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gronquist



Joined: 12 May 2000
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do get ALOT of folks walking up:
"-boy that looks fun! Is it easy to learn? Can I rent it somewhere? Or is there a shop to buy some learning gear? Does it cost much?" The most common question is: 'where can I rent it?'

If there was a moving clinic that stopped by 3x/summer, with rental gear, I think there could be alot of newbies signing on. I live in a coastal beach town with lots of thermal summer winds, not to mention some gnarly spring and winter conditions. Students at UCSB are always asking where to rent. Locals are always asking where to get the stuff. I think if there was a proactive mobile rental/teaching clinic that went to 'non-windsurf' locales like here in Santa Barbara, their visibility and access to the sport would lend to alot of learners. I believe the industry: (boards/sails/masts/booms/gear companies) should brainstorm this idea, fund a pilot program for a mobile clinic to go up and down the coast and see how many people eventually pick it up over a two year period. Keep it simple with small, med, and large boards and small, med, large sails....lots of tourists come by our town, they are interested, but there's no access to gear for them, yet they live somewhere else with lakes and other water spots with wind....I suppose the legal insurance required for such a venture might prove to be the deal breaker.

I also agree with Jingebritsen: we are being squeezed out, working longer hours. I also think the sailing clubs that do have gear available to learners should have direct links to iwindsurf for used purchasing, and direct contact from the online shops selling beginner package deals. The gear companies themselves need to assign a rep to call upon these clubs so they can identify club members who are interested in purchasing. Getting REAL learning gear to the masses via the sailing clubs out there would be a HUGE growth curve for the learners who actually learn, and convert to purchasing.

Tem
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fox



Joined: 09 Sep 1997
Posts: 60
Location: Pine Point, Maine

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fwiw pole boarders outnumbered tinker bells at the Canadian hole the other day, over 2 dozen. Yeah, a lot of grey hair Crying or Very sad
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rigitrite



Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 324
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with many of you, that itís a multi-faceted problem: gear takes up too much space, gear is too expensive, it consumes HUGE amounts of time, itís completely unpredictable, itís hard to learn, thereís no where to rent equipment, most of the USA can only sail 4-5 months of the year w/o a wet suit, etc, etc, etcÖ.
One of the things we have failed to realize, is that an increasingly larger portion of teens and twenties do not own cars and arenít interested in owning cars. How can you windsurf (or kite) w/o a car?!?!
It just makes me depressed everytime I go sail on a perfect day, and I'm the only one there. (cue sad clown)

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ron.c



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few weeks ago I left my teenage son at home to run up and play in the waves after work. Not epic; but magical fun with just my buddy Geoff C. When we were congratulating ourselves on having Eden all to ourselves, I said it was not right that my able-bodied son wasnít alongside us.

A few nights later he showed mom and me a video of a guy that really inspired him. That 10 minute clip hit me like a cold sledgehammer. There was absolutely nothing wrong with what he showed us. In fact it was nice, but it was just not me. Nature not nurture plays a big part in oneís life. At least since then, Iíve had the attitude that who am I to judge.

Unfortunately, I too have fallen into the trap of too many distractions. As with most addicts, laying blame on others is easy. I clearly blame Team Abide for some of it; but itís my nature too.

My flavor of sailing will probably never attract new comers in this era. 6.0m and less sail size, bump and jump on outdated narrow guns. Being a homely 55yr. old clearly does not add sex appeal to it either.

My kids have not given us any trouble, so trying to forge them a new way is pretty much over. They know where to find me.

PS - Although I had fun sailing this week, I can't wait. Santa is gonna bring me a new toy from Cali in a few weeks!

RC
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 597

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gronquist wrote:
Is it easy to learn? Can I rent it somewhere? Or is there a shop to buy some learning gear? Does it cost much?" The most common question is: 'where can I rent it?'

Access to rental gear and instruction is probably a major limiting factor for expanding the sport. I would have not started windsurfing without cheap local rentals. I get asked about rentals almost as often as I get asked "Is it cold?" - at different times of the year, though. Rentals are definitely very important for most newbies at ABK camps. Did the availability of rental gear change much over the last 20 years?
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WaterKook



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 1520
Location: The Dude abides!!!!!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question "Is it easy to learn?" right there you know that person will never windsurf or do any other sport etc. that has any challenge what so ever.
Living here on Cape Cod I am amazed at how few teens do any water sports! It is a virtual playground for water sports. Nauset High School is walking distance to Nauset Light Beach. (Good thing I went to High School in NH if I went to Nauset High I would have flunked out skipping class for waves). Most surfers and kiteboarders on the Cape are older as well so it is not just windsurfing.
Oh well waves at Coast Guard Beach time to get on it before all the other old people show up!!! Wink



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ron.c



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good observation about the age of surfers (generic) in general.

u-no-where had varsity level closeouts today. I left with my tail between my legs!
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inlandsea



Joined: 29 Sep 1996
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We rent gear, mostly beginner gear. To be honest its a complete pain in the butt unless you are on the beach renting the gear complete and ready to go.
For the amount of time it takes to get the right gear on the car for the people and then spend an hour on the phone with them trying to get it rigged (because they paid no attention at the shop!). The damage to gear etc. etc. its not worth it for the small numbers of people who want to do it.
I really enjoy teaching windsurfing and would rather do that... Maybe I will do the lessons this summer myself!

I blame Janet Reno because I cant think of anyone else right now.
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ron.c



Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was a true believer

With a bogus "good review" from windsurfing magazine, bought a pro-tech 300ish'l beginner board for the goal of getting family and friends into sailing. The board is just too big and has continuous rails sharp enough to cut leather. All told 2 friends and my wife got up the courage to try it. It did work so-so for some tandem sailing.

That all changed when my wife gave me a decent sup paddle for Christmas 4 years ago. The following summer, an easy 45 people - young to old, rich to poor - learned to sup on that slab. Since then, it still gets its fair share of use as a dive platform and faithful distraction for bored mothers at the local pond.

Even last summer, my wife and I tandem paddled it at a local mixed paddle event.

Ease and instant accessibility - the key.

RC
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DriverA



Joined: 08 Aug 2010
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all comes down to location and access. The east especially sucks for this (except Hatteras) What young person can afford $25 to park at the beach? The Cal Sailing in Berkeley is a volunteer non-profit sailing club: http://www.cal-sailing.org. Yesterday The Purple One (Graham) hops on the 51B bus to the Berkeley marina, opens up his windsurfing locker at Cal Sailing (a bunch of rusty segmented 20 ft containers that cost $380 per year), and has a totally overpowered 4.8 sesh on his 90 liter Flare. Tons of people out and all ages. Our setup here makes especially difficult to get started, especially for younger people. Other distractions aside, access is the biggest challenge for both windsurfing and kiteboarding in the east. If Kalmus for example would place 3 20ft containers in the parking lot and charge a similar price per year that would include your annual parking fee, it would be a game changer.
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