Saturday, November 03, 2007

the webcast shift + video with the camera on the front of the board

Sorry, this post was too boring without some action...
Thanks to a rainy Sunday, I edited the video I shot with the camera on the front of my 7.10 windsurf board. Enjoy.

Just one more minute to mention that after the rain I scored an epic surf session at Hookipa. Way overhead, a bit crowded, but glassy and beautiful...
Gorgeous sunset too. I took some photos, but I can't post them, because right now I'm cooking some pasta with zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and mozzarella... new recipe! Shoots, it's almost time!! Got to go... I'll lose my passport if I overcook it.

Allright, dinner was delicious. We saw it watching an old classic: Body Heat.
Here's a quote from it:
Matty: You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.
Ned: What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I've got 'em all.

Oh, and here's a photo of the sunset. Actually two, I can't decide which one to pick. The reason is that none of them renders how beautiful it really was...

And now, the webcast part...

An anonymous comment on my last post inspired me to write this.

I know some people will to get all sensitive about it, but I see it as a constructive suggestion to do something that, in my not so humble opinion, would mean a huge shift in the windsurfing industry.
Who am I to say that, what credits do I have? Nothing, I'm just a guy with a blog. Everybody can do that...
So, here's the answer to that comment.

and you don't think that with this blog I'm publicizing the sport of windsurfing?
Not all my readers are windsurfers.
Some of them could be involved or be friends with potential non-windsurf-related sponsors.
Plus, I'm not only criticizing, I'm suggesting actions: webcasts.

The ASP reaches literally millions of people with the webcasts.
I barely knew who Kelly Slater was. Now thanks to the webcasts I can mention at least 20 pro surfers (and quite a few brands of board shorts).
And often the surf contests can even be boring because there's big lulls in the action.
Still, have a look at this to understand the magnitude of the advent of webcasts.

Instead, the heats of a wave sailing contests are action packed, because there's wind and nobody is ever just sitting and waiting for waves.
Plus, the two-three minutes transitions between heats in a PWA wave contests would be perfect to run a 30 seconds board shorts ad or something like that.

Did you know that PWA already has a live event ticker (btw hey Brian, how are you doing and what do you think about this?)... now, who in the world is going to follow that?!
Knowing that somebody on the other side of the world is watching a wavesailing contest and has an internet connection and a computer in front of him and writes in real time on a web page:"Wow, Kauli just did an amazing double forward!"... pisses me off more than anything.
I don't want to read it, I want to see it!!!

All it would take at that point is a couple of videocameras, a higher speed connection (eventually via satellite) and a few big servers. We're in 2007... those things are available. Google webcasting and see how many companies offering solutions there are.

Set up one for the first wave event of next season, let every magazine/blog know well in advance that it's going to be webcasted and you'll see how many windsurfers will suddenly pop up from all over the world.
That would mean a HUGE shift for the whole industry. Just imagine the impact it would have had if they had it for the Cabo Verde event... what a incredible missed opportunity! ALL windsurfers in the world would have seen/loved it!

I know for sure that PWA is already thinking about it. They were already thinking about it one year ago in Maui...
I'm surprised (well, that's a mild word...) that it still hasn't happened yet! What's the big deal about it? Money, I assume.

I tell you what. If I was the HONDA CEO I would not invest not even a few grands in buying advertising space in a PWA event the way it is now. What for? To have the logo appear on the background of the photo of the winners? And what return would that bring...?
Imagine instead a webcast with hundred of thousands windsurfers online from all over the world and an ad running every few heats that shows how many boards you can stack in the new Element and how cool it is that you can hose the inside to wash off all the sand and shit like that...
And make sure all the heats (with the ads) will be available on demand so that even the people on the other side of the world could see it without having to stay up at night.

Wonna know what I would do if I was Jimmy Diaz? (other than rescuing my canoe... thanks again Jimmy!)
I would send the dvd of the Cabo Verde event to the CEOs/marketing managers of Billabong, Quicksilver, O'Neill, Rip Curl, Rusty, Hurley, etc... together with a note that says:"This is what a PWA wave sailing event can be. We need help to set up a webcast for our next contest. Any interest in sponsoring?"

But I'm not Jimmy Diaz, so I can only kindly suggest it through this blog. And since I don't think he reads it, if you know him would you be so kind to send him the link to this post or email me his email address so that I can personally do that? Thanks!


