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Tough times for aspiring pro sailors

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Created by Al Planet A week ago, 20 May 2020
Al Planet
TAS, 1482 posts
20 May 2020 8:54AM
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It's always been tough to pay the bills as a wavesailer but even harder now. This from Bernd Roediger. ( On the IWT insta feed !!)

Grantmac
245 posts
20 May 2020 9:00AM
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That's what I'd call burning your bridges, but at least its honest.

bowsa
QLD, 573 posts
20 May 2020 11:01AM
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I read that as... "i'm an entitled piece of $hit "

sailquik
VIC, 5004 posts
20 May 2020 11:40AM
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bowsa said..
I read that as... "i'm an entitled piece of $hit "


Corporate bias?

Al Planet
TAS, 1482 posts
20 May 2020 1:36PM
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The whole interview is worth a read and gives a bit more context to the last couple of paragraphs. I think guys like Bernd add so much to the sport and the footage of him sailing a 6'9" board show how inovative he is. I think that Naish should survive being called a corporate though still really a minnow or amoeba in this world dominated by Amazon and Alphabet.

Earlier bit of interview.




RuaraidhK257
15 posts
21 May 2020 3:53AM
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I think it's a little easier for aspiring pros now - we have a guide on how not to behave to sponsors as demonstrated by everybody's favourite entitled neo-hippie tosser...

bowsa
QLD, 573 posts
21 May 2020 8:12AM
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the question is, would he be saying all this IF HE DIDN'T GET DUMPED FROM THE TEAM... I THINK NOT

gorgesailor
306 posts
21 May 2020 7:26AM
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He unfortunately has a bit of a reputation now... he lost his last sponsor under similar circumstances. Too bad he is a great surf style wave sailor. But a poor brand ambassador. He may fit in well with Hotsails as they are more about the product. Though he won't get much $$ support if any.

Al Planet
TAS, 1482 posts
22 May 2020 10:23AM
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I've got no problem with Bernd's ideas though I think he is a little hard on Naish who probably doesn't deserve the sharp end of the stick, hiring and firing people is always tough. I think the behaviour of the IWT is surprising, social media loves controversy and publishing outspoken views expressed on the spur of the moment is a great way to increase site traffic but is probably not a good outcome for Naish or Bernd. Bernd doesn't tend to mention these things on his own feed, and really only the IWT which I assume is a very small number of individuals stands to gain anything.

Basher
206 posts
22 May 2020 9:04AM
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This is a complex issue but not one to take sides over - this spat is more an indication of the state of the windsurf industry right now.
I have nothing to lose if I spill the beans here.

A lot of the companies/brands continue to be run by enthusiasts, who's concern is more for the sport, than it is for being in a profitable business. They will be struggling right now.
Other brands were bought up by bigger companies years ago, and their accountants will look at a balance sheet before they think how great a board is - or at whether the rider is on a custom shape or not. That's why a lot of good sponsored sailors get dumped, even when they do a good job. We will see more of this very soon.

The riders are in a similar position, where making money from their skills is at an all time low. At some point each 'windsurfing pro' - or wannabe - must wonder why they chose windsurfing and not soccer or basketball. You also have to wonder now what will happen as the world goes into the forthcoming recession. Some great sailors who were on the PWA tour last year have already lost sponsors for this season - and now there is no tour anyway.

So it's a mistake to see this as an argument between sacked sponsored sailor and his ex employer. For sure, Bernd shouldn't have blabbed off what he thought, in an off-the-cuff answer to a question asked in an interview. And nor should we all take Robby Naish's side, just because we know he's a great guy and we all like him. When he was Bernd's age he too had amazing talent but financially he had it easy. He was given big cheques for that big smile, and for a while he was THE poster boy for all windsurfing. We can't now have sponsored sailor dissing their former brands, but nor can we have those who made big money from the sport dissing the next generation who now have nothing - no future.

And let's not kid ourselves here: Most sponsored sailors now are lucky if they get given free gear, and then they are expected to fill social media with their exploits and to come up with photos for magazines. I know of one sponsored sailor who was asked to attend the annual photo shoot and then found he was expected to sleep in the garage. Very few sailors on the tour get enough money from their sponsors even to cover the flying costs to events..
Every event has an entry fee as well as prize money and in waves you have to be in the top ten to hope to earn more than you pay out.
Just to keep going, you probably need to win events, have a board and sail sponsor, plus an outside sponsor or rich parents. The only ones making money nowadays will be those with numerous big brand stickers on their sails. (You might note that most sailors no longer have stickers on their sails).

Some sponsored sailors help their cause by competing in SUP and in Kiting as well as in Windsurfing . They then get exploited as all round watermen, with photoshoots lasting three times as long, but with the pay cheque being just as small.

For years we've all been fed this fantasy that the sailors and brands are all 'living the dream' when the truth is that someone else is usually paying for it, and that both keep going by following their passion rather than monetary sense.

Nicko29
11 posts
22 May 2020 4:09PM
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I think we shouldn't blame Berndt too much for what he said and one cannot say he is bad at promoting his brand.

Regarding brand promotion, if you look at his instafeed (which is the nbr 1 tool these days, I belive), he appears to be far more creative and interesting than most. It s not the usual "so toked of my new xxxx boards and yyyy sails combo! #xxxxboards #yyyysails" plus a picture of a nice aerial, cutback spray, backloop. He appears to be more focused on exp?rimentations, style and soulsurf than pure contestsailing and performance. Maybe a little like some sort of Dane Reynolds.
But even that sort of communication is still some sort of marketing bull**** that just work better for some customers than the traditional performance approach.

In this aspect, I think his answer of the Q7 of the iwt interview was true to him and kind legit and logical. Maybe a little tough on Robby and the naish brand though. But again, they want him to promote waves ailing whereas their is no proper wave board in the range... Dilemma!

About iwt publishing those words. In a way, I find that typical socialnetwork seek for click using controversy. And on the other hand, some freedom of speech is refreshing these days. Recently I re read some old windmagazine and planchemag from the late 90s. The writing much more free.

BTW can we compare the case of Berndt to the case of Mauritz Mauch? He obviously has been dropped of the severne team (he has no windsurf sponsor since then) and he just released a nice video entitled thank you severne. Is that the right way to do?

windsurftom
NSW, 275 posts
22 May 2020 10:44PM
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RuaraidhK257 said..
I think it's a little easier for aspiring pros now - we have a guide on how not to behave to sponsors as demonstrated by everybody's favourite entitled neo-hippie tosser...


Why do we persecute people for being honest. The Naish (board) model is BS, produce **** boards with little effort and then sell them as amazing pieces of kit demonstrated by the amazing content made on other peoples shapes. I have 2 naish boards and 3 naish sails so I feel fit to comment. Seriously who looks at the 2020 Naish board line and thinks I would pay my hard earned for it?

"Neo-hippie tosser" bit personal there... you must be super square

forceten
1104 posts
23 May 2020 7:45AM
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No we shouldn't blame him, actually we should blame anyone.
its the way it is.
he just vocalized it

JakeNN
139 posts
23 May 2020 7:56AM
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windsurftom said..


Why do we persecute people for being honest.


don't disagree .. but the world does not think so simply and precisely .. hence the world of marketing and the value in brands as an example.



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"Tough times for aspiring pro sailors" started by Al Planet