Go Back   Starboard Forums > Free Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 26th January 2008, 10:26 PM   #31
Floyd
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459
Default

Dont think anyone said or even implied they were too good to sail in light winds.I think its actually harder (skill and physique wise) Easiest sailing there is is just well powered up.
Getting on plane in marginal conditions; tacking quickly and balancing with little power in rig ()to balance against are just as difficult as waterstarting etc in stronger winds. IMO the returns are less;thats all.
There were 18 sailors out today at our beach.Sails 4.7 to 6.Wind dropped to F2/3 everybody came in and went home.Thats reality and the norm.No lightwind sailors to be seen.
Floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2008, 11:47 PM   #32
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Light wind kit

Dont think any innovations will actually increase number of light wind sailors.
Afterall kit from 20 years ago would still take some beating in under F3.

Around 1985 I had a hollow Typhoon Turbo (Div 2) with an absolutely massive daggerboard.On it I used to put a 7.5 cambered sail.It was a challenging to sail but was only kit I ever had which could compete with almost any craft in light winds.(Used to race at a Dinghy sailing club) (Was a pig in F4 and unsailable in a 5 )but nevertheless I doubt wether much avilable now would be faster (or more challenging) in under F3.

The kit is already there; and has been for a while.We just keep reinventing it. If numbers are dropping afraid its just one of those things.

The numbers sailing in F5 and in waves isn`t declining from what I see.

PS Indicatively the Typhoon was bought from Bankrupt stock for 120.(Brand New) I made the dagger.. (Yes I know; I was robbed !!!)
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 03:17 AM   #33
Philip
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 159
Default

In a national newspaper today in Australia there is a report on the concept that elite athletes might expect in the future to be trained in several sports as their talents allow. Such cross 'training' is known to have benefits for all sports people.

In a few months time the Australian Sports Commission website will have a self assessment tool so that anyone can assess their potentials.

What this concept means for WS is important. Just as we the current WS adepts might be involved across a range of sports so we will attract like minded people who may wish to add WS into their quiver of athlectic pursuits.

WS would well be marketed this way and as some posts have already noted WS do kites and of course many do surfboard riding and I know many who snow board or ski. The point here is that if we look at WS in isolation or 'in competition' with other sports, its growth will be constrained as opposed to promoting the sport as an element of a wholistic healthy life style.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 03:49 AM   #34
Poster 18
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Floyd, I'm aware that the Fireblade mention was an analogy. The point is that your strong-wind gear feels like a scooter in light winds, because it wasn't designed for light winds. Saying that light winds are boring because they make high-wind gear feel bad is like saying that strong winds are unpleasant because they made some old-style light wind gear hard to control - to continue the motorbike analogy it's like taking a Fireblade along a motocross racing track and then saying that motocross is no fun because your Fireblade felt like crud when you tried it.

I'm not saying you aren't describing the sport as it is today - a shadow of its former self and aimed at just a few aspects of what can be a wonderfully diverse sport. But the whole point is that the current shape and people's current preferences have been shaped by the way the industry re-aligned the whole sport years ago, in a short sighted and unsuccessful attempt to keep production lines churning.

This isn't just me saying it, although as a high-wind sailor on my nation's world title team, I was at manufacturer's team meetings in the boomtime where we were basically told that the company was actually and specifically trying to attack light wind windsurfing and longboards, to keep the production line running. Guys like Maui-based Barry Spanier, Jeffrey Henderson, the Tabou and Exocet/Kona crew, many of the Starboard guys, Ken Winner (boomtime legend) etc all agree that there was a short-sighted drive by the industry to kill the golden gooose of long-term growth by making people dissatisfied with their light-wind gear. They all agree that this hurt the sport, but those of us who are former members of the industry know that the "insiders" have a perspective that makes it hard for them to understand the average sailor's needs and wishes.

About cross training and other sports - sure, some people prefer to go MTBing in light winds. Good on them - all I'm saying is that the sport should allow for the fact that not all of us want to go MTBing when we feel like windsurfing. And since there's no place near me (or many people) that's ideal for MTBing, it's just as good to go windsurfing in non-ideal conditions.

