Money, money, money. Money. There’s not enough, there’s too much. I say that there’s still plenty to go around, it’s just hiding better than it used to. Want some? During the creation of this issue, which we’ve devoted to sex, money and power in surfing, I learned some things.
Three ways to turn a profit in today’s surf world:
1) Sell T-shirts. They have, by a long shot, the highest profit margin of all the goods sold by surf companies. Do not sell surfboards. You will struggle.
2) Be really, really good at surfing. But, like, the best. Surfers who reach the mainstream are seeing a huge spike in their incomes. Among the first to benefit from this trend was Jordy Smith, who, while I interviewed him on the Gold Coast earlier this year, had a six-figure piece of jewelry delivered to his room. So be among the best, because well-paid homebreak heroes are quickly going extinct. If this is you, find a day job or go back to school. We need more educated rippers, anyway.
3) Socialize. As one industry insider told us this month “…it’s all about impressions, likes, hits, etc.” Tweet your thoughts on the ASP. Instagram your brown rice ahi bowl. Have a blog, for blog’s sake. It’s a way for the rest of the world to connect to you, to get to know you, and, as we see in Hashtag Hunted (on page 108), to get at you. Think the swagger and celebrity of today’s social mediaite is exaggerated? Shortly after photo editor Peter Taras shot the feature, one of the models morphed into the character she was meant to portray and hunted down one of our subjects, then pounced and devoured him. Lucky fella. Social media’s a powerful tool. Please follow us at @surfingmagazine.
And also follow us to the Middle East, with coverman Dion Agius and filmmaker Joe G, where we enjoy the unexpected fruit of oil money in the form of a divine wave pool. With chlorinated ramps a button push away, Dion shows us some futuristic tricks mastered through that thing we’ve always missed in the ocean — replication. But, have we really missed it? The uncertainty is part of the fun, isn’t it? In the ocean, in the surf world. Which is why we’re still here, as surfers, on the coast, surfing, instead of moving to the sweltering desert, poking around for oil. —Taylor Paul
Inside this Issue
082 ELECTRIC BLUE HEAVEN
The sheik’s son wanted to surf, so the sheik built him a wave. In the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates, Dion Agius and Joe G find a chlorinated oasis. Dion punts its neon sections while Russian models swoon. And then there’s the Lamborghinis…
By Chas Smith
094 MAKE MONEY MONEY
How much do professional surfers make? Why do companies sponsor them? And what products make those companies the most money? Your burning queries about the industry answered in fancy charts and graphs.
100 THE DELIVERY
Jordy Smith is South Africa’s world title hope. That is known. But did you know that he used to be a kid thief? Or that he receives six-figure gifts by mail? Now, where’s that pesky world title? By Taylor Paul
108 HASHTAG HUNTED
Once upon a time, surfers had to hit on women. Things have changed. Adonises Beau Foster, Luke Davis, Koa Smith and Evan Geiselman reap the benefits of our glorious digital age. A portrait series by Peter Taras
Woody Allen says that if you smoke after sex you’re doing it too fast. Slow down. Enjoy some photographs.