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Author Reaching the next generation
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NSW
1979 Posts
Posted 19/4/2012, 10:00 pm        Report
After 25 years I still teach people for the fun of it. Every summer, I select a few serious candidates. I avoid the "gee this is too hard" mob, I refer those to kiting - this way everybody wins. About teaching: very few of us teach others. Less than 5% of all sailors, like, totally. When I ask the local 'pros' why they don't, I get: I'm not interested, I'd rather sail, I don't care about others, my time is too important, only my kids perhaps, and so on. I have no problem with that, I suppose we all live in solipsistic times. Invariably my students, once hooked after 2-3 outings, are told by some shops and most local sailors that they need fancy, modern equipment, 2 boards, 4 sails, "if you don't get out in 20 knots it's boring", etc. Invariably. Add to this: "it takes years to get good at it", another classic from the locals. I find those who don't teach not overly useful. So many of my proteges comes back to me and go "they say I need $20k and a trailer" and-or "like dude, I don't have years to learn this". And they walk away. Of course am summarizing, there are exceptions. Some have gone on and I teach them freestyle 2 years later. Over the years, about 3 ended up competing at a very high level. But still, the above is my overall experience of the last many many years. I don't care, I still like teaching newbies when the wind is no good, so I get my fill anyhow. Every summer I cross tacks with people I taught. It's a humongous satisfying feeling.
QLD
438 Posts
Posted 19/4/2012, 10:46 pm        Report
As someone who kites/sails/sups along with a host of other sports and loves windsurfing more than anything, and has sailed for nearly 20 years kited for 10. I can tell you one of the bigegst problems with the sport and what stops people from taking the plunge. Over complicated, too much equipment, too much cost. Seriously, when an interested person see someone rock up to the beach with a big fat trailer multiple boards and sails etc (often just for themselves) and adds up the $$$ and complexity, they just go..too hard, too expensive (same as I do when I look at Car racing, too expensive) Lets face it, the guy who can plane well in under 10 knots has way more windsurfing $$ invested in the guy who cant, formula boards massive fins 10m sails are not good for our sport. watch the crew at place like Gero WA, 1 board 2 sails for most of them, sail better longer and harder than 90% of people on the east coast. Ok we dont have that wind over here, but seriosuly 2 boards 4 sails should see most experienced sailors through most conditions. One design for racing is best as its skill/fitness not equipment that will make the difference, not that I think the NP one design is the answer, at least Tecno class is afordable. I have been kiting in 10-18knts mainly last 10 years, wavesailing board +2 sails in strong winds, life was simple! Now that I have swapped my wave gear for Slalom I find myself fussing over equipment again, wondering how fast I am or am not, and costs...hmmm.... like most things in life, when you simplify it , its gets easy, and often popular. Promote one design racing, and ban giant fat boards, giant fins, giant sails...if thats what you want to do..get a yacht!
QLD
261 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 7:01 am        Report
I think everyone has made great points but i don't think they are the main problem. When your a teenager in some ways will make you stick with it. firstly you just spent all your money on gear and you don't want to waste it and secondly teenagers are extremely stubborn and won't stop till they can do it. But there is nothing we can do to get most kids into the sport because most of them are scared of the water. Every time i tell someone about windsurfing they always reply "aren't you scared of sharks." I bet more people would do it if they could learn on a lake/dam as they feel more secure thinking there is nothing that wants to eat them. Adults seem to be less deterred by this. The threat of danger is always present when windsurfing and it takes a special kind of person to look past it and get out there.
NSW
776 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 7:35 am        Report
Aussiex said...
I think everyone has made great points but i don't think they are the main problem. When your a teenager in some ways will make you stick with it. firstly you just spent all your money on gear and you don't want to waste it and secondly teenagers are extremely stubborn and won't stop till they can do it. But there is nothing we can do to get most kids into the sport because most of them are scared of the water. Every time i tell someone about windsurfing they always reply "aren't you scared of sharks." I bet more people would do it if they could learn on a lake/dam as they feel more secure thinking there is nothing that wants to eat them. Adults seem to be less deterred by this. The threat of danger is always present when windsurfing and it takes a special kind of person to look past it and get out there.
But thousands surf daily? I reckon it's largely because it ain't considered "cool".
QLD
265 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 7:47 am        Report
JonesySail said...
