Old 25th January 2008, 01:21 AM   #11
Floyd
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459
Default

Our sport is difficult.It can`t be learnt in a weekend.You have to put lots of effort in before you get real returns.On occasions its cold.Lots of the time there is NOT enough wind.You will have lots of wasted jouneys.You will on many occasions be on the wrong kit.You will probably never gybe as you want to.Sometimes it will be too rough and occasionally too windy.You will break kit and might need rescuing.You will miss family get togethers because its windy and wasn`t the previous the Sunday.
Not many Sports offer less early returns for the beginner.
It will be quite sometime before you can sail confidently in F4+ winds.
But if you persevere its the best cheapest safest way to be involved in an exciting , challenging and extremely rewarding sport.

I used to coach waterskiing.We could get anybody up and skiing on the first morning.
That is not the case with windsurfing.

If beginners come into the sport knowing all this they will make long term sailors.

Personally would rather sail with 15 sailors on beach than 150.

Let te sport be.It will take care of itself.
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 03:35 AM   #12
Ken
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 799
Default

Here we go again -

I somewhat agree with Floyd, however anyone can climb up on a Start board with a small sail and be sailing in a few minutes with some premiminary beach instruction. These days, it's pretty easy to get started, but it takes lots of time and practice before you are carving jibes in 20 knots of wind.

Same with water skiing, you can get up on two skis after a few tries, but it take lots of time and practice before you can carve tight slalom turns at 36mph. Finding flat water to ski on is a bit like finding good wind to sail in.

Actually, I did both for over 10 years, which was a good combination. Windy - go Windsurfing. No wind - go water sking. However, as I got better and better at windsurfing I lost interest in the water skiing and was paying too much for insurance and boat storage for the few occasions on the water, so I sold the boat. Plus Formula boards and big sails lowered the wind minimums to have an an exciting time on the water
Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 03:42 AM   #13
pierrec45
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 81
Default

> get your facts straight

Firstly, there are no facts, just what people feel and live and witness (think that they) in their part of the world. That's why there is a forum and a discussion.

> Windsurfing is growing where I live, bigger numbers

Damn I wished people stated the location (or did you and I missed it?). There's been a few of those statements, pros or cons, but I never get what is their "where I live". Just curious, so we can get a picture.

> over the last 2 years, more and more windsurfers on the water!!

Doubly interesting - state location again. Wherever I go (few cities North America, admittedly work-related) and talk to people it seems down. Hope you're not referring to Bonaire and Hatteras, which are nice and growing, but not representative of the rest.

> local windsurf shops report biggest sales in years, better get your facts right

This argument was debated elsewhere: I find more and more sailors buy multiple gear and renew yearly. Good on them if they can afford and it makes them much better sailors. But more sales does not necessarily correlates with more sailors. Esp. that more and more shops sell kites now and must include those profitable sales in their success.

Personally, am torn between "let it be, screw them, I'll sail in my dwindling crowd, I'm my own world", and "it used to be social and fun, and not a big Tupperware party, I'd like to share my great weekly fun with my fellow peers".

Tough call...
pierrec45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 05:10 AM   #14
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrec45 View Post
> get your facts straight

Firstly, there are no facts, just what people feel and live and witness (think that they) in their part of the world. That's why there is a forum and a discussion.

> Windsurfing is growing where I live, bigger numbers

Damn I wished people stated the location (or did you and I missed it?). There's been a few of those statements, pros or cons, but I never get what is their "where I live". Just curious, so we can get a picture.

> over the last 2 years, more and more windsurfers on the water!!

Doubly interesting - state location again. Wherever I go (few cities North America, admittedly work-related) and talk to people it seems down. Hope you're not referring to Bonaire and Hatteras, which are nice and growing, but not representative of the rest.

> local windsurf shops report biggest sales in years, better get your facts right

This argument was debated elsewhere: I find more and more sailors buy multiple gear and renew yearly. Good on them if they can afford and it makes them much better sailors. But more sales does not necessarily correlates with more sailors. Esp. that more and more shops sell kites now and must include those profitable sales in their success.

