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Surfer April 2017

We founded Surfer Magazine in 1960 with a mission: to bring our readers a slice of the entire surfing world with each issue. And for over four decades, we've made good on that promise. Every issue of Surfer is packed with spectacular award-winning photos, provocative interviews with the leading pros, and journeys to the coolest undiscovered surf spots. With your order you'll get the Annual Oversized Issue, the Buyer's Guide, and the Hot 100, featuring the world's best new surfers.

United States
American Media Operations, Inc
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8 Issues


access_time3 min.
editor’s note

Just down the hall from my office, in the room where we meet to brainstorm features and drink beer after finishing particularly taxing issues, sits the entire SURFER Magazine archive. It amounts to 57 years worth of surf history, starting with the 36-page pamphlet that SURFER founder John Severson made to promote his 1960 film, Surf Fever, and ending with whatever the last issue was that we remembered to put on the shelf (seriously, don’t we have an intern for that?). I often find myself in that room, flipping through the discolored, dog-eared volumes of yesteryear, usually searching for a specific article that may lend context to a current project. But, inevitably, I find myself going down rabbit holes of Severson-painted covers, intricately-drawn Rick Griffin cartoons, oddball articles that were likely…

access_time2 min.
the plastic inevitable

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — During the last run of west swell to hit Santa Barbara, threetime world champion and surf-world spirit animal Tom Curren was spotted at Sandspit, flying through the tube on an unusual surfcraft “I was sitting on the shoulder when I saw him pop up on this tiny piece of plastic and get the deepest tube I’d ever seen,” said local Geoff Marshall. “I knew that red rectangle instantly; I’ve eaten about a hundred Big Macs off of those.” A handful of local and visiting videographers captured the ride, and the resulting video clips went viral within minutes on social media. Once word got out that the craft was a lunch tray from a McDonald’s franchise, surfers all around the world descended upon the chain restaurants in droves. “It was…

access_time3 min.
time capsule

1970 Don’t oversell. Comedy rule No. 1, right there. The person who says, “Hey, guys, listen, this is the funniest story ever!” might as well try to light a fire with damp pasta. Former SURFER editor Drew Kampion understood this perfectly. Some hoodoo had been making the rounds, the way it so often does, about an approaching doomsday (May 21, 1970, to be exact), and Kampion wanted to riff on that in the magazine. Became a little obsessed, in fact. He started on Page 1. The cover of the May issue is gorgeous, as SURFER covers invariably were in that era: an Art Brewer shot of Rory Russell embedded in a small, late-afternoon copper barrel. You had to tear your eyes away from the photo to even notice the small, white,…

access_time4 min.
a parallel universe

Talking with Neal Purchase Junior, it’s clear the renowned Queensland shaper is a firm believer in the design-world adage that form should follow function. “I don’t like to see crazy or wacky shit with no thought behind it, just for the sake of being weird,” Purchase says. “I like to see function.” Purchase’s Duo model—a voluminous egg with two raked single-fins that curve backward from parallel fin boxes—may look like “wacky shit” at a glance, but the design is no gimmick, and Purchase has made believers of surfers like Jared Mell, Harrison Roach, Chippa Wilson, and many others. The parallel-finned design is a product of Purchase’s unique perspective on shaping and surfing. As a second-generation shaper, he knows his way around a planer, and as a surfer who’s featured in acclaimed filmmaker Andrew…

access_time3 min.
invasion of the kelp snatchers

On wind-torn days from San Diego to Crescent City, California surfers have always had an unsung ally in kelp forests during wind-torn days. Those large accumulations of kelp you see floating outside the lineup have the ability to groom and comb waves as they make their way toward shore, which is why those of us obsessed with riding clean, glassy lines tend to flock to kelp-protected breaks on blustery days. But surfers aren’t the only creatures reliant on these forests. Kelp supplies food for herbivorous sea creatures, prevents coastal erosion, and provides protection for fish and other marine life against larger predators. Kelp even produces alginate, a carbohydrate used to thicken toothpaste and, more importantly, that glorious tubful of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream you probably have sitting in your freezer…

access_time4 min.
nat young ,69

1966 World Champion New South Wales, Australia “The great thing about surfing is, we are riding nature and nature changes.” Competition can take some of the fun out of surfing. The early ’60s were all about having fun. There was no sort of competition involved and surfing was a really social thing. We were competing with ourselves because we wanted to get better, but no one was saying “I’m better than you” or “I’m going to win this contest.” True genius is rare in surfing. George Greenough is a genius. George was the first guy I saw ride a wave how I wanted to ride a wave. I’d never seen anyone able… to place themselves inside the curl. Prior to that, it was all about passing by the curl and just waving at it. People…