Boardhead
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    The publisher’s latest environmental sound off:


        If ever there was a time to get involved in something far reaching, meaningful and imperative, I have to think that now is the time.  Sure it’s hard to know where to begin.  We as an alleged civilization are imposing so many crimes upon our planet and each other.  But the most recent nuclear catastrophe, (right up there with watching the planet’s ice melt away) should be a huge wake up call -- the clearest signal yet that nuclear power, however seductive the arguments for may seem, is not in keeping with continued life on this planet.  Even in the seemingly unlikely event we ever figure out what to do with the four meltdowns, the ever growing pile of waste products and provide protection from terrorist acts, accidents and natural events, these primitive and unstable technologies are so obviously untenable. 


        I have to think our responsibility is to make our beliefs and intentions known.  To read and learn.  To conserve energy as if it’s production and transmission was poisoning the scene.  As nearly all of it seems to be doing.  So let me appeal to you to read up on the Price-Anderson act if you don’t already know about it.  (I heard about it on NPR)  A search will yield quite a bit and Wikipedia’s discussion is a good start.  If you too find yourself in disbelief what it asserts, write your representatives, your congresspeople, your friends and anyone else you think might consider doing what they can to shape our future decisions on our energy policy.  Even if I remove my emotional bias and offer my appeal from a strictly good business perspective, it’s seems absolutely clear that the subsidies the Nuclear Industry lobbied for are going far to create the false perception of profitability and that they are suppressing investment and research in safer, more appropriate forms of energy. 


       Having the subsidies and protections in Price-Anderson repealed for future projects will go far in leading to fair market competition between the various options.  That’s even before you figure in the multi hundred billion dollar losses resulting from the sort of catastrophes we are watching unfold in Fukushima and Chernobyl.  Losses that in this country, would have for the most part been put on we the taxpayers -- as the Price-Anderson bill provides liability caps to the Nuclear Industry to protect them from having to stand accountable for losses above a shockingly low threshold. 


       Repealing Price-Anderson is a fairly simple strategy that will go far to lead the business community to look to wind, solar, methane, increased efficiency, micro generation, passive designs and the other alternatives with far greater interest and focus. 

   

        With respect and gratitude.       


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    Still in this, the Fall 2014 issue: 

                

                                      “An Innerview”:         - Giving interview is risky enough.  But doing yourself has to be the height of ego.           

               Going with the wind:      - I haven’t even started the “Mega goes ballistic” action figure yet, but the hats and shirts are in.

                                Gear tweakage:        - My most promising fin project, OCRD and that gizmo rant on the Mono.

                       Portfolio:                 - Shooting on the fly, the sailor’s perspective

           The third annual Nelscott Challenge:              - Finally, a big wave contest for wind powered Boardheads.

                    And recently added just below:     - My latest rant about us all just getting along.

    A Kitesurfer’s bill of rights: 


   (This is from awhile back, but still seems to be holding up.)


    I can see how it might seem to the uninitiated that Kitesurfers have no rights.  That they get no respect and that they’re just not feeling the love.

    On Maui, they were quickly relegated to the nastiest little stretch of beach on the North shore -- the end of the line, right next to the wastewater treatment plant.

    Hatteras has them half a mile south of “The Canadian Hole”.  No parking lot.  No showers.  Nothing but a sand road and a crowd of other kiters.  And now you need a permit to park on the sand. 

    Here in Pistol River, the nearest designated kite beach is either forty miles to the south in Crescent City or more than sixty miles to the north at Whiskey Run.  Keep driving young kite star.  There’s way too much militant anti-kiteitude from some of the windsurfers around here to even want to deal with getting some turns out front of the Rock.  (Although that scene seems to have improved lately.)


    It would further seem that right of way rules don’t smile on kiting either.  Being such the maneuverable boat, they are obligated to yield to just about everything except a jet ski.  And when it comes down to it, they are better off yielding to them too.


    Then you have the pragmatic view dictating that kites ride downwind in a mixed use situation to keep a clear downwind window for the Ginsu knives they call strings -- with an extra football field or so to allow for the occasional full yark event when the kite takes control.  Which seems to solve for the safety issue nicely.  But this strategy can be complicated by any number of things.  Like better waves upwind, not having room to land downwind or clueless, even belligerent windsurfers crowding them downwind.  Or of course, when there are riders that think they are so good that any rules wouldn’t apply to them.  These riders will all too often, want to be right up in it and this tends to be the largest source of friction between the windsurfers and the kitesurfers around here anyway.   



    “I totally get how the hardcore skiers felt after snowboarding came along.  Although I bet they would have been double freaking if the those early snowboarders had already been using kites.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                  -max shredroom



    Hopefully, it is some small consolation for kitesurfing that it’s all the buzz these days.  They’re definitely enjoying the lions share of media coverage, contest stoke and sponsorship action.   The massive hang time is quite impressive.  Much respect for all that spray too.  They’ve even got a shot at doing the Olympics.  And as with windsurfing, every once in awhile, you see someone that can actually ride a wave.  But face it.  The rest of us are pretty much just out there mowing the grass and there is plenty of grass out there for us to mow.  So I have to think we should be able to work this out. 


