Old 19th September 2008, 07:03 PM   #11
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default 500000 to 40000 ...

in 1984 close to 500000 Boards were sold in the year...
Now we are around 40000, twelve time less...
More precise: yearly sales figures from the french market:
1984: 80000 board sold
1998: 20000 sold (the daggerboard-boards were starting to disapear from the offer of most of the brands, and they were ignored by all the magazines for the last 10 years: "daggerboard = beginner without talent")
2004: 11640 sold
2005: 14342 sold, (+25%!!!) mostly because the willing to offer more easy boards like the tecno 283 and 293 and the OD hybrids with...a daggerboard (shame!)

To be point out: the same year 2005, only 151 extreme boards (Formula AND wave) were sold!

That is the point: in the last years of 80, and until now, all the magazines are promoting only the extreme boards and practice (less than 5% of the sales), and ignoring the other practice (95% of the market).
Absolutly discouraging...
It is the human default to be a predator: when the concept of only-planning board appeared, it was not sufficiant to have new form of practices (slalom, speed and waves): the previous one must be killed!

No care for the mass of customers who just want to sail, or race, or enjoy "the all wind and going everywhere (upwind, downwind, etc) practice", or live in a little wind area, or have to get in water in a deap bay, with the wind blowing half a mile away, or living inshore and practicing on lakes, etc etc... all this stupid mass who count for more than 90% of the market!

Now the discussion is about having the Olympic Games on Formulas, (less than 151 sold in France (take it as a panel) out of 14342 boards sold : 1%!).

If we speak of media interest, what will be more popular: a spectacular (if windy enough) Formula olympic class, spectacular, but practiced by few hundreds through the world; or a (said) not spectacular longboard (Kona or other), but practiced by hundreds of thousands (in the 80's) through the world?

If the willing to kill the popular practice was not amplified year after year by all the magazines, we would be millions on water... sailing longboards 380 to 330cm with daggerboards, any day, windy or not, AND anywhere!

And the concept of the next OG boards would not be such a discussion!

Sailing a longboard is still the first in number practiced, despite the zero promotion of the concept, despite the poor quality of the production, despite the close to zero event offered to the concept, and if any, without media coverage!

Promoting the Formula as the only (why not two concepts: longboard and shortboard?) Olympic game wind-surf board is just one more step to kill the industry.

Sorry for my bad english!
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Old 19th September 2008, 11:42 PM   #12
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I find all this gloom and doom stuff about traditional raceboard sailing getting left on the corner and abandoned in the vision for the 2012 Olympic Games a bit overly dramatic. When you look back, raceboards and their like, including the hybrid RS-X, have had all the time in the sun at past Olympics. Why not inject a bit of change in the Olympics by embracing a planing design for once? I seriously doubt that such an opportunity would be the death of windsurfing or the industry. Why not be more positive and supportive?

Regarding the time in the past when windsurfing was a huge fad, and the number of folks participating was at an all time high, things ultimately come back down to earth and center on those most interested in the sport. All those with a shallow interest and commitment just can't be relied on. Certainly this predictable drop to reality leaves less folks participating, but it's more reflective overall of the actual core interest in the sport. It's very important to remember that folks over time will enter and exit the sport, with those that are truly dedicated hanging in for the long haul.

The doors are currently wide open to all types of windsurfing opportunities, bridging a broad spectrum of ideas and forms of what the sport can be. Folks get involved because they see the vision and want to participate, and as I see it, nobody is being held back and denied access. The one thing that you can't do is force folks to windsurf.
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Old 20th September 2008, 03:24 PM   #13
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Steve, an RSX (and it's not a board I personally like at all) planes. It jumps, hits 30 knots +...of course it planes. You cannot do that in a 10 footer at displacement speed.

That's the weird thing about this term "planing board". It's inherently untruthful, because just about every board ever built (including D2s) planes.

So you ask "why not be more positive and supportive"? Well, look at the negative arguments the FOD supporters use.

The FOD bid says that "racers" want planing boards - that is (as far as I can see, and the FOD supporters have not come up with a shred of evidence for their view) negative to existing Olympic boards because it says "racers" don't want them.

Look at KP's blog - he says it's time for a "real windsurfer" in the Games, meaning FOD. Sorry, is he suggesting that he and his mates have the right to re-christen RSXs, IMCOs and other windsurfers? It's a silly argument anyway, because the term "windsurfing" comes from longboards.....those who feel the 'planing boards' are a different sport can get their own name for the sport, like boardsailing.

