May Issue 2011 Surfing Magazine

posted by / Magazine / March 22, 2011




May Issue 2011 Surfing Magazine

Luckily for us, surfing isn’t an organized sport. It’s actually a quite disorganized one — and whether it’s even a sport at all is a whole different catfight. But that’s surfing’s single biggest selling point, like random violence is to ice hockey. We have no mandatory practice, no coach calling plays, no ref blowing whistles. Not much structure at all. Just try some radical shit in the ocean, hope your friends see it, and go about your day much happier. That’s our lifestyle. Beautiful chaos, mostly.

Mostly. Still, we’d be remiss to say there’s no wrong way to be a surfer. It’s obvious when someone has his shit together, and it’s more painfully clear when he doesn’t. From lineup etiquette to board knowledge to style, there’s a code to carrying yourself that shouldn’t be ignored. Know the rules before you try to break ‘em.

But then, for God’s sake, break ‘em. In spectacular fashion. That’s how this whole party got started and that’s the only thing that’ll keep it from turning lame. From turning into Little League.

Just look around the parking lot for evidence that we’re not a damn Ocean Pacific ad anymore. Tight-denim modsters, dreadlocked carvers, trained competitors, soloists who wander alone, flannel-clad grizzly bears that love the cold, sandy groms, ex-cons, teachers, chicks. We’re Nathan Fletcher, making 12-foot guns one day and launching 12-foot airs the next [pg. 84]. We’re Tanner Rozunko, stomping ollies in the morning and stomping his boots in the mosh pit at night [pg. 50]. We’re Courtney Conlogue, on academic scholarship and the World Tour [pg. 64]. We’re John Florence, with two Pipeline wins (in January alone) and a part in Kai Neville’s ModColl follow-up. We’re…you, whatever the hell you are. Better make it awesome.

Which is why I find it so disheartening to hear from critics who’re trying to decide for you what surfing is and isn’t. They say it’s not art, not music, not girls in bikinis, not fashion, not not anything off-color or subversive or slightly left of center. It’s a white boy on a white board in a blue tube and hellfire to the punkass kids who’d say otherwise. Which brings us to this issue.

We wanted something to remind our readers just how loose and diverse surfing should be. Ever seen The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun? Or maybe more recently Thrills, Spills and Whatnot? Despite efforts at chaotic, groovy nothingness, both movies speak volumes to what surfing really is. (It’s nothing! Or everything! Sport, lifestyle, hobby, a selfish pursuit of fun that keeps us out of gyms and cubicles and in the ocean!) And if you still don’t get it, pop in What’s Really Goin’ Wrong! or Voluptuous for a refresher course in our magnificent dysfunction.

As we planned this issue, we came to the conclusion that surfing is and always should be an abstract sort of pursuit, with fun being the only defining factor. Nothing more. That’s what’s missed in attempts to rein it in, tame it, put it in a user-friendly package for widespread appeal. Surfing is that thing you ditched real obligations for. The thing that pissed off at least one of your parents. The thing the mainstream STILL doesn’t get right, and probably can’t for these very reasons. The thing that resists its own legitimacy.

Hopefully, in our quest for a refresh, this issue hits you a little differently. It stems from how we imagined John Severson and the boys putting together a surf mag back in the day, typewriter to lap, right there on the picnic benches at San-O in between sessions. This is a month of surfers talking to surfers about surfing. I’m quite sure we contradict ourselves several times by the end. I suspect I’ve contradicted myself already on this very page. Oh well. It’s only surfing, dude. —Travis Ferré

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  • Ben

    Respectfully I disagree. Surfing is finite, and surfing is certainly not carte blanche for certain surfers, known to us solely for their wave riding ability, to bludgeon us with crap art, crap music, and inarticulate drivel. Subjecting us to lousy art instead of stoke inducing travel features is tantamount to a pseudo-intellectual conversation with a porn star: It ain’t what a magazine called SURFING is selling in the title. BTW, please do not confuse this with an assertion that surfers are not a diverse bunch, riding a broad variety of craft, doing a radical variety of maneuvers, because we are all of those things. But the uniting feature is wave-riding, and nothing else. If I want literature and art, I know where to find it. By your own staff’s admission (I believe Mr. Cornuelle, surfing’s goal is to make people feel “all surf-y” and nothing else.

