A forgotten issue of Time magazine from 1963 challenges perceptions!
And I have written it more than once, here, that we are in a golden era of surf journalism. Don’t you agree? Warshaw’s historical surf empire has wings, Doherty and Longtom are trading gorgeous swipes. Finnegan won a Pulitzer for the tales of his surfing life, Carroll’s work in both longer form and shorter comment section blurbs is near art, etc. etc.
I am happy to be alive to witness this epoch, this gorgeous epoch, but just moments ago I saw a Time magazine feature from 1963 on surfing in Hawaii. Should we read together?
The men who ride the big ones in Hawaii actually ski down the shoulder of a wave away from the curl… They call the first breathtaking schuss ‘taking the drop.’ Their boards accelerate up to 35 mph so rapidly that they kick up waves like speedboats. And a merciless mauling awaits the unfortunate who doesn’t complete his ride. He is driven downward by the appalling maelstrom, tossed around, sucked back down and frequently, after fighting up for a desperate gulp of air, hammered down again by the next wave.
The pictures that accompanied (here) were fabulous but that writing. It sings and is maybe better than anything I have ever written in my whole life. Maybe better than anything that has been written in the last ten years.
And all of a sudden I felt sad.
Is this not the golden era of surf journalism? Did I miss the high water mark and am I merely splashing in dirty puddles with other grown men who only write in surf because we are entirely unemployable elsewhere?
But then I re-read Stab magazine’s Pop Rocks from 14 months ago…
Malia Ward and her Moms Jacqueline Miller lead a truly fabulous existence. After parting ways with San Clemente surf royalty baby-daddy Chris Ward, Jacqueline entered a relationship that saw her and Malia living in a five storey house with a private beach in Corona Del Mar, California. Malia and Moms are bff’s and spend their time travelling in style (private jets, limos, for real!) to the Pro Junior contests at which Malia’s continuing the Ward surfing legacy. We thought it’d be totally cute to shoot a girls day at home, and pay tribute to the neon-saturated nineties when Jacqueline was Malia’s age (18!) To capture the ‘pop’ of this cheeky duo there was only one man. The CobraSnake. The Cobra likes it straight up. No airbrush, no photoshop. Raw. Come and sniff the sweet smell of perfume, the other half sure knows how to live!
I re-read it and knew for a fact, for an indisputable fact, that we are in a golden era of surf journalism.
Suck a fat one 1963.