We don't have to all be positive and supportive of those who are themselves so negative and anti other disciplines that they say they are not even part of the sport.

If shortboarders were positive and supportive of other styles, that would be great. They are not so it's hypocritical for them to demand that of others.

The oft-quoted argument "it was all just a fad" was addressed at the SB dealer meeting onk the west coast of the USA, according to a SUP site, where Svein said that windsurfing had dropped much more than other sports normally do after an initial boom.

The doors are NOT wide open to all sorts of windsurfing opportunities when sailors sponsored by a major manufacturer are saying of other disciplines that they are not "real windsurfing". KP is sponsored because he is influential, and he is using that influencing to say that hybrids (not a board I like myself) are not even part of the sport.

The doors are NOT wide open when a major manufacturer is saying "racers" want a particular type of board in the Games, when most racers appear not to sail that type of board and the manufacturer has produced no evidence.
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Old 20th September 2008, 06:46 PM   #14
Svein Rasmussen
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Hi Post 13.

All windsurfing surely is windsurfing at its finest , but windsurfers have themselves chosen that planing hulls without daggerboards is what most of of them want to windsurf with nowadays.
That is what all sales statistics clearly states, concerning the industry numbers.

Further ,FW is the largest windsurfing class today ,thus its quite fair to have similar equipment represented in the Olympics.

We have seen daggerboard boards in the Games since 1984. It would be refreshing to see what the majority of current racers race on , also being also used in the Games.

I believe that there is a good chance that long boards and light winds sailing will come back, ( we had some great fun in 2 knots on some new equipment today) so what we are proposing is a reflection of the current status, instead of the past,, but yet accept that the future quite possible will be different again.

Most racers are competing on FW boards today and this is not what a manufacturer is saying , but what the different class statistics prove.
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Old 20th September 2008, 08:16 PM   #15
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svein i dont know what the rest of the worlds statistics are like but if you go to the UK windsurfing association results page-


You can look for yourself as to the participation in the various fleets.

In the UK 2 things are clear.

1 Formula type boards ( or planing only racing boards) are NOT the most popular type of racing board. Daggerboard windsurfers are the most popular- by FAR. ( all this when there havnt even been any longboards commercially available for several years- My 15 year old Cat is worth £600..........)

2 These national events are racing in the uk for formula. Formula does not have any local or regional represantation at all in the uk. Boards with daggerboards do have some regional and local racing( but not much) Furthermore Formula stand NO CHANCE of developing local or regional racing because nobody want to sail with huge sails and from a club context the most important thing about a wednesday evening race is that when you make the effort to turn up, you actually race as opposed to twiddle your thumbs if the wind is light.

Formula has NOT proven itself to be a popular racing class in the UK in terms of participation, and the uk is a relatively windy place.

I think you are making a mistake with this initiative.
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Old 21st September 2008, 01:48 AM   #16
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I thought I might clarify my earlier post just a bit, and include some added thoughts.

First, when I was referring to a planing design, I should have added the qualification that Svein so rightly noted in his post above. A planing design, sans the daggerboard.

Also, in my comment about "the doors being open to all types of windsurfing opportunities", my thought was about participation in the sport, and not specific to the racing issue, which really, only a very small percentage of folks actually do. Without a doubt, the windsurfing industry leaders have expanded their model lines to cover just about any view or reality in the sport. So windsurfing can be performed in virtually no wind at all the way to the high wind extremes, and on top of that, the industry has also presented a broad based model lines for all the major disciplines. You can pick light to heavy wind wave boards, freestyle, slalom, speedsailing, freeride, etc.

However, because the model lines are so expansive, it's difficult for retailers to stock everything. In light of this, it's often incumbent on the customer to make a choice and order the type of board they want. While it might be argued that this scenario poses some difficulty promoting the sport, it should be remembered that there's a distinct division of labor/business concept in play here between the brand's manufacturing efforts, the regional distributors and the local/regional retailers. Based on the demand in any given area or locale, a retailer can offer a stock of equipment most suited to the customer base. For a special interest sport like windsurfing, it makes sense.

Now, the comments offered by Kevin Pritchard on his website/blog, I think that C249's interpretation is unduly slanted to play off the concept of the raceboard scene (and similar boards that include daggerboards) as being victims in the FOD proposal. I've had the opportunity over the years to talk directly one on one with Kevin a number of times, and I can honestly say that his stoke and interest in windsurfing is broadminded, sincere and it readily reflects a huge dedication to the sport. It should be remembered that Kevin has professionally competed in many different disciplines over the years, and he's arguably one of the most talented and successful multi-discipline competitors in the world today. Certainly Kevin is very interested in seeing the FOD concept winning an Olympic chance, as it's almost a given that he would compete in such a challenge.

