category_outlined / Sports

Surfer December 2015

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.
searching for john florence

We first discussed the idea of centering an issue on John Florence in a staff meeting a few months back. On one hand, it made perfect sense: Florence is without a doubt the best surfer in the world today, and he’s on the cusp of releasing what could be the greatest surf movie ever made. On the other hand, the idea made me a little nervous. Florence is a notorious surf addict, and we’d be putting all our editorial egs in a very unreliable basket. With pro surfers, you can set a time and place for a meeting, but if the wind switches offshore or the swell comes up a foot or two, then they vanish in a poof of froth, only to reappear when the ocean goes flat. A quick…

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tom blake’s camera housing

TOM BLAKE WAS MOODY and asocial, frequently broke, unlucky in love, and, as far as I can tell, kept the darker parts of his psyche unknown not just to others, but also to himself. The original surf photographer, in other words. He was well connected, another fine and essential thing in a surf photog, having bought his first camera (a Graflex Speed Graphic 4×5) from friend and mentor Duke Kahanamoku in 1929. He was ambitious, mailing off his very first batch of photos not to the local beachfront gazette, but to publishing heavyweight champ National Geographic. Above all—and it was always this way with Blake—he was innovative. In order to put his viewer right there in the Waikiki surf zone, Blake crafted a spar-varnished pinewood box, roughly 2 feet by…

access_time3 min.
blue moon boards

For many pros, the surfer/shaper bond is practically forged in steel—or, at the very least, mountains of polyurethane. Since John Florence was in diapers, Jon Pyzel has been the man behind his surfcraft, and the duo continue to fine-tune their designs. “If I even switch the type of foam we normally use, he’ll pick up on that instantly,” Pyzel explains. “He’s that dialed in.” Here, Pyzel breaks down the designs that Florence relies on most. For Big Waves CRAZY TRAIN QUAD 10'5"× 20–." × 3–⅝" This is a typical design for when John wants to surf the outer reefs. Because a lot of the waves that break out there require you to actually maneuver and turn, we’ve had to make some adjustments to accommodate that. It’s not like a board for Waimea, where…

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alexandra florence north shore, oahu

I always saw my kids as little buddies. I wasn’t really grown up yet when I had them. I was still kind of a kid myself. Being able to go to the beach and be outside all the time when they were little definitely made it easier to raise them. It helps to have a guardian angel. Things seemed to fall into place for me when I arrived on the North Shore. It was still a bit of the Wild West there when I showed up and yet I never felt threatened or alone. I met a lot of uncles who looked out for me. Real and good people. Later they would become positive influences on my children. There are so many positive people on the North Shore. I’ve always been so…

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the now

PRECISELY 39 SECONDS into the trailer for John Florence’s new film, View from a Blue Moon, Florence stands oh-so-stylishly in the mouth of a yawning turquoise barrel. This envy-inducing scene was filmed from the channel at the Box on a stateof-the-art RED camera. The man who sat behind the lens, bobbing in the cold, shark-infested waters of Western Australia, was Erik Knutson. Knutson, who grew up surfing and competing with Florence on the North Shore, considers himself lucky to capture moments like these. But if good fortune has had anything to do with his success as a filmmaker, his studious mind and consummate desire to learn have been equal drivers. Roughly three years ago, before he was crisscrossing the globe with camera in tow, Knutson was attending the University of Hawaii at…

access_time5 min.
the hero factory

If you think about it in the proper headspace (let’s say three beers in), the relationship that mainland surfing has had with Oahu’s North Shore for the past seven decades or so looks an awful lot like a youthful, hot-blooded love affair—one that burns brightly at first, grows cool after time and familiarity, and then, with a quiet flicker and a wisp of smoke, extinguishes. Except, after all these years, we’ve kept our flame alive. Here, I’ll lay it out for you. When we first really fell head over heels for the place back in the ’50s (seems like just yesterday!), it was like nowhere else we’d ever surfed. Blissfully warm waters, perfect tropical climate, everything smelling of plumeria, with turquoise waves spilling over sugar-sand beaches. Right away, like a bunch of…