Why are frenchies soo successful in windsurfing?

Sometimes it bothers me a bit that the frenchies are soo succesful in "nautical achievements", for example Antoine Albeau and Hydroptere. I just don't like the fact of not knowing why?? Just to get a bit more understanding I opened a topic on www.windsurfing33.com a french windsurfing forum. Original I hoped to learn a bit more about fins in France, but thanks to all replies I learned a lot more;)

My questions on the forum were:
  1. Why do I find more custom fins in France compared to other countries???
  2. Why do speedsurfers in France use more exclusive (custom) fins?

Some answers that helped a lot:
  • Albeau does so we do regardless to the uge gap between he and us. Our national leader is far above all the other riders, we figure out it cames from his equipment and we copy it. For instance, the percentage of Slalom JP boards are strongly raising in the market of new boards. 
  • Gasoil and Deboichet are both french or french native speaker making it easier to get the right fin for your board without to much risk in the delivery 
  • those fins are excellents, we have plenty of everyday riders feedback and a strong second hand market making it possible to renew a full set of Deboichet for few box.
  • Because you're not as "fashion victims" as french people...
  • plus french people  don't  follow blindly foreigners

I think now to understand what it is all about, basically most french windsurfers buy the same (windsurfing) gear as the (local) proriders. In the Netherlands this effect is not that big. I believe after the windsurfing topic the french have this "protectionism" because: the language French, strong national market and maybe a better sense for fashion. The disadvantage is (thank you Christophe Waerzeggers) when the french market is not as innovative as an other producer (Kashy is a good example) than immediate most french riders will be slower in competition and it will take a long time to recover 1th position.

Thanks to the "nationalism" I believe the french nautical market has got more budget, more sponsoring, etc. When frenchies invest enough money in R&D + good windsurfers they will keep the leading 1th position for a long time...

Speedsurfing can make a difference, now France has got the lead thanks to the hard work in the past of Pascal Maka, Antoine Albeau, Deboichet and many more. But somehow results are not improving anymore (because lack of investments in French speedsurfing?!?). In the Netherlands speedsurfing is boooming. More and more (mostly privateer) investments in speedsurfing, when nothing changes I predict someday the Netherlands will be THE trendsetter in  speedsurfing.

Erik Loots

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.

1 comment:

  1. Windsurfing has been the no. 3 sport for many years in France. So actually it's almost as popular as ice-skating is in Holland.

    Sailing/Windsurfing is a serious part of kids education in France. Every town or city close to a tiny bit of water has an active sailing + windsurfing club or school. These education programmes are partially government funded.

    France just happens to have an incredible number of active, enthusiastic and passionate windsurfers. Due to the above.

    Imagine what would happen if we started to make sailing/windsurfing part of our educational programmes, just like in France.

    Remember... in the country of blind, one-eye is king.