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12 April '06 | 5:36pm
Use this thread to discuss the FREESTYLE: NEW & IMPROVED feature (http://www.boardseekermag.com/special_features/freestyle/evolution_of_freestyle_018.htm)

Do you think freestyle is good for the sport?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2006 | 5:45pm by admin.
Ben Proffitt
12 April '06 | 10:39pm
I don't think i'll bother going to austria (pwa) after all!!! ha ha
18 April '06 | 1:48pm
Of course its good for the sport. The moves the pro guys are coming up with these days are awesome. They give us all something to aspire to and show us that the diversity of windsurfing means that you never "know it all" or truly master the sport. While that's kind of a depressing thought, it also means that we're never likely to get bored as there's always gonna be something new to try. If only freestyle was an Olympic discipline - maybe then windsurfing might get the profile it deserves....
24 April '06 | 11:55am
On one of Dr. Beats films, there was a "lazy suzy" I remember. Like a willy skipper but the board does 360 in the air. I've heard or seen one done ever since, what happenend???
16 June '06 | 3:40am
Freestyle is, and isn't, good for windsurfing. Net effect is neutral.

Good to push the envelope, but most sailors I know / meet aren't that interested and don't seem to want to rise to the challenge. I've tried to get them interested, but they usually don't "get it". The advanced sailors are pushing things so far that the average middle-aged windsurfer can see that he or she will never get to do it "all". For those of us who like the infinite challenge, that's good. But for a whole lot of people who want to simply master a carving jibe, or a duck jibe, and be able to do it in a variety of conditions, well, those people seem more turned OFF by freestyle than turned on. I think people want to be challenged, but also to have the idea that they can get really good. This is why alpine skiing is big - the equipment makes it a LOT easier for people of average athletic ability to be good. Windsurfing will NEVER be like that, it's far to complicated. As far as equipment: all-around freestyle boards (e.g., Fanatic Skate) are nice additions to the market's quiver, i.e., useful to a wide variety of sailors, but specialist boards add overhead to the industry but don't really increase market size. The latter makes freestyle a net negative as far as equipment goes.

In sum: freestyle gets a 4/10 (and I'm friendly to it)

Always Amazed (at how many people are satisfied by doing simple B&F).
27 June '06 | 9:44pm

Of course freestyle is good for the sport!!!! Its never going to be appealing for the midle aged guy or girl that Geoff describes. But its good for the sport because it is creating a "cooler" image for the sport and therefore making it more appealing for the younger generation, that after all will be the future. I know that for me going down the beach when i was learning and seeing a load of oldies blasting up and down wasnt exactly a great inspiration, but when i began to look at windsurfing on the internet i realised how much more to the sport there was!!! Which i my mind aspired me to get more involved (especially in freestyle), now surely if freestyle is attracting more young people to the sport it could never be given a 4/10 urrrgh !!!! and should be given 10/10!!
Airtime Vu
28 June '06 | 7:58am
Freestyle??? I love it. I'm 46 yrs old. Whenever I am on the water, I will try to throw spinloops on either tacks until my bottom is all bruised. I then working on the Vulcan. The old moves I can do are: 360, duck jybe, monkey jybe, pyrouett jybe, helitack, duck tack, push tack. I'm working on the geiko. I hope one day I can afford going to Maui to learn wavesailing. New moves are a harder. It may discourage young people to learn. Anyway, young people think I'm cool; old people think I'm a fool. Freestyle moves keeps me interested in windsurfing and staying away from kitesurfing.
19 July '06 | 7:40am
It's interesting to watch a freestyle event, and see the 'general' windsurfing publics reaction. I have been to the PWA event at Sotavento a few times, not competing but just there for fun, and trying to figure out how to do all the moves myself.
Watching some heats, its funny how the crowd reacts to certain moves. In some cases the crowd will stand and cheer when they see a big forward loop - because they understand this move and to them it is/has been the pinnacle of dificulty for their windsurfing.
But then someone else comes in a does a switch stance clew first whatever, and doesn't get the same reaction, even though the moves is infinately harder. The same with a lot of the spinning sliding moves. They are beyond most peoples' comprehension. It's only if you are trying this stuff that you can appreciate how incredibly difficult some of it is. To many, the sliding moves all seem the same.
And this is not a critisim, just an obversation.
Personally I think it is cool., an has literally got me sailing onthe water so much more. 10/10 from me. No waves...no problem. The satisfaction oofnailoing a new move on flatwateris nearly as much fun.
I think it's particularly good as so many younger guys have got into the sport because of it, and literally have learned to windsurf in a whole new way - which refreshes the whole sport. Now some of those guys have burst into waves and their allround talent and different approach is bringing wavesailing forward to where it has never been before. Watch Kauli and now Victor sailing in waves- it's a whole new aproach and style, and pushes everyone further. That can only be good.
Just me
23 July '06 | 12:31pm
Well, perhaps "pushing everyone further" can actually be very bad?

I've heard of studies that asked why certain activities, like aerobics and squash (racquetball) boomed and then died.
One recurring factor, apparently, was that the average standard to be "okay" at the activity got to be too high. The average person - with study, family or work demands, living away from the perfect conditions, with many other interests in life - knows that they will never reach that level.

And so, rather than looking like an idiot, they will not even try. If you want more proof, look at the most extreme sports and the generally low participation rates.

