downunder wrote: ↑
Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:41 pm
We need to be realistic, if HF will not get mainstream, it will die out. To get it mainstream, it must be:
- easy to learn
- look super easy to learn
- look super attractive for everyone
I disagree (at least if you measure mainstream in niche sport terms). Obviously its not going to replace soccer as a global sport - and who would want to kite with all those millions of TV watchers in the water with them at the same time - but it could still become a main type of sailing sport.
1. People are always looking for ways to exclude other groups of people. Technical jargon is created so novices don't understand what people are talking about (search buzzword bingo). The apparent exclusivity of foiling gives people a way of ignoring those who aren't part of the same group. Lift passes to get to the top of mountains spread the number of people on the slopes as effectively as light wind thins the number of people on the water with you.
2. People want to feel like pioneers. Hydrofoiling is currently good for that role and allows people to feel smug that they are doing something new and other people are missing out. The fact that it is difficult is actually a good thing - people appreciate achievement when tasks are difficult more than easy tasks.
3. The industry is pushing it. Endless instagram posts of the pros on foils. Its a new board they can try and sell to everyone.
4. Maybe I'm forgetting things but my learning experience hasn't been as hard I remember learning to windsurf being. I remember crashing pretty hard back then and all the joys of getting my ankles caught in the footstraps that people talk about with foiling. Windsurfing was pretty tricky to learn and people still take it up. Look at the average learner windsurfer bobbing on the water and they don't look any cooler than the average learner foiler. Give the foil to a skilled pilot and you can get equally attractive aspirational videos for foiling as have been produced for windsurfing in the past.
5. Most of sailing doesn't look any cooler from the shore than I do mowing back and forth on my foil. You don't have to look cool. You only have to think that you do. Ever seen someone on a longboard* on the street. They don't look cool. They think they do.
* I know this. I must look a right prat on my onewheel but I think I look amazing.