As someone who kites/sails/sups along with a host of other sports and loves windsurfing more than anything, and has sailed for nearly 20 years kited for 10. I can tell you one of the bigegst problems with the sport and what stops people from taking the plunge. Over complicated, too much equipment, too much cost. Seriously, when an interested person see someone rock up to the beach with a big fat trailer multiple boards and sails etc (often just for themselves) and adds up the $$$ and complexity, they just go..too hard, too expensive (same as I do when I look at Car racing, too expensive) Lets face it, the guy who can plane well in under 10 knots has way more windsurfing $$ invested in the guy who cant, formula boards massive fins 10m sails are not good for our sport. watch the crew at place like Gero WA, 1 board 2 sails for most of them, sail better longer and harder than 90% of people on the east coast. Ok we dont have that wind over here, but seriosuly 2 boards 4 sails should see most experienced sailors through most conditions. One design for racing is best as its skill/fitness not equipment that will make the difference, not that I think the NP one design is the answer, at least Tecno class is afordable. I have been kiting in 10-18knts mainly last 10 years, wavesailing board +2 sails in strong winds, life was simple! Now that I have swapped my wave gear for Slalom I find myself fussing over equipment again, wondering how fast I am or am not, and costs...hmmm.... like most things in life, when you simplify it , its gets easy, and often popular. Promote one design racing, and ban giant fat boards, giant fins, giant sails...if thats what you want to do..get a yacht!
for the last 6 months ive had only a isonic 97 and a 7m sail and enjoyed it the whole time . i think most people would only have 2 boards and 2 sails . I dont see how a formula board can be bad for the sport realistically you would get the most time sailing in a year with one and probably good to learn on too, you sound like your getting frustrated with people going faster than you . What really puts people off is the price (even cheap stuff costs alot) and how hard it is , every one knows its going to take ages to learn before they even try and alot of people dont like a challenge .
QLD
261 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 8:14 am        Report
PhilSWR said...
Aussiex said...
I think everyone has made great points but i don't think they are the main problem. When your a teenager in some ways will make you stick with it. firstly you just spent all your money on gear and you don't want to waste it and secondly teenagers are extremely stubborn and won't stop till they can do it. But there is nothing we can do to get most kids into the sport because most of them are scared of the water. Every time i tell someone about windsurfing they always reply "aren't you scared of sharks." I bet more people would do it if they could learn on a lake/dam as they feel more secure thinking there is nothing that wants to eat them. Adults seem to be less deterred by this. The threat of danger is always present when windsurfing and it takes a special kind of person to look past it and get out there.
But thousands surf daily? I reckon it's largely because it ain't considered "cool".
yer true but just because your a surfer doesn't mean you go in the water. 90% of male surfers i see are sitting on the beach posing for the babes
VIC
1746 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 8:57 am        Report
I think the way things are going at the moment is fine. I don't want this sport to be popular like kiting. (selfish yes). It's a good number, and keeps it friendly. Gear is cheap enough.... seriously, its doable... there are soooo many other sports that are more popular and more expensive.... be it the road cyclists, or motorcross, or any motor sport...... owning a boat for example... bloody expensive.... Happy with things now :D My only comments are, don't waste time teaching people who are half cooked, if people want to take it up, they will.... don't push lazy mates... let nature take its course... because it always does.
TAS
787 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 9:39 am        Report
K Dog said...
I think the way things are going at the moment is fine. I don't want this sport to be popular like kiting. (selfish yes). It's a good number, and keeps it friendly. Gear is cheap enough.... seriously, its doable... there are soooo many other sports that are more popular and more expensive.... be it the road cyclists, or motorcross, or any motor sport...... owning a boat for example... bloody expensive.... Happy with things now :D My only comments are, don't waste time teaching people who are half cooked, if people want to take it up, they will.... don't push lazy mates... let nature take its course... because it always does.
Couldn't agree more. If I think back to ten years ago there was far less good second hand gear available and most of the stuff was much harder to rig and use where as now there seems to be heaps of choice in good quality second hand stuff. The 'net has made it lots easier to find gear and compare different stuff, its also lots easier to get advice. It will be interesting to see if the next ten years is as positive and exciting....my feeling is that it definitely will be.
QLD
466 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 9:41 am        Report
JonesySail said...
