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Old 19th October 2009, 05:52 AM   #11
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Issue # 1: its so d much equipment. Kids cant go out by them self, they need to be driven.
Issue # 2: its too expensive. A family with two kids and some boards and sails will use 10 000 $ in a swish
Issue # 3: Magazines, marketing and so on are focused on high wind; the majority freerider is ignored. When was the last time you saw a test of longboards, beginner boards and boards for intermediates.
Issue # 4: The sport is too technical and the intermediate struggles to find descent answer on witch fin or what sail to use, just look at this forum.
Issue # 5: All sports have the same problems people get married and have kids. If you are lucky and live near the lake or ocean then you could get some TOW in the next 10 15 years on your old quiver, you dont have money to buy new ones.

So my conclusion is:
If you are lucky and have parents driving you to the shore, you might get 10 GREAT YEARS with offshore high wind surf before you have kids.

The next 10 15 years of boredom might tear on the windsurfer hart, but you could get the kids into the sport and maybe the better half would follow. IF you convince the family, you could have 10 -15 GREAT YEARS of cruising and some occasional high wind sessions.

When the kids find girl-/boy-friends your home safe! You have a blistering 30 GREAT YEARS ahead of you so grab the gear, by that new stuff, build a bigger garage, buy that surfmobile, plan your next surf vacation and enjoy!

If you sum this up you could get all into windsurfing and they would use 50 GREAT YEARS more or less on surfing. For the manufactures this is good; at least 20 boards, 30 sails, 20 booms, 10 masts and lots of other cool stuff per person.

I have a lot to do yet with a lousy track record of 7 boards, 9 sails, 4 booms, 5 masts. Think of all the cool stuff Im going to get, and all the moaning from the better half, even if I start to have grey tints in the hair.

I love this f sport - and I still have big grinds on my face after an ice-cold half good session!
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Old 19th October 2009, 08:13 AM   #12
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Wink The whole picture

Originally Posted by Hot Ice View Post
15 year old Philip Koster won this years Pozo PWA wave competition.

18 year old Sarah-Quita Offringa was crowned yet again PWA freestyle champion.

An 8 year old was always out this summer windsurfing in all wind strengths every time I was out. Another of his friends who was also windsurfing had reached the grand old age of 12. Then there was the local posse who ripped in the waves and into freestyle whose average age was about 16. The point here is that it was the summer when the kids were off school. Other than that they tend to be limited to the weekends.

Freestyle and wave sailing has progressed out of all recognition over the last few years. The top moves of even five years ago would not get you through the first round of a competition now.

To-days kit is lighter, faster, more maneuverable and most importantly more fun. In freestyle one board around 100 litres will meet most requirements. In waves two boards will suffice.

Time on the water, working on fitness and intelligent selection of kit that you know inside out and tuned to perfection will always pay dividends. There is no need for a mountain of gear.
yes, the growth is not ballistic, but their are new sail companies, new board companies,
so the future is not quite so bleak. The ages I recall at Hood River this year are really wide spread.
good winds
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Old 19th October 2009, 12:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cosmicchuckie View Post
So I moved back home after years away and noticed that the same guys that i knew 10-15 years ago are virtually the only guys left windsurfing! What gives? They confirmed that no new people have taken it up and that's fine with them.
It depends where you are. In Europe windsurfing is still much stronger than here in the USA, and all generations are quite represented, and I suspect this is also true in the big windsurfing locations in the USA. In San Francisco. where I live, there is a whole new quite large 20- to 30-something group of sailors that concentrate mostly on freestyle and do things that I thought could not be done on a board. In addition in places like Crissy you see pretty much the whole spectrum of ages from 12 years old (in the morning hours) to seventy plus.

There is also quite a lot of competition with Kite-surfing, but here too Kite might be peaking in terms of "recruitment" and "give" back some sailors to windsurf: the novelty factor will wear off and people will also little realize how dangerous (deadly!) Kite is in respect to windsurf.

Last edited by davide; 19th October 2009 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 19th October 2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Seems that WS is picking up again in certain locations like Swiss. On my spot we noticed a new wave of relatively young sailors. Most of the second hand gear, some of the early 90's, disappeared from the local shop during the past two years and you see it back on water now. There is still a market for demanding water sports, as the booming of kite has demonstrated. Maybe WS just need to adapt?

Last edited by Farlo; 19th October 2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 19th October 2009, 07:14 PM   #15
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Five months ago I uploaded video about formula windsurfing to YouTube, there were more than 2000 views. But I was surprised by Statistics & Data, video was most popular with male 45 - 54, 60% of viewers were around 50 years old, the rest was not much younger. Than I checked other videos about windsurfing on YouTube and it was more or less the same with all of them.
On windsurf spots I usually see windsurfers well over 40years old, 10 % are students 20 to 25 years old, they do mostly freestyle, but most of them stops windsurfing when they get job and family. Kids are windsurfing only if father is windsurfer and he is rich enough.
To judge how old are average windsurfers based on age of few competitors, makes no sense since they represent only few percent of all windsurfers. But even if we do so, we can see that average age of competitors in PWA rankings is around 30, for example average age of top 3 slalom sailors is 37 years.