  • ta2 dave

    this last issue was really great for surfing. Lewis Samuel is the best thing to happen to surfing. He has bigger balls than Laird. Surfing has zero to do with played out fashions that surf companys always introduce 2 years too late. -and all the companys put out identical designs with different logos. I like the idea of surfers shopping thrift and making backyard boards. If you are wearing a surf logo, that should mean you are a kook. DIY!

  • BenDover

    Interesting assertion Mr. Ben. In other words you believe Surfing should right about nothing more than the act of Surfing itself. I don’t know about what you do for fun but would much rather GO surfing than just read about it. Surf journalism or writing has always been about the lifestyle. In addition to the actual surfing, what happens between waves and between sessions generally makes up the best editorial. People inherently want to read about people. What they like and what they don’t, and they like to read about a wide variety of people doing a wide variety of things, including, but not exclusively, surfing.
    I’m pretty sure the point is that there is more to Surfing than just the act. It’s Life. It’s story telling, it’s sharing experiences, it’s time, it’s waves, it’s music, it’s food, it’s fashion, it’s people and people are what make Surfing interesting in the first place.

  • Tuskagee

    Surfing is many variables.

    “First, it is necessary to study the facts, to multiply the number of observations, and then later to search for formulas that connect them so as thus to discern the particular laws governing a certain class of phenomena. In general, it is not until after these particular laws have been established that one can expect to discover and articulate the more general laws that complete theories by bringing a multitude of apparently very diverse phenomena together under a single governing principle.”
    Augustin Louis Cauchy (1789-1857)

  • alex


  • Nick Carroll

    Pretty fucken exhausting stuff…but it’s a fucken good cover.

  • charles webster baer
  • twists

    not gonna lie, this is the first issue I have read from cover to cover in a long time. I usually just skim when your guys mag comes in the mail….However, it was actually interesting this time (get the fuck outta here, right? with all beverly hills cop quote aside) and hit some key notes whether or not I totally agree with everything that is said…You struck a chord to something that has been looming around the surfing community, but no one wanted to touch it…It was too touchy (chas is probably getting hard right about now). Just sucks when your first 20 pages and last 20 pages contradict the rest of the juice in between. I will say though, chas really is an awful writer and don’t think he is brilliant at all…The tongue and cheek shit is embarassing and overdone. Does he have another way of writing or is that his signature? Because it has been done before and time before, but actually well…Which is not chas’ case. You’re not cool breh, you are a douche with a hint of homoeroticism between each sentence you write. Well done on the issue though, mostly because the warshaw and samuel article saved it making it sane, intelligent, & comrephendible. Not all dribble.

  • Ben

    Mr. Dover, within reason, you have an accurate understanding of my assertion. Chas in Las Vegas, for instance, has nothing, zero, to do with surfing. Any analogy to the contrary rings false. Yes, a feature on interesting personalities who surf is cool, e.g. Slater and AI were a great rivalry because of their two very different personalities, but that “human perspective” is useless to a magazine about surfing if we neglect the common medium, namely wave-riding. Lewis Samuels is fvcking phenomenal – the guy writes well, has funny, well-supported opinions, and makes sure that he focuses on surfing when writing for surf magazines. Compare him with say, Alex Knost, with maybe a handful of water shots but a deluge of him smoking a cigarette in a beat up car, incorrectly playing an instrument, poorly attempting a beatnik rap, and so on. The latter is a lifestyle magazine, maybe Vice, but not surfing. And of course all parties would rather go surfing rather than read about it, Dover, but I can’t surf at night, or on the can, or when the winds at OB are 30 knots onshore.

  • just my opinion

    ben, respectfully, “are you listening”?

    the point is not if its good or bad -literature, surfing, art, whatever. the point is its just fun, its pure, its unique to every surfer. hence the question: how can something unique to each and every different individual be finite?? surfing is an individual expression, therefore a form of art. and like art, some you may like, some you may dislike. be it good or bad is not really applicable (or relevant) because comparing opinions is not conducive of any universal truth, as opinions are not tangible. that’s what has always created such controversy in the competitive arena -that surfing isn’t black/white, its not finite, THERE ARE NO RULES. big waves, small waves, barrels, airs, whatever; do your thing, do whatever you enjoy doing because thats why you [should have] started surfing in the first place.