Robin said...

Hi G.P.

Good thinking. Although the live ticker on the PWA site is a major improvement (at least now we know what is happening) a live webcast could really change things for the better. It will not only be interesting commercially but would also enable the PWA to travel to more remote (but better) locations. So no need for a local sponsor and a turnout for a certain event.

As you said, it is probably a money issue. It has to be said though that the 2007 wavetour has be the best one since years. Just a shame (to put it mildly) that the Aloha didn't take place....

Over here it is getting noticibly colder but after 6 weeks of no wind I don't care. Forecasts are really good for the coming week!

jeff E of the Great White North said...

the big industrials always seemed clued out as to how to advertise to their target audiences...either that or we are clued out!!! But i dotn think so. Case in point many of the new weekly shows on TV esp (specially here in Canada: the "space channel") do podcasts, they know who their target audience is, and they cater to it: Young 20 to 30 somethings. The same demographic who have expendible cash and are buying elements, matrix's etc etc . honda toyota would do well to do the same.

Bill said...

Yea event webcasts would open it up to the broader mainstream! Also, it could allow for events to be held in more locations around the globe. With advertising/sponsorship driven though the web site hosting the webcasts itself, it could be the next Web2.0 leap for extreme action sport competition.

I have been toying with a similar idea of moving action sport contest dynamics onto the web to enlarge the general audience and enrich the viewer experience. Biggest hurdles though is finding expertise and time to bring it together.

Nico said...

grande gp.. hai il mio supporto.
Just a short comment, due to my poor english eheheh..
WS webcasting would be waaay better than surfing webcasting (action packed, as you said).

and, finally, we could watch REAL wave events in remote places as gnaraloo, fiji, esperance ecc (no more sylt, PLEASE)

Anonymous said...

its inevitable it will eventually happen as technology gets cheaper. Its just a question of when. When it does happen, it will be a huge leap forward and as people have already said, open the door to hosting it in dream conditions. Just like the ASP dream tour.

cammar said...

Thanks everybody for the comments.

Sure, it will happen and I will not claim to be the first one to have thought about it...
I'm just saying that it's about time!

PS. Out of contest message for Stefano/Yebba that left a comment two posts ago.
Would you please send me an email?
(click on the link:"email me to advertise on this blog on the right of the main page"). Grazie.

Niclas said...


image one, no doubt about it! Much nicer with the palmtree in the background, which adds balance and depth to the image.

wrt to webcasting - you're a techie, you've got the ideas, you've got time, you've got the energy. PWA-ticker= pah, I had a ticker back in 1996 for Superbike racing. I say - invest some time, make some telephone calls and you can be the one setting this thing up and help out the wsurf industry. You've got connections with both magazines (italian as well as american), you know Svein & Co - just go ahead! I'm sure you'll get a hand or a hundred pair if just someone gets the ball rolling.

You've got the ability to see what others seem to have not. The wsurf industry is really lagging in the online world... There's loads of money to get and a huge audience. If one just see further ahead than the next wave... they do tend to come in sets and the first one's almost never the best one ;)

Go ahead GP, make a difference! I'll keep my fingers crossed here on the other side of the pond, that's my support ;) (that and some setting up with the ISP if you want to ;)

Niclas said...

Sorry, meant foreground...

Marc Lefebvre said...

Ironically, the comments you make are what was planned for the '07 Aloha Classic. As part of the title sponsorship, Oxbow was planning a live webcast of the event. And yes, the major hurdle is money.

Here the break down of the cost is something along the lines of:

3 Camera guys: $600 per day
2 post processes guys to edit and get it on the web: $500 per day
HIGH SPEED internet access at event site: $100 per day (this does not include the installation of said service)
website developement to support the webcast: $1,000
bandwidth cost from ISP to handle the load of viewers: $300 per day (this is an average and depends alot on number of viewers)
infrastructure rentals: $1,000

So, total cost to do it for a 5 day event: $3000 + $2500 + $500 + $1000 + $1500 + $1000 = $9,500 and that does not nesecesary cover ALL the infrastructure cost if you need to provide housing/travel/food for the production crew.

Again, this is for a professional level of production. I am sure you could do an AM production for less but it would not be as effective. Hopefully we can do this in '08 at the Aloha.

I agree it is the future.


Marc Lefebvre said...

