Goiter

Photo by Erik Aeder

Even though I missed out on the first phase of windsurfing’s pioneers, and their one design racing, their development of footstraps and short boards, as well as the dominance of the big four (Robby Naish, Pete Cabrinha, Matt Schweitzer, Mike Waltze).  I was lucky enough to make the second act, with names like, Boyd, Wetter, Angulo, Sharp, Maisonville, Simmer, and Ezzy.  Equipment was evolving at a dizzying rate.  At that time I was working under Dave Ezzy for North Sails and there wasn’t a day we didn’t have a sail to test.  Boards were no different.  Everyone was looking for the advantage that would allow them to go beyond the established boundaries.  Maneuvers were no different.  There was a group of us that sailed everyday, and everyday was a competition out on the water to go beyond what the last guy had just done.  If I had to pick one guy that was the most innovative of my era, it would have to be Mark Angulo.  While I did pull a few rabbits out of my own top hat of tricks, Mark was the one that was most creative and likely to make a new move.  When I say new move, I don’t mean a little flicky flacky type move in flat water, but rather the kind that involved a nice heaving lip to launch yourself into some type of spinning, above the wave, back twisting, pretzelized, land back on the wave, gravity defying trick.

One day while sailing back in towards the beach, I was measuring up my wave.  A wave that was close to reaching it’s final destiny of delivering the energy it had transported across the Pacific to the reef at Hookipa beach.  Just as I was about to open the start gate on this wave, I caught Mark out of the corner of my eye launching himself up into a twisting, spinning, flying aerial above the wave in front of me.  It completely through me into a tail spin, the wave I was about to demolish became an unpainted canvas because I was preoccupied trying to figure out what I had just seen.  Just like a good slow motion replay of a monster dunk, I was able to replay his maneuver several times in my head to see all of the nuances that helped me decode his new trick.  After I gathered my composure, recommitted to the goal of not letting Mark get ahead of me in any sense, I positioned myself on a wave to attempt one too.  I flew out the back, but the seal had been broken on this new trick.  Wave after wave, attempt after attempt, Mark and I both continued to try and were getting quite close to making one, but we didn’t.

That afternoon like most, we hung out with a couple cold ones and analyzed the day’s events.  We both realized we were on the verge of making a new trick and began to wonder what we would call it.  So we made a pact that who ever made the first one would get the right to name it.  Then it dawned on both of us, we have an opportunity to make people say whatever we want, maybe we should put some more thought into this, rather than just calling it your standard “twisting flip” or something basic like that.  Maybe we should make it something that would make us laugh every time we hear people say it.  So as we continued to brainstorm and soothe our thirst, we watched a episode of Seinfeld.  That day’s episode was about a lady that had a goiter. Goiter, perfect, random enough that not many people actually know what it means, people will think we made up the word and every time we hear it we’ll laugh on the inside.  So that was it, who ever made the first one got to name it goiter.

I made the first one the next day after about ten tries and Mark made his first one fifteen minutes later.  So that was it, Mark was the one that actually invented it, I sailed away from the first one and together we named it.  Even to this day when I hear people say it, I still smirk on the inside, not just because of the name but because how special it was to be part of such a great sport and be one of the players that helped push one of the greatest windsurfers in history, and be pushed by him also.

Aloha,

Dave