As someone who kites/sails/sups along with a host of other sports and loves windsurfing more than anything, and has sailed for nearly 20 years kited for 10. I can tell you one of the bigegst problems with the sport and what stops people from taking the plunge. Over complicated, too much equipment, too much cost. Seriously, when an interested person see someone rock up to the beach with a big fat trailer multiple boards and sails etc (often just for themselves) and adds up the $$$ and complexity, they just go..too hard, too expensive (same as I do when I look at Car racing, too expensive) Lets face it, the guy who can plane well in under 10 knots has way more windsurfing $$ invested in the guy who cant, formula boards massive fins 10m sails are not good for our sport. watch the crew at place like Gero WA, 1 board 2 sails for most of them, sail better longer and harder than 90% of people on the east coast. Ok we dont have that wind over here, but seriosuly 2 boards 4 sails should see most experienced sailors through most conditions. One design for racing is best as its skill/fitness not equipment that will make the difference, not that I think the NP one design is the answer, at least Tecno class is afordable. I have been kiting in 10-18knts mainly last 10 years, wavesailing board +2 sails in strong winds, life was simple! Now that I have swapped my wave gear for Slalom I find myself fussing over equipment again, wondering how fast I am or am not, and costs...hmmm.... like most things in life, when you simplify it , its gets easy, and often popular. Promote one design racing, and ban giant fat boards, giant fins, giant sails...if thats what you want to do..get a yacht!
You can have as much or as little gear as you like - i don't believe it puts people off. You talk as if you have concrete proof. In SEQ some have more gear because they enjoy more than one discipline, others are serious racers, and if you wish to be competitive in slalom you need more kit. If you live in gero and love waves - you only need gear for those conditions. But if you also enjoyed slalom and waves then you would need more gear. Just like if you enjoyed competing in road cycling, time trials, tack, bmx and mtb (downhill, cross country). Windsurfing is not that complicated, it is portrayed as hard, and can be if a novice is given the wrong information. And it is not that expensive if you don't want it to be. Using SEQ conditions again as a reference, you could easily enjoy windsurfing in SEQ with one board and 2 sails. You would be on a 130L 70 wide freeride with a 7.5 and 6.0, and i would think it possible to sail 80% of the days that I have available. Total cost probably around the 3k mark depending on what level of gear you want to buy. So ultimately I challenge your comments that windsurfing is both costly and complicated. If my 7 yr old can sail then it is not complicated, and his gear cost a total of $1500. Now i compare that to his BMX that he races ($750 +) and he will grow out of that faster than the windsurf kit. So expensive compared to what? I think it is more of a problem when individuals make out their opinion as fact. It makes me wonder how you portray the sport to others?
QLD
94 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 9:48 am        Report
As a teenager, I think the problem is simply advertising. People in my school have seen me watching videos of phillip koester doing amazing aerials and they think it's incredible. Sure some people may find it too hard and give up after a few months but the few that become obsessed (like myself) will be sailing for the rest of their years. So i simply think if more people new about windsurfing and the amazing moves you can pull off then there would be an increase in people trying it for themselves. Sure some of them may give up but some of them may also become hooked and then interest would spread exponentially.
QLD
469 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 10:01 am        Report
hahahaha Chris - relax man! the point I was trying to make is that maybe we should be showing the current face of windsurfing. Dudes riding wallies in the 70's isnt the most enticing imagery of the sport! You dont have to show some pro riding 40 foot jaws and doing triple backs, just show people what windsuring is like today. Nice modern equipment which makes sailing easy and fun on the water. No need to jump down the throat of people on this forum who are trying to give feedback on what may be done to improve promotion and take up of the sport - we should be on the same side!
QLD
645 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 10:13 am        Report
Alec95 my son has given me the same feedback you just said, since he became interested his mates at school have seen him watching videos and have made the same comments. He's keen too start racing now as he see's that as the best way to get the maximum time on water and improve as fast as possible so he can get into the waves asap.
NSW
776 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 10:32 am        Report
cammd said...
Alec95 my son has given me the same feedback you just said, since he became interested his mates at school have seen him watching videos and have made the same comments. He's keen too start racing now as he see's that as the best way to get the maximum time on water and improve as fast as possible so he can get into the waves asap.