Sorry for the repeat of this post from other article, but, wasnt sure if people check back articles:

Great comments, great posts, great blog...

The "cool" factor regarding windsurfing has often been the cause of blame for the sport failing, but, as someone who has been involved in the sport on about every level I can say that the populatority of the sport hinges on:

1) equipment cost

2) industry focus on the existing customer base instead of "new" customers.

If the above issues can be dealt with it would cause:

1) more youth getting into the sport.

2) more beautiful people getting involved in the sport (marketing)

The above would drive the customer base to increase significantly, add to the creditibility of the sport, and fix the ratios of old to young, cool to nerd, poor to rich.

This would then drive sponsor interest cause they would have the eye balls and participation numbers to get a "Return on Investment". While I dont necessary agree with the statement made that sponsoring a pro windsurfing contest privides no return, it takes some creativity to get that return and takes a creative sponsor to leverage the opportunity. Unlike the sponsors of baseball and footbal, they just have to show up with check in hand and they get their exposure.

There does need to be a concerted effort to get the sport into mainstream media. There needs to be marketing dollars spent that would place windsurfing into plot lines of movies, tv, and ads. This will not happen on its own and it takes money. This would raise awareness and help the sport. Its not impossible, just takes money spent by the manufacturers of the sport.

One last point, there is one issue that will most likely never change is one of the largest hurdles in our sport and that is the gear issue. No 15 yr old kid can windsurf with out a support system of friends or relatives to get to the beach and provide equipment transport, etc... Whereas in surfing kids can hold their board under their arms, and skateboard down to the beach and go surfing. Easy as pie.

I havent given up hope but the sport will never be the size of golf. Just wont happen. Its a niche sport, but, one that can grow to an effective size equal to surfing, skiing, etc...

And, yes, Giampaolo, you are doing your part here on the web. We thank you for that!


cammar said...

thanks for the credits, you might be overestimating my capabilities.
But I'll see what I can do...

thanks for the inside info on the costs. To benefit the readers' undertanding, I hope you don't mind if I clarify that you are the organizer of the amateur part of the Aloha Classic (not sure about the pro part... please correct me if I'm wrong).
I really appreciate your contribution that makes me hope that 08 will the the year.
Thanks also for the other comment... yes, I do tend not to check the comments of an old post... that's the only thing I don't like about a blog: posts become old...

Anonymous said...

Marc Lefebvre said...

Here the break down of the cost is something along the lines of:

3 Camera guys: $600 per day
2 post processes guys to edit and get it on the web: $500 per day
HIGH SPEED internet access at event site: $100 per day (this does not include the installation of said service)
website developement to support the webcast: $1,000
bandwidth cost from ISP to handle the load of viewers: $300 per day (this is an average and depends alot on number of viewers)
infrastructure rentals: $1,000

A website for webcast for $1000 and 3 camera guys for $600 (for all three), a day and two editors for $500 a day (for the two of them), I don't know where Mr Lefebvre hires people but that seems really cheap, here in LA, you can't even get a hobo of the street for these prices...

Maybe when you aim too low in quality, and the budget is still too high in your eyes, makes the final bell ring.....

Bill said...

It should likely also be under "one roof" as much as possible, rather than contracting all aspects. Set up a single entity which focuses on providing these types of services for any action sports oriented event. Generate revenue via a strong marketing/advertising team.

On the windsurfing "cool" factor, one other issue is the amount of equipment required to haul around. Here in Hatteras, people haul trailers full of gear devoted to windsurfing, where as, a surfer or kiteboarder can pack all their gear in the Geo Metro and still bring along a friend. Simply the amount of gear required to windsurf, I believe, is also a turn-off for the sport. My wife always says, she could not windsurf because she would/could not want to carry all that "stuff" (gear) in her Mini Cooper!

Bill said...


Also, great vid! Do you have a post showing how you mounted the GoPro to the front of your board?

cammar said...

if you think that's cheap, you should know how much the judges are paid! ;-)
Maui is not LA (thank God!). Here the priorities are different and you'll always find people available to work for cheap as long as it's fun and not long term or strong commitment. Over here we like waves more than money.

the mount is just like the longboard one: I put two short velcro stripes on the very front of the short board and used the same foam block.
I reinforced the mount with some duck tape around the whole thing and the front of the board, which didn't bother the sailing at all and I removed it at the end of the session. Supersturdy, not even need for a safety leash.

