Go Back   Starboard Forums > Free Forum

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 26th January 2008, 01:22 AM   #21
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459

Hi Ken
Sounds good to me. We were very similar.As strong wind skills and equipment developed the longboards began to take a back seat originally with strong competition from mountain biking;and then from all sorts of things. We acually got into waterskiing as a lightwind alternative.
Personally dont think lightwind "sailboarding" irrespective of initiatives (and new equipment)will ever get back to what it was.
There are just too many competitors (and with avantages) in light winds.
We shouldn`t worry about promoting the sport or the total number of participants.
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 02:24 AM   #22
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639

The concept of growing windsurfing is a bit of a paradox. Surely its not like growing plants, where a regular focused effort in the garden is almost a guarantee of success.

Is it possible to grow windsurfing? Frankly, I have to admit that I don't really think so, as all my efforts to interest folks has never yielded any fruit. Nevertheless, I do believe that it's possible to promote the sport, and that can be done in a myriad of ways. But, and that's a big but, success really depends on folks seeing the vision and wanting to become a part of it. Yet, that's only the first of many hurdles to becoming a windsurfer, and that doesn't even begin to address the task of hanging on over the long haul.

The nature of participation is a very complex concept, and one that is continually tested over time in so many ways. I think we all have watched the picture change, and it's something we have almost no control of. I guess the only thing we can do as individuals is keep showing up at the beach and going for it, even if you're the only one there.

While much is up in the air and there's always a bit of mystery at every turn, I'm confident that the sport of windsurfing is here to stay. I think that the windsurfing industry (with Starboard being one of the leaders) is promoting a truly multifacited face to the sport. There are so many paths to follow, and this allows folks the opportunity to define what windsurfing will be for them. No matter what your idea of the sport might be, there's a kit out there to help you realize a good time and do it with style. All the tools are out there just waiting for those with the vision and desire to participate.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 02:36 AM   #23
Poster 18
Posts: n/a

Floyd, I never tried to tell you what to like. If you like just sailing in strong winds, go for it - just don't try to tell me and my friends what we should like, as shortboarders so often do with their diktat about what the sport is "really" all about.

All I was saying is that the idea that the sport is all about one thing (high wind planing) is not correct (IMHO) and also that that idea affects almost everything about the sport - where it can be done, how hard it is, who can do it, how much it costs, etc - and that we should not limit this broad sport by only looking at one aspect.

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

I've been MTBing since its early days - but I don't want to go MTBing when I want to windsurf. I used to race behind a blown 427 Chevy skiboat - but I'd go windsurfing. I still sail boats, but when I want to windsurf, I want to windsurf; I don't want to have to wait for the wind.

About "At least 80% of current sailors only want to sail when its windy."

I think you're missing the point - we are saying that the fact that most of today's sailors only sail when it's windy is the reason WHY the sport is smaller than it used to be. Many sources say it's less than 20% as big as it used to be. Arguably, all that's happened is that we have kept some of the high wind fanatics, who were always there, and got rid of the other 90%.

It's not that the people who used to windsurf prefer strong winds, it's that we have got rid of all those who don't and therefore of course the tiny fragment that remain like strong winds - especially when they are still fed the "windsurfing is planing" line and when they rarely get to see a longboard or light wind board sailed well. There's many a high-wind sailor who has been very surprised at the way longboards can go.

I've recently been in a renowned strong wind location; the wind was light most days and I had more fun in 12-14 on a longboard. That's just personal choice. But the important fact when it comes to looking at the numbers in high winds locations is that looking at what is happening today, now that the sport is a tiny fraction of what it used to be, cannot be seen as a recipe for success when it comes to growing the sport. Most people have other things in life, they don't want to have to go away to get their windsurfing fix.

It's not that the drop was all caused by new sports. Kiting is tiny compared to what windsurfing was. In the UK there's been a boom in surfing. It happened after windsurfing dropped off and it shows that there were people out there looking for a watersport. Of course, surfing is smart and they now sell about 50% longboards. Dinghy sailing is increasing in the UK, and interestingly the growth is mainly in old-style dinghies (like longboards) not the much-hyped skiffs. The big dinghy builders tried turning towards fast gear and they found that no one wanted them, unlike windsurfer builders they had the mental flexibility to return to light winds and simplicity when sales faltered - now they seem to be growing once more.

"Its like trying to snowski when there is no snow. Why ????"

Nope, nothing like it. If there's no snow, there's no snow. If there's a light wind, there's still wind. Not having ideal conditions to windsurf is different from not having enough snow to ski at all.

20 knots winds are like deep fresh untracked powder snow - in many places if you won't go out in anything less, you won't get out enough to enjoy the sport. I think in many places (Scandanavia) lots of people love cross country skiing which seems something like light wind windsurfing.

"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."

Of course your board doesn't handle like a Fireblade when it's windy - it wasn't designed for it. You can't base light wind windsurfing on strong wind gear any more than you can say that MTBing is dumb after trying to do it on a triathlon bike.

And I don't give a rat's if my light wind board doesn't feel like a Fireblade; it might feel like a Laser in 7 knots, or like a mountain bike on a singletrack, or like a long surfboard does in 2- 3' waves - and they are all good. Not ideal, not the most powerful or the fastesst, but still great fun.

About "WindSURFING means planing.(Dont think you can Surf without planing)". Come one, the name "windsurfing" was created in about 1969- when the whole sport was about longboards and very few people could sail in strong winds.