    “crap art, crap music, inarticulate drivel”. who’s to judge? to me, the point in art, music, “drivel”, and for that matter, surfing, is to release, express, and of course, produce sheer enjoyment. i think in the old days (whatever that means to you) people were fast to parametrize, denote, and label. nowadays, people are more open-minded, more open to variety and willing to accept all propositions as options while choosing to buy or not to buy for whatever reasons they may have.

  • jay

    so the approach and outlook on surfing should be all relative and post modern? is that whay Im taking from your post? I get what you are getting to, but what are you trying to hint? You whole point is like this is what it is, but not really because I want to argue correctly and act like your opinion matters. haha I get it surfing should be about surfing and not all the trendy shit that has tagged along with it….But the counter culture is non existant when Kolohe is portrayed to be so punk but is the most corporate kid and says shit like “I would have obama and johnyy rotten” at my dinner table to talk”. Did no one really not laugh out loud when they read that shit? These kids really believe they are punk and anti everything, because they media is playing them into that shit…Mindless drones. How can you be counter-culture in the media? you can’t, you must choose. So be the corporate bastard or the antithesis. This whole issue is trying to find a grey area in something where there is no grey area…Take notes, watch SLC Punk…Learn, live it. Don’t build your idols in people like Rotten, Rollins, Strummer etc. etc. Cause those people looked to none. Be yourself, that is the true surfer. Don’t give a fuck what this magazine tells you what a real surfer is and what counter cultures is…that a paradox in itself. My post maybe a ramble, but a coherent point can be found through it….This whole world needs to stop giving a fuck what the next thinks and just be YOU. Surfers/Surfing is not the only thing losing site of what is core.

  • JK

    Love it!!! Actually I wanna rip out the boardshort buyers guide, but the rest is nothing short of RAD!!!

    Marzo is Wonka!! Haha!! Love it.

  • Ben

    Again, JMO, I think the variety of craft ridden, the variety of maneuvers, and the diversity among surfers is wonderful, and good for the sport. However, features on Las Vegas, Manhattan, etc are not surf related in any way and are better done elsewhere. Surf articles should at least have SOMETHING about wave riding in them. Dig it: Dan Duane wrote one of the best surf books ever (Caught Inside) and went on to prolific magazine career – writing about food in Bon Apetit, etc. Similarly, if I pick up a food magazine, its fine if they want to feature the art or literature of a chef as a side note, provided their primary concentration is food. Write about every kind of food, different food cultures, food at concerts, food as medicine, I don’t give shit, so long as you keep it about food. Same applies to surfing.

  • michael

    Great work Travis!

  • haha

    All this SOUL TALK is just a coverup for what this months issue really is(as well as TWS). DRUMROLLLLLLLLLLLL

    THE NEW SWELL CATALOG!!!!!!!!! and we are so happy those gay 80’s themed boardies didnt sell last summer.

    Do TRAVIS AND CHRIS pick their covers together???

  • hater

    i am someone who posts on the forums. I hate everything.

  • Peter

    For surfing magazines to exist they need to make money. It’s a necessary evil and “evil” might be too strong of a word in this case. You can peddle a pro punk attitude in a magazine but punk is a joke wherever it’s sold. Punk was never real. As long as you’re living in and utilizing the benefits that stem from a capitalist system you can never be punk. The whole thing is a sham because it’s always been hypocritical, and it’s always been about attention. Even the street “punk” kids survive by leeching off the working folk. Without the capitalist society, they would be dead or forced to take part in communal living which is the antithesis of punk. Don’t take SURFING so seriously guys. That’s the point. We do what need to survive as surfers, as employees, as businesses. As far as surfing goes, all we do is play in the ocean and it’s fun as hell. We really are just goofy little white boys to the rest of the world, but they don’t know what we know do they? And that right there is what makes it special. Let’s keep it that way.

  • Dennis

    Declaring “we’re reinventing ourselves” is the surest fire way to discredit anything that follows. If you had any faith in yourselves – or your readers – you wouldn’t need the self-congrats.

