Editor’s Note: Issue 8.2

For me, this is how windsurfing will change the world.


THERE IS MUCH SOUL in this edition even though it is our annual equipment review issue. While I say this, I’m trying to figure out why it is that I feel this way. After all, when 80% of this magazine is dealing with cold hard analytical results of equipment reviews, how in the world can I feel this way?

It must be because of all the surrounding circumstantial packaging that went into this issue. The letters to the editor, the WindTracks articles, the “Right Stuff” from test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base etc., etc. Still, I think there is some undeniable freshness to this issue and the test results we present. Why?

Well, for one, I think the people who conducted and produced the test really cared and they enjoyed their work. Two, I think we as a magazine respect what they did and display it with reverence and conviction. Three, the amount of equipment was limited to those companies willing to subject their equipment to a fair and unbiased test. (You should be surprised at how many companies would not trust this process, and didn’t!) Their absence proved to be an advantage for us, and the amount of gear we ended up testing was really the limit of what could be reasonably achieved.

It may be presumptuous for me to think that bringing soul and fun to the test is quite an achievement. Still, it is an accomplishment we will savor for the rest of the year. It gives us confidence knowing that a fair test is possible. It also gives us a glimpse of what it is not possible. Certainly next year, we will start limiting the amount of equipment we will test. It is impractical to test it all and it is impossible for consumers to digest it all even if we did. You can be sure that what we choose to test will receive our complete attention.

The formula we found this year is a good one. The title, “Test 2000+1 Feedback Festival” captures the essence of our mission. It is an equipment feedback session but it is also a party that celebrates the sport and the varied equipment that provides us the joys of windsurfing. Hence, the Festival.

Such joy should be the focus of this sport and we intend to uphold it. For without joy, everything is work. The new millennium is really here now and what better way to start off the new age than to be thinking about life’s motivations? Windsurfing is a motivation. It brings abundant joy!

This magazine brings joy to me because of the challenge and because of the flow. It is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it is by far (excluding my kids) the source of my biggest JOY.


This taste of joy leaves such a long lasting impression that it blasts through all gates of hardship and negativity. It will be the one sensation I will remember when the lights dim and the pearly gate to a new world awaits me.

In many ways, the dawning of the new millennium does await us and the strength of this crazy sport called windsurfing is the undeniable joy it brings to the hearts and souls of its practitioners. Because of this, this sport will prevail. It will not only prevail:  it should become the singular icon for the Aquarian age. It is written in the stars. The Aquarian Age is the age of Joy, of a higher frequency existence that is symbolically illustrated as water becoming steam. The Aquarian symbols are water and air.

What this means to windsurfing is that more and more people will gravitate to this frequency of wanting joy in their lives and are willing to pay the price for it. They are our future companions and they will find their way to knock on our doors.

Such was the case for me.

In the early days of this year, the first email registered in my computer was a note from a stranger by the name of Chuck Hardin. Perhaps it is an omen that he would be the first messenger of the new age. Perhaps it is a glimpse of what awaits us. His letter can be found on page 22 and subsequently his testimonial can be found on page 36. Judge it for yourselves. For me, this is how windsurfing will change the world.

John Chao

by John Chao

Publisher / Editor is a former photojournalist for GEO, National Geographic and Time-Life Magazines.