Surfer magazine, the “Bible of the Sport” and cultural touchpoint, has been officially mothballed after an iconic 60-year run. Word began leaking yesterday afternoon that the staff had been notified of impending furloughs and that the title, along with many other extreme sport titles in parent company A360Media (née American Media Incorporated) portfolio.
Founded in San Juan Capistrano, California, 1960, by high school teacher and surf film maker John Severson, the title was home to some of the greatest surf writers, surf photographers and graphic designers to ever toil under the glorious brine-filtered sun.
AMI had purchased Surfer, along with the entire Enthusiast Network, a little under two years ago. Staff was slashed but production continued until yesterday when the final decision was made.
Peter Taras, one of the greatest photo editors to ever do it, announced via Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
It’s with great sadness that I write that today was my last day at SURFER. Between Transworld SURF, SURFER, and SURFING, that was half my life. 21 years between the three. It’s really hard for me to put into words right now the feelings. I’m a weepy mess. I taught. I was taught. I cared so much for all the creatives I worked with over the years. We were family. Thank you @fijichili for providing that 16-year old film when I needed it. @chriscote , Marc Hostetter, @the_check_republic and Joel Patterson, you took a chance hiring me as a 23 year old Photo Editor. @eslate you gave me confidence to go full bore with my visual vision. @chatoaganza , you were always the creative guiding light. @jimmicane you always brought the heat! @todprod you taught me patience and professionalism. Lastly, I want to thank my wife @grettygt123 for having to deal with it all through thick and thin. With much love – Peter
It’s with great sadness that I write that today was my last day at SURFER. Between Transworld SURF, SURFER, and SURFING, that was half my life. 21 years between the three. It’s really hard for me to put into words right now the feelings. I’m a weepy mess. I taught. I was taught. I cared so much for all the creatives I worked with over the years. We were family.
Stab magazine, based near Venice Beach, California, erroneously suggested that the decision to take Surfer offline was tied to the staff’s recent decision to endorse Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. An easy assumption seeing that A360Media is President Donald J. Trump associate David Pecker but entirely without merit and wrong.
The sort of very poor surf journalism regularly practiced by fully grown men under five feet tall who furiously back-peddle, weeping, when gently confronted over social media by Ace Buchan.
In truth, Pecker was generally unaware of Surfer and the move to furlough staff and shut down the title, along with others in the Enthusiast Network portfolio, had been continuously broached at the upper levels of management for months.
The issue just on stands will be the final one.
The end of an era and sad for anyone who ever laid on a small twin bed in an overcrowded childhood room, flipped through page after page exuding the greatest life possible and dreamed.