windsurfing is much more widespread in (most parts of) Europe than
plain surfing (lack of surf.....). Windsurfers don't want to be
confused with the boat sailor, that "sailor" or "sailboarder" is not very
popular. "Windsurfer" is a long word, thus the short form "surfer".
Part of the reason may also be that in German there is no good word for
Windsurfing, the english word is used. Even the largest magazine is called "SURF".
However there is a word for plain surfing ("wellenreiten = waveriding") which
Hang Loose !
There is nothing plain or ordinary or regular about riding waves, no
matter what your vehicle of choice! I prefer to talk about "surfing with
a sail" or "surfing without a sail" to distinguish how I rode the waves
that day. Sometimes it's "lay-down-and-paddle surfing" too.
But then, I'm just a Gringo.
S> Why do Europeans call windsurfing surfing? There is a
S> difference. This is a serious question.
For example, here in Sweden, where I live, you can't go surfing; the waves are
too small, and they appear only whith onshore to sideshore wind. Because of
that most "surfers" are windsurfers (the conditions are good for windsurfing).
And when you don't hafe hardly any surfers, it's shorter to call the
windsurfers surfers (and windsurfing surfing).