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The Current Issue of The Surfer's Journal

Find a comfortable perch. Peel the envelope. Crack the covers. Smell real ink. The new Journal is in your hands. Lombok, Indonesia. Cape Cod, Mass. Kaimuki, Oahu. An unnamed island in the South Pac. A sandbar in the south of France. This issue takes you on a journey, introducing you to a surprising clutch of varied and accomplished surfers. Here’s a sneak look at what’s in store…

Page 20
Boxing the Compass | By Nathan Myers

Boxing the Compass

YouTube-search Jared Mell, watch four or five clips, and then try to sell yourself on the notion that he isn’t one of the planet’s most stylish and expressionistic surfers. Improvisation plays a large role. Mell doesn’t telegraph his moves. He’ll affect a parallel stance in outlandish situations. He’ll surf switch with total alacrity. And he’ll do all of the above with a quiet upper body, hands foiled just so. It’s pure surfing, but never constipated and stagey. He’s had a rough upbringing, and to this day seems to live by his wits. The benefits of not having been helicopter-parented and surf-coached are obvious—Jared is endlessly creative, streetwise, and resourceful. Nathan Myers reports.

Page 32
The Land of the Nauset | By Ethan Stewart

The Land of the Nauset

Cape Cod is freighted with dreams, aspirations and history. A charismatic bit of geography, the hook-shaped peninsula is lauded by artists for its resonant “Cape light.” Comprising a multitude of townships, demographics, and swell exposures, it’s Massachusetts’ most complex wave field. Of course, there is a diehard surf populace willing to hang through the bitter cold of winter and the various indignities of tourist season to get their moments. This is the inside view.

Page 44
God and Ben | By Sam George

God and Ben

Start surfing late: say, in your twenties. Throw s-turns on 40-pound tankers. Teach yourself to shape. Invent the swallowtail. Invent the Sting. Build prototypes for Buttons and Bertlemann. Shape, carve, and coach relentlessly for 50 years. Boom! Overnight success. Ben Aipa—a man’s man to be sure—has been a powerful, albeit humble, presence in Hawaiian surfing since the days of the Makaha International Championships. Under sung in an almost criminal way for decades, it is our pleasure to drop this 8,000-word bomb.

Page 66
Giving Slaps | By Ron Croci

Giving Slaps

Watercolorist Ron Croci has been around the block. As an artist, he’s a hell of a storyteller. His decades of scene watching, creedler monitoring, and dialogue harvesting have found him imbedded squat in the middle of various locals-only situations, where justice is meted via the back of a hand. Now, his tales and paintings scan anachronistic. Where meritocracy, respect, and hierarchies once defined the line-up, the modern free-for-all of adult noobs, mass marketing, and litigation have rendered the surf world as safe as milk. While he’s clearly no fan of thuggery, you can’t help but read between the lines, feeling almost nostalgic for the days when a line-up violation could land you a sock in the jaw.

Page 74
Arc of a Cesta | By Greg Tindall

Arc of a Cesta

Author Greg Tindall on Pete Mendia: “Despite having a full array of maneuvers, Pete Mendia's signature move as a time-tested photo-pro has become the cutback, the first move he learned to do at Lake Worth pier as a kid. He had this yellow MTB twin-fin that he finally figured out how to grab one rail then set the other one to reverse their direction. The cutback, that's it... can't be eponymously renamed. It's such a standard move it's almost taken for granted. Of course, it’s not any old cutty when the “big kid” lays into it. It's everything Pete has laid out on a rail, over twenty years of professional surfing honed in on a moment... a maneuver that splays the grain of the wave wide open, a stained-glass window pane of ocean.”

Page 80
Straight Back to the Cuckoo's Nest | By Matt Rott

Straight Back to the Cuckoo's Nest

The author, on his equipment selection for 8-10’ tropical reef passes: “The surfboard, if you could call it that, was incapable of going anywhere but straight. Its shaper had that part right at least. It was 8’6”x 23”x 4” and essentially rocker-less, with rails boxy to the point of being square. It looked as if the builder had planed the skin off of a blank from the days before close-tolerance molds and then sent it straight to the glasser, no further shaping required. Complementing a bottom that was conspicuously lacking in contour, the board had a half-baked fin setup with a middle appendage that looked like it could keep the Queen Mary on course. It was either way ahead of its time, or way not.”

Page 86
Racking Focus | By Kevin O'Sullivan

Racking Focus

From the pocket coves of Laguna Beach to the Forgotten Island of Santosha, Spyder Wills has injected his arcane reference points and technical virtuosity with twisted intensity. Lending world-standard camera work to films and television productions (Santosha, Stylemasters, “Wide World of Sports”) Wills was known for both his ability to get the job done and his wicked sense of humor. Writer Kevin O’Sullivan burrowed into Spyder’s lair for this feature, supported by the superb portraiture of Art Brewer.

Page 94
Suggérer. Adapter. Créer | Portfolio - Damien Poullenot

Damien Poullenot

Damien Poullenot is a French photographer from the forested hamlet of Hossegor on the Cote d’Argent. With compatriot Laurent Masurel, Damien runs a thriving photo agency centered on surfing. Splitting the difference between art and sport, he is a subtle manipulator of nuanced light and eye-tricking composition. His work is uncanny, with an appeal that speaks to purist considerations like craft, emotional vibration, and allusion. In this, his first portfolio in the U.S. surfing press, he graces 18 pages with his broad take on sliding culture.

Page 114
Foam Ball Satori | By Leo Maxam

Foam Ball Satori

“That's the key to the whole getting robbed thing, just give ‘em your stuff. Like when I got stabbed here, I had a hut right down on the beach and I was sleeping, and I wake up and there's a guy going out of my hut. So I get up out of bed and I look out, and it's pretty bright from the moon, and I can see the one guy's sitting there with some of my stuff. So I take off after him–like a dumb ass. Never do that. Whatever you have, it ain't worth getting killed over. But I was young. So I run after the guy and reach out and grab the back of his shirt and something just slams my shoulder. And I look down and there are all these flashlights in my face and I'm covered in blood. I look up and there's ten guys there…”