BOSTON—Four years after being blasted as an elitist for his Ivy League education, wealthy background, and hobby of windsurfing, sources say that John Kerry has in fact become quite proficient at the water-based leisure sport.

"After losing the election in such a humiliating and disgraceful manner, John really threw himself into windsurfing, and I'm happy to say it paid off," said Kerry's longtime adviser and windsurfing coach, Steve Sylvester. "Everyone claimed he was too wishy-washy and didn't have a thick skin, so he said he'd show them all, and he did. His T-bones and slamjibes speak for themselves."

Sylvester, like many of Kerry's friends, said the defeat at the polls may have actually been a blessing in disguise, since it allowed the junior senator from Massachusetts to spend more time on his true passion. As evidence of the incredible progress Kerry has made in the last four years, Sylvester pointed out that the former presidential candidate is now able to perform a number of freestyle moves and some light carving without hurting himself. Kerry also reportedly knows all about tacks now, and can stay on the board a full minute longer than he could during the last presidential campaign.

In addition, his water starts have matured significantly.

Besides upgrading his windsurfing board class from Freeride to Formula Windsurfing, aides said Kerry has made strides in other areas to escape his image as an out-of-touch patrician. According to a press release from his office, Kerry can now name the stadium where the Green Bay Packers play with ease, as well as meet large groups of factory workers without wincing, and remember that his favorite Bob Dylan song is "Lay Lady Lay" without first checking with a handler.

It is not known whether Kerry intends to use his new skills in a future presidential run. When reporters reached him for comment, he was being swept into the Atlantic Ocean by a 35 mph gust of wind.