Btw, in the sunset sesh I replaced the original rubber ring (starting to get too lose) of the gopro case with a hair rubber band (folded three/four times). In fact, it's a bit steadier.
I'm not particularly happy with the overall result. Once again, the waves look way smaller than they are. Plus, all wave rides look pretty much the same and I think it's quiet boring... if it wasn't for the soundtrack!!

Coolness. Ok, we got that part down: the equipment doesn't help windsurfing, but we can't do anything to change that.
Let's focus on what we can do to improve the image.
For example, webcasts of pro sailors contests/sessions... did I say that already?

Would you watch (and tell all your friends, windsurfers and not) to watch it if you knew that Levi or Kauli or Kevin would webcast their sessions from 2 to 3 pm Maui time the next day with a good forecast?
Windsurf manufacturers, if you read this, start moving your ass. Next time you schedule a photo shoot in an exotic location with the your best team riders, add a few grands to the budget, webcast it and get a way bigger return. And cover the expenses by selling ad clips in it.

Imagine: "Saturday Nov 10th, the Neil Pride team hits Hookipa. Watch it live or on demand on" or whatever.
Man, I don't care about NP sails, but I would watch it (well, in my case from the hill of course). Levi, Polakow, Mussolini, Gossein, Swift, etc showing off their best moves because they know they are live online... fuck, yeah!

Not even the surfing stars do that yet... but it's a matter of time. Technology needs to become a little cheaper/better, but I bet that the day that we can watch a whole day of Kelly Slater from a camera mounted on his ear is not too far away... and there will be sooo many people watching that shit.
Today's society likes myths. Check the success of all those stupid reality shows... I just hope they will include the shag with whatever stunning girlfriend he will have at the time! o:

PS. Tell your wife to put racks on her car and find different excuses... ;-)
When I was eighteen I always went windsurfing on my Fiat 126, and I had a 360cm longboard, way longer than the car...
And I can't even remember the number of times I had sex in that little thing! Kind of fun, actually, just watch out for the shift stick... ouch!

Marc Lefebvre said...


I organize the event as a whole, pro/am, but depending on how the budget shakes out, it may only end up being AM, or the case of this year, nada.

As far as the prices of the webcast, I was trying to show what is possible with a minimum budget, and ofcourse you can spend more. The rates are a little low but not too badly. The budget came out to $10,000 approximately. You could do a lot better with $20,000 but, again, depends on budget. Personally, I would like to see it happen.

And yes, our rates do not compare with LA, but we have a local "production benefector" which allows us access to professional guys at cut rate prices. Paul Ehman does TV production for Amazing Race, NFL, Mercedes Golf Championships, The Extremists, and Exterra Games, to name a few.

Anyways... keeping our fingers crossed for '08!!! If anyone has any strong leads on sponsnors please forward them to me through GP. Thanks guys...


Niclas said...

Bill, the Mini Cooper works perfect as a windsurfing car. Mine took two boards, 4 sails, 3 masts, 2 booms, 2 wetsuits etc. just by flipping half the rear seat, moving the passenger seat way forward and then the back rest as far down as possible. Make sure to put a towel on the dashboard and another one on the passenger seat to protect them from scratching (from the board's deckgrip). Or, you can use a roof rack. The car still looks cool.

Or, buy her the new Mini Clubman! Would've loved to have one of those myself...

Mark, thumbs up and fingers crossed for '08, both regarding webcasts and sponsorship! btw, productions don't need to be JP podcast-quality for starters, but can develop into that. First we just want to see the action when it happens, instead of reading about it. :) Best of luck from me!

cammar said...

forgot to put the link to the longboard mount

Sharon said...

Forget the link to the long board mount; I’m still trying to figure out the long mount in the Fiat 126! Nice wheels, no wonder you saw so much action!

cammar said...

when you're that young, horny, still living with your parents and without money for a motel room... you'll find a way in 126!

Sex in cars is pretty common in Napoli.
The favorite car lovers spot is a park called: Parco della rimembranza, aka Parco della gravidanza (gravidanza meaning pregnancy)...
Lovers park their cars pretty close the other ones (I guess it makes it safer against possible thieves), put newspapers on the windows and voila'...
Considering the average status of cars in Napoli, it's a hell lot of seats/shock absorbers squeaking!