    It might bear mentioning that kiting is gaining a small advantage in the majority rules department.  I just overheard some statistics that suggest while windsurfing has remained steady at about 350,000 participants worldwide, Kiting has just overtaken that number and is rising fast.  So I wonder how much longer some of the more intolerant windsurfing participants can hold sway over “their spots” by saying they were here first?  Yeah, I’m thinking it won’t be too much longer before kiters start getting a little more room out there.  Just as soon as the more militant windsurfers wear themselves out manufacturing all that tude.   


    Speaking of militant windsurfers, the Boss does offer a strong analogy when he says that when kiters want to ride with windsurfers, it’s like walking out into the middle of a soccer game and setting up some batting practice.  Now some may find the image a bit extreme, but it helps us understand how he feels.  He’s not the only one either.  There was even a kiter that came through Pistol last summer who offered he wasn’t up at one of the kite beaches because he didn’t like kiting with other kiters.  Yeah, well many of the windsurfers that frequent the local beaches do seem to agree with him on that point.   


     In the way of full disclosure, I really should confess that I was exaggerating the situation here in Pistol River when I suggested the closest kite beach was in California.  For it so happens there’s a new “kite beach” just about a mile downwind from the Rock.  A pack of the local surfers turned kiters were quick to figure out how much fun it is to ride at the new river mouth and there were eight kites in the air the other day.  They’re a great bunch of kids who are mostly looking to do something with all the blown out surf we get around here.  (Except for Brendon, who seems to be all about the air.)  Hey they’ve been nothing but respectful in not usurping the windsurfers from their ancestral windsurfing grounds  -- choosing mostly to ride the open beaches in town and when the tide is high, the river mouth down from the rock.  Seems like it’s the tourists that like to crash the scene and get the dogs barking.  Which gave rise to my theory that it’s not just a safety issue.  Territoriality and perhaps more precisely, insecurity must enter into it large.  And I get the insecurity.  When I’m sailing in mixed company, I don’t even think about jumping for air.  At most, a loop or a skimming nose in, but you know what I mean.  I just pretend it’s all about riding the wave and forget jumping.  Sure it’s hard not to have the somewhat remote risk of getting cut to the bone by the damn strings in the back of one’s mind, but that’s not what gets to me.  It’s the being out-jumped and out-sprayed so beyond beyond. 


    If you know me, you know I have a lot of love and respect for Kiting.  I’m a fan and I saw all this coming way back when a cat named Cory Roeseler started winning the blowout on a kite.  And I was there when the early adopters were getting hammered by C kites on Hatteras.  Got yarked pretty evil myself.  Yeah, I get it.  And I’m at peace with the whole program.  Especially since it really is so purely insane watching the hot riders throw down.  And the entry level kiting is certainly more entertaining to watch than beginner windsurfing (though kind of scary sometimes).  So be assured that my bias is fairly minimal.  And that I meant it when I said some of my best friends are Kiters.  It makes sense for nearly all of them too.  And they get that windsurfing makes sense for me.  Except for the odd new initiate that might still try to evangelize me.  (Victor, most recently.)  But I’m always quick to shut that kind of noise right down by handing them a “If it were easy ...” sticker.


    And so what’s our mission here?  Are we going to let the perception that windsurfers and kitesurfers can’t get along prevail?  Two use groups that really do have even more in common than the two major political factions in this country and yet, can’t seem to get along either.  Feels like Groundhog day to me.  I mean haven’t we been here before?  Hang-gliders and Parasailors?  Rollerbladers and Skateboarders?  Skiers and Snowboarders?  Surfers and Standup paddlers?  Here’s to putting away the petty territoriality and embarrassment while moving forward with respect, keeping it safe and blending into a more peaceful coexistence.  


                            “Mi taku oyasin.”  (We are all related.)   

                                                               - from the close of a Lakota pipe smoking ceremony



                                                                            __________________________________________________________________\_

Next, please find the first of what will hopefully become an archive of my more heartfelt rants.

Photo thanks to Simon Crowther in the closing seconds of the 2014 Pistol River Wave Bash. 

        So welcome to my humble attempt at throwing down a web zine.  And if you are wondering who the guy on the white sails is who seems to be Bogarting the coverage in the pages of this alleged international zine, that’s me.  Dana Miller.  AKA: “Mega” and “the Shaman of shred” among quite a few other tags over the years.  My race numbers used to be US2BHI and I’ve written for and had photos published in American WIndsurfer, New England Windsurfing Journal, Ocean magazine, the OuterBanks Windsurfing Guide, Shredder, Windsport, Windsurfing Magazine, WindTracks and quite a few even less notable publications. 


        I suppose you might be wondering why as a published writer, I’m giving it away here.  Well, I’m wondering too.  Desire to get my stuff out there presented as I might prefer is part of it -- with my photos edited as I prefer.  Building an audience for something to come is another big motivation for me.  Ego gratification?  No doubt.  And the project is of course a large Mahalo to all the photographers that come out to shoot and are willing to contribute.  For sure.  And I’ve been so lucky to be living in such a paradise for a windsurfer, that I feel obligated to share the experience in every way I can.  


        I hope you will forgive the spotty timing on the reports lately, but it’s been a demanding period.  Be assured I’ll throw down when I can though.  Especially as I have more photos to share.  And thank you for giving me a read if you do.  And for passing the link on to anyone you think might enjoy any of this.  And please do feel welcome to send me any thoughts you might have on the content, presentation or a direction you’d like to see it take.


        With respect and gratitude.      ______________________ _\_  

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