You know the feeling: Someone you love, is no longer around. You hear the name in the street, and you turn to check, partly out of habit and partly in anticipation you may see again the loved face.
It is human, although you know the truth…
I progressed riding F2 boards, but then, F2 was at the frontline of the sport both shape wise & competitively. Great shapers were designing the new boards and incredible athletes were riding them to consecutive victories, year after year in all disciplines. The input from such a cooperation, was then filtered down to the end products, sold to mortals like myself.
Like many other historical brands, F2 lost momentum, fought back thanks to the joint forces of the shaping-racing-marketing twin of Patrik Diethelm & Karin Jaggi, but finally took the downhill, directed by the new investor. Patrik says about that:
“The new owner had unfortunately other plans or maybe better said, no plan! For cost reasons and because I just speak my thoughts, I was pushed out. After that, my assistant Daniel Aeberli took over for a while. It didn’t work and he also left. But if you cannot hear and see, it doesn’t seem much better to start running….Also we noticed with horror that friendships are not always as they seem…. I’ve prepared a presentation in which I wanted the owner to clearly understand how to bring the brand back to the top. Marketing, product positioning, business plan – I had everything in the bag, but he laughed at me. Not only did he laugh, but said in fact that I had no idea of the business. Well, I do remember well, when he became the new F2-owner against all present business partners, importers and team riders, in his first presentation he said that he did not know much about windsurfing and generally was not athletic, but that he knows how to manage tax savings…”
Not able to resist, now & then, I check the F2 site. In 2013, the brand in an effort to cash the Sputnik fame of the legendary Thommen shaped board, introduced the new Sputnik range, which represent their Freerace boards category. Three months ago, I noticed that for the Sputnik they have used a photo of Sputnik 85 , a size that is not included in the 2016 pdf e-brochure (which by the way is the only way you can see the characteristics of each 2016 board).
I skimmed through the sails section…Gone are the days of the Arrows league – sob, sob.
I checked the wetsuits page and I was reminded of the cheap looking suits I spotted two years ago on the hangers of an F2 club.
Finally, I opened the site page F2 Team. This was the coup de grâce. The days of glory are gone forever. Blessed were the talented ones that gathered together & joined their powers to the ultimate achievements of the great era that comes to our mind when we refer to F2
And I wonder: For how long can just a brand name keep a company in the game?
PS The only positive addition to the F2 windsurfing equipment I have recorded for 2016, is the use of the excellent Maui Ultra Fins.