Author Topic: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?  (Read 29675 times)

headmount

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2015, 01:07:55 AM »
If it was rifling down the line like this without a zillion guys out like Hookipa these days, then yeah it wouldn't even need a comeback.  But I stopped sailing Hookipa about the time English stopped being spoken on the beach.    This shot is not Hookipa but Hookipa gets this good once in awhile.   I used to live for it.  But now I just as soon paddle.  No high G turns but lots of other thrills.

DW

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2015, 03:05:59 AM »
Takeaway from this thread.  SUP is another nail in windsurfings coffin. 😂

NEplay

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2015, 03:43:56 AM »
Yesterday I took my mother to lunch to at the Hyannis Yacht Club on Cape Cod Cod. After lunch walking to the car I said "it seems pretty windy I wonder if anyone is Windsurfing at Kalmus Beach" which is  just down the road.  Kalmus is Cape Cod's most popular windsurfing spot and in the late nineties I spent some time windsurfing there and was an avid, avid windsurfer angling 24/7 to get it when it was good. At Kalmus the wind swell all the way across the bay off Great Island can get truly amazing and is an overall fun bump and jump destination.

Sure enough we pull into the Kalmus lot and there are several cars and trucks with gear and the conditions are solid 4.7 or better. I left my mom in the car and my dog Gus and I got out for a look. There were only 5 guys out and maybe 4 in the lot. It was sunny, warm and the sunshine was dancing on the water. Perfect.

I did not miss it. For me Windsurfing was lonely. I had parking lot friends and I was so driven to get out on the water and find the best wind and swell I forgot to build a community around it. When it all comes together Windsurfing was the best thing athletically and spiritually I have ever done but it was to fleeting. 

15 years ago on a day like yesterday at Kalmus in mid October with 30mph winds, 60 degree temps and blue sky there would would have been 30 to 50 people there. Yesterday there were 8 to 10. I don't think Windsurfing is making a comeback.
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surf4food

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2015, 06:10:14 AM »
Hmmm I guess based on the replies here the answer is no.  I was just curious because like I said, I seem to be seeing a small increase where I live, but not a lot and certainly not like 20 years ago. Then again, San Diego is light wind and was never really a windsurfing capital to begin with.  Kiteboarders far out # windsurfers as they can tear it up more in lighter winds.  Also I seem to be hearing more about it lately and if you check out the PWA's website there seems to be a fresh crop of young new talent that ironically are from poorer countries.  Also a few veteran pros are claiming it's on its way back but that could just be wishful thinking.  Personally I have no stake.  I took a few lessons in the early 90's and for a short while I would go rent some gear for the day.  I don't have the money or room to store all the equipment and can see the logistics being a buzz kill.  Kiteboarding at least requires much less storage room and is a tad less expensive. 

outcast

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2015, 06:16:07 AM »
Certainly not dead for me.....sailed yesterday.

Amusing to have so many friends who moved to Maui...and are now farmers or whatnot, and still maybe have some crap lying around....all covered in red-dirt, or circa 1990.

SUP owes so much to windsurfing...The vision that the equipment would evolve, the knowledge that the sport would boom, the idea that you need to work on techinques  and skill sets (Helicopter = Forward loop)...carbon fiber, the Naish, JP, Jimmy Lewis, Foote shapers/makers   The Lairds/Kalamas.  The Maui culture...Lennys/Scweitzers/Baxters.....These are "our" offspring

Didn't die for me, because I've kept it simple....I have one (ok two) Go-to rigs....super light and clean stuff...downhaul and outhaul are set.
I don't fumble thru boxes/pails/bags/garages looking for u-joints or harness lines.  Rigging time under 7 min when not rushed.

I still love the weightlessness and flying...I stll love the acceleration on a wave, and the boost at the top....the glide and the tweeks

We....the fist gen windsurfers are not young...I don't like getting all yanked with a 3.7 anymore....but there are a lot (enough anyway) 20 year olds who are RIPPING it apart in unfathomable ways

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2015, 06:20:18 AM »
Windsurfing does seem to have new energy, new participants and old participants reinvigorated. 

Kiting is rad but is no longer the new thing.  Windsurfing is just too fun.  There is no need to choose and long term both will survive and pulse in popularity.  When the conditions are right there is nothing like the freedom of sailing. 

Foiling may also add new interest.  That is getting really intriguing and has great SUP crossover.

PonoBill

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2015, 06:28:54 AM »
Interesting post NEPlay. I windsurfed the Gorge for twenty years starting in the 80's, and when I moved here I recognized a lot of people, but didn't know any names. And no one knew me. I've met huge numbers of people in SUP, but only one or two windsurfing--mostly people I drove with, trekking from Portland to the Gorge. My compulsion to windsurf also reduced my interaction in Portland--I spent every scrap of free time chasing wind. It is a lonely sport. Not a big deal for me, I play well by myself anyway, but it's certainly true.
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NEplay

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2015, 06:34:45 AM »
 Outcast - you have me thinking about the how the names stay the same, jp, starboard, Naish. I have a picture of Robby Naish signing my wetsuit in 1997 at Kalmus with the biggest shitting eating grin on my face. I am going to dig that picture up scan it and post it here. I think those names mentioned have certainly made money on windsurfing and now sup but i think it is because they lived a truly authentic waterman/beach lifestyle and so are in position when the next thing comes along. The owner of the only Cape retailer of Windsurfing product( not even on the Cape actually -Sailworld in Bourne) told me that his business is solid, smaller pond, less fish, and less competition for those fish. He sells at full retail, gives the best service and his customers love him.
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NEplay

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2015, 06:41:07 AM »
I think I get that about you Pono but I play to well by myself and that becomes no good. I gave up Windsurfing for road biking and it is super social. Suping reminds me much more of road biking then windsurfing. However I would have liked to have spent a summer in prime on my JP 83 liter board schralping the shit out of the Gorge. Next summer I am flying our for 3 for 4 days of downwinders.
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FloridaWindSUP

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2015, 06:57:26 AM »
Not making much of a comeback. Probably still in decline overall, despite a few bright spots.

