Surfer13 min read
On The Front Line
In winter, when long-period northwest swells batter Northern California and stir Mavericks from its slumber, odds are you’ll find Bianca Valenti sitting deep in the lineup on a bright-pink 9'2", waiting for an opportunity to chase down a horrifying w
Surfer3 min read
Editor’s Note
I was talking to my dad, a longtime shaper of surfcraft, last night about a board that I really want to make—a 5'5" performance twin with an E-wing and a slightly concaved deck. It’s a board that’s been floating around the back of my mind since I hop
Surfer4 min read
Sal Masekela, 47
The act of surfing is about as musical as physical expression can be in sports. It’s rhythmic, and if you don’t have rhythm with the ocean, you won’t be able to surf—you have to have metronome in some way. I grew up playing music and when I first mov
Surfer3 min read
Places We're Going, Places We've Been
“We’d all paid our dues at various frontiers,” wrote Southern California surfer Kevin Naughton in a dispatch from Africa published over the course of three issues of SURFER Magazine in 1975. Or was it Naughton’s traveling partner, Southern California
Surfer4 min read
A for Effort
It was a stunning day for a paddle: 75 degrees, water as green as the purest emerald, a light easterly breeze carrying the scent of pine, the ocean tossed with a gentle windswell sending ankle-high waves smacking noisily into rock stacks crowded with
Surfer5 min read
A Podcast for Shred Heads, Wax Heads, Kooks and Barnies
For the past half century, surf entertainment has mostly consisted of magazines, films and, more recently, webcasts. But lately, a handful of surf junkies have ventured into the realm of Joe Rogan and Terry Gross, getting in front of a microphone and
Surfer4 min read
Flashback To The Summer Of ‘69
The Shortboard Revolution began in 1967 when longboards reigned supreme and over the next 2 years, board lengths dropped from 10-foot tankers to 7-foot “mind machines”. Such was the era of hippies, psychedelics and anything goes. The designs that def
Surfer3 min read
Rediscovering The Art Of The Surf Premiere
I can’t remember the first time I heard the word “content” used as a catchall to describe writing, photography and film, but I do remember hating it. The word feels vaguely taunting as it tries to diminish the artform it describes, as if to say, “som
Surfer12 min read
Returning To The Well
It was mid-morning in the sleepy Mexican village of Barra de la Cruz and the streets were empty, save for the occasional stray dog and surfboard-toting gringo, the latter surely on their way to the same nearby pointbreak that we were heading to. Jon
Surfer2 min read
A Frontiersman's Work Is Never Done
Almost 30 years ago, a young Josh Mulcoy embarked on his very first surf trip to Alaska. Back then, before Instagram feeds became clogged with photos of surfers standing on snow-laden beaches, hunting waves in Alaska was practically the surfy version
Surfer12 min read
New Traditionalists
It’s Friday evening and an impromptu party is in the works in the typically quiet beachside village of Playa La Saladita. Though it’s after 10 p.m., the sun only just sank below the horizon, the lack of light pushing a portion of the small-but-growin
Surfer3 min read
Cher Pendarvis, 68
With aging, surfing is even more precious. Every sparkling drop of water helps the stoke fire burn bright. Today, I mix it up more with swimming, bodysurfing, riding my surf mats and surfing my fishes and gliders. Also, just getting in the water, bei
Surfer14 min read
The Ghost of Waxed Windshields Past
“This is the road where locals would move cars,” said Leroy, as he crossed a winding, two-way street overlooking the ocean. Leroy, a second generation surfer at one of the most notoriously-localized spots in the U.S., told me about how, when he was y
Surfer9 min read
A SOFT Purgatory
“Beneath the rubble they lay hiding. Hideously disfigured and battling chronic drag-induced psychosis, they roam the underground trenches of this dystopian deep web of horizontal (and vertical) wave debauchery. Gathering in secret. Dragging abandoned
Surfer13 min read
Cold calling
I was standing in the middle of REI, turning a $45-dollar can of bear repellent in my hands, first taking note of the bloodthirsty antagonist from “The Revenant” depicted on the front before curiously looking at the ingredients on the back. The label
Surfer3 min readScience
Editor’s Note
I’m told that space is pretty big. Infinite, in fact. And in all that infinite space, there’s a whole lot of weird shit being discovered more or less all the time. In April of this year alone, scientists snapped the first-ever photograph of a black h
Surfer3 min read
And a Cartoonist Shall Lead Them
“Warrior’s Wake”, by Steve Barilotti SURFER Volume 33, Issue 1 It’s really hard to measure the impact of a single individual on our sprawling mass of a surfing culture. Yeah, Kelly Slater sold a million pairs of boardshorts and Tom Curren taught us w
Surfer1 min read
The Sphinkster
While young San Clemente surfer and shaper Nick Melanson has been making boards since he was 14, he’s still hungry to learn and was thrilled to get a master class with planing virtuoso Travis Reynolds recently on a trip in Northern Baja. The design t
Surfer4 min read
Surf Like Nobody’s Watching
We called him “Crazy Craig.” He was, or, presumably still is, a surfer in the Central California beach town where I surfed growing up. I don’t remember if his name actually was Craig, come to think of it. Maybe it was Carl. Might have just been a fun
Surfer4 min read
Clueless to Ruthless
I simply could not believe it. This freaking guy. He’d barely scratch into a wave at the boil-ridden, sand-sucking point we were surfing before hilariously biffing the drop and getting pitched into the flats, board tombstoning. While he flailed aroun
Surfer3 min read
From The Streets To The Streets
Through the 1990s, there was indeed no slap on the North Shore feared more than that from Pipe commander Johnny Boy Gomes, the bruising power surfer who, at 5’9" and 200 pounds, was built like a bulldozer with a ferocious temper to match. He struck f
Surfer1 min read
The Kimbo Twin-Fin
“I’d been riding a lot of twin-fin eggs in smaller waves in the summer, but I wanted to make a bigger one for Blacks in the winter. So I was already planning on making an 8’0" round-tail egg, but before I did, my dog, Kimbo, passed away when I was ou
Surfer3 min read
Matt Hoy, 48
Just get out there and make a go of it. I was doing badly in amateur events as a teenager, but Luke Egan grabbed me and said, “Fuck that amateur stuff. Come have a go at the Tour.” I told my mom I was leaving school to try to make it as a pro. She fr
Surfer7 min read
Livin’enviably
“They let their surfing do the talking” has long been considered one of the highest compliments we, as a culture, can bestow upon a surfer. It implies a kind of humble disinterest in the spotlight of surf stardom, as if to say that how we ride waves
Surfer11 min read
The House That Pipe Built
If you’ve spent any time there at all, it may be difficult to imagine, but Pipeline wasn’t always the spotlight-illuminated headliner on surfing’s main stage: the North Shore of Oahu. Until the late ‘60s, that distinction belonged to the big, warbly
Surfer14 min read
No Manis An Island
poised to affect positive change along his home coastlines and beyond I WAS SITTING ON MY BOARD AT THE OPENING OF A RIVER MOUTH JUST OUTSIDE HILO, HAWAII, GETTING JOSTLED IN CLOUDY, BRACKISH WATER BY SIZEABLE SWELLS THAT HAD LOOKED MUCH MORE MANAGEAB
Surfer4 min read
Someplace like Home
You know that cheesy, old adage about home being where the heart is? Well, cheesy or not, every surfer who’s ever hit the road and found a wave perfectly suited to their approach knows that on some level that’s true. Although the surfy version of tha
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