Rumor: Surfer mag to become quarterly!

"The Bible of the Sport" to maybe take a step toward leaving the print world entirely!

Surfer magazine, the monthly lovingly hand-crafted in California, has been published since 1960.


That’s 56 years of sun, tubs, personalities and heart. Some of the world’s most well-loved surf journalists have had their names emblazoned on its glossy pages and some of the world’s most well-loved surf photographers have done their best work whilst in the magazine’s employ.

Its monthly nature, in any case, means that I have at least twelve different things to look at while standing in the checkout line of Seaside Market over the course of one year not counting Blake Shelton or Gwen Stefani or Miranda Lambert or Oprah or Selena Gomez or Theon Greyjoy or Oliver Kurtz.

Rumor has it though, that soon I will only have four different things to look at while standing in the checkout line of Seaside Market not counting Kanye West or Prince or Blac Chyna or Gwen Paltrow or Blair Marlin.

That is, unfortunately, (maybe) right. The “Bible of the Sport” is transitioning from a monthly to a quarterly.

Print is, of course, dead-ish not counting the glorious Surfer’s Journal which somehow continues to defy the laws of human consumption. Still, it is sad to watch our proud institutions brought low, begging for attention amidst an increasingly crowded entertainment space.

Fucken surf websites n shit.

It is a shame, though Derek’s heartfelt story about staff buying Surfing Life and White Horses is touching. Maybe there’s still a place for print.

I meant to write “maybe there’s still a place for print?”

I meant to write “there’s probably not a place for print unless the printing reads The Surfer’s Journal.”

Fucken surf websites n shit.

White Horses Surfing Life magazines
Three men walk into the offices of a publicly listed company and walk out as the new owners of two surf mags. Genius or crazy?

Staff to buy Surfing Life/White Horses!

Surfers offer to buy iconic surf mags back from corporate master!

Here’s what you might call a switcharoo. Instead of an investment firm swinging their millions at a publishing house, the surfers who run Surfing Life and White Horses for Pacific Star Network, the company that bought Morrison Media with its suite of titles (Frankie, Surfing Life, White Horses, Smith Journal) for ten million dollars in November 2014, have made an offer to buy back the two surf mags.

As I write, the board of Pacific Star are meeting to discuss an offer that would put White Horses into the hands of its creator and designer/editor Graeme Murdoch, Rob Bain (sales, former surf star) and Morrison Media’s former general manager, Craig Sims, a South African who once owned Zig Zag magazine before moving to Australia. Craig would also become the sole owner of Surfing Life magazine.

Buying two print titles? Did not the memo about print being dead reach his desk?

Would Sims’ next investment be a franchise of blacksmiths or video stores?

Sims ain’t wearing rose coloured glasses.

“We’re passionate and we love what we do,” says Sims, “and we know we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Surfing Life‘s current editor Ryan Jones says the mag might miss a deadline, if the changeover happens, but it’ll be biz as usual in a month or so. Jones says it’s likely the mags will be run by a gang of contributors working wherever, meeting around deadline time, then dispersing back to their home offices. This works on two levels. You lose the weight of full-time salaries and all their associated costs and the workers can choose whether they want to work or surf.

It’s all very share economy. People power etc.

There’ll be an announcement either today (offer accepted), tomorrow (counter offer made) or Monday (counter offer rejected).

Whatever happens, I think it’s the most wonderful thing ever to see a bunch of workers having a swing in the real world, escaping the yoke of their corporate masters etc.

Kelly Slater skateboarding
Kelly Slater's dazzling backside smith.

Who knew: Kelly Slater Can Skate!

Sweet lil backside smith, clean back 50-50… 

Derek wanted me to write something today about the wall Zuckerberg is building around his massive property up North of me. But I just don’t really care.

