coachg is right.

In any business, a lot of sales are for entry level stuff. Since entry level longboards of the 80,s were said to be boring, no one wanted to be caught with one. This endures to this day, everything with a daggeboard is supposedly for beginners only.

I'm surprised to see much more dinghys on the lake closeby than sailboards. It is so much easier to carry a board around... I think this is the market that could be retrieved if affordable gliding boards such as SUP with sails have some success.

BTW, I was looking yesterday for the price of a SB Phantom Race 320 and was unable to find one in US$. How can you sell any if it is not marketed decently? As a potential buyer, it makes me feel that this is a bad product that nobody wants.
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Old 24th January 2011, 02:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Personally, I think its a shame that the Mistral One Design (or even the Windsurfer OD) didnt survive.
So simple.
OK it probably needed some updating but I dont like the muscling in by NP.
Yeah! now i know i'm not alone feeling that way about NP.
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Old 24th January 2011, 05:06 PM   #17
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Location: Thailand
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Hi Sailboarder,

Are from USA & Canada area?

If yes please contact Trident to get the price, thanks

All the best

Can answer if you have any questions on this following boards :

AtomIQ 104, 114, 124, 130, 140 & 160.
Carve 111, 121, 131, 141, 151 & 161
Futura 90, 97, 104, 114, 124, 134, 144 & 154.
iSonic 80, 87, 90, 97, 107, 114, 124 & 134
UltraSonic 147
Formula One
Slalom One
Phantom Race 377 & 377 L / 320
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Phantom 295 L :
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Formula 177
Racing Serinity Cat Concept
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Old 24th January 2011, 10:09 PM   #18
Det.John Kimble
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default some ideas

This topic has been talked about many many times. The whole idea NOW is how to maintain the sport keep people itnerested and get new people out .
But we can learn form the past.
That being said , things have changed and there is no going back.
A few things in my mind that took much of the wind out of windsurfing a perfect storm of sorts which killed more then windsurfing and many Mom and Pop stores.
To put this in perspective i live in a small city of 130, 000 people in the Canadian north, sailing season is short May to October and we are 7 to 15 hours by car away from bigger cities. What happened here was a microcosm of a bigger trend , it happened quicker and affected sailors faster.

1. Mail Order. One of the BIGGEST changes. It happened before the widespread advent of the net. ( which really effected the sport, now IMHO in a good way)
Magazines ads had big shops that sold to anyone with a phone. Local shops could not compete.
Large shop buy more stock and pay less for it : volume discounts. Discounts that manufacturers in turn encourage to the wholesaler selling to the shop.
BUT the large shop can now sell the product for less then the smaller shop . sometimes even costs , and still make a reasonable profit.
So the small shop goes out of business as it cannot keep the multiple sails boards etc that people see the large shop has . There is just too much kit.
Locally in my experience , many ( luckily not all) locals here would mail order a sail they had never seen in person just to save 20 bucks, then in time complain what they bought was no good ... and do it again .........maddening .

After mail order , shops here lasted 5 years, other more diverisfied shops lasted longer but then carried hardly any kit and had sales people who knew nothing. Now there is no kit within a 5 hour drive across the border to the US.

But it goes beyond that.
The small shops were the ones sponsoring local events reagattas, learn to windsurf days etc.
More importantly they also had a "visual presence", a storefront. People knew the sport existed when they came in to say buy clothing or a kayak even , they then saw a windsurfer rigged up in the shop stopped to look, enquire and perhaps, take a lesson!

But although its lamentable it happened its over and it was "natural selection".

Add to this some hyping of the high end of the sport and it was a perfect storm.

However look at the contrary, the internet. Internet sales do the same thing ( mind you the small stores are all but gone now)
But one can argue the internet ( which i say in some part killed the small shop) now allows people better access to kit and used kit as well!

I think it does! the info, the forums the videos are unbelievable. All at your fingertips.

Kiting, well that another volume to discuss bit it diluted the sport. Kayaking ( which is very prevalent in my area) did get bigger with the plastic kayak.
As to the kayak, Windsurfing manufacters did not ignore the kayak, many marketed windsurfers that were sit down paddle boards as well but the hull forms were to slow. There was even a Drake invented trimaran windsurfer.
See people were innovating the sport well beyond the norm.

Here locally me and a friend still promote and do the sport. Our store front is the local beach and the vans we both drive ( mine all stickered up boards ON TOP..visual advertising!)

Today the best thing i think i have seen is the SUP sailboard,

This may be the boundary crosser that would appeal to kayaks surfers and sailors alike not perfect but a VERY reasonable compromise.
In fact i have been thinking all this winter is that THIS is what needs to be promoted to help sailboarding the most.
think about it the kids can play on it, jump off it ( they cant jump off 95 % of "kayaks") it etc the kayak-er can SUP it, and then maybe..............just maybe buy a rig and sail it!

But i need a new angle, this summer i think this will be what I use out at camp that will get my wife out SUPing, the neighbours as well .

And i can show it too my Kayaking buddies.

Cross some boundaries and get people out

Jeff Earnshaw
Wild Winds Windsurfing
Thunder Bay, Ontario

and We are 15 hours away from Toronto !

Last edited by Det.John Kimble; 24th January 2011 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 25th January 2011, 05:40 AM   #19
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was hoping longboards would be the answer !!

used my old longboard as a SUP with a canoe paddle and my 6 year old son lay in front
everyone exclaimed how much fun we seemed to be having

IF he woulda learned a little more swimming, he woulda bin on the board with sail as well !!

my point -- SUP with sail is okay, butt why not longboard and SUP on that
.................why can't Cobra and SB make cheap long boards that SUP, sail, etc ??
..................maybe BIC should get a jump on everyone AND get as popular was they were in the 80's ??

every summer , for the last 3 years, i show 4 to 5 people what windsurfing is all about
what do they say ?
they want access to a chalet like i do and that is where they would windsurf
so, add the cost of a chalet to the $2000+ kit = yeah, right
on a sadder note - there is now blue, green algae in some of the lakes :-(

no worries, i will continue as windsurf ambassador and i suggest we all take that role :-)
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Old 25th January 2011, 01:48 PM   #20
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Thank you to all who gave their opinion.

There are some side tracks to my original questions, perhaps I should rephrase my questions. With hindsight, how can we promote windsurfing with one class of board which is suitable for youth, ladies, masters or grandmastr; and also suitable for competitions at club, national, regional and international level?

I would really love to hear from someone from Starboard. Mr Tsieda You, what's your take on the current situation? Is it an impossible wish?

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