  • kent

    Good issue..but wee confusing…i have been surfing/living in charleston s.c. for 23 years..i am 43…for the last twenty i gave up a career and worked as a waiter/ bartender just so i could surf every on every swell..even though 90% of the time its 2ft. Slop..all my friends have better jobs..better things..better retirement savings…i feel ashamed when we have a get clothes are a little car has smoke coming out the tail pipe..but this morning i woke up and surfed 4 hours…then went to work…they are all fasicnated by my lifestyle..i really do live by the adage live to surf, surf to live but of all the things i could have given up to have the american dream…well surfing just wasnt one of them…i have never been barrled really..the outer banks is my big travel experience…but everyday i am on it…even though those on it moments are sometimes months apart…so i guess i am still confused who this issue was trying to reach…me i will still be out at the break i have been surfing for the last twenty…and here is to the next twenty…i still like danes surfing…..

  • Nick Carroll

    Yeah Kent! I love it when people give up the bs and just describe their surfing lives.

  • jay

    kent is fucking rad and peter hits the point. Real surfers actually do read this mag hah This issue brought out a little stoke.

  • Joey Stalin

    JAY YOU ARE RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #11. I agree, there is no originality anymore, all these kids are starting to act so punk and its beyond contrived. Its almost sickening. While at the same time wearing Hurley or Nike(same shit). Its a joke. Corporate Vultures have taken over the industry and are shitting out played out ideals faster than Quiksilver’s fall 2012 line. Its all a joke. Surfing needs to become surfing again. No more bullshit, surfing is; regardless of how you dress- what you listen to- or whoever the fuck you are as a person.

  • Joey Stalin

    and kent! fuck yes brother you are the truth.

  • Super


  • just my opinion (dont read this, its long and possibly boring, just a moment i’m taking advantage of to think and write…)

    jay, i agree with you. surfing is unique, its your thing, fuck what anyone else thinks or says. i do think everyone looks up to someone though, and that doesn’t take away from being unique. ai, slater, g lopez, archy, whatever, i’m pretty sure they all looked up to someone(s) for insipiration and drive and look at how unique and influential these people were/are.

    it may seem like i contradict myself in the sense that after blabbering about uniqueness and individuality i argue “against” someone else’s point of view, but its not that i’m against, its just that i’m not for. his view is just not the same as mine. i certainly don’t consider myself beholder of the universal truth. rather, i consider myself beholder of my own respectable opinion, based entirely on how i personally see things. the fact that my opinion differs from bens’ doesn’t take anything away from his opinion being valid and possibly largely preferred.

    in effect, surfing to me is relative. i think the only underlining common ground is that surfing implies riding a wave and having fun while doing it, everything else -how you ride, what you ride, etc- is personal and should be bullet proof to criticism.

    i work in the industry and i don’t consider myself a corporate bastard. far from it. i ditch work to go surf when its on, and i work like a madman when it sucks only so i can take time off, have the money, and have the boards to go surf somewhere new. i’m making a living doing something related to what i love (even though honestly i spend a lot of time doing shit i dont like, but that’s neither here nor there). no harm there. if i wanted to make real money i’d be a banker or some shit so money certainly isn’t the drive. as jay says, i just do what i wouldn’t give up for anything. some people feel used when other make money out of what they treasure and tag them of traitors. i think that’s bullshit.

    i also don’t consider the people i endorse corporate bastards; i wouldn’t sponsor them if i thought that of them. i value uniqueness very much and that’s a key feature of why i support them -because they are unique and bring uniqueness to my brands. win-win i would say: they get to surf for work, i get to surf from my work, and we both make money. no harm. i do see bastards though -companies and individuals that only care about making more money. its up to the athletes to remain unique or fall into mindless drone status. in the short run the company might make a profit molding an athlete to their immediate needs [athletes, fuck that company and go find one that values your act], but in the long run i think uniqueness will prevail for both the company and the athlete.

    kolohe rips, he’s a cool kid, feet on the ground, and smart to take advantage of his gift. he’s a kid though, and may still be vulnerable to corporate bastards and corporate bastardy. but make no mistake, the kid loves his surfing, loves his punk, and has a solid drive to achieve so all for it…

  • Wiggolly D.

    That cover video…the final cover sequence is sick. The writing need not be addressed.

