A little more than a year ago I stood over some heated coals on my porch with Kai Neville. He was pulling a monthlong sit-in at my house, during which we drank all-but-frozen Coors Lights and got the grill on almost every night. We chatted at length about how our magazine and his next film could make music together over the coming year — how each could add new layers to the other. ¶Our goal was pretty simple: Find a way to inspire a generation of groms the way we were inspired by films from our youth. We discussed the general failure of onscreen portals into contemporary surfing. How one-dimensional they feel. How hastily they’re slapped together thanks to an ever-hungry Internet machine. How anticipation for their arrival is dying. And how aggressively branded it all is, how website-cheap and censored and unlike the actual experiences we have on the road together. How none of it feels right. ¶Having just returned from the first film trip for Lost Atlas with Craig Anderson, Owen Wright and Dion Agius, Kai was passing through town for a few weeks to have some meetings and make plans. He moved in, developed
a love for the Bagelmania shop in Huntington Beach, and together we started the long process of making this issue. It wouldn’t be our usual approach, that’s for sure. We’d hold onto photos all year, saving up, and use them to illustrate the storyboard of Lost Atlas just as Kai had built it on film. We decided that, as groms, that’s what we’d have wanted: a book to enhance the movie experience, to kick in new insights and asides and show how it all came together — and really, just to show how much fun it all was. That’d be the ultimate aim of our Lost Atlas theme issue — that, and I begged Kai to supply us with the soundtrack list, so that after you watch the movie you can go grab all its music and get psyched on the way to the beach, the airport, work, a first date, etc. (pg. 46). ¶The reason I’m so gung-ho to support Kai and this project is because he’s doing exactly what made my grommethood so enjoyable, and what continues to make me happy I surf. And thanks to Kai and the surfers he works with, there will be another set of enthusiastic young kids who grow up with a film that makes them giddy when it’s over.
The kind to make them wanna call all their friends and go surf. Immediately. Anywhere. Maybe somewhere new. ¶And I truly believe Kai is the man to do this, in part because of who his friends are, but largely because he’s straight-up super talented. He’s able to show a version of the surf story that’s creative and unique and entirely authentic. There’s nothing wrong with a jersey, or with the ASP, or with Surfline’s mass appeal Brought To You By. But they’ve got all that handled — so now, it’s our turn to show what we do: good tunes, surfboards and friends, a book and a camera, some strange backdrop, and the weird people you meet along the way. ¶I really hope you enjoy this hiatus from your regularly programmed surf mag, and that you find some cool shit buried among all the paper chaos within. And I sure hope you’ll go grab the movie and get the whole picture for yourself. Turn it up loud, and grab a Coors Light while you’re at it. Just make sure those mountains are purple. —Travis Ferré