Editor’s Note: 4.1

Windsurfing is a remarkably young sport.

31212_422628654275_7801213_n-1WINDSURFING is a remarkably young sport. It is no older than some of the students graduating from college this year.

Compared to snowboarding it’s an older brother, but compared to any other sport, windsurfing is merely an adolescent preparing to enter the working world of recreational institutions.

It is a sobering thought. Gone are the days of youthful bliss, carefree passion, and inconsequential existence. The free ride is over. Future success is paved with empty refrigerators, uncertainty, and hard work. Yes, the star struck universe suddenly orbits around other sexy, youthful activities, and windsurfing, as we all must entertain, is faced with the task of standing on its own.

The process is called maturation. If you look at the collective pages of this Buyer’s Guide, windsurfing is not only a handsome, well endowed sport, but it has managed to uncover impressive talent and traits of dedication in its gene pool. Like a person who has the wisdom to learn from mistakes and reshape in resilience, windsurfing is constantly evolving and redefining itself as an art form.


This issue of American Windsurfer is our first attempt to chronicle the changing face of this dynamic sport. It is an attempt to let windsurfing reintroduce itself like an artist would display a portfolio, like a college grad would submit a resumé, like a company would boast an annual report. Talents, experiences and ambitions are proudly displayed for the world to see.

You may find that there are companies or products that you expected to see that aren’t here. It’s the pitfall of a large task and not a malicious attempt to exclude anyone. An oversight should be considered an invitation to join us in the next Buyer’s Guide.

Our secondary objective is to establish a new direction in the concept of a Buyer’s Guide. The tiring redundancy of equipment tests whose ultimate accomplishment is to make you less and less happy with what you have can make windsurfing a constant discouragement.

The American Windsurfer Buyer’s Guide contains no tests or judgments. It is a Buyer’s Guide that sells sensory motivation rather than technical constipation. It is meant to be a visual experience, to show products in action, and to provide you with relevant, unbiased statistical information.
It’s no secret that windsurfing has evolved into a highly technical sport where the companies who fuel the equipment arsenals have become comparatively equal in quality and performance. American Windsurfer has always felt that the head to head evaluation that accompanies the equipment war percolates down to consumers, dividing them into haves and have–nots, rather than uniting them as windsurfers.

We have chosen to resist the temptation of promoting a single-source equipment guru who whistles the tune of perfect test results, in expectation that the consumers follow him to the water. In reality, the tune may have no relevancy to the conditions in Lakeville, USA or to Mr. & Mrs. Mass Appeal.

This Buyer’s Guide is the culmination of our efforts to find mass appeal. It represents the new consciousness to find natural power and is the symbol for a new cycle that will spiral upwards in readership, relevancy and participation.


Like the beginner who has found windsurfing to be an instant journey into wilderness, American Windsurfer is finding enjoyment in stepping away from a landlocked existence by forging a new path for what is called a Buyer’s Guide.

I hope you will enjoy viewing it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.

John Chao

by John Chao

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