Pathetic Attention on WindSister

Reader’s Respond to Volume 8: Issue 5

Flow for 11 Years
Thank you for this quarters American Windsurfer! It is Fantastic! A Women’s issue. All of us at San Diego Windsurfing Association, SDWA, want to thank you! I am having a great summer. Isabella has been epic! I am going to need a new 4.2.
Amy Bianchi
SDWA/Editor, San Diego

PS. I have been in windsurfing flow for 11 years.


Wind Sister Again
My husband just got your Women’s issue of American Windsurfer but he for once, was not the first person who got to read it. Previous issues didn’t really have much for me to relate to, but this issue I read cover to cover. I am about to turn 38 in three days. I gave up windsurfing several years ago. We used to own a windsurfing school in the early 90’s. I live on Maui. The women’s issue was inspiring and uplifting.

It brought back for me, the feeling of camaraderie among women on the beach at Kanaha. The uplifting feeling of taking on a challenge and feeling great, not because you succeeded but because you just “did it.” The feeling that I can do anything as a women and a mother. The neat feeling that ordinary people are not only mentioned in a great magazine but they are my neighbors too. It inspires me to dig out the old gear (or nab it from my husband) and go give it a try again. To go down to the beach and see the familiar faces from the old days that weren’t mentioned in the Streaking Betty’s article (Barb Opsahl and Angela Emery), to find the European woman (Martina) who made custom bathing suits, the best I ever had. To be a sister of the wind again. Thank you American Windsurfer Editors, writers, and staff. I can’t wait for year 38! Now, anybody want to re-teach me? (Women instructor preferred)
Susan Hernandez
Maui, Hawaii
Susan Hernandez <>


Subject: Latest Issue:Pathetic
Wow! Thank God I’m not a paying subscriber. You’re latest “Women’s Issue” really nails home the fact that only butt UGLY women are into windsurfing. I was expecting to feast on eye candy when I picked up a copy, but upon further review, I was sorely disappointed. Phewww! What an embarrassment to everyone. If windsurfing ever was a dying sport, its downward spiral will accelerate after your “revealing” article “Seeking Streaking Bettys.” (Where the f*ck do you come up with your titles?) I guess coming from China, ANY white woman is hot to you, eh?
Saul Gruberwicz

We posted the letters on our website and the following two letters were copied to


TO: Saul Gruberwicz
I wonder which part of the world you come from… wait let me guess!!! you are from that UGLY country where you looks as UGLY as your mother or your grandmother which your father run away when you just borned and you eventually became a baster! Where you learn how to write and think like this…

Tell me which part of Chicago do you sail… (actually you probably don’t even know how to sail, you were sucking up on the Penthouse section and accidentally saw the American Windsurfer mag, and you were dreaming “maybe some nude women windsurfer in it YEAH! Let see…” you racist PIG.
Hommer Simpson


Your Letter to AW:
Saul: I find your comments to the Editor of American Windsurfer pretty interesting. Not merely because of your views but rather because your views suggest you don’t regularly read American Windsurfer and yet show a good deal of surprise by the article. Generally, but not always, readers of that mag already know a little bit more about the broad demographics of windsurfing that what your letter suggested you knew.

American Windsurfer discusses subjects beyond race results and the hottest gear. The magazine concerns itself with the entirety of the sport and its participants. You should know that a very large number of women windsurf regularly and they contribute tremendously to the development of our sport. Did you know that for the past few years only women have served as Executive Director of our national organization? And while fair people may differ in opinion on whether “Seeking Streaking Bettys” was the best choice of titles, I suspect that Betty’s ethnicity had nothing to do with the article as you propose. I invite your reply, and indeed your eventual participation in a windsurfing event. Once experienced I doubt you will ever again express the views not-so-subtly advocated by your letter.
Daniel E. Weiss Jr.
Attorney at Law
Louisville, KY 40207



Breeze Cake
I received your Volume 8, Issue 5 of American Windsurfer free in the mail. I struggled through the bad layout (if you add captions, why not make them readable?), misspellings (hey, buy a spell checker or use the one you already have), and articles that can best be described as marginal (although the women-oriented issue was a great idea, the article on “Surfsitters,” for example, was nothing but fluff and blatant “cheesecake”… or in windsurfing magazines maybe that should be “breeze cake”).

Nevertheless, when I saw the photographs of Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov, all was forgiven. Nice catch. Now, how about focusing a little attention on them? Here are two legendary people, real sports icons, that have a windsurfing connection. That seems worthy of an article.
George Schroeder


Thanks for Attention
I had an article published in the recent issue (Vol.8, Issue 5) and noticed a typo that you may want to note. At the very end of the article where a brief statement gave information on how to contact me, there is an incorrect email address. Instead of it says “”. I have contacted whoever is at windrush to let them know what to expect.

