Spontaneous Wacko Vis/Anima

Reader’s Respond to Volume 8: Issue 1


Spontaneous Life

Greetings, and thanks for your continued efforts to put out the best windsurfing magazine, and promote our sport.

I would like to challenge the philosophy that spilled into the latest issue, as described in “LIFESOURCE.”

How did Diane Buccheri manage to turn a photo essay on the thrill of the ocean experience into a lecture on human evolution?

How can one step into the aquatic beauty of our oceans, observe the amazing balance and design, and suggest this is the product of random natural events?

How can she charge humankind with the obligation to protect the very environments that must be exploited for “the fit to survive?” What solid evidence can she produce that the ubiquitous microbes of our habitat were once our ancestors? hat we came from the primordial muck?

The Egyptians thought that the mud flats along the Nile could spontaneously produce frogs and flies if given the right amount of time and proper circumstances. Of course “spontaneous generation” was finally debunked about 200 years ago.

Or was it? Buccheri’s description of our origin sounds as if we have come back to an explanation very similar to those ancients. Is that what she meant by “completing the circle of life?”

There is nothing noble in Buccheri’s description of our beginnings, and I find her providing only a sense of futile desperation in the prospects for our future. Although I applaud her attempt to turn our minds to the curious culture of the sea, I can only conclude that Buccheri’s problem in “LIFESOURCE” is that it starts with the wrong Source of life.

Steve Mulder, M.D.
smulder@tcsn.net

It is notable that a medical doctor such as you would challenge some of the Darwinian muses of Buccheri’s piece. It is clear that neither she nor the magazine intended to serve a lecture on the Origin of Life or to uphold a concept of “spontaneous generation.” Rather, the focus is on life forms that took millions of years to become while being possibly “spontaneously destroyed” by our human indiscretions. As to the question of whether her “Life Source” is based on creation or evolution, what she is really doing is asking the question: Preservation or destruction?

Proud to Subscribe

I have been involved in windsurfing for over 15 years.  I have subscribed to numerous national as well as local windsurfing magazines.  Yours is by far better than anything that has ever been published. The editor sounds like a fantastic person as well as a wonderful editor.  It is nice not to have to read articles by illiterate “dudes” who think that the only cool thing is to party and drink and admire the babes.

The latest Forecast editorial concerning the Circle of Change and the beautiful Lifesource piece by Diane Buccheri raise windsurfing to a new level that I am proud to subscribe to.

I don’t think most average windsurfers are as interested in the radical side of the sport as they are in enjoying the thrill of being one with nature and appreciating the ability to have clean, healthy fun with others who have a similar appreciation for the really good things in life.

Frederick Minkow
fredminkow@voyager.net

Wacko Stuff

Well your cover sucks again, for a 2001 issue you put a dead dude floating, almost like what happens when you get hit in the head with your mast. Why don’t you have this floating thing having sex with a seal or something more cool than that? It’s almost sick to know what we can expect from this mag. It looks like a 1961 National Geograpic magazine. Huh. Well let hope you get off this photoland wacko stuff and hit the surf.  Please? I’ll quit bad mouthing the mag *** P.S. I see Bubbles coming off this thing. Did it fart? Go ahead a change your magazines name to American National Geograpic Surfthing!

Budda Boxerdude

masterbeerbuzz@www32.hway.net

Vis/Anima

Please tell John Chao that his Forecast essay/editor’s notes are absolutely inspiring. Now beginning my second year as a windsurfing “professional”, I have come to count on his succinct, yet informative and piercing, perspective on the currents and issues that swirl through the world of windsurfing.

I want to feel good about my involvement in this industry. (Do we really have to call it that?). It’s not unusual for all midlife career changers such as myself to look for meaningful purpose in our endeavors. I hope to be in position some day to contribute significantly to the sport at large, and I do not think it is overreaching to hope that, through my involvement in windsurfing, I can find a way to help make the world a better place.

I share John’s tendency to look at most everythng in life with a philosophical bent and I’ve found that I can often return to his philosophical opinions in these columns as sort of a daily business devotional. They remind and inspire me to be responsible to the industry and to the environment on which it is dependent.

After all, windsurfing is always “soul surfing” if you ask me. We must respect the foundation of this activity: windsurfing is nothing less than a  private dance with the “soul-motive forces” of this planet and the Universe. These forces were first described in a sacred manner by the 17th Century astronomer, Johannes Kepler. Contemplating the night sky a century prior to Newton’s Law of Gravity, Kepler attempted to understand the nature of the force that moved the planets about their orbital paths. He used the Latin terms “vis” (motive power) and “anima” (soul) to describe this force. And that is what windsurfing is about— each session a brief joining with the actual “vis/anima” of all creation. Awesome, huh? Damn right. No wonder that first experience on a full plane, hooked in, in the footstraps, is so overwhelming to mere mortals—and utterly indescribable to the uninitiated. It’s a very rare and precious privelage, this dance with the vis/anima. Cherish it each time; protect the alter.

