The Important Role of Windsurfing Swap-Meets
by Alan Raby,
Windsurfing is a skill-based sport with
many plateaus of ecstatic graduation.
plateau is a barrier wrought with a tangle of self-doubt, hesitation, and fear
of the unknown.
To put it plainly, many new sailors will not spend a lot of money on something
that they are not sure they can actually do. This is also true of
intermediate sailors, and even advanced sailors looking to learn a different
style of windsurfing. Furthermore, some people (young adults in
particular) have a relatively low income – they attend college, buy used cars,
wear giveaway t-shirts, eat ramen noodles, and take their dates to Taco Cabana.
Yes, it is true that brand new windsurfing gear, especially
models of the current year, can be very pricey. Windsurfing is so fun
though, why not spend the money on a possibly life-changing activity? Die-hard
windsurfers (even windsurf shops) often forget, or take for granted that many
newcomers cannot possibly know the wonders and fun of windsurfing until they
actually do it.
There IS a solution for everyone.
A windsurfing swap meet can benefit the local windsurfing shop, the community,
and local sailors tremendously. Sailors new to the sport have a chance to find
gear that is relatively inexpensive, and there are almost always advanced
sailors around to steer newbies away from bad gear. Newcomers have a chance to
get something they can ease into without great financial risk. They almost
always come back for more (often brand new) gear once the pleasure of
windsurfing is realized.
Low-income advanced sailors will often avoid new gear like the plague with
light weight boards right out of the factory approaching two G’s as the typical
retail price. The solution – boards of last year or up to six years ago will
usually do fine, often found at windsurfing swap meets. Advanced sailors can
then concentrate on a new sail; an often more pressing need.
Windsurf shops can benefit in a number of ways. The most obvious is to host the
event, and receive a commission for all swap meet sales. Also, if someone buys
an incomplete item at a swap meet ,such as a complete windsurfing package that
is missing a mast base, this can be remedied by visiting the local windsurf
shop. What Mariner Sails does is host the event as a social occasion with hot
dogs and drinks. Community volunteers are only too eager to show up and help
with gear check-ins or directing newcomers to the sport.
Mariner Sails takes care of all swap meet sales at the register with special
tagging and seller codes. The seller then claims either full store credit
for the gear that sold, or cash at a 20% commission to the shop. Sellers
can then directly apply that credit to the purchase of new items, whether it is
a board or just a fin.
One could argue that a swap meet is actually essential to growing and sustaining
the sport. Feel free to come to our Spring Swapmeet on Saturday, March 26th.
People will be camping at 9am, but swap meet sales begins at 10am.
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