category_outlined / Sports

Surfer September 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

The midweek crowd at Ala Moana Bowls on the south shore of Oahu was light despite the dreamy shoulder-high left-handers consistently peeling along the reef. But even with plenty of waves to go around, the small local crew fell into an exclusive rotation, taking turns picking off the best set waves while outsiders were mostly left with scraps. I couldn’t have cared less about being relegated to second-tier waves; after all, as a visiting San Diegan, what was my alternative? The locals likely surfed that break every day, had intimate knowledge of every piece of coral on the reef and therefore had earned the right to the best sets, so sayeth surfing’s unwritten code of wave worthiness. But not everyone in the lineup shared my perspective. A slightly overweight, sunscreen-caked, rashguard- wearing…

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gut check

The public perception of surfers has come a long way since their portrayal in 1982’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” but surfers still battle stereotypes, especially around school campuses. Just ask any surfer who’s come to class with eyes tinged red from sun and saltwater and gotten skeptical looks from their professor. Pterygiums? Yeah, they’re not buying it. So it makes sense that Cliff Kapono, a surfer and University of California San Diego (UCSD) graduate student studying biotechnology, bioengineering and chemistry, hid his affinity for the ocean from his teachers for the first half of his college career. “I didn’t want them thinking I was just chasing swells all the time,” Kapono says when asked about balancing surf and school at a campus just a stone’s throw from a playful La…

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wings on his feet

The above profile of a teenaged Chris Ward, published in June 1996, came out smack dab in the middle of Slatermania. Only 24 years old and well on his way to a fourth world title, Kelly Slater was already the most famous surfer the world had ever known. His model-handsome face, squeaky clean image and lithe physique were selling Quiksilver boardshorts by the bushel to the inland masses while also dominating surf magazines and videos. But despite Planet Slater’s gravitational pull (or possibly because of it), many angsty teen surfers of the time didn’t think Slater was anywhere near as interesting as a small band of delinquents getting stone drunk in a rotting house in San Clemente, California. The Orange County crew lit each other’s hair on fire, slid down the…

access_time3 min.
a trestles taxonomy

For the highly anticipated third season of “Planet Earth,” set for release this fall on BBC, Sir David Attenborough and his film crew went to Southern California for a look at some truly unique creatures. “Lower Trestles was an obvious choice for us when we were scouting locations for the new season,” Attenborough told SURFER. “The extremely diverse resource- acquiring strategies employed by local surfers suggest that human evolution has taken a much different course in the lineup than it has on land. Technically speaking, if we follow ‘The Zoologist’s Guide to Flora and Fauna,’ not all the surfers in this lineup can actually be considered human. So we proceeded to classify the species that we found. That was a ‘Planet Earth’ first.” To promote the new season of the hit…

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billy “mystic” wilmot, 57

“The love of surfing is universal. Everybody loves to get shacked. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, what religion you believe in or what your skin color is.” Surfing keeps kids off the streets. It gives them something to think about that’s not destructive in nature. They don’t go online to check out handguns; they check to see when the next swell is coming. Surfing occupies the mind in constructive ways. Teaching your kids to surf is a special thing. You know how much they’re going to enjoy the first time they stand up and you’re going to be the one who gave them that experience. That’s a special feeling, knowing that you’re the one who showed them what surfing is. Tell your kids about your own mistakes and weaknesses. Some parents…

access_time5 min.
wet hot american mixtape

I was in a bar the other night when somebody played the Pearl Jam song “Corduroy” from “Vitalogy” on the jukebox. The rollicking guitar and raspy vocals instantly catapulted me back to high school in Morro Bay, California, when I listened to that song every single day before surfing the Rock after class; in hindsight, that whole chunk of my life seems to be wrapped up in the four minutes of that song. Strangely enough, after moving to San Diego a few years later, I couldn’t stand the sound of Pearl Jam. Instead, I listened to nothing but Modest Mouse, which to this day makes me think of surfing weird reefs in La Jolla before toweling off for my shift at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. These song-to-surf-life pairings made me think:…