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Old 22nd October 2009, 04:05 AM   #31
Jean-Marc
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Agree modern gear is much more user-friendly than 40 years ago, no contest.

However, I don't see any problems with the new generation. They can learn the basics skills (gear assembly and tuning, sail uphaul, tacking, jibing) within a few days, same as we did years back in the mid-70ies. Once they're hooked to this addicting sport, their interest and motivation to improve their skills is usually gonna be sustainable. Drop out rates are low after the discovery of their first planing. As everybody's else, they quickly want more, more and more of that addicting stuff...!

Young guns as well as oldies but goldies tend to favor freestyling tricks in low wind. One popular bible according to many freaks is the "Trictionary" books suite .

My guess is that windsurfing has emerged in the mid-70ies, so it's not uncommon to find both young and old people (i.e., I surmised a wide-shaped Bell's curve distribution would be expected). By contrast, kitesurfing and SUPing are much more recent addition to the ever-widening spectrum of watersports and therefore the age population distribution looks much more younger (i.e., a narrower-shaped Bell's curve distribution would be expected).

Sailing and windsurfing course's demand is increasingly booming in Switzerland these last couples of years. This is a happy collateral consequence resulting from the Alinghi and America's cup media buz in this country.

Cheers !

JM
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Old 22nd October 2009, 11:16 AM   #32
Reg I. Stered
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Cool Bottom line: Youth sells.

Most will agree that us old foagies are actually a liability to marketing. Who's gonna buy into a trendy sport that has blown it's wad with a bunch of pot-bellied, balding windsurfers in the mags???

That's reality folks.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 06:31 PM   #33
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Are you still reading WS mags anyway? PM special test edition once a year is enough for me. Discussing with other sailors, racers occasionally, shops or forums brings much more valuable information. But I agree that for newbies entering the sport, mags are one way to understand WS culture (at least it was for me).
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Old 22nd October 2009, 09:15 PM   #34
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more boards/more sails/ more expense simply to feed greed of retailers/manufacturers/magazines.
I have never met anyone who went into the windsurfing business out of greed.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 04:06 AM   #35
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I have never met anyone who went into the windsurfing business out of greed.
How is the shop going

Seriously though, in the UK we have some great initiatives such as National Windsurfing Week ( http://www.nationalwindsurfingweek.org/ ). To get the kids involved we have Team15 ( http://www.rya.org.uk/programmes/tea...s/default.aspx ).

Both have really worked and have seen many hundreds of newcomers at least give the sport a go.

Getting the kids into our sport is the best way to see it continue to grow, especially if we can get the kids to skip that nasty puberty/opposite sex bit

The last 2 years have been extremely busy at my local lake with more teaching being done than ever before and I honestly believe National Windsurfing Week has played a part in that. There are also gym style membership schemes available so you don't need your own kit, you just turn up and play.

All of this has to be good for our sport.
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Old 24th October 2009, 02:31 AM   #36
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How is the shop going
Donít tell me you still believe that nonsense.

Anyway you are spot on with NWW and T15.

Maybe export it to a few other countries.
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:21 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Reg I. Stered View Post
Most will agree that us old foagies are actually a liability to marketing.
Do you think Jim Drake is a liability to Starboard's innovative and most debated evolution in recent windsurf history (the Formula, the Hypersonic, the Serenity to name a few) ?

Do you think Bjorn Dunkerbeck is a liability to 20 years-old marketing with Volkswagen's T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 SUV series program?
http://www.windsurfjournal.com/front...BB_LANGUAGES=1
http://www.bz-berlin.de/archiv/20-ja...cle320345.html

Do you think Robby Naish is a liability to kite- and windsurfing marketing ?

Do you think Svein Rasmussen himself (owner of Starboard BTW) is a liability to windsurfing and SUPing marketing?

All of the above are well known figures that are truly inspiring legends for experts and newbies exposed to either watersport or outdoor life, or both. I don't think that getting older and older is detrimental with getting more and more people on the water to learn and keep up with windsurfing, kitesurfing or SUPing. If Jim Drake can do it until his 80th birthday, almost everybody else can do it, health permitting.

Cheers!

JM
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Old 30th October 2009, 10:34 PM   #38
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A lot of folks just can't get over the fact that the windsurfing fad ended years ago, but many of us that started 20-25 years ago are still religiously involved, hence the growing age of windsurfers. Water sports in general don't always attract the masses, because the majority of folks just don't want to recreate in the water. Also, there is a lot of competition for those that do with other popular water sports, like surfing, kiting, SUP, waterskiing/wakeboarding, kayaking, boating and jetskis (I have to admit that I would have little grief if jetskis vanished from the face of the earth).

Is windsurfing going to grow? Sure, but folks will also leave the sport too, so the overall numbers aren't multiplying markedly. Windsurfing is a highly specialized sport, even if we're looking at a relatively simple longboard kit. The fun in windsurfing requires wind and water, and that's not always available in a convenient way that fits folks' schedules. As a result, the sport requires a significant amount of dedication and tenacity, to include an ability to tolerate a certain amount of frustration and disappointment. Add to that the fact that windsurfing requires some wallet to keep updated and viable across a broad spectrum of conditions. Where are you going to store the stuff when it's not in use?

I could go on and on about this topic, but I think we all recognize the realities in the sport. Frankly, I can accept the fact that windsurfing is not going to be super huge, but I can readily appreciate its esoteric qualities, and I'm particularly glad that some others feel similarly.

Quite honestly, I have no fear that windsurfing will die.
I agree about the frustration, it does take commitment. I get up at 5am some days to get an hour and a half in before school if the wind is up. A while ago my friend tried for 2 days and by the end was 100% not going to persevere.

But putting so much in does make the rewards feel good. I hate waiting on the wind.
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Old 30th October 2009, 11:13 PM   #39
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If you were between 8 and 18 years of age, which one would you choose to get your adrenalin flowing?

1. Skateboarding
2. BMX
3. Surfing
4. Rollerblading
5. Youth sports - soccer, football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, etc., etc.
6. Windsurfing
7. Kiteboarding

For the most part, 1-5 are relatively inexpensive, easy to learn the basics, accessible almost any day and fun.

Windsurfing will never be able to draw vast numbers in the younger age groups. Unfortunate, but that's the way the games are played.

However, once you master the basics in windsurfing, it truly is addictive and will likely keep you hooked for the rest of your life. That's why there are quite a few of us "old dudes" still around.
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Old 1st November 2009, 10:18 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Ken View Post
If you were between 8 and 18 years of age, which one would you choose to get your adrenalin flowing?

1. Skateboarding
2. BMX
3. Surfing
4. Rollerblading
5. Youth sports - soccer, football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, etc., etc.
6. Windsurfing
7. Kiteboarding

For the most part, 1-5 are relatively inexpensive, easy to learn the basics, accessible almost any day and fun.

Windsurfing will never be able to draw vast numbers in the younger age groups. Unfortunate, but that's the way the games are played.

However, once you master the basics in windsurfing, it truly is addictive and will likely keep you hooked for the rest of your life. That's why there are quite a few of us "old dudes" still around.
I BMX too. I've got the basics in both windsurfing and BMX and at the moment I'm focusing much more on windsurfing because it's more addictive and my wrist has taken a lot of crap recently in BMX.
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