Good to hear your young fella is keen and inspiring others It's funny, at a bit over 40, I was in the same boat as your boy- in that I wanted to tear up the waves asap. My theory for getting maximum time on the water in order to progress quickly is go as often as possible. Sounds too simple, but I'm amazed at how many sailors will only go out if it's 15 knots plus, or the waves are head high and up. Mate, I'll go sail on my 116 lt FWS board in anything from 8 knots up- even less in wind droughts like have now. I figure I'm still learning stuff and getting fit just chugging around, practicing lazy slow-mo gybes, tacks and working on good feet placement etc. I can still get on waves in light wind, just easier when it's 10 knts plus. But my point is, the ballance and skills needed to putt around on light wind days will help any newcomer tone muscles and get tuned for the windy days to come. They will progress even more doing it on the board they plan to ride in the suds. That's my approach anyway Sorry to go a bit off track.
QLD
94 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 11:16 am        Report
yeah for a young person like me with no car and no source of income its pretty tough. luckily my dad and i have built up a collection of 2 boards and 4 or 5 sails (none of them top spec stuff but its enough to get out and have fun). We're planning on travelling to Nouméa or Hawaii at the end of the year on a windsurfing trip. Cant wait!!!
QLD
645 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 11:23 am        Report
philSWR I,m with you, time on the water is the single biggest reason I got a RSX this time last year. The mention of RSX sometimes inspires negative comments but for me I cant think of a weekend I haven't been sailing in the last year, used to only sail bump and jump from sand bar to sandbar in 15knts and up, hit a wall in my skills, if I managed to to land a few jibes in a row I would be absolutely stuffed and would need a rest anyway. Now I can hang onto a 9.5 in 20 knots for 3 or 4 hours in a row and have improved heaps (still a very average sailor, no Olympic dreams here). Back to the original theme of this thread, now I get to sail with my son every weekend, we have a common interest and its really all down to the racing. Gives you a reason to go regardless of conditions, thats why I think windsurfing needs to engage with the sailing clubs and technos are the perfect vehicle, durable, not expensive, still higher performance than other sailing classes at junior level and can be used from beginner to expert. To me that addresses a lot of the reasons others have cited for windsurfing not attracting new blood. Agree with alec95 as well promotion is very important.
QLD
466 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 11:58 am        Report
Cammd, great that you love the racing, but i respectfully disagree with your comments regarding that a lack of racing is the reason that windsurfing is struggling. As i mentioned earlier, you cannot get onto a techno until you are at least 11 or 12 i would suspect - individual growth and development aside. the rigs are too heavy for children to use. Sporting development needs to start in childhood, not the teenage years. Children historically are guided into sports / recreation based on their family and friends. Now it is great you get to spend this time with your young fella, but I wonder if his mates were all windsurfing and into freestyle, would his interest in racing be the same?? Now speaking from experience - i tried for ages to get my son interested in windsurfing ( not interested - would jump on his sup and go paddling) Now he just had a week with his mate - who is gung ho / lives and breathes windsurfing. Because my son's mate was into it - my son got into it. So it took another child to spark my boy's interest. Which just leads back to an earlier post on make it easy, make it fun and get them young. The techno program is ok once kids reach a level of strength, but it does not help get them into a sport. Not in australia where by the time they are 10-12 they have been playing sports for 5 yrs or more.
QLD
645 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 1:06 pm        Report
Dam71 agree with everything you said and a couple days on the sup is exactly how my kids have been introduced to the sport. I dont think lack of racing is the reason kids dont get involved however I do think its a great way to get them involved, as you pointed out in their teens, and its a great way to keep them in the sport once they get a taste.
