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Why does it seem windsurfing is fading away
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Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 236
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Why does it seem windsurfing is fading away Reply with quote

johnl wrote:
steve1 wrote:
I completely agree with the last point. Even after 30 years in the sport, I am baffled by the range of sail and board offferings and turned off by the content free waffle of the "descriptions" - to the point of making do with what I have got already.

Funny, I see it just the opposite way. When I was ready to get a new board last time, I demo'ed a ton of them. I was amazed by how many I didn't like despite great reviews in the mags. So I would hate to see fewer choices since the onces I like would probably be the ones cut Smile

That's sort of my point - I have had the same experience. I came to the conclusion that there are a lot of over priced/over hyped boards out there. With relatively small sales numbers, development budgets are stretched too thin for masses of hyper focussed boards.

Given the new reality, it may make more sense to have fewer board makes and models. That way each company's development budget would go towards better development of fewer boards - each with a broader range. The same goes for sails.
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Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9270

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I see it, it's only a matter of time before manufacturers streamline their offerings down a bit. It's not only the number of different models available, but also the various sizes offered on any given models.

I have to say though, in later years the manufacturers have learned to kept production more in line with hard orders. It's a smart move overall, but it does put a bit more pressure on retailers, particularly the larger warehouse and internet companies, as they need to plan on having more product in stock to service demand. In reality, that's where the noose gets the tightest these days.

However, when you think about it, that's why the more recent introduction of the SUP concept has been so important to both manufacturers and retailers. It spreads out the business opportunities by offering products for different water sports using the same manufacturing, distribution and retail foundations.
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Joined: 11 Sep 2010
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:

I still have my 27 year old Mistral Superlight with its original 6.? regatta sail. The board still kicks butt even against other longboards with much larger sails.

Techno900 - I also have (and will never give up) a Superlight. My best evening out last summer was on that board.
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Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 2242

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many keep insisting that puttering around in light winds on longboards is boring, but when I take the long board on light wind (forecast) days, it's with some definite objective in mind. That's usually a journey around some islands, or along an interesting cliff coastline. (And back Laughing )

The interest is in making it regardless of wind and current vagaries, and in reading tricky conditions to the best advantage. (A dagger board, and railing is often essential to make ground in many situations, and no other kind of board would stand a chance, off the plane.)

We used to hold long distance races regularly, back in the 80's. My favourite was a 20 miler (10 there, 10 back) from a bay, along a cliffy coastline to round a committee boat anchored in another bay, and back again. There was no course, and tactics, especially in light winds , were everything.

At its height we had upwards of 200 entries and the whole field used to scatter all over the sea. Some groups would stay close in to the cliffs to pick up wind, other groups would be way out to sea to pick up better winds or currents, but the point was that it was all quite intense, and most of us were lapping it up and really having fun.

I still use my longboard to the same kind of thing (with paddles as self rescue back up) but, sadly, now alone. We threw all that away when all became fixated solely on high winds, and small boards. After all, for those who don't live by the sea and have families and careers to attend to, the weekend longboard club scene was the most realistic option for practically guaranteed time on the water, in like minded and competitive company.
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Joined: 21 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sadder still, is the fact that there are plenty of tame days to go plunk around on small waves with long boards too. these tamer days soon can become bigger ones. then planing bigger ones. yet, no one comes out to even demo the stuff!

friend of mine does not like to go to hatteras with some of his chums. they all pay lip service to venturing into the waves, but never seem to want to right away. they all say, after a sesh on the sound, maybe the ____ will be better. how would they know what's better? they don't even try for the first go? when an experienced wave sailor says to a newbie, "this is the time to go." fricken go already!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more I think about it, the more I feel that windsurfing is fading because it is an individual sport. It is easy to do it alone. But humans are social beasts... I hear some kiters like the fact that they have to help each other, creating a nice camaraderie athmosphere.

All windsurfers who care about the sport should own at least an old longboard, with an old and light dacron sail. Use the low wind days to get social and introduce windsurfing to people around you. They'll love it, and you too!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, my resistance to abusive expectations were viewed by two bosses and one of their peers as insurrection. And -- funny you should mention it -- all three were colonels. I didn't mind putting in extra hours or an overnighter or a weekend now and then for valid reasons (this particular job was peacetime, stateside office and lab work with little to no operational urgency, unlike some of my other military assignments) as requested or at my own volition, but when the commander who had just ordered me to work 20/7 for two years took off an afternoon to play golf, my 20/7 instantly dropped to 8.000/5 and stayed there. Many people, most of them civilians, who kowtowed to this jerk ended up in the hospital, as did I (literally blacking out from clinical sleep deprivation, in my case; people die from that). I fought back for the people who worked for me on that project, and intercepted any heat it generated. Shortly thereafter two of these abusive jerks were fired from government service and one resigned.