This may not be something people here can relate to - but it seems to be a fact. I think Oldskool-Newskool has a point. I'm not a bad sailor; been on the podium at the nationals or international pro events in a few diffrent disciplines including a freestyle event - but I have to freeze-frame to work out what some of the freestylers are doing.

Perhaps the younger generation will be the future; but most advanced economies today are facing an ageing population. While that means we have to attract kids (and many kids are couch potatoes who can be scared off by really high standards and expectations) we also have to allow for the fact that the average sportsperson is getting older, and the older people are staying active for much longer. Maybe the gray market is the real way forward?
24 July '06 | 9:46pm
let me say first that I've been windsurfing about 20 years and can't do anything that would be described as "freestyle". I'm getting this out of the way because the normal reaction to anyone who says that they don't like freestyle (not that many would admit to this heresy anyway) is to say "that's because you can't do it" - so yes, this is true - but it's not the reason that I'm not very interested in freestyle ...

doing tricks is of course mainly about showing off ... it's about saying "look at me - I'm a poseur" ... maybe you've noticed how the "dudes" with the shorts over their wetsuits and the long bits of string like to do all their tricks a few feet from the beach ? freestyle appeals to this mentality.

this is most evident in a crowded location like Jeri, where despite having a huge flat water area, all the frystyle wannabes (many of them Italians incidently) insist on doing their thing in one small patch where everyone launches and where, unfortuneately, the only ridable waves are ... which results in a mayhem of rigs crashing down all over the place and people trying to go max speed, switch stance, straight downwind etc and giving each other, and everyone else a lot of grief and no respect - because they are mid trick and so obviously must have right of way ... the wave riders on the other hand, know when not to get in someone's way, not to drop in on their wave, and generally treat each other with respect.

when it's done well, by an expert, freestyle is of course very elegant - but it's validity is in having performed a complex set of moves which are then witnessed by admiring onlookers. Once a trick becomes mastered by enough people to either be commonplace at a "local" level or easily performed in competitions, then new, more complex ones must be invented to push the envelope.

contrast this with wave riding, which is all about reading the swells / sets, harnessing the power of the wave, making the turns conform to the shape of the wave, on the most critical section, conquering nature - it is a much more "spiritual" type of windsurfing.

this is why wavesailors like Scott Mc'Cercher, Jason Polakof, Robbie Naish et al will travel half way round the world in search of great conditions - even if they will be the only ones there to witness the action ... and this why I will allways admire and respect the guys w-surfing Jaws or surfing Mavericks far more than those occupied with inventing the latest flat water switch stance, clew first etc etc spinny thing.
Just me
25 July '06 | 3:01am
I'd have thought that wavesailing is also about developing new, more complex or more radical ways of working the most critical section? And of course, many a surfer likes to "rip tear and lacerate" rather than get spiritual. In fact one wonders about the spirituality of "conquering" nature rather than blending with it in harmony.

And at most beaches (where I am anyway) there are more bystanders (ie more "admiring onlookers" to validate the sailor) at the wavesailing places than the freestylers ever find - so the ego boost factor applies to wavesailors more. Finally the guys at Mavericks and Jaws often seem to be accompanied by cameras and copters.....maybe it's not such an elegant soul search.

Finally, I think some freestyle moves can be totally about moving in harmony with nature; you're so utterly delicately poised, with success depending enormously on the way you can feel the way the rig and board will react to wind and waves.

By the way, I didn;t mean to write that I'd made the podium in international pro events; I've competed at the pro events but been miles from the podium, which I've only made at the amateur level. Sure are hell I couldn't get out of my own way in a current event. Typing mistake.

27 July '06 | 12:25am
I don't think freestyle is all about showing off. Do guys that do freestyle only do it when there is a crowd, and just sail back and forth when there isn't. The answer is NO. I like freestyle because of the challenge of it and the rewards you can get from it. Every time you land a new trick it's the same as when you made your first jibe or landed your first jump. It's a high that you can't get anywhere else. While I admit it's a lot of fun sailing with other guys and "showing off", I also like days when noone is around and I have the whole bay to myself. I don't need someone there saying wow look at that guy. If I did, I wouldn't have to do anything other than loop which we all know is by far the easiest, yet impresses eveyone the most. I do my tricks close to shore because that is where I can stand when I crash.

It may sound silly, but the only way you can get good at freestyle is to look like a jackass. You have to crash and burn on hundreds of vulcans before you can finally land one. Obviously it can't all be about showing off. I hear the crowd now,"Wow, that guy just fell 50 times in a row on his head, what a show-off."

I don't see how freestyle could possibly hurt the sport. I would have been bored and quit this sport long ago if it wasn't for freestyle so chaulk me up as another person in this sport because of freestyle. It's not something that has to be done when windsurfing. It's something to do when you feel like a challenge that the conditions aren't giving you. Freestyle makes windsurfing more appealling to a wider range of people. Not everyone sailing at the beach is into freestyle so spectators can see different types of windsurfing and see which dynamic of the sport will suit them. If they just want to go back and forth they see that obviously they can do that too. I don't down people that don't try freestyle I just don't underst and how people can down freestyle that never even gave it a go. I should also add that every single person I know that has really given a trick a go succeeds at it. As long as they kept on trying and, not a once a day effort, they made that trick.

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