Personally, am torn between "let it be, screw them, I'll sail in my dwindling crowd, I'm my own world", and "it used to be social and fun, and not a big Tupperware party, I'd like to share my great weekly fun with my fellow peers".

Tough call...
Perth Western Australia
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 10:28 AM   #15
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi guys, what an interesting discussion. Here my experience and what I know as I have done a complete marketing research of all water sports this year as a need for a company that asked me for this.

Well, dont know about sales numbers in the world, except that I hear from factories they are increasing production and marketing studies that show interesting growth in windsurfing again.
I did numbers after checking it and found an interesting growth in North America of people that windsurfed during a year and found that numbers done by the biggest company of sports reasearch in the USA said a growth in windsurfing of 28% from 2004 to 2005, an 109% from 2005 to 2006 and the comparison 2004-2006 was of 167% growth.

This are real numbers, not talking just of any invented numbers. Others sports growing but at a lower speed are wakeboarding (30% in the last year) and kayac lower.

Kiting does not appear, the issue is that windsurfing have about 25 million people in the world and that is a representative number to measure in a sport. Kiting have a population of 1/100 than windsurfing in the world what is not yet an important number to measure, yes, they are growing but we are talking about sizes of market. In the USA there is an estimate of 1.1 million windsurfers. This is real numbers.

In my personal experience and the work we are doing here:
In my country, for sure Kiting is growing, but windsurfing is growing too. Lots of people is sailing, this year more than the others. I owe THE WIND ADVENTURE, a company dedicated to distribute sails and boards and sales have grown at least 50% this year and 20% last year. I see windsurfing here growing fast. faster than any other sailing sport. Its incredible but true.
The reason, windsurfing is attractive in light winds - say 3-8 knots - the answer is YES, its attractive as we are pushing flotable boards of 100cm wide for light wind freestyle and this looks nice, is fun and no need of planning to have fun. By the other side...longboards are coming back and center fins too...and they are fun. I tried one of this boards last year and said: oh! I forgot this sensation (having fun gliding in a board effortlessly in 6 knots)...in that wind, slalom guys, kite guys and sailing guys dont have fun...and surfers and wakeboarders and skieers hate that 5-8 knots as is not good for flat water or clean waves...

The other reason, Formula. Once the wind is 9 knots you can get in a Formula and big sail and have fun, and dont need to worry about if the wind drops or not, have fun, cruise everywhere: have you promote this light wind planning cruising adventures? do it..
Well, in the 9 knots sailing becomes better but not as fun as planning full speed. Then kiting...could be from 12, but kiting in light winds 9-13 knots is not as fun as planning full speed. Realistically, its not that wow that people say, not really. And if wind drops a bit, then its not fun, not floaty. Formula is easy, and if wind drops you still can have fun...or go back home. Then, still we can promote windsurfing in those light wind spots.

Go over 16 knots, got planning? we are promoting those thrilling slalom recreational championships, we are promoting some freestyling and some long distance.In this winds you can choose whatever you want to sail, windsurf, kite or whatever...anyway, its about having fun not about choosing one or the other. One day can be windsurfing, other kiting and other sailing in a boat.

But be clear, most clubs, spots and nice places to go to the beach have 3-10 knots...in that wind, light wind freestyle, learning windsurfing in a school or using a lonboard...is the best choice you can have.

Just focus:

1) light wind spots : best place to do some light wind freestyle (maximum exposure) and learn windsurf (easy and fun for a begginer). If you have not seen how cool look this...go to the post in the forum: spectacular light wind freestyle
2) longboards: best way to have fun and dont worry about the wind. Why not go back to the 80s...?
3) after that: shortboard is fun, formula is fun, but this are choices that windsurfers must find and they will. If they found them...go slalom, go freestyle and go long distance. And dont forget, Formula is the easier way to have fun for an average person leaving in a place 9-14 knots.

I was in bonaire last year and could understand why .... Got impressed, is a nice wind spot but there are days of no wind (for a shortboard) as in any place in the world...but those days, is lot of people learning and freestyling in the beach.

