Monday, September 26, 2011

Nurturing the Sport · PWA Live · Radar · Video Replay

Nurturing the Sport ·

USWA · U.S. Windsurfing Association, founded in 1980 (originally started as U.S. Boardsailing), is here to encourage participation and promote excellence and enjoyment in recreational windsurfing and racing in the United States. Association President, Karen Marriott, reports membership has almost doubled from just a few years back: 600+ members today. Learn more here. What does our volunteer President Karen do? One thing, she answers the toll free phone about a dozen times a week: foreigners traveling to the U.S. looking for rentals, lessons and good places to sail; retailers looking for demographics (how many boards sold in the U.S.) and access issues. Surprisingly, loss of launch access is something that they regularly work on. They don't have a legal team but do get assistance from windsurfing lawyers. They lend help to those fighting municipalities by putting the legitimacy of a national organization on the side of locals wanting to gain or regain water launch access. Letterheads do matter. Sometimes it's just cross referencing what worked in one area with similar issues in another. In our litigious world, using public parks and having involvement with the public requires some level of liability protection. This is one place where membership dues get used: insurance for events.

Karen Marriott
Youth programs in the U.S. continue to grow at a measured pace. Translation: no large single Techno 293 Fleets of 20+ juniors in any one locale yet. I've noticed that reporting has dropped off for juniors and their events, but maybe those directly working in the youth programs are spending all their time on the water teaching and helping. Honestly, racing in general seems to be under some pressure when you look at the total number of participants at events, year to year. There is currently an effort underway to review (revive) the National Tour. Is USWA a racing organization? Karen said it has become one over the years but it shouldn't be just about racing. Is windsurfing slowing or growing? She said feedback from instructors across the country indicates we are growing. More people are learning and business for instruction is good.

Gonzalo Crivello
It's been 15 + years since there was intercollegiate windsurf racing. Some will argue that the future success of windsurfing rests with reaching the college demographic. A new event is set for this fall. The official title of the event is: Intercollegiate Sailing Association Windsurfing Fall Invitational Windsurfing Regatta - Kona Division - Promotional Regatta. The event is set for November 5 - 6, University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The driving force behind the regatta is USF Sailing Coach, Gonzalo Crivello. Gonzalo has recently fallen in love with windsurfing and wants to share the sport with college students. North Beach Windsurfing owner, Britt Viehman, has offered a helping hand along with Steve and Marty Gottlieb of Sandy Point Progressive Sports.

Windsurfing returned this September to the Orlando, FL Surf Expo. Surf Expo is a strictly wholesale trade show of water sports merchandise connecting retailers, mostly from the western hemisphere, with manufacturers and distributors. All of us regular Joes and Josephines are not invited. This used to be the hot spot for our first look at new windsurfing gear. And in years past the mags did some serious reporting introducing the new stuff. After all, the only thing better than windsurfing is looking at windsurfing gear. This year I've only seen one video. I didn't go, but the reports all agree: windsurfing's presence is dialed back from previous years (last year they held a separate wholesale show for retailers in Hood River). SUP is the bright light of the water sports industry. Even kite companies are making SUP gear. Has kiting hit a plateau? Some said yes. Even if that's true, they still did a massive job with video reports.

AWSI (Association of Wind and Water Sports Industries)  is a trade organization that helps the wind industry with various business issues and organizes an annual trade show. This year they.partnered with Surf Expo to host the annual trade show event for most of the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the Windsurf, Kiteboard, and SUP industries.

St. Francis Yacht Club
Jim DeSilva of Liquid Water Sports in south Florida sent out an impassioned group email asking us all "If you want to grow the sport, help get windsurfing started at Yacht Clubs, where kids can sail every day, where sailing is what they do, where they have facilities and infrastructure, and they have new talent coming through every year. Why are the Euros so far ahead of us? They have windsurfing at their clubs, that’s why...If you care about the sport, help it grow at YOUR local club—this works, just like it has for Lasers, Sunfish, 420’s, Collegiate Champions (all came from clubs), World Champions (all from clubs) in every sailing class, and Americas Cup Champions (all from Clubs)! This works, why does windsurfing always want to run from the obvious answer and go to the beach by themselves?" Here's some more on the same topic from Britt Viehman: Broadening the youth scope to include windsurfing

From my regular reading of Scuttlebutt I've learned that the yachties are also concerned about declining interest from the younger generation for the ye ole ancient art of sailing.

WINDSURFING editor Josh Sampiero has put together a very cool plan for a National project for the summer of 2012, complete with promotional ads and a plan for execution. Here's his introduction for the L2W 2012 Project – National Learn To Windsurf Day. "I’ve proposed we very shortly pick a date in the summer of 2012 to promote a National Learn To Windsurf Day, in which every shop, school, windsurfing club, and yacht club in the country conducts free windsurfing lessons. It’s something many of the shops, schools, and clubs do anyways – but with a national, cohesive effort, I think it could be much more effective in inspiring current windsurfers to take part, promote, and participate in the effort.

Brands could sponsor for exposure (small investments) and the magazines could sponsor pages for promotion of the event that lists participating shops. (Since we’ll be marketing in the magazines to current windsurfers, perhaps the pitch there is Teach a Friend to Windsurf Day."

PWA is live from Sylt, Germany: Sept 22 - Oct 2: an all discipline tour ending extravaganza. The video player below will automatically turn on when there is a live broadcast. Apologies if this blows your cover at work.

Radar ·  The long running and now 26th Calema Midwinters will return March 1 - 4, 2012  ·  Tatiana sails, new sponsors, new website   ·  Water Sports Swap Meet...Miami, Rickenbacker Cswy...Oct. 22, 10 am - 1 pm   ·  Clip Harness Line on Facebook  ·  Lord Dunkerbeck found Facebook  ·  Katie Crafts has stepped down as Executive Director of the CGWA  ·  PWA may return to Maui in 2012  ·  Andy McKinney reports Wind-NC is back in action  ·  RS:X updates from the recent AGM  ·  Trudy Lary wants you to vote for her Tyson Poor photo  ·  Lord of the Wind 2012 set for January 12 - 16 in southern Baja is offering $20,000 in prize money: Details

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from last week's DaNews. (Sept 19 - 25 = 15 videos).

There are 2 very good event summary videos from KIA @coldhawaii. I like this one from Robby Swift and Heidy Clawson:

The Reunion Island Wave Classic ran Aug 25 - Sept 5:

El Faro, Pacasmayo, Peru:

These guys are doing something really important and introducing windsurfing to a new audience.

Light wind day at Waddell Creek:

11 year old Loick Lesauvage kicking ass:

Nicolas Dudet in Lobitos, Peru. August 2011:

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