What I love,
about windsurfing is not just the act. Hanging out on a beach with friends or without, waiting for wind or relaxing between sessions. Strengthening a common bond arrived at by uncommon routes. With or without friends around I still catch myself doing many of the same things over and over simply because of favorable memories associated with them. To this day walking down a beach, or river I can pick up a simple shiny stone and laugh and smile. The best part of what I do teaching for ABKboardsports is getting to influence new generations either by teaching them a certain skill better, and quicker then I ever did or simply being on the beach windsurfing or not. At the end of the road it is expected that I windsurf, but it is what I have been doing along the way that matters most. Thats why when I think about today the passing of Jim Drake I do not think about the sport, but the loss of a generation. In this case....the first generation.
Pictured above, me somewhere in Humbolt County, and a windsurfer in the background. I was there collecting agates on the beach with my Great Grandfather and my mother. I reportedly asked my Great Grandfather "if he thought i would ever be able to do that".... I don't even know if I knew what windsurfing was but something about it then, must have made an impression. A lone windsurfer out with no one around, no one to impress, doing what he loved.
While I know nothing of Jim Drake I do know how the loss of a generation feels, and what it is like to be maybe not the next generation, but a future end of a generation. This is not a sad statement rather a sobor realization that one of the disputed creators of the sport I love is now gone. He and the multiple generations after him created much of what I hold close to me. To an even larger extent the generations preceding me shaped who I am today, and his is no longer here influencing me, just like my Great Grandfather. At this moment I am struck with a feeling, that whatever we do now, will be left for those who follow us. That it is time to take that shovel of mine and get to work.