Re: Mailman’s Miscue, Humble Requests, and Wind-Driven Drivel

Response from Readers on Issue 4.2

(Go to Volume 4: Issue 2)

No Cinderella Story
Thank you for your insightful article on Bjorn Dunkerbeck. I hope that the following is not too long, but I wanted to not only  commend your piece but also indirectly address the bit of rubbish run in Outside Magazine a couple of months ago. Of course, I wrote them too, but they didn’t have the balls to print my letter.

Although Bjorn’s record of eight overall world titles is almost unprecedented in sporting history, he seldom gets the coverage he deserves. The media seems to prefer flamboyance over consistency, and “Cinderella” stories over victory through years of hard work. Your piece finally puts things in perspective and gives us a glimpse of the real man.

At a time when professional athletes in other sports are throwing tantrums, spitting at fans, and being arrested for drugs, rape, and even murder, the worst that can be said of Dunkerbeck is that he isn’t easy to interview (at least in English). Yet those like you, who make the effort to know him, find an honest, dedicated, sportsman motivated more by the love of windsurfing than money  or fame. Some people are put off by his directness. Some are jealous of his domination. Perhaps some here would prefer an American hero. He has been criticized for not being “marketable” enough, but while other sports stars are going on strike over multi-million dollar contracts, Bjorn works to better himself. Therein lies his greatness. He is loyal to his sponsors and respectful of his competitors. He does what he loves most, better than anyone ever has. If others resent his success, tough. He’s earned it.
Brett Landry
Neil Pryde USA

You do a great job with your mag. Please keep your independence from the corporations by not going overboard with the equipment tests and vacation reviews. It gets me stoked just to see killer big photos of everything from Maui wavesailing to longboard racing and cruising. I really liked the long in-depth instructional articles that were more common about five years or so ago.

Anyways, in my opinion, you have the best windsurfing mag around. I hope this letter is a help.
Tom Jefferson
F.S.U. Sailing Association

Good Mix-up
Just got your latest issue. If the great memories of Aruba were fading over the past few months, they certainly came back in full color after a short read-through.

Actually, there was a little mix-up in mailing. Somehow my copy was sent to an address a few blocks away in Manhattan. I’m not sure to complain or thank you, though, as the very cute woman who received my copy and called me to come pick it up looks like she may become my windsurfing partner for the summer. Anyway, just in case, could you check that my address is right in your files? Thanks.
Andy Raskin

We’ll check your address Andy, but only if you’ll clarify a few simple points for us to prevent this sort of mix-up from occurring again:
1. Is the recipient of your copy a windsurfer?
2. If she is not already a windsurfer did you use your status as a windsurfer as leverage to get a date?
3. If she is a windsurfer, what is the chance that in a city of 8 million people, that your copy of AW got delivered to another windsurfer?
4. Why would she go to all of the trouble to look you up and call you, just to give the copy away? ED


Sailin’ the City
Walkin down Adams on a sunny 85 degree April day towards the tallest building in the world with inverted flying vertical neck-tie from tremendous hot gusty blasts and up to the 66th floor and finally to 80 for a five minute obligatory fake corporate citizenary appearance and then down in a flash and a sprint to Dearborn to catch the crowded midday 22 bus north to the park. Dust fills the air and the eyes from construction a quarter mile away as I race to my apartment to load the car. This much wind is rare here and necessitates ignorance of prior obligations- gotta go quick to the lake full of confused white rolling waves. First fight traffic jam cars and roadblock construction over bridge through tolls past pot hole roads with holes upon holes-no road to be found and an hour later to Wolfe Lake where 15 sailors have escaped, flying over swells with bounce and catapult collision at speeds that’ll make you shake. Finally rigged after sail twice blown away high and far and violently down the beach. Walk out in the water now up to my chest and raise sail to spitting white gust and up with a surge planing smooth on small new fast board and tiny sail. Sometimes struggling and struck thwack smashed in the head this graphite is hard but flying fast through snarling swells now and up towards the clouds and sky turns yellow  black with rain turns to hail and sailors all wet running and rolling up sails and reload the car for drive to the city through lightning downpour. Satisfied hands shredded and happy-  a day spent pushing limits instead of elevator buttons.
Stream of consciousness by:
Chicago, Illinois

Behind Every Good Man…
Great magazine. I like it so much that I managed to get a subscription at the Kalmus Can-Am show this weekend which my wife pointed out on my return that I already subscribe. Don’t ask. Can I extend my current subscription please? Thanks.

P.S: Truly awesome photos in the Bjorn issue. Why is it never windy at the Kalmus show? The highlight of the show was watching the Bouncers at Pufferbellies ask Robert Teriitehau for ID! He kept asking, why?, I guess drinking age is not the thing wherever he is from.
Jim Fitzpatrick

Humble Request
I am attempting to teach reading to two 12-year-old dyslexic boys. I think that I’ve hit on a way to let enthusiasm for the subject matter over-ride these kids debilities. By presenting them with stuff to read that actually interests them, their systems kinda kick into overdrive and they read and respond well to what they learn. Do you have three, all the same, back issues that you could donate to our effort? These boys hang the Hood River area of the Columbia Gorge, so they are windsurf enthusiasts.  I’ll keep you posted of our progress.   Thanks.
J.D. Smith
Weston, Oregon

Three copies of Volume 2 Issue 3, our kid’s issue are on their way. We hope that you enjoy them. Keep us posted on your progress! ED

Fin Fan
My Korean friends were quite impressed with the full-page spread on the Fins’ International fins in the recent American Windsurfer magazine.

