“No man is an island, entire of itself”, is a concept far more relevant today than when John Donne authored it in the 16th century.
Consider this: as our world shrinks, the idea of an autonomous existence is fading into a sea of conformity. No matter where you go, the demand for modern–day conveniences has made it almost unthinkable for anyone to live independently. Technology itself has evolved into an independent being, and ironically, people remain connected to people over a network of technological dependence.
Perhaps the last bastions of independence and originality that we have yet to overcome are those of nature and the creative expression of the individual. These qualities reflect the presence of a higher existence not of our own making. They are original souls that sparkle like glimmering islands in the flooding sea. They surround us and liberate us from our own human bondage.
Windsurfing is one sport that nurtures this individuality. Rather than taming nature, windsurfing releases us into it. It allows us to escape the inbred conformity of our daily world and forces us to interact and to play in nature. We are the rigging of the sail that meets the wind and keeps us balanced on the water. As we find harmony among these natural forces, we rediscover a primordial dependency we once knew.
As you read this issue of American Windsurfer, your peaceful idea of harmony may be shattered. Harmony is action. The symbiotic relationship that the radical windsurfer, or surfer, has with the ocean needs to be harmonic if it is to exist at all. The relationship, and therefore the experience, is different for each individual.
The expressions of individuality by each of our feature subjects are coincidentally brought together by the fact that they are all islanders. Their accomplishments soar high above the windblown gateways of our everyday enjoyment. They are the radical islanders whose lifestyle cuts through the rules of conformity.
Their on-the-water expressions define the image of our sport and fuel the fantasies of millions of windsurfers whose backdoor conditions don’t measure up to their expectations.
Though the radical world of windsurfing is one expression of individuality, American Windsurfer magazine also upholds a value of our own radical individuality. If you think that by publishing the radical aspects of the sport, we have succumbed to the conforming forces prescribed by other windsurfing publications, you are wrong. We have not changed our course from promoting windsurfing on grass-roots level. By the same token, we are not willing to alienate a familiar form of expression just for the sake of being different.
Therefore, no magazine is an island onto its own and we won’t pretend that we can escape the confines of conformity. Yet, within these confines, we can identify the treasures found on all islands—radical or windless—and make them glimmer for all see.
We are windsurfers seeking balance and growth with a beast of increasing challenge. Rather than conquering and then homogenizing the beastly ways, our goal is to find harmony and equality by increasing our level of skill to fit the challenge before us.
— John Chao