There is no definitive answer, it is whatever is best for the rider personally I reckon, and that depends on may things including local country conditions, $$, jobs, ambitions... racing isnt limited to what is going on with olympics.. awesome slalom/downwind races in all sorts of winds have been going on for years around the world, totally different kinds of boards to "formula" boards are better in these kinds of races (eg Redbullrottnest to perth race) I think
- fun to work on high tech new/faster/higher pointing equipment,very technical board fin and kite development as there will be money invested, maybe fairer for all different sizes/weights of rider, but my guess is there will be an optimum weight size transpiring regardless - especially in light winds, would like to be wrong on this though - just less effect than with one design. more than one brand can be involved in producing boards/kites. Expensive if you want to be at top - multiple boards/kites /fins sets for different conditions (you preregister your equipment - 1 board and 3 kites before event - you can choose/register from a great range of equipment based on weather forecast predictions etc). In order to make the box rule/formula (as it is called now) less expensive and safer, there will be no sanctioned events where racing will take place above 25 knots average from 2013.
- will be less expensive, easier/more simple to access equipment for all, i totally get why this would be best for developing countries/ more youth (less $$$! - well as long as they are still fast and fun!), in past not all one design windsurf boards have been same weight - it is very hard to control resin weight used in board manufacture and a keep them economic, I guess it would be a bit easier with kiteboards being that they are smaller. Equipment might get dated quickly if kiteboarding technology moves fast over next few years (don't know answer to this but i think without huge amounts of money and much more expensive equipment it will not, and certainly not in a way comparable to the differences of windsurfer designs!). If one design was one of the top performing board and kites right now... or at least close to these designs..
I kind of put off olympic kiteboard class racing because of what IKA (International Kiteboarding Organisation) put forward to ISAF. Just found it dishonest. For 10 years+ here on this forum, at the beach and elsewhere we have been proactive helping and advising anyone that asks about kiteboarding and then IKA (International Kiteboarding Organisation) puts this information forward to ISAF (who requested it and run olympic sailing, i won't go there right now lol...) out that total newbies can read. Olympics has a huuuge influence on people getting into a particular sport. The report refers to freestyle kiteboarding and kiteboarding in general, but overall to kite racing, although interestingly ISAF have added 2 other sailing classes in their 2013 kiteboarding rulebook - wave riding and freestyle
"Change to" is what I think would have been moral/responsible to have written at very minimum, giving considerations that it is a part marketing campaign to get kiteboatd racing into the olympics. Opinions welcome keen to hear them..
Olympic Evaluation Report
written By International Kiteboarding Association management
1. "Safety issues are slightly different for kiteboarding" (implied - as from sailing/racing).
Change to "Safety issues are different for kiteboarding" (as from sailing/racing)
2. "Kiteboarding is the quickest sailing sport to learn – sailing is possible already after a couple of ours training on the beach, and competitive level can be reached within a few months"
Change to "Kiteboarding can be quick to learn - kiteboarding is possible after 3-4 of hours training at the beach, and competitive level can be reached within a few months; however, a minimum riding standard is required to keep competitors safe and also competitive (a kite tangle due to incompetence of other rider, can result in a DNF for a top level kiteboard racer)"
Olympic Technical Report
1. "There have been safety issues in the past which have been overcome since approx eight years."
Change to "Kiteboarding safety has improved considerably over the last 8 years."
2. "Shore requirements are minimal and existing venues should be able to cope easily"
Change to "Kiteboarding requires extra shore requirements for safe launching, fenced launching/ landing areas at events with significant spectators/lack of space, landing and storage of equipment (eg extra spare kites/sizes that need to be stored pumped up), some existing venues will be able to cope.
3."There is no difference to standard sailing regattas in respect of numbers of boats, marks etc, no additional resources or facilities are needed."
Change to " The maximum number of kiteboarder line starters in a single race is fairer/safer for all if limited for traditional race courses when compared to sailing classes, extra resources will be needed in the form of kite safety management training and extra facilities may be needed."
4. "Equipment can be launched in app. 3-4 knots of wind , depending on current, wind variety and surf."
Change to "Equipment can be water launched (ie if kite falls from sky into water) in app. 6-10 knots of wind, depending on current, water depth, wind variety, surf, kite size and kite design."
5. "Although kiteboarding accidents still happen, they are rare."
Change to "Kiteboarding accident rates are going down thanks to better kite technology and education in recent years. The fatality rate for kiteboarding is higher that that of sailing, higher than that of sub aqua diving but less than that of paragliding (Rick Iossi - kiteforum.com). Over the last 10 years fatalities have been more common during autumn around the world due to more random volatile weather patterns of high winds/gusts/direction changes."
6. "It is no more dangerous than any other sport." (in context of correct training/considerations)
Change to REMOVE THIS QUOTE COMPLETELY.