Please send me whatever type of brochures, catalogs, price lists, and order blanks that you have for the Fins’ ™ products.
Christopher Zeitvogel US-7212
On Duty at the Frontier of Freedom
Uijongbu, Korea


Surfin’ the Snowdrifts
I found the page “Iowa sailors on Ice” at ice.html. It includes a picture that is followed by the line: “Surfin’ the snowdrifts, Iowa style.” And there are no additional facts belonging to the picture.

Only, if you pay a lot of attention in observing the picture properly, you realize the curious large fence in the background. Beyond the fence there seems to be a totally different environment influenced by a different climate, compared to the scenery in front of the fence.

In 1987 I tested a snow windsurf board that brings me up to 40 mph without any problems. On higher speeds, spinouts often occurred. In the following years the European climate changed. There has not been a sufficient covering of snow in order to exercise surfing on snow. This year the situation in Berlin has changed. We had ice and snow for a large period.

Then I found a notice in the Jan./Feb. 96 issue of the magazine Surf. There is reported on page 16 that two Austrian guys are able to jump as far as 33 feet with a ski based sled and a surf sail. An additional photo shows the sequence after leaving the jump hill. I called one of them and he told me that they tried to jump as far as possible in 1995 whereas, this year they started to jump as high as they dare.

I would like to get much more information on Snow Surfing because it could not be exercised in the past years in due to the change of climate. I would like to get in touch with Americans who practice Snow Surfing.

I’m also interested in windsurfing on frozen lakes covered by more than a foot of snow. So if you can help me to find conceptions of surf sailing on snow, that allows speeds of more then 40 mph as well as close turns, I would like to know about it.

My question is, what is possible with a windsurf sail on the snow ground in general? Are there special shapes which allow high speeds on one hand and close turns at low speeds on the other? If there is anyone who knows about a location where people are used to sailing on snow or other facts relating to it, let me know about it! Also, where can I find a snow windsurf board for sale?
Udo Fritze
Berlin, Germany

Udo, try contacting the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association: P.O. Box 414 Jamestown, RI, 02835 USA or Charles Csepregi at Snowfer, Inc.: 175 Elmwood Ave., Willowdale, Ontario M2N 3M3 Canada. ED

Winter Down Under
Well, another winter is rolling in down under and it’s looking good. A windless fall makes for a nukin’ winter. 13th Beach, Pt. Impossible pumping at mast high, but more importantly, cross-off and perfect. But so damn cold most people wouldn’t believe it’s Australia! Five mls of Rip Curl just to feel human. Sail, snowboard, surf sail, snowboard, surf.
. . a student’s work is never done!
Tom Reynolds
Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia

Logo Theft?
Why were the logos removed from Robby’s sail on the cover of the Buyer’s Guide? Was that per his request?

Also can we get updates on KT’s progress as she learns how to windsurf? I think this would help beginner’s, especially women, identify with someone who is learning and has arguably the best teacher in the world…

(Rhode Island John)

The Gaastra logos were removed from Robby Naish’s sail on the cover of our 1996 Equipment Guide since Robby has his own sail company now, Naish Sails Hawai’i. And to answer the question, yes, Mr. Naish did request the alteration. ED

Trying to Enter
I just was at the CanAm Expo on the Cape and I signed up for a full year’s subscription of American Windsurfer. I would love it if I could still be entered in your sail give away, I will happily fill out whatever information you need just e-mail me back. Thanks and I love your magazine.
Gina Lalli

Since you subscribed at the CanAm show, you are automatically entered in the win a sail giveaway. In fact, at the show we even got two more sails, a Neil Pryde MPR, signed by Team Neil Pryde and a UP Sail signed by Robert Teriiteheau. So, as a subscriber, you are entered for all three drawings! ED


Re: The Sail Giveaway
Thanks for the reply! I eagerly await the drawing. My boyfriend managed to get all the gear in “the split” and now I get to choose all my own gear! (I just bought a Fiberspar 4000 and a Gaastra 2x, and won the Chinook boom at the CAN AM thing on Sunday- I can`t wait for the weekend!)

Some day I would love to chat about the un-tapped market for female novice windsurfers and how magazines like yours are the perfect place to start to encourage and inspire more women to sail. As a dive instructor, sailor, skier and windsurfer – I find that these industries have just begun to really open up to women.

I am crazy busy at work and have to run, but look forward to hearing from you.
Gina Lalli

Sorry to hear that you lost all of your gear in “the split”. Just think about the look on your ex-boyfriend’s face when you go screaming past him on all of your hot new equipment! All of the possibilities for attracting more women to windsurfing wouldn’t fit on this page, so I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Perhaps other interested parties who read this can contact you via e-mail? ED

Settle This…
Can you settle an argument and let me know the length of the original Wind-surfer? Many thanks for any help!
Nick Field

Well Nick, that’s not the type of information that sits at the front of our collective brain, but lucky for you (or your friend) we happen to have one of the originals in a back room here at AW Headquarters. So, we went out with tape measure and this is what we came up with…12′ 1″.  Hope this helps. ED

Keep those great letters coming! -ED