If we take the name of the sport apart apart to try to define it, we won't be able to "windsurf" on flat water because there's no surf on flat water - so FW and flatwater freestyle are - what??????

The term "sailboarding" didn't come about because the sport was different from windsurfing, it came about because the original company was trying to protect its trade name. As someone who used to get their legal letters I can assure you the change was about trademark law, not the nature of the sport.

I've taught lots of people. I think the majority of those who are still in hte country (many were foreign students) now own their own boards and some sail them up to world title level. It's easy to teach people how to windsurf.

It's interesting to hear that barefooting is easy to learn these days, it wasn't when I waterskied.
  Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 03:38 AM   #24
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 799

Poster 18,

Barefooting is relatively easy these days because they have a fixed bar on the side of the ski boat that you hold onto and can support your weight as you set your feet on the water. From there, you start working with a very short line and keep extending it. I haven't acutally done this since my barefoot days was back when you stepped of a slalom ski, 75 feet behind the boat at 40 mph. I had more than my share of water blown into every orifice of my body, my balls busted and my head ripped off while learning to barefoot. I never did get very good at it and gave it up before long. That was 35 years ago and I am now older and wiser.
Ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 05:16 AM   #25
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459

Poster 18
You must be a quick writer.I get logged off before I`ve written that much.

My comments were based on the sailing I witness (regards the strength of winds sailed in). Sailing in lighter winds will just never be as popular as it was because in general sailors just dont want to sail in lighter winds.Thats not insulting those that do.How many sailors will actually spend 1500+ to sail in under F3.Not many.
The board sales/hire centres and popular venues demontrate this.Look at size of sails/boards available at venues mentioned.
I`m not trying to alter anything.I`m saying it as I see it and I would explain our sport and all its faults(which it does have) to any prospective beginner.
Selling the sport and saying its something it isn`t is actually more damaging than just leaving it alone.
I just find it strange that many sailors see it as their duty to "sell" the sport,even though they are not invoved in the industry and try and promote it with little sincerity. Why????
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 05:31 AM   #26
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459

The refernce to the Fireblade was an ANOLOGY and obviuosly not a direct comparison.The Fireblade would sink !!!
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 05:42 AM   #27
Posts: n/a
Default Dinghies in under 10 knots.

Windsurfing is at it most efficient in planing coditions.(For most 13knots +?) I suspect to maintain interest in under this you really need to be racing.And if racing in under 13 knots I would rather be in a Dinghy.
Its probably why non-planing windsurfing has almost died out.
So in a way I agree with Floyd

BTW the whole emphasis over past 15 years has been to lower planing threshold in WS.
There is less non-planing sailing than ever !!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 07:29 AM   #28
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 82
Default Market research, really ?????

> I have done a complete marketing research of all water sports this year

Please explain, what country, what methodology. Surveys? Driving around (as I do)? Various countries?

> except that I hear from factories they are increasing production

If you heard from factories... mmhh.

> marketing studies that show interesting growth in windsurfing again.
> I did numbers after checking it and found an interesting growth in NA

Please sources.

> 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

Please sources, so we can check methodology. Wanna see growth by sailor, not sales to a few, right?

> This are real numbers, not talking just of any invented numbers.

Please sources, then we'll judge for ourselves. It's gotta be small sampling at first, but sources, then we'll see.

> In the USA there is an estimate of 1.1 million windsurfers.
> This is real numbers.

Sources ? Surely no sources that wouldn't be on the net already?

> The reason, windsurfing is attractive in light winds - say 3-8 knots -
> By the other side...longboards are coming back and center fins too...

That's gotta be judgment, not the result of a market study, right? (Since this is all recent development).

> The other reason, Formula.

Really? Driven around non-Bonaire, non-Hawaii places lately??

> But be clear, most clubs, spots and nice places to go to the beach have 3-10 knots...

You're right mate! Inland, lakes, rivers, bad offshore places, winter in Sydney, etc.

> in that wind, light wind freestyle, learning windsurfing in a school or
> using a lonboard...is the best choice you can have.

I personally agree, don't see it happening. Little light wind freestyle other than Bonaire and that pierrec45 guy on YouTube. Precious little indeed.

> Just focus:
> longboards: best way to have fun and dont worry about the wind.
> Why not go back to the 80s...?

I agree, as I see soooo many people saying they're too good for the wind at hand, but this is still a personal belief, not happening by the truckload yet.

> go slalom, go freestyle and go long distance.

Precious few people compete these days - look at events, is a very, very, tiny small percentage of sailors. People don't want to compete. I see sooooo little slalom, racing, freestyle other than hot spots. Ya? (and good on people just having fun sailing around !!)

> 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.

I doubt very, very much that Bonaire is representative. That's why they're the only guys putting up Tubes of that kind of freestyle, and nobody else.

> We are following their example in some way. DONT NEED WIND to
> promote windsurfing, need to HAVE FUN in a breeze.

100% agreed mate, good on you. NOBODY is too good for the wind, ever.

pierrec45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 12:23 PM   #29
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 160

The thing about slalom boarding is that for many I guess it is not the only sport. So when the wind does not co-operate there are other things to do (ride a bike, run a hill etc). Cross training. It is likely that if you only did WS then your general fitness would not be so good anyway. It works the other way for some too. If they don't have higher wind gear, then as the stronger winds come in they do other things. To have the money, gear and time to do WS in all conditions is not a reality for most people.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 08:16 PM   #30
Posts: n/a

Most have failed to stick with the topic 'Windsurfing growth'.
  Reply With Quote



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 06:17 PM.