On another note, thanks so much for squeezing the article in. It looks great! Also, thanks for such a fantastic magazine. For a couple years women have called and emailed me about their complaints with magazine coverage for women’s interests in windsurfing. On behalf of the NW branch of the windsurfing community, this magazine edition is so appreciated. It is uplifting, shows women’s involvement in many aspects of the sport, and gives us dignity as a group. I also noticed the limited number of ads which is a great sacrifice to a magazine. Additionally, I noticed that the only picture in an ad of a person on a “beginner” board was a man at the back of the magazine indicating to men that it is ok to be seen having fun on a Kazoo. I especially appreciate the lack of ads of women with butt-crack bikinis looking like hookers (although I haven’t ever noticed this in AW, I have seen it in many other water-sport mags).

All in all, a great magazine. Thanks for your attention to this much-overlooked group of sailors. Hopefully, retailers, distributors, and other publications will take note when they see this edition and hopefully, you’ll reap the rewards for your efforts through increased sales. Keep up the good work!!
Erica Gerald
Seattle, Washington


Wong Photo
The issue of WindSurfer Vol.8 issue 3/4 had an excellent series of photographs by Darrell Wong. One of the pictures showed Alex Aguera in the water with his board at the foot of a huge wave. Presumably, Mr. Aguera came out of the situation unharmed, but what was his experience? Did he move away from his rig to avoid being hit by it? What other action did he take to minimize injury? What was his experience in the wave? Was there a sudden increase in pressure as the wave passed overhead? How long was he under water? Was it a lung-bursting situation? and did he recover his rig afterward? Was there time to get out of the way of the next wave? And so the questions keep coming.

To those of us who see only pictures of these giant waves, it would be interesting to know the experience of meeting one. Maybe you could redirect this mail if needed to get a response.
Brian Shepherd

(Go to article)

A Response from Alex
When I pulled out of the wave in front of this one the wind was swirling and flattened my sail into the water. Then there was not enough wind to water start so I did the only thing I could in the 10-15 seconds I had. I swam my rig as far towards the channel as I could. As soon as it became clear that I was not going to make it with my rig (T-minus 5 seconds to crash down), I swam about 15 feet sideways away from my rig. This was to ensure that if the

wave got me, there would be a few yards of distance between me and my equipment going over the falls.
I dove under at the last possible moment and swam down about 10 feet. Since the barrel threw right over me this was the best situation for me, I wanted to dive as shallow as possible and still make it thru the wave. In my experience, if you dive too deep to avoid a wave, it will take you a long time to get to the surface again and if the next wave is bigger you will be in the bad situation of being tired, out of breath and about to get hit by the next one as you reach the surface. As it turned out I made it under this wave and came up with plenty of time to spare before the next one.

Dave Kalama was on a ski nearby and warned me to keep swimming because of the next wave. I swam further out and did not have to dive very deep on that one either. Then Paul Miller who had just come off my boat after seeing the incident picked me up on his ski and we went in to look for my gear. My board was on the rocks where my brother Alex picked it up. My rig, brand new 5.0 and all, was never found. Hope this answers your questions. I noticed you asked about pressure build up when diving under. You do get a lot of pressure when diving under a wave in large surf. On this one, however, I don’t remember the pressure, all I can recall is the intensity of the moment and trying to dive just deep enough to go under the wave, but not so deep that I would be under very long. I was out of shape and definitely would not have fared well if the wave had taken me over the falls.
Alex Aguera
Maui, Hawaii


Good Old USA!
Thanks for getting back to me regarding my subscription and for sending me the one I am missing. I am stationed at the Naval Air Station, Sigonella Sicily, Italy. We have been very busy here supporting operations to the east in Afganistan etc. and I know we all greatly appreciate the support and prayers of everyone back in the “Good old USA!!” Thanks!!

Luckily things have calmed down a little here so that I can once again get back out windsurfing now and then. We have fabulous windsurfing here and some world class wave sailing sites too.
Take care and happy holidays.
Chuck Rhodes CAPT USN


Lifetime Subscriber!
I would just like to thank the entire staff at American Windsurfer for their generosity and kindness. I was fortunate to escape from my office in the World Trade Center on September 11. My office was on the 15th floor of the second building that was hit. Everyone in our office was able to escape and make it to safety. We did lose everything in our office. I happened to keep many of my personal belongings there as my apartment is quite small. Among the many things lost was my entire windsurfing magazine collection of various magazines ranging from two to four years of back issues.

I called American Windsurfer magazine to redirect some back issues I had ordered to be shipped to my office. As soon as I indicated my office had been in the WTC, the person on the other line asked: “Is this Scott Furr?” Carolyn and others in your staff had been worried about me! It was such a wonderful feeling to have you thinking of me.

I was also totally shocked when a few days later a box containing four years of back issues was sent to my door. It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and magazines! I will be a lifetime subscriber.
Scott Furr