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Excellent Op-Ed from Nevin Sayre

 
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CUSalin



Joined: 11 Mar 2001
Posts: 307
Location: Portland / Hood River, OR

PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Excellent Op-Ed from Nevin Sayre Reply with quote

http://www.windsurfingtour.com/?p=5323
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am guessing the International Sailing Federation thought kitesurfing would be a more exciting sport for spectators when they decided to include it in the 2016 Olympics at the expense of windsurfing.

All Sayre's criticisms of the decision seem valid.


Last edited by ascott72 on Wed May 30, 2012 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"There are over 110 reported kitesurfing deaths in the last 10 years." - Sayre

Is that right??? Wow.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+ many maimings. I point those out every time a non-sailor whom I suspect will not get serious about it asks me whether he should take up kiting. Anybody who's not going to get out more than a few short days a year will not get much out of either sport, and kiting is dangerous for people who aren't going to take it fairly seriously.

My neighbor wanted to try one or the other. I told him it's that or his lawn, that he can't do both since the water is 70-150 miles away. He spends a couple of hours ever day manicuring his lawn and the surrounding desert with toenail clippers and polishing his grass one blade at a time (or so it seems).

He's still quite happy manicuring his lawn.
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pacspeed



Joined: 14 Sep 2000
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a tough decision. I can see both sides of the coin, having been a WS'r for 20 years, then a kiter for 3 years, and now a WS'r again after a nasty kite accident that left me in rehab for 9 months.

I was pretty savvy with the kite, able to jump, jibe, and ride waves in Baja, Hawaii, Oregon, and NorCal. I had my gear dialed in, and a lifetime of watersports knowledge to back it up. But a quick series of bad luck, bad timing, and glitch in technique ended up with me being yarded along the beach at Waddell in heavy 9m wind. In retrospect, I got lucky that I just shredded my left knee. If my last release had failed, I'd have been pulled headlong into the highway bridge over Waddell creek. Or impaled on one of those redwood snags. Or brained on one of those rocks. So I agree with Mr Sayre, that I would not allow my kids to kite.

HOWEVER: Olympic windsurfing is about the most boring shit I could imagine watching. While the high-performance, high wind, big wave aspect of the sport has been maligned as the reason people don't take it up, I have to disagree. Watching otherwise superb athletes pump huge sails around in 4 knots of wind is far more damning to the sport than watching pros shred in Ho'okipa. After all, kids arent turned off skiing by watching people huck cliffs in Chamonix. Theyre not turned off baseball by watching pros turn double plays or throw 90 mph curve balls. Those are the heroes. Those are the inspiration for the next gen. If you think a kid is gonna be motivated to learn a difficult sport, with bulky expensive equipment so he can go do a course race in sub-planing conditions, think again. I say good riddance to the olympic class. Lets market WS for what it can be at it's best. Radical, high-performance, individual enjoyment. Not for some committee. Not for a medal. For you.
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