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Future of Windsurfing
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windmaddness



Joined: 09 Oct 2010
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most local shops also sell gear online or the opposite, most online shops sell gear locally. Some shops succeed to stay on their feet and some don't.

The decline in windsurfing shops is a reflection of the decline of windsurfers themselves. To increase the offer you have to increase the demand, in other words we need new blood as well as the maintenance of the active windsurfers. Teach windsurfing to your friends and family. Local shops should teach windsurfing for free or at least for very cheap to ensure future customers for their business, they also have to hold clinics and seminars to improve the windsurfing level as whole, which results in more demand on hi performance gear and better enjoyment of the time on the water.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but I see virtually no relation between racing and shops and racing and the future of the sport.

1. For me, racing was the biggest turn-off in the sport, a good way to ruin fun. Every one of the local races I entered or observed added yet another unique, powerful, mind-boggling, and unforgettable reason never to do that again. I realize that many individuals enjoy both racing and freesailing, but in terms of percentages, it has to be very low. The last thing most of us want in our recreation is more rules, time constraints, hoops to jump through, micromanagement, opportunities to lose, etc. From a 2008 post on the topic:
<<< colorit wrote:
but who shows up at the beach when a contest is scheduled and doesn't enter the event?

Dozens, when I lived in UT and NM; hundreds to thousands, in the Gorge. Many of us just wanna play, and racing just gets in the way. [I realize that being told how to live their lives is becoming instilled in today's young adults, but along with that passive robot mindset has come a need for instant gratification, the antithesis of windsurfing. There's also the erosion in today's PC -- aka PW -- society of the concept of winners and losers ... and why else race?]

I'll never forget the last local race I saw in NM. There were two very distinct groups of WSers: those who came to compete and those who came to windsurf. The racers stood around the event table in street clothes until their heat came due, ran their heat, got back in their street clothes, stood around the event table until the trophy was awarded, and went home.

The windsurfers sailed from dawn 'til dark, paying only enough attention to the races to avoid getting in the way. They couldn't understand how a windsurfer could ignore one of the best days of the entire season.

[Guess which group stayed with windsurfing.]

Virtually all of us knew each other, so it wasn't like anyone felt like an outsider. It's just that some people like regimentation and/or competition and others like unstructured play, with little overlap. I know countless windsurfers who wouldn't even look up from their beach chair or from a broad reach to look at a race, because a race LOOKS like ... guess what ... a buncha folks windsurfing.

My point is that while races may attract some people, it ignores the OTHER half ... By FAR our biggest crowds were drawn by Learn To Windsurf weekends, for example; consider the implications of THAT.>>>

2. We can't force the wind to blow. We've all been asked scores of times: "Are ya going windsurfing on [pick a date two days or two months away]?"

"How the hell do I know? It depends on the wind, so I won't know until the evening of that day whether I could WS that day. It's all up to the wind."

Just as I never make other commitments since taking up this stupid sport, I've also never committed a future day TO windsurfing , simply because it's not within my control. Skunks get old.

3. If I go into a shop to fondle gear and/or ask an employee for advice, I'll buy from him without even looking online. I don't even request a discount unless it's to match another local shop's price on the same article. What I DO use online shops for is finding things the local shops don't have. How any of that relates to racing escapes me.

4. And as Vince says, what the pros use means nothing practical to most of us. It took me decades to get good enough to even enjoy some of the pros' boards; it would take me lifetimes, and different genes, to even begin to duplicate what they do with them. Telling some customer ... or his telling himself ... that he's gonna rip like [insert favorite WSing hero] if he buys said hero's gear is unrealistic and loses people from the sport.
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superkraut



Joined: 18 Mar 2001
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow - just for once, I agree with ISO! spot-on!!
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cbknap



Joined: 03 Jun 1997
Posts: 300

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This entire thread is much ado about very little...

http://www.2013windsurfingnationals.com/

Just race in the Nationals (yes they're at Cabrillo) if you're so all-fired racey.

An entire committee is hard at work on this, including Joe. R and Xavier F. I expect it to be a lot more spectacular than the Enduro.
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 811
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....and Spennie & Debi, as usual. Where do you think that artwork & website came from?
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Spennie the Wind Junkie
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capetonian



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 897
Location: Oahu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sad to hear about the Enduro. I've raced in 4 out of the 6 Enduro's and all of them were a ton of fun. I only missed one because of the flu and one because of an out of town wedding.

Maybe the Enduro didn't generate any business for the local shops, but I think it was great for the social side of the windsurfing community. I enjoyed meeting people from all over Southern California who came for the event.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

superkraut wrote:
wow - just for once, I agree with ISO! spot-on!!

I thought that sound was another North Korean nuclear test! Very Happy
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

capetonian wrote:
... one because of an out of town wedding.

Unless you had to wear a tux and do something important (like say your vows), that's an excuse, not a reason. Smile
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1995

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canít say I didnít see this coming. Running the Enduro & Nationals back to back was a long shot at best.

I think some of you are missing the point about the Enduro. It wasnít a hard core race like the nationals or mid-winters, it was a fun event. Run a couple of laps and have a party afterwordís.

Many people say they have no interest in racing but also tell us they are one of the fastest sailors or have the fastest board at their spot. Really? And how would you know how your speed compares to others unless you informally raced against one of your buds? We may not all have the desire to formally race, but dang near all of us have gone head to head against someone in an informal race. A GPS speed week at Izzy? Sounds like a race to me.

Is racing and the future of our sport tied together? Yes & no. We donít need racing to windsurf but Iíd be a fool if I thought that racing hasnít benefitted our sport. Without competition I donít think it would be a far reach for me to guess that our equipment would not have progressed as far as it has now. We would probably still be using epoxy/aluminum masts, aluminum booms & 40 lb boards. So I guess I do see a big relationship between racing & our sport. For sure I donít need to race to benefit from racing, but it sure is nice to be able to appreciate & benefit from what the professional sailors have pioneered.

Getting off my soapbox now.

Coachg
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5761

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, it could be argued that windsurfing grew as a sport and that equipment advanced in spite of racing. Otherwise, everyone would still be sailing the original Windsurfer with Dacron sails and teak booms.
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