QLD
438 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 3:58 pm        Report
Think i should clarify my idea of complicated..from an unbiased position as I cover both sides of the fence. I have 1 kite, 1 kiteboard that i can use in flat water & surf and cover 10-20knots. Depending on what you wanted to do, we could have a formula board, race board, large- free fun/slalom, free style, wave board that we can pick from for the same scenario, all with their own specialized sails to suit you talking dozens of possible combinations. V's 1 board 1 kite, that covers all, thats what I mean by complicated! This is the reason why so many windsurfers have 'gone to the darkside' so many windsurfers of the 80's and 90's are now kitesurfers only its scary, and they all say the same thing, less gear, less complicated, easier on the body. I think people that are attracted to windsurfing would also be attracted to kiting, so anything windsurfing can do to make it less complex the better. The price of formula gear, let alone the size of it all and the fact that you need nearly a meter of water depth answers a lot of my points, and I guess the fact that bugger all people sail formula backs up my case. Someone else also commented the only reason why we should care about this topic is to keep the sport alive! the more active participants the better for all involved , agree, I'd love to see more participants and coverage. I'm not frustrated about speed or apparent lack of! lol! I actually prefer ocean sailing than flat water blasting. All I know is that so many people no longer sail for the reasons given above, plus a few others.... I also know what 'advantages' windsurfing has over kiting and are quick to point them out when people ask, why I still do both and windsurfing DOES have advantages over kiting in some areas. Not sure how many crew here activly do both sports? Judging by how many windsurfers slag kiters and how many kiters slag windsurfers, probably not too many?! I think racing is a great way to promote the sport, but perhaps its more in the 'fun marathon event' style like the LOC, sailing to locations etc...I'm spewing I missed the recent Green Island event in Brisbane, that Idea and concept is a corker, hope to do it next time! Burrum Heads was also a 'fun' event! Happy sailing! or kiting!
QLD
265 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 7:08 pm        Report
i see your point in the complexity but thats part of what i enjoy about it i like technical things and yes we definitely need more big fun races like the green island one , id like to more big races like wello to wynnum or something along those lines depending on conditions or even wynnum to moreton but no one else seems keen on that .
QLD
217 Posts
Posted 20/4/2012, 9:10 pm        Report
I am new to windsurfing but I have been a surfer for 10 or so years.1 quote that has stuck with me all those years was... The best surfer on the beach is the one having the most fun.I think that's true in a lot of respects.Get out there have fun people's idea of that will vary but who cares.I have found everyone really helpful and welcoming so in my opinion all you guys are doing a top job at making noobies feel welcome.
NSW
581 Posts
Posted 23/4/2012, 5:02 pm        Report
boardboy said...
hahahaha Chris - relax man! the point I was trying to make is that maybe we should be showing the current face of windsurfing. Dudes riding wallies in the 70's isnt the most enticing imagery of the sport! You dont have to show some pro riding 40 foot jaws and doing triple backs, just show people what windsuring is like today. Nice modern equipment which makes sailing easy and fun on the water. No need to jump down the throat of people on this forum who are trying to give feedback on what may be done to improve promotion and take up of the sport - we should be on the same side!
I'm relaxed in person, but I'm not relaxed when people start hassling the "authorities" as if they were getting paid and getting it wrong. The guys who did that poster you criticised would be people who took the time that they could be spending sailing, earning money, with their family or whatever, to try to help the sport. If you want to help, why not turn up to the next Windsurfing WA meeting and volunteer to (1) do some research on the reasons behind windsurfing's decline; and (2) then make a new poster or run a new event? Maybe I should be more relaxed, but I love this sport and I get narked because i have seen it decline massively because of a lack of people who are willing to put back into it, and because of people who try to push a narrow view of what windsurfing can be.
NSW
581 Posts
Posted 23/4/2012, 5:12 pm        Report
DAM71 said...
Cammd, great that you love the racing, but i respectfully disagree with your comments regarding that a lack of racing is the reason that windsurfing is struggling. As i mentioned earlier, you cannot get onto a techno until you are at least 11 or 12 i would suspect - individual growth and development aside. the rigs are too heavy for children to use. Sporting development needs to start in childhood, not the teenage years. Children historically are guided into sports / recreation based on their family and friends. Now it is great you get to spend this time with your young fella, but I wonder if his mates were all windsurfing and into freestyle, would his interest in racing be the same?? Now speaking from experience - i tried for ages to get my son interested in windsurfing ( not interested - would jump on his sup and go paddling) Now he just had a week with his mate - who is gung ho / lives and breathes windsurfing. Because my son's mate was into it - my son got into it. So it took another child to spark my boy's interest. Which just leads back to an earlier post on make it easy, make it fun and get them young. The techno program is ok once kids reach a level of strength, but it does not help get them into a sport. Not in australia where by the time they are 10-12 they have been playing sports for 5 yrs or more.
