View Full Version : starting up windsurfing interest ..again

31st December 2006, 10:22 PM
Well after some deliberation and after years of just windsurfing for myself and just having fun for me , i am back onto the bandwagon of trying to protmote windsurfing locally.

why the long period of inactivity?? Well , after starting windsurfing in 1982 i have seen alot, promoted a club, club racing, raced and teaching and got burnt out . Not enought time not enough people to help. Critical mass never kept the momentum going, so me and my fellow conspirator just plain were worn out. We figured heck lets just sail.
but now we are back.

After speaking to a fellow sailor and ex head of the local kayaking community I think we want try again.
We deliberated at length and will try a different approach.

CREEDO: if we arent having fun and its isnt easy, dont do it .

So with that in mind we have come up with a plan. That wont burn us out and will give the sport exposure and we will have fun.

1. have a one a week night ( after work) we have a fun race, in the harbour around existing buoys.Why the harbour , well the local windsurfing venue is a conseration area and other then birdwatchers there is no exposure to people. Also we use existing navigation buoys in the harbour to race , changing the course to suit the wind direction.

2. we put up a billboard banner while we race to explain to passersby what we are doing and how to get involved.

3 barbecue and bevarges post race.

so we need some more ideas . One a board it shas to be
a. easy to aquire ie: second hand and available.
b. good for light and heavy airs
so ideas?? we are thinking old mistral one designs or prodigy's
thansk in advance.

jeff e Shredulato


2nd January 2007, 01:05 AM
Seems like a fairly good plan to me, but what is it exactly what you want to know? Is it just the board that you are unsure about? Why not use Starboard GO's from previous years, or perhaps even a START? Both not too fast offcourse, but fairly easy to use and early planing boards and especially the Start is available second hand at a lot of windsurfing schools.

Hope this helps,


2nd January 2007, 05:04 AM
ithanks for the imput,
I guess i am soliciting comments on what has worked for others. the start is a capable platform some older ones yes might fit the bill.

2nd January 2007, 10:09 AM
While I've never been a racing competitor, I recognize that many can be attracted to the sport througth this avenue. However, because of my free spirted focus, I would also recommend a slightly different approach too. Not to discourage racing and those interested in that focus, I would also stress free, freestyle, speed and wave sailing too. If one was to also highlight these other interests, I think that maximum participation and value could be attained. Judged supersessions of a sort can reward folks with particular interests. A lot of folks can be broadly interested in windsurfing to obtimize participation without creating a whole lot of conflict.

Del Carpenter
2nd January 2007, 11:39 AM
Thanks to you and your friend, Guest, for trying to welcome beginners into windsurfing and racing.

In Miami they include sailboats racing at the same time on the same course as their Wed Nite series. That might help make the races interesting to a wider group. The info is from their website: http://www.miamiwindsurfing.com/

People new to racing need a lot of practice with starts and turns so make the courses very short, really very short. That might increase racing interest among more experienced windsurfers too. Whatever part of a race is boring for anyone is greatly reduced by having a shorter race.

Keep the start and finish lines as close to the possible spectators as possible. If you want to attract spectators run the races for the spectators. (In my not very humble opinion windsurfing races are way too long and way, way, way too far away from possible spectators.). If 21 ft yachts are not in the race then do not run a course that would be easy for a 21 ft yacht to complete.

Regarding a board to use as a one-design class I think a school of Gemini's, each piloted by one experienced racer and one beginner, would be loads of fun. Mixing the teams all the time would be a good way to keep the focus on expanding the sport. I'd guess you don't have a sugar-daddy willing to buy a Gemini fleet..but dreaming is free. If Gemini's can't be the answer I suggest a broad class limited to boards intended as beginner boards, such as Starboard Start, Exocet Cruiser, Bic Nova, AHD Zen, F2 Discovery, Hi-Fly Motion/Mambo, etc. An alternative is to limit the boards by weight, such as must weigh at least 30 lbs so boards like a Mistral Prodigy would be included. A class limited to beginner type boards may mean some experienced racers need to get a beginner board so they can race.

Race as teams with the same number of beginners on each team. Or have an on-course coach for every beginner. Mixing the coaches-students each event or each race would reduce the effects of any bad matches..and spread around the best coaching. Give significant points similar to racing points for each instance of coaching.

Except for the first paragraph I don't know of any organization that has tried these suggestions. I did see Scott Snoddy give Lisa Kremer on-course coaching that really helped her get started in racing.

2nd January 2007, 03:14 PM
we all know when you schedule a race the wind wont be there-
forget the whole thing and just free sail with you b uddies

2nd January 2007, 10:13 PM
Quite demotivating post, Guest. If this man is trying to make windsurfing more attractive (again?), then that should be encouraged and helped instead of sayin' he has no chance.

