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Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers
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winddave



Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

I started windsurfing in 1985 when windsurifng was new and popular. Lots of people trying it a buying equipment. It seemed to gradually decline from the early 1990s on but lately seems to have drastically tailed off. There are only a few shops left in NJ. The good spots seem empty even on nice days with good wind. I meet tons of people who express an interest in learning to windsurf but there seems to be few avenues left for entering the sport. I am intested in knowing if other people have observed the same tren and what they think about it.
Winddave
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scooper



Joined: 28 May 1987
Posts: 537
Location: Massachusettes

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Ive been windsurfing in New England for 20 years, Cape Cod, R.I. etc. Ive noticed a big drop in the last few years. I guess it has been coming on for a long time but the change seems pretty dramatic now. Even at Kalmus, which used to be one of the most popular spots on the east coast, the crowd dissapears if the conditions arent perfect. I think some of the hardcores have switched to kiting. I was out on the north cape yesterday with at least 20 kiters and I was the only polesurfer. Most of my best windsurfing buddies just dont bother getting out much anymore. I really miss the camraderie. It makes me think about taking up kiting. Im just worried about the danger.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13778

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Look at the left side of your screen. Under iW Discussion Forum click Forum Search. Find a very comfortable chair, enter some appropriate key words, and prepare for a long session in the archives. Then do the same in rec.windsurfing.

See ya next week.

Mike \m/
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WMP



Joined: 30 May 2000
Posts: 607

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Windsurfing certainly has turned into a dead sport. Many of the original folks are baby boomers who reached an age (retirement) where they want to be lazy and do nothing.... or play golf. The young crowd has no interest because of the time & commitment windsurfing takes to learn (jibes take years to perfect)..... rather be lazy and spend time playing video games for instant fun. In short, people in America have just become lazy. No sir, not a great time in history to run a windsurfing school.
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allen



Joined: 13 Aug 1996
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:51 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

West Coast trends Ive noticed:

- The Gorge seems to still get a lot of windsurfers, especially on 4.0 days.

-Bay Area (Delta/Crissy/3rd) seems to be getting more kiters but is holding on to an older windsurfing crowd.

-SoCal
Any beach that allows kiters is now overrun by them. This is probably due to lite winds in the area. Places like Cabrillo are still mainly windsurfing beaches (kiters are banned on weekends plus a couple of kiters have been badly hurt there) but Seal Beach and beaches near County Line have seen a huge influx of kiters. (The Seal Beach scene is pretty interesting, it seems the lifeguards dont mind that the kiters are coming right into shore and mixing it up w/swimmers, surfers and windsurfers.)

Regarding sport growth, it must be hard to sell windsurfing to the casual observer/potential new participant when they see what the avg.kiter is doing compared to the avg. windsurfer is doing. When I tell people I windsurf, they say what about that kite thing? You should try that, it looks pretty cool.
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maxwellmaggie



Joined: 10 Oct 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Hey!! Who cares?!?!?! Windsurfing is the SHIT!!! I like it that not a lot of people do it, that it isnt on TV, that it isnt the cool thing to do, that it can take a lifetime to master...because what that means is that: 1)more waves for me 2)you dont have the anxiety that comes with doing your favorite thing in a limited space with tons of other people getting in in the way 3)the lack of commmercialization means we dont have all hordes people trying to make money off what can be a very soulful activity. I mean, look what happened to surfing! 98% of all people wearing a Quicksilver t-shirt have never even touched a surfboard. Many windsurfers complain so much about how few other windsurfers there are. Realized we are blessed!! There arent a whole lot of sports left where you can enjoy nature without all the people around. But just in case you really crave that claustrophobic feeling o rubbing shoulders with everyone and their second cousin while enjoying your activity, go try skiing at Vail or surfing in Malibu.

Dead sport? America too lazy? Youths like videogames....cool!!!
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1319

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

First, windsurfing disappeared when clear monofilm sails became the norm. This sounds odd, but it is completely true. In the late 80s when I learned, windsurfing was as colorful as kiting is now. Robbie Naish always had a bright pink sail. What happened? SOLUTION: Scream at your favorite sail manufacturers if they dont offer super-colorful sails. Buy the most extremely colorful sails you can. Dont disappear!

Windsurfers have had some morale issues as kiting has stepped onto the stage. SOLUTION: accept it. when youre out windsurfing, you are retro, boy. Like wearing bellbottoms or having long hair. Whats wrong with that? NOTHING. Whats wrong with bring retro? NOTHING? Whats wrong with windsurfing? NOTHING. BE one of the last ones in your area -- pretty soon people will be asking the kiters, whoa -- check out that little guy -- looks cool, what the hell kind of a gizmo is that? I wanna try it.

A lot of schools have switched focus to kiting for economic reasons. Kiting is 1000x more trendy, and 100x more visible of a sport (see my first point above, for a partial solution to that problem). BUT windsurfing will always be a safer / better sport for certain classes of folks, and windsurfing may always be more fun in high-wind. Most importantly, the windsurf schools that remain and have the wherewithall to pick themselves off the ground and MARKET themselves are still doing fine. In fact, several schools NEVER MISSED A BEAT in terms of # of windsurfing students. I understand that the Boardsports School in Alameda (they do windsurfing & kiting) has taught HUNDREDS of new windsurfers every year, including this year. They have womens clinics, singles learn-to-windsurf weekends, they advertise in the local community/city activities pages, etc. And they use Hot Sails Maui SuperFreaks, which are about as colorful and fun-looking as it gets. Yeah, I think those guys are on to something.

Now go out and sail,
George
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Fastracker



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

The sport startet going down with the shift from Longboards and One Design type racing and social activities to shortboards and I,ve got the most expensive hi performance gear made.Mistral tried to keep the One Design idea going and the dealers tried also thru the late 80s- early 90s but you only go so long without makin money. Most of us small shops had to quit. Am I complaining? Hell no, short boards and fast sails rip and so do long boards. I like the who cares response. Less crowds are always good for the soul. I like skiing at Vail on a stormin pow day when all the crowd stays inside for that matter. Go Fast-Take Chances
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1319

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Another shop that is doing quite a lot of windsurfing lessons, I understand, is KiteWindSurf in Alameda, CA. When the SFBA prints extra newsletters, Jeff and the gang take them and hand them out to their students. Obviously, theres still a good demand.

In fact, Ive heard from Boardsports School that that this year there has probably been a HIGHER demand for windsurfing lessons than kitesurfing. Also interestingly, theyve taught over 150 kids this season so far. That might be startling to some whove seen windsurfing disappearing in certain spots. Seems to me, if it works in SF, then other shops in other places could most likely also find success doing kids clinics and womens clinics.

Anyway, schools are key to the future of windsurfing, so it is a shame if shops close/give up on windsurfing lessons. HELL, if your local shops wont give ws lessons, tell your friends to pour out their liquids and GET ON AN AIRPLANE!

There are plenty of schools thatll get a newbie into the straps..

George
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2351
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:04 pm    Post subject: RE: Where are all the mid-Atlantic windsurfers Reply with quote

Try finding a place to park on a windy sunday afternoon at Leo Carillo. There is no shortage of windsurfers there..or kiters for that matter.
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