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Windsurfing becoming mainstream again?
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dcharlton



Joined: 24 Apr 2002
Posts: 262

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:11 pm    Post subject: Windsurfing becoming mainstream again? Reply with quote

It all started with a really cool commercial for VW a while back showing a dueling windsurfer with a kiter. I thought, 'this is great, but seems to be more of a European add.'

Since then, however, I couldn't help but notice more and more adds that show windsurfing in the US, usually as a metaphore for power and exhileration. I'm really digging this! I know Windsurfing never went away but I can't help but get the feeling it's becoming more 'mainstream'.

Not that that's important in and of itself. We're windsurfers, we generally just don't care if it's perceived as cool or not. Nobody who sees what we do from the beach can tell what an extreme life affirming rush this sport gives us. It is pretty cool though to see it get more recognition in the mainstream, which could also help get more new blood in this sport!

DC
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sav1



Joined: 20 Sep 2008
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doubtful. Cost and limitations for access make it a select sport. That's fine by me as it keeps the breaks open. Wink
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think so. The death of Windsurfing magazine a year or two back was a pretty good indicator about the size of the market in the US.

IMHO the sport is going to be relegated to a few windy spots around the country.
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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe, but there have been a fair number of people out at Calhoun in Minneapolis. There were enough there to make it a spectacle and everybody watching seemed pretty interested, the flip side is - so they're interested, so what. The key, in the Midwest anyway, is to piggy-back onto the SUP craze. So many people have SUP boards these days and there are many retailers. There are basically no retailers of windsurfing gear in MN that I know of. My WindSup board would be a great starting point for many windsurfers and honestly windsurfing is so much more fun than flat-water SUP even sub-planing. If windsurfing can leverage SUP and stay away from short-board snobbery then it could take off again, not that I see it actually happening.
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outcast



Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 2383

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Windsurfing magazine was more about the death of print media

I'm teaching 3 teens this summer 13-15....two begged their parents for a sailable sup A Junior Achiever program

My 8-12yo kids grab the board if not on the Sunfish... independence!!!!
Shortening a broken Methane paddle helps round the deal
SUPing a Sunfish is ok too

Maybe we skipped a generation?

GFed+others edoremus makng it happen on our coast

Euros are the keepers of the flame......they keep us in carbon and the market strong enough to keep good product out there

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johnson_brian_j



Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 163
Location: Ventura County, California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rangerider wrote:
There are basically no retailers of windsurfing gear in MN that I know of.

There's a pretty big boardsports shop called The House in St. Paul.
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spennie



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote from "rangerider: Maybe, but there have been a fair number of people out at Calhoun in Minneapolis. There were enough there to make it a spectacle and everybody watching seemed pretty interested, the flip side is - so they're interested, so what.

The key here would be to answer any questions the spectators had, and offer to teach them to windsurf! I do this all the time. If you don't want to teach them yourself, at least steer them towards someone who will. In today's internet-filled world, it's not so much shops to buy from, it's shops that TEACH. It's our job to fill that void and teach the newbies ourselves. If you want the manufacturers to keep developing killer gear, there has to be a market for it, which means lots of windsurfers. "Somebody else" isn't necessarily going to teach them, so get out there & recruit!

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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are tons of active people young and old at Calhoun. I think they used to teach windsurfing at the sailing school there. I used to be able to buy gear at scuba center who's owner is an avid windsurfer - now they only sell SUP but I'm sure he'd love to sell windSup rigs too. I bought my first modern sail at The House - they have SUP boards in the shop but essentially no windsurfing gear anymore and nobody who knows how to sell it - look at their website - their inventory is targeted to random Internet shopper and not to someone looking to sail in our local conditions. Bottom line is that unless you know someone (older) who windsurfs you probably have no access to windsurfing in my state. Exocet and Bic should put mast tracks on all their SUP boards and then promote sail rigs with the sale of the Sup board - there may be an economic argument there.
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edoremus337



Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only way to get more people hooked on windsurfing is to start when they are young. I was able to convince the boss at my old summer job a few years ago to incorporate windsurfing into their week long sailing camp. He ended up buying 5 modern rigs and I was able to get at least a dozen kids a week hooked on it. It became the most popular activity of the week and I can only hope that they are still itching to get out and when they are old enough that they purchase their own rigs and keep the sport going!
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spennie



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edoremus makes a good point, but the problem with yougsters is they're easily bored, and don't have money or transportation. How many parents are going to shell out $1,000. minimum for gear for the kids, then drive them to the beach and sit in the wind and wait while they teach themselves to sail? Would you? What if they get bored with it and you're stuck with $1,000. worth of bulky gear?A windsurfing dealer from Georgia said in Wind Surfing magazine a few years ago that "if you bring the parents into the sport, the kids will follow". Smart man.
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