Steve Scoville, a wave surfing writer who understands these things, once wrote in Surfer’s Journal (v.8, Summer 99) the following description which I shall slightly rephrase: “(Wind)surfing is an orientation, an approach to life. A way of addressing challange. A culture of open-ended cheerfulness. A secret world where dedication, practice, and an understanding of the ocean (and wind’s) subtle language are rewarded with moments of pure, fluid bliss. A kinetic converstion with (the wind) and the sea. An ongoing process of stylistic, technical and cultural innovation to broaden and enlarge that conversation. Exploration of frontier. A relentless search for a relationship of joy with the (wind and water).” Amen and amen.   

Chuck Hardin

Whitecap Windsurfing Inc.

706-860-0639

www.whitecapwindsurfing.com

whitecapws@aol.com

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Style Drift

Hello from the frozen Midwest. I wanted to say I found the website useful when planning a winter trip to Margarita.

As an early subscriber, I hope that you are listening to the feedback you’re getting about the direction of the mag. I am concerned about the “style drift” that seems to be intensifying over the last few years. I am a subscriber because I love windsurfing.

I could do without;Photography of manatees, coral, sea foam, floating people, costume parties in Maui, politics, race car drivers, etc. . . The editor needs to ask himself, “Is this core to our sport?” before wasting ink.

My preferred style would be a mix between your early issues and California Boardsailor. I want unbiased news, reports, stories, and photos related to windsurfing. I enjoy the ads that have at least a casual link to windsurfing. I like well-written stories, and really don’t care whether the story is about a pro or some non-pro’s road trip to San Carlos with his buddies, as long as it is about windsurfing.

In fact, I seem to enjoy the stories about regular people (like the Gorge etc) more than the exotic locales and the pro’s.  Thanks, I feel better now.

PS: Check out my new move, it’s called the helicopter jump, photo is available online at:  http://members.nbci.com/newindsurf/trips/galary/101002fs.jpg

John Curry

jpcwndsfr@aol.com 

Windsurfmags Freak

Just got your latest edition from the local kiosk.  Actually I think it has been there for some days, but I think I missed it at first in the jungle of mags on the shelves.

Your front cover doesn’t realy have anything to do with windsrfing. Well yes water, but that can be a billion of other mags too.

I’m a freak about windsurfmags, especially in these days of cold and snow in Denmark where activity on the water is limited and inspiration is low. I buy whatever they have in the kiosk and believe me these mags are about twice the price here.

My wonderings about your mag are a lot.

It seems, at times, to be more an edition of the “National Geographic” with articles about windsurfing, or dosens of letters from satisfied customers, telling you that you are great. But on the other hand you dare to print articles like “The Insider” which actually are goig against some dominating interests in the busiess.

In general your pictures are very very beautifully selected. I went to the local netcafe today just to get disappointed. I’ve read your article about the 2000+1 test and couldn’t wait to go to your web to wiev the results, but as I could have told myself, IT COSTS. . . of course, but did you mention at first?

Here in Scandinavia my forefathers went across the North Sea about a thousand years ago, to explore Iceland and Greenland, in open wooden boats, no matter the season or the conditions. Those were tough guys and excellent sailors (and some of them dead too…) Your article about the TAWR seemed to me to be an article about some kids trying to make windsurfing unnecessarily complicated, end then not really succeeding what basically never was an impressive idea.

Going far on any vessel and make a record out of it, means that you pack whatever you may need, go ahead unsuopported and by the moment you step off the vessel it’s over.

I mean even if I cross the local fiord of one mile 20.000 times i can not claim to having singlehanded a surfboard around the world, though the distance is the same…

Well I find your surfmag an interesting alternative tho other mags. Buying it is a little gambling, but when it’s  good it’s very good and when it’s not, well….

Per Frederiksen

frederiksenper@hotmail.com 

So Into It!

Just a quick note. First e mail  I have ever sent , computers haven’t been my thing. Wanted to thank you for putting the dream of windsurfing in my heart.

It took a while to come to fruition but this summer was amazing. Had to take a couple of weeks in solitude so I rented a windsurfer. I stayed in the summer over a boathouse. Man, what an adventure. I am so into it!