Odds are against windsurfing because its "niche" is squeezed at both ends. Kiting has taken over the extreme sport end by making it easier to go fast, jump high, and look cool. SUP has taken over the mellow end with its greater convenience and simplicity (don't need to wait for wind or waves to get a worthy sesh).

It's still a delightful and wonderful sport with some advantages over both kiting and sup. (Like, yesterday and the day before I windsurfed in gusty offshore winds that I couldn't have kited in.) But few people are going through the long learning process to discover the windsurfing joys. Maybe it's just a faster paced world with too many other toys and tools and distractions for people to bother with something that requires a lot of patience and equipment.

I think maybe the best hope for windsurfing growth is in the sailing / racing side. The Kona ONE design class seems to provide very good, accessible, fair windsurf racing where "pumping" the sail is not allowed.

http://www.konaone.com/
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Argosi

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2015, 07:09:26 AM »
Interestingly, we have quite an active windsurfing community here. It revolves around our local club on a Lake Ontario beach just a few minutes drive from downtown Toronto. Our club has almost 400 members. It's been around for decades- mostly as a windsurfing club, but over the past 5 years, a steady stream of SUP members have joined. I joined as a windsurfer back in 1995. Now I head up the SUP activities here and haven't windsurfed in 3 years, although I still can't bring myself to sell my Fanatic Megacat and 8.5 Pryde V8 - I've sold all my shortboards though. We have storage for a few hundred boards and now almost a third of them are for SUPs.

As for windsurfing, we still have weekly Wednesday night races as well as several larger races during the year including our flagship race which attracted 64 windsurf racers last month. We have a Youth windsurfing camp that runs all summer and attracts a lot of kids. We've trained our own young instructors to run the camps. We also have a very active Learn to Windsurf program that brings in a lot of 25-35 year olds during the summer. Unlike SUP lessons, most of them return for at least 4 2 hour sessions. A few national level windsurfers have been developed at our Club. We just posted an article on Olivia, who's now training full time for the 2016 Olympics:

More info on our club at : www.twsc.ca

Interestingly, there's usually more social interaction on the beach between the windsurfers at our club than the SUPers. The windsurfers hang around waiting for wind, rigging their gear, talking about what sail/fin/board they're planning to use, etc. The SUPers just show up and get on the water. We do host a weekly SUP race series during the summer which is a great time for the SUPers to get together: https://www.facebook.com/torontosupseries. We also host 2 larger SUP races during the year.

So windsurfing's definitely not dying in Toronto.

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2015, 08:27:17 AM »
Windsurfing search interest definitely had dropped a lot but that has pretty well evened off.  Now it is moving right along with its sister sport.


eastbound

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2015, 08:28:43 AM »
gave away all my gear years ago in favor of proning, then hip got too bad to pop up, and4 years ago sup.

i do not relotely miss the gear snafu and wind chase (often to no wind here in NE)--could be forecasting is better these days, but i wasted anniying amts of time driving, waiting, rigging, de-rigging, de-rigging, etc. seems forecasting waves and wind direction is easier than predicting good wind speed.

about 10 years ago, i sailed for 3 days at lake arenal and had a blast. the equipment was so much better than that id used in the 80's and 90's--easier to do all: waterstart, quick pump to plane, easy steering through jibes. i can enjoy WS that way--in a place with consistent wind and good gear waterside, rigged and ready to go. (oh and with a massage tent nearby to knead old tired forearms and shoulders and necks!) but i dont have it in me to deal with all that gear any more

at sandy hook, when it blows these days, there are 50/50 WS's to kites--in the 90's there would twice the number of both
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eastbound

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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2015, 08:32:33 AM »
poor phrasing--in 90's it would be all WS's, but there'd be twice the number as those both WSing and kiting one a good day these days
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Re: Do you think Windsurfing is making a comeback?
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2015, 09:04:51 AM »
I don't think that windsurfing is making a comeback...that would mean growth...

It was primarily a baby boomer sport...and, some of that got handed down to their kids...however, most younger people...millennials, Gen-Xers...etc...don't necessarily have the time, money, conditions, or attention span to become accomplished at it...

Windsurfing is still fun and it's a blast when you are in good conditions...wave sailing even more...overhead, side off, down the line...the stuff dreams are made of...but, very elusive...

I still love doing it when it comes to me...and, I rigged up a number of times this year and exercised the boom grippers...but, I don't chase it...like I did for several decades...

I do think that windSUPs have helped to slow the decline...keeping the stoke alive in windsurf participants by expanding the light air sailable range for folks without having to go to kites, or very technical and expensive Formula type boards and rigs...etc...

We've built Hammer windSUP's for clients on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, & West Coast...all for longtime windsurfers who crossover to SUP...not for a newbie or never-ever wanting to get into it...but, IMO a windSUP is a very good teaching tool that could be used to grow the sport again...



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