And finally, I think that Svein's view of FW being the largest windsurfing class today is predicated on the fact that some of the finest course type sailing out there is FW, as the best professional level of the competitors in the world are focused on it. That's not to say that some of the best folks competing on racerboards aren't great sailors worthy of respect and attention, but I don't think that there's much question that they are not up on the highest professional level recognized today. One only has to look at a guy like Antoine Albeau and his stature in the sport, I seriously doubt that anyone the raceboard pool measures so high. In my opinion, FW includes windsurfing's creme of crop. I would love to see them battle it out in the Olympics, and certainly, I can't be alone in this.
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Old 21st September 2008, 09:19 AM   #17
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AA or KP would get beat on the FOD, that gear does not have enough power to let their talent shine. Of the top FW competitors the lightest and the youngest of today would have the best chance at even placing in the 2012 FOD Event. That wicked fast Brazil kid for example. Although AA could win FW in 2012.

FW and FOD are not close to the same thing when it comes to winning. The resons are obvious, there are 1000 different FW fins that tune different for 1000 different FW sailors that tune different across dozens of different FW boards that tune different to 1000's of different FW rigs trimed a 1000 different ways.

Or you could run an FOD regatta and claim that winner was something special. In truth that winner accomplished a slight portion of what an FW champion had to do.
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Old 21st September 2008, 05:23 PM   #18
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Default 249

Svein, thanks for posting that interesting reply. Much respect for what you have done with Starboard and in sailing.

However, the claim on the FOD bid is that most RACERS want a planing class, not that most windsurfers want a planing class. However, leaving that point aside, can we please ask where you got that information about the fact that FW is the largest windsurfing class today?

Much of the class size information I can find is below;

French National Rankings.

BIC 293D voir les règles de classement
Masculin 20/09/2008 (533)
Féminin 20/09/2008 (170)
Funboard voir les règles de classement
Masculin 20/09/2008 (115)
Féminin 20/09/2008 (18)
Formula Windsurfing voir les règles de classement
Masculin 20/09/2008 (111)
Féminin 20/09/2008 (12)
Longue distance voir les règles de classement
Homme 20/09/2008 (680)
Femme 20/09/2008 (71)
RaceBoard voir les règles de classement
Masculin 20/09/2008 (328)
Féminin 20/09/2008 (94)

Kona One - 401 (I think a lot of these people just borrowed a Kona for a regatta)

German windsurfing association rankings

Raceboard = 130 sailors
Junior Longboard = 95 sailors
DWC Slalom/Formula/wave/freestyle = 70 sailors including 8 under 20 years.
Kona One = 64
Techno 293 OD = 25 sailors (growing)
RSX = 25 sailors
IMCO = 15 sailors
Mistral Junior = 5 to 10 sailors


2007 Techno 293 OD hybrid worlds (under 17)= 166 entries (I think that the entries were restricted due to demand exceeding the available spots).
2007 FE Junior Worlds = 10 entries.
2007 FW Junior Worlds = 12 entries


2007 FE Youth worlds = 5 entries.
2007 FW Youth Worlds = 48 entries.
2007 RSX Youth Worlds = 65 entries
2007 Raceboard Youth Euros = 34 entries.

British national circuit - Techno 293 (junior hybrid) =145 entries
Formula Windsurfer =84 entries
Raceboard = 80 entries
RSX hybrid =59 entries
Kona One = 11 entries (new class)

British Team 15 (for kids 15 years and under -requires centreboard for zone racing, aims to develop kids to sail Techno hybrid) = about 80 clubs. Each team can put up to 15 kids into a zone-level race. That's something like 800 kids on boards with centreboards.

US Nationals 08 -
17 FW entries
2 FE entries
Raceboards 25 entries
Hybrid 5 entries
Sports Fleet (longboards/hybrids) 12 entries.

US ranking list 07 -
FW 85
Open (inc. raceboard, Kona, etc) 80
Kona One Design 48
Hybrid 29
FE 24.

Australian national titles, average fleet last 2 seasons

Windsurfer One Design 32
Raceboard - 31.5
FW - 25
RSX= 8?
Junior One NSW titles (biggest kid's titles) = 15.
T 293 - 5
Note FW & Windsurfer One Design small fleets this year due to locations.