I still went out in my semi dry suit on Thanksgiving  Day. What cold?  Well I could go on and on, but my practical side isn’t sure you will get this so I don’t want to put too much energy until I know it works. Getting my son into it. Daughter too.

One other reason I wanted to contact you is the Skimbat seems like a beautiful way to not have to wait  to ride the wind. My son is psyched to use it with his snowboard. Is worth the investment  for me?

Don Fecteau

jcohen2@uswest.net


YES the Skimbat is pure WIND surfing!

WinGsurfing

As a result of your recent article on Wingsurfing, I have developed an absolutely unquenchable and increasingly threatening craving to learn more and to try it out. Work, personal and impersonal hygiene, relationship are becoming impertinent distractions as I pathetically play and replay Skimbat streamed videos. It is as though Da Vinci’s fanciful etchings of human flight machines have quietly appeared, and have been barely noticed.

I am interested in buying a Skimbat through the WindMALL, but would like to test this sport out first.

Would you please tell me whether there is a time and place in the Northeast to see this sport firsthand? I live in New York, and can easily travel to New England, Midaltantic states.

My job execution and ability to select a mate to produce progeny hang in the balance. Please help.

Giles Kavanagh

giles.kavanagh@mail.com

C’mon up but be warned— it may escalate your problems.

Bigger Type

Couple of things: One: Please, for us old timers in their 50’s make the type bigger or attach special free cardboard glasses so that we can read the stuff after a wet day of shredding!  Two: Let us all know the site address of the momma’s boy baby that got scared by a helicopter and now is threatening a good pilot’s life style, not to mention all of the search and rescue operations that Peter might not be doing anymore because of this “waa” “waa” stooge who needs to be back in Disneyland doing it with Goofie.

Norris Palmer

Grapevine, TX

Sorry, smaller type has allowed us to deliver more content. We’ll try to do better in the future.

Helicopter Heat

  I read the little blurb about the helicopter pilot flying over Hookipa, and being a pilot myself, I can only imagine what he is going to be going through.

However, I searched the net looking for the man’s website with the incriminating photos and comments, and can’t find it anywhere. Can you bounce me the link? I’m interested as to where the FAA is going to be getting their grounds for action against the pilot, etc.

On a side note, unless there are local ordinances against it, flying low over water is no problem as long as you are away from causing harm, etc. to property or life if there is any sort of mishap, hardware failure, etc.  Being that Hookipa is so populated with sailors on the water, jumping, kites (are there kites at Hookipa??), etc. I can see where the FAA might find some problems.

All pilots fear ANY action or investigation by the FAA. Thanks!

David C. Troup

dtroup@Solinus.com

We passed the address  and the following exchange was copied to the magazine.

Hello there!

I was browsing through your website, and saw the report on http://www.maui.net/~mauiwind/MWR/news/00-09-17.htm concerning helicopter operations over Hookipa.

As a pilot and a sailor (I’m located in the Midwest), I’m concerned about your reporting and subsequent actions in contacting the FAA, etc. Do you have any idea of how the FAA will ruin that pilot’s way of life, let alone what he has invested in flight training, aircraft and hours??

Windsurfing is a community sport, filled with level minded reasonable folks. Did you contact the pilot and photographer(s) about this issue before you contacted the various organizations/people listed on your web page? I know in the lifetime of the sport, there have been many helicopter and other photographic operations in the capture of our sport on film and video, but why suddenly pick on a single pilot?

You write, “This kind of crap has gone on long enough.”  Who are you to decide this??

You continue, “…sponsor driven windsurfers have attracted certain whore media”

Whore media?  Your sensationalism of the event is the most ‘whoring’ activity I’ve seen yet!  Let’s take a look at the blatant images of women and suggestive sexual activity on your site.  See image at bottom right on your page.

In some circles, your site qualifies to be blocked for it’s sexual content and exploitation of women. And what’s wrong with being ‘sponsor driven’? On your own site, you have sponsor ads plastered everywhere and you talk about supporting your sponsors as much as possible.

I’m a pilot, and pilots have a responsibility for safe conduct and flight operations. There’s no dispute there. However, I disagree with your ‘whistle blowing’ attitude which might result in a pilot loosing his way of making a living, etc. when you could have handled it in a more responsible, sailing/sponsor/photographer community-minded manner.

David

PS – I am in NO way affiliated with the helicopter pilot or the photographer, etc.

Clunky & Obsolete

Bruce Kendall worries that if the right board (Mistral IMCO rather than Formula) is not chosen for the Olympic competition, “We may see our sport disappear from the Olympics by 2008.”

