Best things ever to happen to windsurfing

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FoilDodo
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Randy
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Best things ever to happen to windsurfing

So, Seabreeze has a topic called is Foiling the Best Thing to ever happen to Windsurfing. It has sort of turned into "Is foiling or WIndsurfer LT" the best thing to ever argue about. Anyway, it is an interesting question. To answer it I'm trying to think of the best things to ever happen to windsurfing (AFTER the production of the Original Windsurfer). Here's my list:

1.) Windtalkers (which led the way to Wind data on web pages)
2.) Internet - facilitates more granular forecasts, marketing, community building
3.) Footstraps - easier and safer to go fast
4.) Harness - can't go fast for long w/o them
5.) Clamp on Boom - no one now is smart enough to actually tie a tie on boom any more.
7.) Retractable centerboard
8.) Carbon (masts, booms, etc).
9.) Foils?

I'm not sure much about the order of things, in terms of windsurfing inventions, but the tech is probably the most important. Oddly though, as tech has improved it has had a definite downside for the sport - as other diversions such as social media compete for people's time and interests.

There is no off season.

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moredownhaul
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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing

Windsurfer LT is cool but....
My list.

1. WindsportAtlanta Yahoo
2. Foils (Seems to be reviving the industry a bit)
3. Harness
4. Clamp on boom
5. Carbon Mast

Worst thing to happen to Windsurfing
1. Kiting (But still cool)

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webguy
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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing

Good list and add short boards. And, surprisingly, the technique that really broke things open: the waterstart. Those two things changed windsurfing from a stand up Sunfish/Laser to an entirely different sport. I think the Windsurfer LT is a cool board but imagine if that was the end of the technical progression - it has most of the things (except foot straps) that you list.

Jonathan Weston's Maui Glory Days talks about those two elements. It's amazing that the first men and women into the waves were taking 12 ft plastic boards that they had to uphaul if things went sideways. Wave and high wind sailing really needed short boards to advance things but it wasn't until people figured out the waterstart that taking "sinkers" out was practical.

There are some who argue (I remember Gregg Cattanach saying this) that weather forecasts hurt rather than helped. Their thesis is that it keeps people from coming to the lake/beach unless the forecast is primo plus the further effect of reinforcing the disappointment if the forecast is wrong. I don't agree but it's an interesting point, all the same. It probably was more relevant twenty years ago when a forecast more than three days out was a chuck of the dart at a map. We'd see all sorts of phantom fronts seven days out that never materialized.

#illstopherebeforethisbecomesanotherannoyingfoilthread

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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing
moredownhaul wrote:

Windsurfer LT is cool but.... My list.

1. WindsportAtlanta

Certainly true in our locale. Good

Worst things probably deserves its own topic, but I'll add SUP which also diverted potential ws peeps (even though I like it myself). Also shortboards (and they belong on the best things list also) - they changed the sport from "Volksailing" to a more extreme (and more costly) sport that is not considred to be very accessible. Shortboards are said to have been largely responsible for killing mass participation in the sport (though the fad stage may have died anyway.) Monofilm also belongs on both lists - made sail lighter and higher performing but made the sport invisible. Cams - another double edge swords - improved performance, but are truly annoying, and like steroids for sails stopped designers from doing the more difficult task of designing higher performance sails w/o using them (though that eventually happened.) It probably no coincidence that when you see a newbie out at the lake struggling with a board and sail combo from Craig's List he is probably having the most problems with the 4 cam race sail included in the package....

Another question is whether foils end up on both lists as well. I didn't rank them very high in best things list just because they are too recent on the scene to get a real sense of their impact. Certainly belong on any list of the best things this decade though.

There is no off season.

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webguy
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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing
Randy wrote:
moredownhaul wrote:

Windsurfer LT is cool but.... My list.

1. WindsportAtlanta

Certainly true in our locale. Good

Worst things probably deserves its own topic, but I'll add SUP which also diverted potential ws peeps (even though I like it myself). Also shortboards (and they belong on the best things list also) - they changed the sport from "Volksailing" to a more extreme (and more costly) sport that is not considred to be very accessible.

Volksailing you say?

--- The Arrogant Jerk: Crabby and irritable since 1998.

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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing

+1 for windsportatlanta Good
Moveable mastrack on longboards.
Another best and worst for racerheads: Formula – great innovation but it fragmented the racing scene so much. Like musical tastes, people are biased to whatever it was happening when they got into it. For me it was the IMCO era... Lots of big regattas in the spring & fall were like a traveling party that reconvened every weekend. In 1996 we had 100 entries in our fall regatta.

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webguy
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Re: Best things ever to happen to windsurfing
FoilDodo wrote:

Like musical tastes, people are biased to whatever it was happening when they got into it.

When “Old-School” Just Isn’t Old-School Enough - Key & Peele Probably some nsfw language.

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