Great post! We've always found that the #1 thing is getting that critical mass of kids, and keeping it. Actually in NSW (at least) the racing side has declined less than the non-racing side, in proportion (using figures from the biggest importer in the sport). So the area that really needs work is the non-racing side, which has suffered a lot more. The modern kids rigs do seem way too heavy a lot of the time - they have things like foot battens that seem way out of place, adding weight and complication without adding any performance. And while to some extent kids want gear that looks like adults' gear, that doesn't stop them wanting BMX bikes and Optimist dinghies, which don't look like normal adults' gear, so surely styling can't be that important? Interestingly, the kids and adults in the other sport I do (bike racing) use gear that is very heavily restricted by rules that mean that the gear is a lot simpler, cheaper, more convenient and slower than it could be.
QLD
466 Posts
Posted 23/4/2012, 9:03 pm        Report
Chris, I know what you mean about gear. But I've found that fanatic do these super light kids rigs, that are actually really cheap - around 300-400, for mast, sail, boom, extension. They are really lightweight and simple to rig. I think the more important factor is that of fun. Once they are hooked that are eager to get any time on water, and because they are so small, any wind will do. My son just had time on the water over the weekend in no more than 5 knots. A 2.1 m rig on a go 151, and he was cruising back and forth, making his way upwind, downwind and doing really well (insert proud father grin). And the thing was the number of pele standing around watching this 7 year old out there on his own sailing back and forth. Now I know that there are a number of kids that can do this, but can guarantee, that my local association would get 10 fold more media press and exposure with a 7 year old being the focus than an adult. This is where windsurfing needs to direct its attention if it wants to refill its ranks. I think the opti class is also so successful, because it is so easy to sail. Ease and fun are definitely the answer.
NSW
241 Posts
Posted 30/4/2012, 3:45 pm        Report
i am only of the "young bloke" starting out is saw a pic on the net and i was like " what that she laying on " this is the same reason why i haven't started kite surfing
NSW
241 Posts
Posted 30/4/2012, 4:09 pm        Report
this learn to windsurf movie should showed at school straight after sex ED
QLD
645 Posts
Posted 30/4/2012, 5:45 pm        Report
I think this is a good thread and a subject worthy of debate. So in the spirit of debating I will further my argument for one design racing (Technos} by responding to some of the previous points. First, Optimist dinghies have enjoyed so much success because of ease of use and fun. Yes this is probably true but many other classes of boats are equally as simple to sail and as fun. So there must be more to it, I would argue that international reach of the class is important, the structured environment provided through yacht clubs and the ISAF and the clear paths of progression play equally important roles. Finally the nature of one design racing is a major attraction because everyone has the same gear and it comes down to abilities of individuals in competition with there peers. Windsurfing is overly complicated. Can be true however one design racing is very simple, one rig one board, I dont see how that is any more complicated than opti's or lasers or other classes or other sports that enjoy greater participation such as horse riding, dirt bikes wake boarding etc etc. A bic techno is cheaper than an opti, easier to transport, no longer or harder to rig and a lot higher performance. If my son's mates were into freestyle would he be as interested in racing. Maybe maybe not! Racing is not exclusive of other disciplines, I know kids who race and after the racing is finished go for a blast on short boards. Also to quote Jim Hall "its no coincidence that the best racers are often the best wave sailors" the skills are transferable that is why techno is recognised as the feeder class to more than one windsurfing class. Its to late to engage teenagers, sports are chosen when they are young. Don't agree with this as a hard and fast rule. I never learned to sail at 7 or 8 and there are people on this forum and this thread that are lot older than even 10 years old that are only just learning. I was miss quoted as saying a lack of racing is the reason for a decline in kids participation. I don't think that's the case at all, my point was that racing is a good way to get the kids involved and keep them involved. Imagine kids never playing a game of footy but only ever just kicking a ball around. I don't think it would be as interesting for them as playing a game. Racing provides the same competitive environment that gives them a reason to train, to sail in all conditions, a goal to aim for, a path to follow, a dream to chase. The techno class has the runs on the board in other parts of the world, its proven to work. Its the same formula used by optimist, laser etc etc. So back to my original post. Windsurfing needs to engage more with the sailing establishment at least at the junior level, the environment and infrastructure already exist and they could used to effectively to introduce more kids to this sport. Finally (cause I have to get off this forum and get dinner ready) Racing is neither the entire problem nor the entire solution but I think it could go a long way to engaging the next generation. PS: for those of you who don't care about the future of the sport, are happy with the way it is or are just plain sick of this thread. Don't read any of the above.
 
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