My relevant point, buried in the details I've skipped, is that there are often ways around abusive job demands. I have zero regrets about the career impacts of having stood up to (or sidestepped) abusive bosses, especially considering the number of times they recognized I was right and commended me for it. One example: even in a dismal job market like this one, there are solutions, including volunteering to work OT in return for flexible hours and voting with your head rather than your heart this November. I've gotten many windy and powder days off in return for working long hours in useless weather, both in the military and in corporate jobs, and those were in UT and NM and DE, not Maui or the Gorge. Any boss or job that demands I routinely work late under normal everyday circumstances on windy or powder days can go to hell. Giving up a season of windy evenings solely so a selfish CEO can get richer is not why I was born.

"Bulldozing" must be reserved for extreme circumstances, but tiptoeing, using our heads to get the job done despite bad bosses, bartering, using advantageous laws, etc. will go a long ways towards relieving workplace abuse. There's a whole chasm between bulldozing and finesse.

Weather-dependent obsessions such as powder skiing or WSing certainly conflict with 9-5 careers, but they needn't be mutually exclusive. The interference can usually be mitigated. Of course, one could just switch obsessions; I was quite happy riding dirt bikes several days a week around 9-5 (often 6:30-3:00) jobs and skiing at night.

cgoudie1 wrote:
First, let me say, that I agree with Mike. You should be able to take
your vacation, and with judicious use, should be able to sail a reasonable
amount (especially if you move to the Gorge, or Maui, or maybe even SF.
But, I must point out that in the real world as it stands right now, a
statement like "you'll get your 40 hours and not a second more", will just
get you demoted or excused. It's a little like refusing to obey orders
in the military, and it doesn't matter how useful you are to the company,
nor how much money you bring in, it's looked upon as insurrection.

The smart money is not to approach it like you were going to bulldoze
your way through your management.


p.s. I get in 70-80 sailing days a year, but I gave up a management
position to do it, and I'm good with that decision. ;*)
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Joined: 26 Jan 2007
Posts: 481

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sailboarder wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I feel that windsurfing is fading because it is an individual sport. It is easy to do it alone. But humans are social beasts... I hear some kiters like the fact that they have to help each other, creating a nice camaraderie athmosphere.

All windsurfers who care about the sport should own at least an old longboard, with an old and light dacron sail. Use the low wind days to get social and introduce windsurfing to people around you. They'll love it, and you too!

100% correct just have long board on the beach so everybody can try out (with a disclaimer and release form of course haha) an a paddle to paddle back.

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Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 944
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: Too many products

Maui Sails has 13 different types of sails right now, Neilpryde has 15. Not making this up. Who in the world would ever need 15 different types of sail? I would guess they're trying to catch every little niche, like having 4 different wave sails. Philip Soltysiak was 4th in the world in Freestyle on Sailworks wave sails, last time I looked. NP has wave sails and X-over sails, WHY?

Somebody has to decide how many of each type to make, and when they go over they have to dump them off at reduced prices. Not to mention design & production costs, and advertising. Is all this making the sport better or less expensive? You decide.

Spennie the Wind Junkie
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Posts: 18827

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnson_brian_j wrote:
As I see it, the biggest problem is not so much the amount of vacation we have. The problem is that most of us can't just arbitrarily walk out the door when the wind comes up, and then retroactively schedule the vacation time later ... if you're looking for 25+ MPH shortboard sailing and you don't live in one of the few places that consistently get those conditions, then windsurfing may be just fundamentally incompatible with having almost any kind of a job.

isobars wrote:
There are many ways to find or make time off most jobs when it's windy; some are suggested in "Windsday Sailing" (Google it with the quotes).

Did you Google "Windsday Sailing"? If not, here's an old post derived from it. It could help many people who only think their careers preclude WSing.

Re: Need Excuse to leave work early.

Try these special measures to get off work for an hour or a day when it
blows. I call them Windsday Sailing. Sorry, ain't got time to shorten this
just for your specific, narrower question. This was cut and pasted from my
own archives.