  • Jay

    Basically, what I was getting at, is do what you do and fuck the noise. We are humans, so we are not perfect but that just it stop being perfect or living to that standard that the media paints continually. Be yourself, surf your game, don’t make worship your idols. Idols are tools we utilize to drive ourselves to become better….Its seems like alot of these people are not idolizing people anymore, but just biting and we get these copycot robot groms now.

    On the industry, I think it is an inherent evil. I don’t think if you work for the industry it makes you a corporate bastard, but once you lose site of what is core and do it for the money (like afromentioned) then you are. Plus, you can do more damage to the industry from the inside then revolting outside against it.

    I like Kolohe to, he rips and “seems” like a cool kid. But these young kids painted as punk and thinking they are punk when they are polar opposites. You can’t lace your video with the doors surfing in a neon suit and be punk…Get a mohawk, black wetuit, and do plank spray jobs on your board hah Not really.

  • TW

    I found “Are You Listening?” befuddling. Two surf journos going on and on and on, analyzing surfing and the surf industry. Who cares if the surf industry is a multi billion dollar industry and people make money off of it? It is what it is — Get over it. And how ironic that a piece like this runs between the myriad multi-thousand dollar ads by the very surf companies that they are seemingly so critical of! The whole thing was just such a downer, and not what surfing really needs. Less talk, boys, more surf.

  • goonma

    This magazine will be gone in a few years time. S

    urfline has more updates and offers better content. Time to be honest with yourselves here. The picture/photo box and magazine videos are the only good content on here.

    If we have learned anything in the last year, its that no one wants to hear opinions from industry employees, but wants updated content. Surfline is full of henchmen from the industry (douche bags from orange county), but at least they have better content and more updates.

  • MD

    Anyone else think Dane interviewing his chick and her making fun of brazilians was just straight lame. I’m so rad because my kinda decent looking chick has bangs and makes fun of people who beat me in heats.

    I dunno if I’d call Dane a Hipster, but this is absolutely what infuriates me the most about hipsters. They make fun of people different from themselves and when they get called out on it, they piss their jeans in fear of getting pounded. Maybe one had a different upbringing in brazil than that of a privileged Venturian and thus doesn’t act/dress/think the same way as you and your dumb ass chick man.

    Super weak, Dane loses points in my book.

  • Rio

    You FORGOT that DANE has become exactly what he claims to hate. THE SURF INDUSTRY——–sorry dane just because you draw like a 8 year old retard doesnt mean selling shirts for $$$$$$$$$$ is core. Even NECO KNOWS THIS!!! and rangas have fire crotches……

  • MH

    I just read Lewis Samuel’s and Matt Warhsaw’s dialogue on the lame state of our shared surf culture, titled: “Is Anyone Listening.” Hearing two guys in their 40’s chatting like teenagers explaining their vision of what’s cool and what’s not cool revealed exactly what is pathetic about surf culture – that being cool matters, however defined. The irony was they really wanted to bash surfing’s soulless desire to be cool, but in the same breath they expressed their definition of what is in fact cool. They are perahps exactly what they are against.

    It was apparent form the get go these guys have a very narrow vision – something copied directly from the anti-capitalist, punk rock hand book. In general, their criterion for examining surf culture is the same as for the underground music scene – unsigned bands are cool, cooperate signed-bands not so much. This critique was a copout and a bit cowardly – they didn’t ruffle any feathers here for the average surfer,

    How about the psycho/sociological and moral state of surfing? How about the culture of drug use, of dropping out of school, of avoiding a real job, of shunning responsibility, of the overall deadbeat nature of surfers, and why all of the above is perhaps considered cool? What influence does surfing have on impressionable kids? Can becoming a surfer actually ruin someone’s life?

    There are real problems surging within the sport, and these guys didn’t have the balls to go there. I’d like to hear someone tell surfing that it needs to cleanup rather than tap-out, but unfortunately in the surf world that is apparently uncool.

  • El Duderino

    In response to Peter; dude you should write for this magazine, you have your shit together and you know what its all about brother.

  • surfHI4ever

    As much as I hate the boardshort section taking up precious page space, there is a pair of sick quiksilver boardies, the one with the Raiders emblem on it. Checked the Quiksilver site and swell and can’t find them. Anyone know where I can get them?