But making the sport more attractive may need some other sports / attractions to 'lure' the masses to go and watch at our beautiful sport! For instance, in my neighbourhoud there is a very small lake, not really suitable for windsurfing but what the organisation did was making a large event with skateboarding as the other extreme sport. Because the two sports were organised so closely together, the chances of getting nice sponosors and more public were increased too, and I bet some people started windsurfing after that event, or at least gotten a positive opinion about it :D

3rd January 2007, 10:57 AM
thanks for the comments
there will be no sugar daddy unfortunately..not yet
but as to racing , its not the racing aspect i want to promote its just setting an easy course and yes a small course would be better , with the idea that passsersby see people out sailing, and may be interested.
This is taking place in an area where there are alot of onlookers, that is key issue here.
the area is at a marina where keelboats and dingies are sailed there are dailiy concerts and kids activities sprread over a wide area bordering the lake, and quite a few people walk around.
the local windsurfing spot is not very well visited.
I know a girl who teaches dingy sailing at this area for the yacht cluib but , who also races lightinings, a class of dingy (in another separate group politically.) they the dingy sailors are a pretty gregarious group and i am hoping that i can make some type of collaboration with them. :p

3rd January 2007, 04:08 PM
In that case there isn't much left to say, is there? ;)

So what do you actually want from us? Boardtype? Any easy board with good low-wind and highwind aspects will suffice, and that will lead you to Start-like boards. B)

4th January 2007, 12:32 AM
I wasnt trying to be discuraging but realalistic.
If you dont have wind , racing is quite boring- its like getting your apline skies out and standing on the sidewalk waiting for things to happen.

Trying to schedule racing if you live outside a windy area can be downright discouraging. Tyring to sail a wide board in no wind is even more discouraging
We are a a sport dependant on the wind.
Longboards may be your best option for sub planning condition to windier conditions. Hybrids dont seem to work as well a longboard in light wind.
Theres probably a lot of 2nd hand longboards floating around that would make good club rboards
good luck

Del Carpenter
4th January 2007, 08:32 AM
Precision, or obstacle course sailing might be another activity that could be fun for experienced and beginning windsurfers. The course could require some stern first sailing, clew first sailing, very precise turns, etc. whatever shows off and requires all of the manuverability of a sailboard. Such a course works best in light or very light wind. Set the course very close to shore so spectators can easily see what is going on. Such a course does not require any organized start or any timers. It could be there for anyone to try as they have the opportunity. Or you could have designated start times and timers as in a race, but each sailor would have an individual start.

The first major problem with this suggestion is the number of markers required. They can be very small, like a gallon plastic jug, because the distances are very short.

4th January 2007, 05:57 PM
We've been racing twilights for 25 years or more. Current fleet most weeks, 20-30 or more in the main event, plus kids (5-10 under 15) and beginners (2-5).

We tried the hybrids; not very exciting in the light winds you get most evenings. Longboards work well and with the Exocet Kona leading the way there's now a whole bunch to select from. As Guest says, the old IMCOs and Pan Ams etc are still good options; damn fast and under-rated by many sailors.

It's great fun. Plenty of people in the group came in from shortboards and now concentrate on longboards, because racing with your mates and then having wine and pizza afterwards is a brilliant way to spend an evening, and taking a longboard upwind is a beautiful feeling.

10th January 2007, 11:49 PM
thanks for the imput guys... the points are well taken..
tyring to keep the stoke thru a warm and snowless ( ie : no skiing to speak of )
trying tog et a few IMCOS would be the best option for a cheap entry level board for all involved... prodigys may be a bit more prciey remeber used stuuff not new we are talking here.
the starts are good boards but your right , there is no doubt in low wind they are dogs.

11th January 2007, 12:36 AM
Hi Guest,

I agree with others who have suggested longboards are the way to go. In light winds the differences in performance among different brands of longboards are relatively small compared to differences in sailor skill, so you should have reasonably fair and exciting racing even if you can't put together a one-design fleet.

If you do go the one design route, Prodigies aren't bad, and unlike Mistral One Designs they are good boards for beginners of all types to learn on. Even though they're not as fast in light winds as narrower boards, they go upwind well because of their thick, hard rails and parallel outline. My grad school's sailing club has two, and I have found that they are pretty evenly matched with keelboats in light winds, and of course much faster once on a plane. I have only had a little experience on the Exocet Kona, but they also seem like a good one-design option, and they are cheap for new boards.

I'm sure newer hybrids from brands like Starboard are better than the prodigy, but you probably can't afford them.

Unless you are focusing more on beginner-instruction than racing, I would avoid super-wide beginner boards with rounded outlines and small center fins. So no to GO and START.

Good luck, and keep on trying even if you're not very successful at first!

11th January 2007, 10:15 AM
we are start'n a new international race'n class here in MiaMe. It's called the No Class.

Bring whatever you can float with some kind of sail (or kite). Pick a couple of marks on the water. Go around them. finish, score, have a beer. Right now weekends are better, cuz it's dark by 5:30. If there's not gonna be enough wind to even move, we all know the race is canceled for that week. I think the key is do'n it on the same day and time.

Just do it to have some fun. Forget about spectators and promoting the sport.

When others see folks have'n some fun, that's all it takes.

Let's us know if you would like to purchase some Internationaly registered No Class equipment.
We have a large surplus.

11th January 2007, 11:14 PM
i guess the post before this one says it all. have fun and dont worry about protmotion.
but by the simple fact of keeping it simple you do promote the sport and that is what i am getting at.
we will try and just set the days we are going to do this and go do it . see who comes out beers and barbecue after etc etc and we will see how its goes !!
the harbour is frozen up now so its just an idea at this point.B)