Five obstacles to Windsday Sailing are meetings, deadlines, the boss's
attitude, knowing when to implement your plan, and getting vacation approval on short notice. All have partial solutions:

.. Keep subordinates prepared to stand in. It develops their careers and your
professional and personal flexibility. My subordinates were encouraged to
handle every meeting and briefing they could, wind or no wind, for the
benefit of them, me, and the future health of the organization.
.. Schedule meetings for days you can't go sailing anyway -- such as days
already committed to truly mandatory meetings.
.. Hold meetings early in the day, then split. The boss will be impressed
with your eagerness and devotion, everyone will be fresher -- and they don't
need to know the wind holds off 'til afternoon anyway. (An alternative: the
Delta often blows best in the morning, then tapers off by midday. Go to work
late morning with helmet hair. )
.. Ask the participants of a small but inescapable Windsday meeting if another
day would suit them. Most people don't care when a meeting is held.
.. Admit it -- you are NOT indispensable at every meeting.
.. Manage meetings more efficiently. I conducted my division staff meetings
in 15 minutes, rather than the 2 hours my predecessor took to handle the
same issues, and attendees said I did a better job. Meeting efficiency can
be vastly improved, even if you're just part of the audience, by helping the
group stay focused.

Stay ahead of them, for many reasons. One firm rule enabled me to meet
hundreds of deadlines and catch most Windsdays: Do First What's Due First.
Screw prioritization, screw estimates of how long tasks may take, screw most
fancy schemes: just stack them in the order they're due and try to stay one
day ahead of the nearest alligator. Determine how much time and effort the
next item deserves, whip it out, and grab the following one. Even though
some take minutes and some take hours (if they take days, they should be
subdivided into smaller subtasks), I met every worthwhile deadline for many years that way. Good for the company, for performance evaluations, AND for Windsday sessions.

A corollary to "Do First What's Due First" is "Waste Not". Forget the old saw
that lies, "Any job worth doing is worth doing right". That presumes that
all tasks are of equal importance, which isn't realistic. You're paid to
allocate your time intelligently, not rotely. If I did every task as well as
possible, I should be fired for wasting company manpower and not doing my
JOB, which includes allocating my time efficiently. Let certain superfluous,
well-chosen deadlines slide, whether it's to catch some wind or just to save
corporate manpower. As chief of a large division, I was once tasked by our
administration office with spending hours per month verifying the validity
of long distance phone charges worth $20-30 (our annual budget ran into 8 figures). I told them they'd get about two minutes of effort on the biggest two calls to fill their square.

If all that still leaves a deadline interfering with a Windsday, ask the
person expecting the product if a day's delay will hold him up. Usually it
won't, because he's swamped too.

Explain how special and how mind-refreshing a day of high-wind sailing is
(don't tell her how thoroughly it trashes your body). Explain how your time
management plan was conceived and how effective it has been in organizing
your work, meeting deadlines, and developing subordinates. And offer to
stand in for the boss on her perfect golf days, encouraging her to take
those best days off because she's earned her vacation time ... Hint, hint!

Learn to predict Windsdays well in advance so you can put in an extra burst
of advance work and planning. Learn to recognize when a Windsday worth
taking has actually arrived. Computers and pagers are indispensable in this.

Check with the boss the day before a Windsday, and let your subordinates
know you may be gone tomorrow. Prep your stand-in, and fulfill tomorrow's
squares today or arrange to delay them if possible. Leave your filled-in
vacation application with someone in case you phone in tomorrow morning to
say, "Surf's up; I'm outta here".

Other scenarios:
A doctor/lawyer whose career involves working with inescapable
patients/clients might schedule patients/clients only between 8 AM and 1 PM
M-F, or from 8-8 on MWF, saving afternoons or T & Th for solo work or for
sailing. Ya gotta do the paperwork SOMETIME, and a block of time sans
patients/clients is an efficient way to do paperwork -- or shred.

Arrange to bank overtime in exchange for Windsday comp time.

General Electric was GLAD to find a supply clerk who WANTED to work the graveyard shift, and Kim gets overtime wages for much of his 40 hours
because it is graveyard.

If the obstacle is a spouse, get him/her into the sport and that problem's
solved. If you chose a significant other who isn't interested in sports --
Jeez, What were you THINKING ... with?

Put in your 40 hours in four ten-hour days if possible. If you regularly
work more than 40 hours a week -- that's your choice. I chose not to. Sure
it hurt my career a little ... so what? That's a whole 'nuther magazine

Push for corporate or individual flex time. At two of my jobs covering 12 years, flex time let us come in early and leave by 3 or 4 o'clock. That leaves many hours each afternoon for most sports.

If you own the company -- problem solved. Take your Windsdays, let your
people take their golf and hang-gliding days, and everybody's happy. That's
what YOUR vacation time or comp time is FOR. Give them slack when possible, and they'll bust their butts for you when necessary.

This may not put any defunct WS or ski manufacturing companies back in business, but it may increase your contribution to the demand for existing companies' products and services.

Mike \m/
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