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Surfer December 2016

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.
welcome to the pizote house

It was around midnight when I heard the pattering of paws on the Spanish-tile floor, just a few feet from the couch I was attempting to sleep on. I was staying at an eco-lodge on a densely forested Costa Rican bluff where you can rent casitas with fewer than four walls, allowing for a more “natural” surf-trip experience. In daylight hours I’d seen a tarantula scamper through the living room and a large brown toad soaking in the basin of the outdoor shower. In the bright sunshine, I’d simply shrugged and continued putting the fins in my board. But in the steamy jungle night, trying to sleep on top of sweat-soaked sheets, it’s hard to avoid thoughts of menacing creatures inching closer in the dark. I could hear cupboards opening, their…

access_time3 min.
peter troy

The founding fathers of surf adventure travel are a mixed bunch. Mellow to manic, decent to debauched, an icon for every taste. Bruce Brown traveled clean, maybe a booze-up here and there, but law-abiding even in lawless places. Kevin Naughton and Craig Peterson were mostly PG-13, although it’s not hard to imagine them ducking into a bawdy house or outrunning the law on some laughable local misdemeanor charge. Peter Troy is another story. Or a thousand more stories. Compared to the others, Troy was black ops. Charming, friendly, easy to connect with, a true friend, a good husband, an excellent surfer. But ankle-deep in the shit more often than not, and neck-deep on occasion. Shackleton meets Bodhi, as written by John le Carr—. In the article you see above, we…

access_time5 min.
what’s so great about the great outdoors?

A couple months back, I got a phone call from a guy— let’s call him Mr. Muir—who runs a surfy nonprofit focused on environmental causes. It’s an organization you’ve probably heard of, trying their damnedest to preserve great surf spots around the world from threats you had no idea even existed. “You want them on that wall; you need them on that wall,” as Jack Nicholson would say. Mr. Muir was frustrated and looking for a little advice from someone embedded in surf media. He explained that most of the donations his organization receives for ocean-related causes come from people who have never set foot on a surfboard, and, inexplicably, getting hardcore surfers to care about protecting the ocean has proven to be extremely difficult. Mr. Muir wanted to know why. I…

access_time6 min.
stopover of a lifetime: nemberala beach resort.

One thing is real, one thing you can count on: something happens when it’s waves that you are doing it for. Because searching for waves, you always end up with so much more then what was expected. So here I sit, in the airport in Bali with a great mix of a crew, like a little surf circus heading to a new stop. I look around and I have to say it’s quite the unusual circus crew: 2 little surfer girls, a photographer dad, a big-wave Surfer Lady, a cool dude with long hair and headphones, a videographer with a cheeky grin, a stylish Italian model-looking-man with a hat who looks like he came straight from a Milano catwalk, a couple who arrive with spear guns and fins that don’t speak…

access_time19 min.
the good samaritan

From the sky above, the water of Papua New Guinea’s Chambri Lakes took on the dark translucence of black tea even as the winds of an approaching storm whipped its surface into a thousand wakes. This deceivingly rough water complicated the landing for pilot Mark Palm. A wheeled plane is governed “strictly by wind,” he said, but the pilot of a seaplane has to consider the velocity of river and ocean currents, the possibility of submerged objects, as well as changing surface conditions. Wind shear, water in the sky, water below—this particular flight already brought on the feeling of bobbing in a violent eddy. But now conditions on the “ground” proved problematic too. “I have to dip down and make sure it’s not too rough,” Palm said, banking the plane…

access_time15 min.
spirit animal

“I was struggling,” recalled Dane Gudauskas of his mental state in the lineup at Cloudbreak on May 25, 2016. “Crazy thoughts were going through my head.” Ten days before, the worldwide big-wave community had taken notice of a monster southern-hemisphere storm that was poised to slide between the west coast of New Zealand and the east coast of Australia. This trajectory set a direct line for Fiji, a weather phenomenon that hadn’t occurred on this scale since 2011. Early on, however, forecasters suspected that the May swell would be met by “questionable” wind conditions. The size of the waves promised to push worldclass surfers to peak performances, but devil winds could easily make a session impossible. According to photographer Todd Glaser, a core of big-wave surfers including Greg Long, Mark Healey,…