It's like the "go dinghy sailing in light winds" argument - why should we, when windsurfing can be as much fun in light winds? A good longboard is just about as quick as a comparable dinghy in light winds; the original Windsurfer is as fast as a Laser Radial (comparable in "flavour" and sail area), a Div 2 board is as fast as an International Moth or Canoe (the fastest of non-spin singlehanded dinghies), etc. And the board is much quicker to rig and launch. My fiance sailed Tornado cats, one of the fastest of all sailboats, to world title level - now she's happier sailing her longboard and the cat hasn't been out in two years.

Sure, if you're the only light wind sailor in your village you may not have as much fun as we do here where longboards are popular - but that's typical, how much fun we all find our sports has a lot more to do with the social and other aspects that just sheer knots; we can't just look at speed in isolation. To continue with the dinghy aspect, that is of course why more people sail Lasers than skiffs.

Not all of us are insincere about promoting the sport. Some of us are involved in running the sport and organising racing and kid's classes. Some of us who have put the emphasis on basics (ie sailing on simple gear in all winds) have seen windsurfing at our local spot become considerably more popular as a result, and have seen kids taking up the sport as quickly as we can find them good gear. Some of us have lost a lot of earning time to play a part in the revival of a section of the sport we love.

I like seeing more people in the sport; it's nice to have someone to sail with. I like getting kids away from PLaystation and into a more active life where they do things like go to national titles interstate (or world titles overseas) and experience stuff they wouldn't have otherwise. I love seeing college professors bubble with joy about finding a physical way to love life, without the hassle of waiting for wind or driving 50 minutes to the windy areas. And while I live in one of the world's biggest sailing cities, we are down to a single windsurfing shop. If the sport dropped any more, not one of us would have anywhere to buy gear. That's a damn good reason to keep it alive.

Re-emphasising the width of the sport - pushing the light wind, cruising, racing, messing about angles as well as high wind, can be great for windsurfing's growth. We killed it once but that was carried out by a short-sighted industry whose leaders did not understand that (unlike them) the typicaal sailor did not want to spend their time in Maui and Tarifa. We can rebuild, just like surfing did when longboards came back (and I can remember all the "the sport has changed" arguments were trotted out then, and the rise of longboards has proven they were wrong).
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 04:27 AM   #35
Screamer
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 433
Default

I agree with everything Floyd said in post #11. Very well put.

I don't think that the big decline has happened ONLY because everybody in the industry (manufacturers, mags, etc) promoted high wind side of things. No way. I believe that the answer is much more complex than that, some of it already mentioned ("competing" sports/activities that didn't existed before; new, fashionable thing, a fad faded over time; etc). I think that longboard site mentioned here is very good, but they are sometimes one-sided (blame everything on high wind snobs).

Yes I've been there, sailing Div2 and longboards. Yes sometimes I miss our club regattas in 3 knot winds, 10 km cruises, gatherings with friends, the crowds, the barbicues. 250+ sailable days a year, anywhere. But it simply wasn't enough for me. It just dwindled slowly. It was my choice to pursue shortboard sailing, and I know many sailors who did the same (true, many more left for good). And no, we did not do it because of the ads in which hotshots were jumping 30 feet above monster waves. It was simply more satisfying in the end, despite the obstacles. Maybe we should have dedicated our lives to promoting light wind windsurfing, instead of selfishly enjoying planing winds? I don't know.

(Once upon a time, hundreds of millions hoola hoops were sold around the world. Everybody was doing it. Almost, a mass histery. Do we mourn those good old days? Does everything has to stay where it once was, or to grow indefinitely?)

