The Community section in the Learners guide defines the following windsurfing entities (or assets) : retailers, professional instructors forums, email groups, associations, clubs blogs, websites all of which are integral parts of our real community. Taking information from the guide to see where we live and what we do is a study in demographics. For me, the Community directory serves a more basic function: helping everyone find everyone else. Let's breakdown some of the U.S.
Florida | California | Gorge | Hatteras | Maui | NY | Texas
- How many windsurfing business entities? 15 | 17 | 21 | 6 | 26 | 2 | 5
- How many non business groups ? 6 | 7 | 5 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 8
- How many websites/blogs? 6 | 14 | 6 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 1
- How many places to rent gear and or get lessons? 10 | 8 | 9 | 4 | 11| 1 | 4
Speedsurfing Blog demonstrates the new look. If you're a little intimidated by the responsibility of keeping your blog fresh with new material, then share the writing with your friends like this blog does: Miami Windsurfer - Addiction Support Group (also using a new options). Graham Ezzy has one more year to go at Princeton. He has a new blog: surf-matic waves, culture, aphorisms.
Sailing blind | Xavier Mandico, 42, lost his sight many years ago because of a genetic disease and exposure to high altitude solar radiation. Unafraid of sports, he's relatively new to windsurfing. Hector Garcia with the Surf Center, Arte Vida in Tarifa, Spain said, "I thought, how will I teach and navigate this man? Gradually, I became convinced and confident that this was not a frivolous whim." He worked together with Mandico to develop a program so other blind windsurfers could experience the thrill of speed, wind and salt water. Using a radio in a waterproof bag strapped to his chest, Mandico was able to receive verbal instruction while on the water. Absent the radio, a sighted windsurfer would sail close enough to yell instructions, which does not work as well because of the noise of the wind and waves.
Blind windsurfers must have knowledge of the environment, weather conditions and of course, a good communication system. Teaching is basically the same as with a sighted person. The blind athlete must create in his mind a map of his immediate environment. Trusting your navigator/instructor is vital. Finally, using a slightly floatier board helps immensely. The only one who has reservations about this endeavor is Maka, Mandico's Detroit trained guide dog, who must be restrained every time his master leaves the beach. Photos
How to set up an Event
Postcript | Seltz, recently wrote for the Echo Press about his research on the early days of windsurfing.
Robby Naish and Kai Lenny at the event to entertain with some no wind SUPing was pretty cool.