We are following their example in some way. DONT NEED WIND to promote windsurfing, need to HAVE FUN in a breeze. Then, windsurfers come to windy days and to the sport.

best luck!!
Ricardo Guglielmino
THE WIND ADVENTURE
PERU
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 11:10 AM   #16
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

you're right on the money, promoting light wind equipment in predomenatly
lighter wind places is the key, buying a sinkers and waiting for that 5 days of high wind
a year as a lot of windsurfers do in inland US is was stomping the grows in many places.
interesting, many of them don't even remember how to jibe, they just go fast and out of control for as long as they can, than fall...
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 03:35 PM   #17
Floyd
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459
Smile

Hi Ken
Our backgrounds sound similar.
With water skiing even on that first attempt you will be skmming ovr water/wind in your hair and excited and skiing at perhaps 20mph. First attempts on a big (ish) board your max speed will be 5 mph ???
In WS your initial experiences are nothing like those you get perhaps 2 seaons down line.
First time you jump off a cliff (Tandem) in HG you kow precisely what you re getting into.
Our beginers can only imagine and watch and accept there is a lot of learning to do before the "adrenalin" side of sport can be accessed.
Problem is we tend to attract people into sport as an adrenalin one; which it isn`t for at least a season or we "push" big boards which do not reflect what the sport is really about.(Sorry big board sailors) Hence the number who leave.
Just let the sport develop without trying to steer it one way or another.
We really should not be in the busiess of "selling" our sport.
Let it sell itslf. Its best port in world.

Rolls Royce do not advertise.They dont need to. Neither do we.

PS Daughter mono skied on her first day`s skiing.(At 8)She still cant gybe properly 18 years later.(Hope she doesn`t read this though)
Thats the nature/attraction of our sport.Very very few ever fully master it.
How do you sell that ????
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 06:47 PM   #18
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm very much with Ricardo on this - being able to sail gear that goes really well in the conditions we normally get (longboards, FW) is a key to reviving the sport.

With respect to Floyd, I don't agree with what you said.

"Our sport is difficult.It can`t be learnt in a weekend.You have to put lots of effort in before you get real returns."

I teach lots of people, who generally go on to buy their own gear. We just had an email today from a guy we taught a few weeks ago. He's annoying the family by spending his holidays windsurfing on a longboard. He's a typical guy, and like just about everyone he was windsurfing from the very first lesson (longboard with 4.5m or 3.5m sail). It didn't take much effort.

Sure, he wasn't planing (although he can now) but he has been spending hours each week and is totally turned on by his 21kg longboard. As soon as we stop defining windsurfing as being planing, then you CAN learn in a weekend.


"Lots of the time there is NOT enough wind.You will have lots of wasted jouneys.You will on many occasions be on the wrong kit."

Not on a one design longboard; there's almost always enough wind, and there is no "wrong kit" - you sail what you have. If I go bike riding and conditions change (like I get into the hills), I don't go home and swap bikes - I use the bike I have. Same with windsurfing.

"You will probably never gybe as you want to."

So let's redefine what we accept as the right level of gybing, rather than drive people away from the sport.

"You will break kit"

We will only break kit regularly if we accept the current (limited) vision of the sport, which is that it's all about fairly fragile kit driven to the limits of its performance. In the one design longboards I sail I've broken 1 mast (in extreme winds) and gone through a few sails in the last 5 years of national-level racing. That's no problem.

"You will miss family get togethers because its windy and wasn`t the previous the Sunday."

Easy solution - get gear that works on normal days, not gear designed just for windy days. My last sail was in 4-8 knots, I never planed, and I had a wonderful time.

"I used to coach waterskiing.We could get anybody up and skiing on the first morning.
That is not the case with windsurfing."

Well, it depends on how you define the sports. If you define learning to windsurf as learning how to sail a board in light winds (or strong), then anyone can learn it; this week I got a pic of my daughter sailing with her mother and grandmother; granny has been on a board about 6 times but can tack and gybe the longboard with 3m quite well.

If you define windsurfing as being able to carve in 26 knots, sure most people will never learn - so redefine the sport and take it back to what it was designed to be and what it was like when it was huge.