He may be right, but would that be a bad thing? The Olympics scarcely showcase windsurfing to advantage! To the contrary, as Kendall correctly observes, Olympic venues “usually produce light and shifty breezes.” Watching a fleet of clunky, obsolete longboards drifting along in “ two to ten knots of wind” is far more embarrassing, in my opinion, than having no race at all. Casual observers of Olympic sailboarding must think the sport is duller than curling.

Furthermore—not to pick on curling-to be selected as an Olympic sport is hardly the acolade it used to be. To the contrary, opting out of the Olympics would send a much clearer image about indsurfing.

John S. Whitman

Peaks Island, Maine

One-Design?

So what’s all the question over One-Design and Formula? How many different fleets of sailboats are raced in the Olympics? I know there are several different types of boats raced, so why just have One-Design or Formula….why not both?

I would like to know what the REAL problem is. Is it lack of funds or just political…we all know the new Formula175 will plane in anything a one design will plane in. Thanks

Mark Rush

windsurfingantigua@hotmail.com

Technically your argument is correct. The Formula can plane in anything that a One-Design can. But the question is not planning. The issue is that in subplaning conditions, the One-Design is a raceble platform while the Formula is not. It would be great to have two classes in the Olympic. Maybe someday we will. But the problem is financial and political. The yachting world run the sailing events in the Olympics. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is pressuring the ISF (International Sailing Federation) to cut back on the number of fleets and participants because yachting does not generate enough revenue for the IOC. It it was left to the leaders of the ISF, they would have gladly chosen the Formula, because it was colorful, exciting and on the cutting edge. AND, if it so happens that the windsurfing could not deliver results because of a lack of wind, the class would have eliminated itself automatically.  Fortunately the ISF is a democratic institution and the national governing bodies of each contry voted to stay with the One-Design until a better solution is presented. ED

It’s Reining

Over the years I must admit I have frequently been entertained with spelling errors in your magazine.  But “Bjorn Dunkerbeck rained”  (Page 32, 2nd column, 2nd full paragraph) was especially amusing and I wanted to draw your attention to this mistake.  (There are two other errors on the same page)

Seriously, you need someone to proofread your material–spell check does not pick up on the incorrect use of homonyms. Spelling errors (airs?) and typos are inexcusable in a printed publication in which you have invested much time and money.

Another pet peeve of mine is the use of an apostrophe in the word “its”. Remember a very simple rule.  If it reads as “it is” use the apostrophe. Otherwise, NOT–NEVER EVER!!!!! Don’t be offended please.  I see this misused in all publications—I have even caught it in a Time magazine.

I’m still chuckling over the vision of Dunkerbeck raining–and for 12 years!

Sharon Chickering

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

It is hard to believe but we actually have two or three proofreaders. Not to make any excuses, but in the rush of deadlines, sometimes uncorrected files find their way to the printer while the corrected version sits in the computer saying: “What about me?”

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In Spain

I will be going to Ibiza, Spain in April, and wanted to do some windsurfing while I’m there. I was wondering if you knew anything about sailing in the area or of any surf shops/rental places. Surfing the net has yielded minimal results. Any imput you can give would be greatly apreciated.

Rud Niles

New York, NY

Tarifa. If you are not far away, it is worth the trip.

That was quick! Thanks for the responce. I came across Tarifa as well, but don’t know if I can make it. The new high maintenance girlfriend doesn’t sail. The sacrafices we make to get to nude beaches… Thanks again.

Looking for Light

First off, let me say you’ve got the best mag around; no BS, just straight talk.  Keep up the good work.  Secondly, I’m trying to track down some info and general reaction to the AHD 74.  I’m looking at that for a light wind board but haven’t been able to find much feedback on it.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

Leon Whitley

Galveston, TX

See www.americanwindsurfer.com/tests/1999tests/index.html it has the AHD72.

A Message to Parents

My son Vincent has taken this step, and I was amazed how fast he was learning. The most important thing that helped him through the first week was his private lessons with Roger Jurriens from Roger’s Windsurf Place, Aruba. This guy gave him three lessons. The first lesson he was on the board in the water after only 5 minute basic info on shore.

After three lessons from Roger he has the confidence to try on his own, with me at a distance behind. After three weeks (each day one hour) he is standing in his footstraps and is turning on his own. Now he wants a harness!

The message I want to give to all those parents who want their kids on the water, let them have some basic training from the beginning! It will cost you but it will have a great affect on them, preferably with someone who is not related and is a windsurf teacher. (Tensions can occur if you teach them yourself, this is not helping him to push farther to get there.)  Vincent is five years old.

Jack de Brabander

Hillegom, Holland

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