I can't read Polish but obviously Poland could have huge FW fleets. Hong Kong still has strong RB fleets and IMCOs. The Netherlands seems to get 25 for the REggio Cup (FW) and similar numbers of the longboard events. Canada seems to be 50/50 short and longboards AFAIK.

The FW reports to ISAF do not report more than 100 sailors in any country, although they used to. I assume these are incorrect.

Ignoring the T15 kids & worlds (which tilt numbers to longboards and hybrids), that's 733 Raceboarders versus 404 FW sailors, plus the 800 or so "non pumping" one designers and the hybrid sailors, who outnumber everyone.

These are very far from perfect figures, but they don't seem to show that "planing boards" are the most popular among regular racers.

Could you please provide us with the information that proves that the above figures, which show that most racers do not sail a "planing board", are incorrect?
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Old 21st September 2008, 06:08 PM   #19
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Steve: If you include RSX in "raceboards", then how there is any evidence for the claim that the best FW sailors are that much better than the RSXers? Without evidence, what use is the opinion of those who don't race either or both the world's best FW or RSX sailors?

At the last RSX worlds, the former FW World Champ and current Euro FW champ was 48th, with a best heat of 10th. He's been sailng RSX since 2006. The women's world FW champ came from Raceboards (IMCOs) and does much better on FW than RSX or IMCO. Julien Quental was 2nd in the FW worlds, did the RSX worlds but didn’t do as well.

God knows how anyone could assess who is better, but on the results, the number of people in the classes, (242 entries in the Garda RSX worlds), the number of pros and the number of pro coaches, sports institutes etc, it's hard to see how the brilliant FW sailors are (as you claim) much better than the brilliant RSX sailors. The Olympics are (perhaps with the exception of the football World Cup) the greatest sporting competition in the world, why would Olympic windsurfers be inferior?

Column inches in mags and websites are not exactly good barometers of ability, being related to the interests of those advertisers who sponsor the sailors.

I don't think any OD fan here has been derogatory towards FW sailors....it all flows one way. Both classes can surely boast brilliant sailors with different strengths, but only one of them seems to boast here that their heroes are the best.

Hey unregistered, if the true test of a sailor was learning how to mix different gear, why restrict boards to production boards like FW does?

Maybe there’s more than one test of a sailor? Maybe learning how to get the best of identical gear is an equally valid test? Sure, OD is less of a test of gear selection on one hand, but on the other hand having to use the same gear doesn’t allow you to cover over your weaknesses by getting different stuff.
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Old 21st September 2008, 11:55 PM   #20
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Posts: 22

I appreciate your posts, U249 and 249, documented and clarifying.
Personaly having experienced all the aspects of our sport, I still love all of them, and I jump, usualy by renting one, on a slalom, FW or wave board, as soon as I can and when the conditions are good .
But my next buy will be a Raceboard and, or Hybrid as I want to sail anytime when I am free, and I love it with any wind or sea; these boards are greatly fun, also in strong wind and waves, they are not made just for 1 to 6 knots wind!
Also I am a little fed up of the just cross-wind sailing, and have a great nostalgy of the cruising time of the 80's, and of the regattas on triangle course.
I have a dream for the selection of the next OD for the Olympics:
First I hope the triangle course will stay a must: it is the historic sailing course, and the winner on it is the best sailing machine of the time.
I dream of several candidatures for the next OG, including Raceboards, Hybrids, Formulas and any other new concept.
The selection should be made through several places in the world, rassembling at least one of each candidate.
Each place would have to organize and retain 12 days (for exemple) of race in a year, 4 starts each day, one discard.
The rule will be to have 3 days with wind between 0-10 kn wind, 3 days in 8-18 kn wind, 3 days in 16 - 26 Kn, 3 days in 24 - 34 kn.
(This rule may obliged to organize more than 12 race a year to get the wind quotas.)

At the end we will know (if the mags cover the events...) which candidate, and which concept is the best sailing machine any wind and seas combined.

This board and concept will be the best offer to the OG (if there is only one place offered), and will have a great commercial market: hundreds of thousands of customers are waiting to know which kind of board is the best to sail any day, any where.

An other point: There is an obstacle to the promotion of the daggerboards models: it is the difficulty to built it, light and reliable.
This difficulty makes these boards less profitable to trade than the planning boards.
Maybe this explain why during these last 15 years the mags, and the companies who buy pages inside, tried to convince everyone that the short boards were the most popular boards, and the only fun to sail.
So popular that we have lost 4 out of 5 customers!
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