BY NOW YOU”VE PROBABLY NOTICED that the issue of American Windsurfer you now hold in your hands is a little heavier than the ones that you’ve seen before. Way back in October, when the water was warm and the afternoons windy, the editorial staff at AW sat down to map out the next issue. Looking out the window at the bare New Hampshire landscape, a certain member of our staff who shall remain nameless, suggested that for every inch of snow we get this winter, we’ll build a page for the next issue. Guess what folks, it’s been a heavy winter, and that certain staff member has disappeared on a snowboard.
As the inches of snow piled up, the volume got thicker and our contributors, with computers, pens, cameras, and shovels in hand, appeared to dig us out of the drift against our doors.
The first sign of light was the image from the lens of photographer Patrick McFeeley that has become our first ever full color cover. McFeeley caught Robby Naish and his favorite helicopter pilot playing cat and mouse over Ho’okipa. Luckily, neither one of them got caught by the other. You might also remember Patrick for his other American Windsurfer first–a full color portfolio in Issue 2.1.
In a moment of escape, publisher John Chao tripped to an exotic island (naturally) and put up a sign on the beach that read “Get Your Picture Taken.” It wasn’t long before he had a line of wind soakedmen women and children waiting for their turn in front of the camera. Most were really good sports since it wasn’t explained quite what the pictures would be used for. Some of them might be surprised to find their image in “Profiles of a Windsurfer.” You might be surprised to see who your average windsurfers are.
Associate Editor Jud Bartlett was busy coaching young ski racers at a local mountain when a phantom phone call invited him to South Africa for two weeks to cover the 1995 IMCO One Design World Windsurfing Championships. Having just finished a B.A. in Geography at Middlebury College in the spring, Bartlett felt that a trip to South Africa would compliment his repertoire of international travel to places like Australia, Switzerland and France. While his racers froze in the snow, Bartlett jumped on a 14 hour flight and into the South African summer.
There, Bartlett discovered British photographer Kos Evans, who had been hired by organizers as the official photographer for the event. A take charge type of woman, Kos loves to be put into challenging positions as a photographer—she once tried to convince a jet boat pilot to let her straddle the cockpit in order to get shots from the driver’s point of view, while the boat was moving! The pilot, being more afraid for her safety than she was, wouldn’t let her on. It was this kind of attitude that Kos brought to South Africa and back to the pages of AW.
Always one for new experiences, Annabella Hoffman (interview Issue3.4) decided that it was time to make her first visit to the US mainlandand dropped by our offices one snowy evening.With Annabella came the Blizzard of ‘96 and in the time spent waiting out the snow, Annabella put pen to paper, writing and illustrating her piece “The Zen Way of Becoming a Windsurfer.”
Another way of becoming a windsurfer is to take a clinic. If you’ve ever (or never) thought of taking a clinic, Todd M. Eversole is here to explain why you should consider it. Eversole, a Minneapolis, Minnesota native, now calls the road his home as an instructor for ABK Sports and Sailboard Vacations Aruba.
You’ve probably also noticed in addition to the number of pages, the abundance of pictures of equipment. This was a big step for American Windsurfer and a task that has proven to be logistically demanding. We intended to present display images of all of the equipment in, on, around, or remotely related to, windsurfing. It was a daunting task and one that looked great on paper until we found that a lot of people in the windsurfing industry hibernate for the winter. The result is something that we hope you’ll think looks great on paper anyway—some 1996 equipment, clothing, destinations, and accessories that not only show you what the new stuff looks like in a showroom, but what it looks like in action.
Companies sent us images of their products, and shops sent us their information and logos. Our contributors for the equipment guide of the section are background figures, in some ways invisible to the consumer eye, but in other ways, highly visible. They are the photographers and copywriters whose talents create images for companies. You see them everyday in windsurfing brochures and product catalogs, but they are very rarely recognized. In the cases where the identity of the photographer is known, we have done our best to give proper credit.
Perhaps our biggest contributor of all for this issue has been mother nature. She has given us the wind and the water for windsurfing and inch after inch of snow to produce our biggest issue yet. As for that missing snowboarder, we’re sure that when the snow melts and the wind picks up, our colleague will be back.