My family used to waterski. If we defined "being able to waterski" as having the ability to perform at the level of a shortboard sailor, we wouldn't have been able to teach people how to waterski. But we defined "being able to waterski" as being able to go slowly on doubles in flat water, just like we SHOULD define "being able to windsurf" as being able to sail a longboard in light winds.

If we defined waterskiiing by doing what the family team could do (win our class in the world's biggest waterski race, high speed barefooting etc) then not many people could have done it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 10:38 PM   #19
Floyd
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459
Default

Poster 18
You dont realise how ironic your post is.
If you enjoy sailing longboards/old Div1/ perhaps old D2/modern raceboards and to a lesser extent Formula you post makes perfect sense. Personlly I do not enjoy sailing "big" boards and unfortunately thats excatly the same view as I would guess 90% of the WS population.So when you say take up WS what you really mean is the sort you enjoy.
If you xamine board sales I`m pretty sure you will find that medium to high wind boards outsell big boards at least 10 to 1. Go to any renowned sailing venue. (Canaries/Leucate/Tariffa/Dahab/Rhodes etc etc) and just see how many peope sail in under F3.Again the ratio will be of order 10 to 1.(Compared to numbers on water at F5+)

If its not windy go biking;skiing; or whatever. There are other things in life.

We should stop this continual recirculation of ideas to lower limit for enjoyable sailing.
Its just a myth. At least 80% of current sailors only want to sail when its windy. Its like trying to snowski when there is no snow. Why ????

A good anology is with motorbikes.When its windy my board responds and feels like a Fireblade.(More exciting and way less dangerous actually)When its not I`m back on a moped.Its just fact.
If you like mopeds great.But dont tell me I should or that its anything like a fireblade !
Its just simple power to weight ratios.

PS Anybody can barefoot on first mornng. We never had a failure.Some even did so before skiing.
And no I don`t define being able to windsurf as carving in 26 knots(Where did that come from)

I was in it when it was huge. It was rubbish at side of today.
Non planing windsurfing is Sailboarding.Sailboarding was huge and virtually died out.
WindSURFING means planing.(Dont think you can Surf without planing)
I`m not interested in Sailboarding.Good luck if you are but dont try and convert me.
Windsurfing is a difficult sport to learn .Fact.

I`m off on my moped.
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2008, 11:45 PM   #20
Ken
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 799
Default

Floyd,

I think part of the issue, at least for me is limited time. To balance family and work with windsurfing, I only go when it is 10 knots or more (Formula with an 11.0), so if the wind is light, I don't go out. I usually go, sail and come home and don't spend the day at the lake. Got to keep my honey happy.

However, if I had more time or no family, I would be working on light wind freestyle on those non-planing days. You may not want to go out in 5-10 knots, but there are plenty that do.

Back in the mid 80's when the crowds were really big, the experts and beginners were all out on the light wind days on their long boards. Those with the skills would "show off" their tricks to the beginners by doing pivot jibes, back to sail, helicopter tacks, sail 360's, rail rides or more advanced freestyle skills. In my first couple of years of windsurfing, I remember how impressed I was at the longboard freestyle skills some of the sailors had. I was not intimidated, just excited about the possibilites with some practice.

When the winds picked up, the few that had shortboards were out and many others were on their "transition boards", learning short board skills. There were and are still, more light wind weekends than there are windy weekends. I live in Dallas, Texas by the way. Lots of lakes (reservoirs) to sail on - 6 within 45 minutes of my house.

Racing was big in the 80's because the typical local regatta was in light wind and we all had long boards. In many ways, racing long boards in light winds was very challenging and fun. Subtle performance sailing techniques made the difference between winning and losing and just about everyone could race, regardless of skill.

Many of our local regattas in the past few years were run in light winds, much like the 80's, only fewer long boards. I still race my 1985 Mistral Superlight with the original 6.3 regatta sail in these light wind races. Great fun and I love to "kick butt" with my 23 year old gear.

In Dallas today, I would say that windsurfing is growing just a little, but nothing like it was 25 years ago.

For what it's worth -
Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +7. The time now is 10:50 PM.