So more than obvious fact is, average windsurfer is getting older.


Main reason, of course, are high prices of windsurf gear, full price for windsurf board in Europe is from 1000 to 2000 EURO (1500 4000 U.S. dollar) or even higher, while production costs for one windsurf board are probably around few hundred EURO. So Im sure that producers of windsurf gear dont hate to be in windsurf business.
Main reason why they can sell for such high prices is that most windsurfers are old enough to have enough spare money to pay. And so prices are getting higher and higher and windsurfers are getting older and older.

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Old 19th October 2009, 08:02 PM   #16
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Well, this is true and not true. You can still find a decent beginner's kit (board, sail, usw) for ~1000 , which is similar to the mid 80's price given the inflation. And this kit is much more reliable, practical and fun that at the time so you get more value for money. Also there are tons of inexpensive second hand gear on the market. WS is certainly costly but I suspect competition from other sports (not mentioning videogames) to play a big role. Many people say that kite is way easier to begin and get fun, for instance. By the way, we've been hearing of WS' decline well before the booming of kite.

Last edited by Farlo; 19th October 2009 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 19th October 2009, 08:40 PM   #17
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Think someone earlier mentioned this point; or similar but ;;

When I started WS it was viewed as a cheaper ; less complicated and propbably faster alternative to dinghy sailing. I`d sailed dinghies for years and appreciated the quicker rigging; easier transport and convenience WS (or Sailboarding) offered.
There was no link or competition to surfing; kayaking or skiing.
Over a few years sport changed ; developed into more of an "extreme" sport ; which it wasn`t (most of the time) now competing with Surfing/Skiing and to be fair losing many of the attractions many sailors originally came to it for. (I`d raced 505 dinghies ; trailing kit and crew all over country) Now I`m back with loads more gear than I ever had with 505.!!! (wouldn`t go back though)

Problem now is
a) The convenient aspect of sport (One board/ sail on local lake) does not have sufficient numbers/ organisation to maintain interest (globally/nationally) for racing/ fun events. Freesailing in F3 is not going to maitain sailors interest long !!! Cruising on a board ??? There are better alternatives for exploring ???

b) The more extreme sailing (ie any type F5+) has many competitors(eg kiting/wakeboarding/Snowboarding) offering more reliable cheaper participation with quicker learning progress.

Ages I sail with vary from 72 to 40. All with 20+ years experience. We`ve had two newcomers in last year or so.One was 42 other 54 !!! Wonder what will be happening in 20 years time.. !!

The sport will never die out but IMHO numbers must decline owing to simple aging of participants. Are we loosing more than gaining ?? Anybody know.?
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Old 19th October 2009, 08:52 PM   #18
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Yes you can find beginners kit for 1000 EURO, but after few years you are not beginner any more and than you need two boards five sails, three masts, three booms, fins.
Of course you need also a big car to transport the gear and job where you can take a leave when wind blows. If you travel with airplane you pay extra for cargo, than you have to rent a car or you rent a windsurf for 600 EURO / week (Fuerteventura). Not to mention your wife and kids.
Because of this and many other reasons WS was in decline before kite boom. Kite is cheaper and easier for transport, but it has some other drawbacks, so it is no replacement for WS.

Windsurfing will survive, but windsurfers are still getting older.
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Old 19th October 2009, 09:26 PM   #19
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That's another story. Spending money (and time) for additional gear results from a bit of addiction. Admittedly many people will give up before, because there are easier and cheaper sports. However you don't necessarily need tons of gear to have fun, just the right gear for your practice and local conditions. It takes some experience to get there. But we discussed that several times already, and we are not getting younger for sure.

Last edited by Farlo; 19th October 2009 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 20th October 2009, 01:39 AM   #20
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Location: NW England,
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Interesting thread. Age of windsurfers seems to vary depending on were you live. I live right on the coast in the north west UK, and there is a 50/50 split between the under 20's and older. The sub 20's seem to look for flat water for freestyle or they chase waves. Understandable when you see the next gen PWA freestylers doing there thing.

On a windy day, we can get as many as 70 plus sailors out, ranging from 8yrs to 70yrs. This year, I have noticed a lot of people returning to windsurfing after a 20yr break (work/families/moved away from the coast etc).

The UK has a very healthy T15 race scene for the under 15's, and our local T15 is buzzing at the moment. These young racers are also into there freestyle, and a few are into waves.

The UK also has a pretty big UKWA race scene. Whilst there are older members, the majority of members are sub 20yrs old.

Our local windsurf school is consitantly busy, especially at weekends and on school holidays, its not unusual to see fifteen plus pupils out on the water. Admitedly, only a few will stick with it and move on to higher levels.

But what Im trying to say is that, at my local beach, there is definetly young, older and newbies. Plus most windsurfing companies still seem to be making money, so business must be OK!

Just my 2 cents worth
Cheers - Mark H

The toys:
Speed W44 - Speed W49 - speed W53 - speed W58 - iS76 - iS107 - iS130 - F161.
North Warps: F2012/F2013 5.2m, 5.7m, 6.3m, 7m, 7.8m, 8.6m, 9.6m, F2006 11m.
F-Hot fins (slalom). Tectonic Nomads (speed)

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