Thursday, March 19, 2015
Is Peter Schulz the World's Best Windsurfer? No hype here!
Warning; I'm about to repeat myself here on some things.
The purpose of this "secret" yet public blog is very simple. The idea is to provide a means of following what is happening with Disruptive Wind without folks having to contact me directly. There are some big players that are following what is going on that have chosen to hold off on direct involvement until they become convinced that this is "REAL". This is indeed the largest challenge to overcome. Our modern world is now so full of "HYPE" and outright scams that everyone is justifiably wary of new claims.
I have gone to great lengths early on to keep this a secret. Now that a strong USA patent has been granted, I am still "laying low" but would love to get a major player involved as this would bring this great idea to the world much faster and make those involved a bunch of money sooner. Of course there is a real threat to those not involved and that is why I have also gone to great lengths not to promise anything I can not deliver on. And, more importantly, not claim anything that can not be easily proven to be true. REAL, valid, honest. No hype here!
The bolt-on idea was included in the patent application at the start. However, even I was not convinced it was the best way to go. But, at the prodding of Naish, and Rich Mitchell, I decided to give it some attention last summer. I roughly put together a prototype and put it on a Starboard Starfish, a compact wave board with a wide tail , thrusters, and parallel rails (precursor to the Black Box, and even more recently, Fanatic's Stubby). The "Fish" got wet for the first time with a bolt on in the surf off the Oregon coast. Within seconds, I knew I had a winner! The ride was so comfortable and the control was so enhanced. The board is more responsive compared to the fixed strap version as well. It instantly became, and still is, my favorite.
I went on to test and refine the concept. There were missteps and set backs along the way. A helmet cam helped with analysis and improvement. I was being very careful not to get hurt as I was the only rider. I refused to let anyone else try it initially as the last thing this company needed was the bad publicity of someone hurt, aside from my own personal caring for others welfare!
Time flew by, and the concept continued to be a winner. I did not get hurt, and realized that this thing is actually safer than fixed straps, because the footdeck will rotate during a fall to let your foot escape.
Time to get some other folks to try it out! But nobody would. "That thing scares me!" I heard this from almost everyone I asked, even some world class professional windsurfers (who I shall not name as I like these folks and have zero interest in embarrassing them) from the Maui and Columbia Gorge scenes. "But I'm doing it, did you not see me out there doing duck jibes?" I would reply.
Then comes the ultimate reply " How do we know you are not the world's best windsurfer ?"
Am I the world's best windsurfer? Absolutely not! I'm just the guy who invented the world's latest/best windsurfing innovation. I just need to prove that claim. So, obviously, helmet cam footage is not a good way to do that. So towards the end of the season, I figured out a clew mount set up for the GoPro Hero.Worked great as far as showing the simple footwork. Very unimpressive however, the fisheye lens brings big swell down to little bumps or makes them disappear altogether, The places I was windsurfing at did not offer good vantage points from shore. The Airdog drone was not ready yet.
I finally did get a couple of experienced windsurfers onto my "Fish" and they took right to it. Brought tears to my eyes! Sadly, did not get any video or pictures at all. I resolved to do things differently this year.
This year: "Fleet" of demo boards of different brands, styles, and sizes.
"Beta tester" boards dedicated to individual windsurfers.
Large Sprinter van to haul all the boards and set up demo events at the best places.
A second GoPro Hero and multiple shore cameras to use at locations with vantage points.
I plan to video floating in the water while using the second GoPro.
Blog updates and videos as frequently as possible.
Involve more people, hopefully get major player(s) to be proactive rather than reactive.
Keep it REAL, and prove this is a winner!