That particular area is mostly owned by bitch and moan millionaires. All unhappy because someone is doing to them exactly what they’ve already done to everyone else. Head down to that stretch and try to find beach access. Ain’t easy. All the rich bitches love to fence ’em off, close ’em down. I recently had someone say to me, with a straight face, as though it’s a problem, “the billionaires are chasing out the millionaires.”

Boo fucking hoo.

Ya’ know what I’m much more interested in? This video of Kelly Slater and Tom Carroll skating a mini-ramp back in the first half of the 90’s.

Kelly can skate? I never knew. I remember he had a signature model skateboard many years ago, but it was just a some longboard cruiser kook number.

Kelly throws down a a clean little back 50/50, and is that a slashing back smith?

The best part, by far, is watching the man who brought us “The Snap” absolutely flail. TC pushes mongo! Can’t drop in to save his life.

Very funny. Definitely tickled my funny bone. Saved me from putting real thought into today’s little article.


Is this the face of surfing's demise?
Is this the face of surfing's demise?

Defeat: Wave pool goes down in flames!

Bird enthusiasts destroy mini-barrel dreams!

Wave pools, alongside Instagram cattiness, shark attacks and unsubstantiated rumor, have become the fourth pillar of BeachGrit‘s mighty empire. Who isn’t awed by what man can do if/when he puts his mind to something?

Kelly Slater’s design is, of course, leading the charge. But do you remember Surf Snowdonia in Wales? I think it might be working still. And others. Maybe.

Municipalities from San Diego to Melbourne to Austin are lining up to get their very own wave pool. What monument could possibly be complete without an accompanying mini-barrel or mushburger?

But Chicago, Illinois is bucking the trend! The Sun-Times has reported that a group of bird enthusiasts smashed the hopes/dreams of inland surfers hoping to crouch low in brown water. Lets read:

Chicago’s bird enthusiasts helped scuttle a proposal to build a wave pool designed to simulate a surfing experience on a plot of land a few hundred yards north of a lakefront bird sanctuary near Montrose Beach.

For K.C. Hoos, a 37-year-old North Sider, the rejection could draw to a close his seven-year quest to find a friendly home for the project and his dream of introducing surfing to Chicago’s masses.

It was the third time he’d been turned down from leasing a North Side spot abutting a beach.

“It was the perfect location,” Hoos said, venting frustration with what he viewed as preferential treatment for bird enthusiasts.

Hoos wanted to renovate a historic but dilapidated stone concession stand and bathroom facility that, along with a newly constructed pool and tiered patio, would have become the hub of his operation.

Long-time bird enthusiast Leslie Borns, who led the effort to fight Hoos’ latest push, was apparently informed by the park district several weeks ago that Hoos’ proposal had been rejected.

After hearing the news, she emailed supporters: “Before you start doing your happy dance, let’s reflect on the important lesson learned here – CONSTANT VIGILANCE AT ALL TIMES. We know there will be more Hooses, more Capplemans, and more blatant assaults on the free, open, public lands we have the extraordinary luck and privilege to enjoy in a huge urban area. So keep your eyes and ears open, and despite what anyone says, NEVER give up the fight.”

Who knew bird enthusiasts were so angry? So extreme? So fundamentalist? Will they be the final straw on the surf industry’s very weak back?

everything is terrible

Podcast: “Everything is Always Terrible!”

The new weekly podcast from noted writer, now broadcaster, Rory Parker… 

I enjoy podcasts. Great way to enjoy some quality background entertainment while I cook or clean the house or (theoretically) hit the gym.

Seems like everyone’s got one nowadays. Except for me. Until now. This is my podcast, Everything is Always Terrible.

It’s a work in progress. Still gotta get better at editing audio. Still need to work on cleaning up my speech mannerisms.

But it’s good. I’m proud of it.

First episode features Dave Wassel. I love Dave. Everyone loves Dave. He’s the type of surfer we all want to be. The type of man we all want to be. He’s funny and eloquent and intelligent and an absolute joy to speak with.

Give it a listen. Leave your mean comments below.