Personally, I have nothing against sailing in 2-3 knots (thinking about Serenity actually). But I also think that windsurfing will NEVER reach the numbers it once had, for various reasons. It will never reach the level of CONVENIENCE (and let's not forget how important is that to vast majority of people) that is found in going for a bike ride, or a tennis game after work. That's not the reason for gloomy thoughts (windsurfing is dying), as some want to believe. Personally, I'll infect everyone with it, given the slightest chance, and plan on doing it for as long as I'm able to walk.

Last edited by Screamer; 27th January 2008 at 04:32 AM.
Screamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 04:43 AM   #36
Screamer
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 433
Default

Poster 18

I see where are you coming from, a lot of valid arguments there. I was posting at the same time, and certainly don't want to oppose your enthusiasm and energy. Kudos for your work and I wish you all the best.

With the guys you mention, leading players in the industry right now, I think that "diversifying" of the sport is well under way. I'm still not sure that the mass revival is possible, at least not comparable to golden days.

Last edited by Screamer; 27th January 2008 at 04:49 AM.
Screamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 08:49 AM   #37
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In Darwinian terms, if windsurfing is as good as we passionate windsurfers believe, then it will never die out. It is the most adaptable of sports.

If it does die out, it will be when all of us passionate windsurfers are dead, and it won't matter anymore, the world will have moved on.........
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 09:06 AM   #38
steveC
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
Default

Hi Screamer,

Your thoughts are always very insightful, particularly here under post 35. I can honestly say that our perspectives have been quite similar (to readily include Floyd's too), at least for me over the last 22 years. Believe me, I never felt denied a good time focusing on planing conditions.

However, I have to say that I've ordered a Serenity to expand my horizon a bit. Will sailing in 3-10 knots be interesting to me over the long run? Ultimately, only time will tell.

The thing that really got my attention is that Tiesda You has been quite candid in his feeling that the Serenity design is one of his top achievements in his career to date. Looking at the concept product, and the clear performance examples that I've seen on numerous videos, I'm inclined to agree that the design is very intriguing overall.

The thing that really tipped the scales for me is that I don't have to buy into a whole new game. If I focused on the formula concept, I would be obigated to spend a fortune on sails, masts, booms and fins, and that would be totally irrespective of buying an expensive board.

I anticipate using the 7.1 and 8.3 sails that I already own that work exceptionally well for my existing light wind planing interests. Also, in light of the fact that I sail locally in a series of very weedy and kelp oriented venues, I anticipate using weedfins I already own. Fortunately, Roger Jackson (who apparently sails in very similar situations on the US East Coast) has been very enlightening and informative about the use of the Serenity with weedfins and smaller sails. Things look very promising in my mind.

The only thing that worries me is whether the Serenity readily accepts my Lessacher Dwo Weed fins without modification, as they work exceptionally well, as is, in my Mike's Lab course slalom and slalom boards.

Overall, I thought why not open a door to a slightly different adventure. We're still talking about windsurfing here. Don't get me wrong, I already have a 6 board quiver in the van now, and that's not going to change. Yet, honestly, no reason not to give the real light wind concept a chance. I have to admit to being personally stoked about the opportunity.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 11:28 AM   #39
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Had my 11yo boy and his friend out the other day, my boy was already competent and his friend was a first timer. Within an hour his friend was sailing, and the 2 of them were fighting for the board. My son is always complaining that I don't take him out enough. I think it will be a long time before windsurfing ever dies out, may take a few centuries, or even millenia??
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2008, 04:37 PM   #40
Floyd
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 459
Default

Thanks Screamer. Would love to try a Serenity aswell.Not seen one yet though.

Poster 18
There is another way of looking at what "decision" makers "tried" to do as you explained. (To be honest dont think there is that sort of control over manipulating markets/behaviour )
It could be argued if they hadn`t had forsight to push/devlop high wind sailing the sport could have totally died out. Rather than blaming them for the decline (which was natural) we should be applauding them for helping develop what we now have.
The best sport in the world. Which we probably didn`t have when numbers were at their greatest.(ie in days of Sailboard Sport; Tencate Hunters and Regatta sails which to be fair were not exactly "fit or purpose".)
Floyd 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 01:28 AM.