category_outlined / Sports

Surfer November 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.
point of division

Let’s consider the great white shark. The average adult female weighs about 1 ton and is nearly the length of a Chevy Suburban. For our purposes, the most noteworthy difference between a Chevy Suburban and a great white is that while the front end of the former is affixed with a bumper and license plate, the latter features a set of crushingly muscular jaws and 300 teeth, each one serrated, enabling them to act like tiny saws when crushing and stabbing alone just won’t do. For obvious reasons, the great white has been the alpha fish for 16 million years and counting, devouring everything from rays to seagulls to elephant seals without fear of any natural predators. We surfers also encounter these oceanic juggernauts from time to time, with generally unfavorable…

access_time10 min.
the ember in the ashes

During the Log Renaissance of the late ’90s and early ’00s, CJ Nelson emerged as longboarding’s dark knight, a brash, heavily tattooed goofyfoot with unparalleled noseriding talent. In 2002, Thomas Campbell’s film Sprout showed Nelson in top form, his highly technical yet fluid surfing perfectly matching the ruler-straight peelers of Scorpion Bay. In the following decade, Nelson slid into a cycle of substance abuse, gaining a reputation among his peers as a bridge-burning drunk. Those hard-lived years started to affect his surfing and his health, and, like so many brilliant talents before him—from Dewey Weber to Butch Van Artsdalen—Nelson seemed destined for an early grave. But after losing his father to cancer in 2012, Nelson took a hard look at his life, put down the bottle, and recommitted to surfing. He’s…

access_time3 min.
secrets of the ooze

Not to be too alarmist, but algae is coming for all of us. Sure, a little algae may seem harmless, but it’s increasingly showing up around the world in the form of enormous algal blooms that are toxifying the bodies of water we depend on for drinking, fishing, surfing, and gazing upon while thoughtfully pondering. Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, for example, developed a 250-square-mile bloom this past May that devastated waterways along the Atlantic coast. Last summer, 600 miles of the Ohio River were coated in algae, and Lake Erie recently became so choked with algae that Toledo, Ohio’s drinking water was threatened. Africa, Asia, and Europe are all fighting against algae’s relentless encroachment. What’s the cause, you ask? Runoff, mostly, both rural and urban. Nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural irrigation, as…

access_time18 min.
year of the shark

In Steven Hall’s novel The Raw Shark Texts, the book’s central character is stalked by a “Ludovician,” a giant conceptual shark that swims through his psyche, attacking unexpectedly, devouring great chunks of his memory, leaving him to piece his past life back together while he waits for the beast to strike again. Ever since his fateful encounter with a great white at Jeffreys Bay last year, Mick Fanning has had sharks—both metaphorical and very real—stalking his quiet moments, circling him in his sleep, and following him into the ocean. The malevolent dream fish began taking huge chunks out of his life—his marriage, his brother, a world title—a lifetime’s worth of outrageous misfortune and tragedy all crammed into a single year. It was a year that felt like black satire for Fanning…

access_time11 min.
second hand stoke

Ivah Wilmot’s sun-bleached dreadlocks dangle over a pile of surfboards as the 19-year-old bends down to pick up a groveler with a green, gold, and red stomp pad. It’s a wide-nosed Sharp Eye—probably no bigger than a 5'6", by the look of it under his taut, chiseled arm. The deck is covered with craters and the rails have a few patched dings, but by Jamaican standards, the board is mint. “An American surfer named Tyrone gave this to me when he was visiting,” Ivah tells me, holding the board out in front of him for us both to examine. He’s shirtless with an oversized shark-tooth pendant hanging from his neck. “He noticed I didn’t have a fresh board, and he was like, ‘Oh, mon, you rip. Take this.’” Looking for relief from…

access_time13 min.
life in the excellent range

If the world were a tennis ball, Taj Burrow would be a big ol’ Labrador, standing there slobbering, waiting excitedly for someone to throw it. To say he’s enjoyed his 18 years on the World Tour might be understating it a little. The son of hippie folk who fled California for a godforsaken corner of Australia, Burrow jumped straight back on a plane—business class, of course—and made the world his oyster: surfing, partying, after-partying, chasing “the big city lights.” He joined the Tour ranks when he was 19 years old and quickly became the millennium’s most bankable surf-video star and the Tour’s resident bon vivant. Now, at 38, with boundless enthusiasm for surfing still twinkling in his beady blue eyes, Burrow is returning home to the Yallingup countryside to settle…