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The Current Issue of The Surfer's Journal

In our December/January offering, we round out the 23rd volume of TSJ with a collection of profiles, spot checks, and backstories documenting the varied edges of our culture. Go into untapped Indo (where even B-Grade waves are stunners) with photographer Brad Masters, the deep heart of Australian slab surfing with 16-year-old tube hunter Russell Bierke, and 100 years into history in Virginia Beach, one of the East Coast’s most overlooked yet enduring surf citadels. Photographically, this issue also takes a look at the time-capsuled portfolio of 1960s Australian shooter Bob Weeks and the hyper-modern images of Surfing mag’s Jimmy Wilson. A pairing between George Greenough and Pink Floyd, a look at the home and career of documentarian (and surf filmmaker) Greg MacGillivray, the linocuts of artist Stan Squire, and the nefarious dealings of surfer/operator Mike Tabeling can also be found in between the folds. Here’s a pre-run of what you can expect.

Page 18
Generation Slab | by Jed Smith

Generation Slab

For Russell Bierke, the allure of Australia’s big wave scene was magnetic, the battlefield rife with hazard. And at 16, he was already a vet: “Russ was only 12 when he went on his first swell-chase with his old man. After packing the van, they drove 10 hours to Bells to greet 12 feet of Antarctic corduroy wrapping into the Bowl. Russ had a fresh quiver of orange boards, the idea being that if he got into trouble, at least his dad would be able to find him.”

Page 28
Portfolio: Bob Weeks | by Andrew Crockett

Portfolio: Bob Weeks

The origin stories of California surfing are all but memorized. Thanks to photographers like Don James, LeRoy Grannis, and Ron Stoner, our flashpoint moments are forever enshrined on Ilford photographic print paper. But in surfing’s “colonies,” such exhaustive archives are generally lacking. That’s what makes Bob Weeks portfolio of early-60s Oz so fresh and appealing. A marvelous framer of compositions reminiscent of Ron Church, Weeks accumulated a file as deep as it is broad. The surfing looks fresh, the venues stoke-inducing, and the boards worthy of study. This is a find by any measure.

Page 48
Forty Percent More Fun | by Ted Reckas

Forty Percent More Fun

In influence and accomplishment, Greg MacGillivray (aka MacG) is both a Mack and a G. He was also long overdue for a TSJ visit. Along with gone-but-not-forgotten partner Jim Freeman, the surf filmmaker and documentarian—now best known as the Spielberg of Imax—racked up a life list of titles revered by insider critics and sweaty peasants alike: A Cool Wave of Color. The Performers. The Sunshine Sea. Free and Easy. Five Summer Stories. Today, Greg travels the world producing Oscar-nominated epics. Laguna Beach is his retreat, and his oceanfront house near the heart of town is a swell-by-any-measure decompression chamber. Saddle up for a walk-through.

Page 56
Waves Around the Bend | by Nathan Myers

Waves Around the Bend

A four-pack of Indonesian discoveries by shooter Brad Masters, guaranteed to get you checking discount flights to Jakarta. It starts with The Beast, a place that’s recently hosted the heaviest pit-plumbings this side of Peahi. If that’s a little much, consider The No Brainer, a virtual skatepark of a left/right/bombie combo. Next up, might Brad direct your attention to Cricket Point? It’s a legit sand-bottom setup in the wilds of Indo, adding further reason to consider a land-based tromp. Finally, there’s The Hoax, a hardly-hidden left point that Masters claims is “good from far but far from good.” Photos lie, but we won’t—this is a sick assemblage.

Page 70
From East to West | by Paul Holmes

From East to West

Mike Tabeling had style, flare, and a sense of adventure—and where surf mag magazine ledes are concerned, this profile of his escapades is one that delivers on its promise: Mike Tabeling’s Columbian frontman had a problem. Apparently the 20 pounds of choice gold marijuana that Tabeling had fenced to a group of Hawaiian gangsters had not been paid for in full. Scattered throughout the hundred-dollar bills that the Hawaiians had offered as payment were C-notes of another kind: counterfeits that stood out starkly white under a black light. “Get us our money,” the Colombians from Miami told Tabeling’s connection, “or your surfer-punk runner from Cocoa Beach will be getting his last ride.”

Page 82
Wish Fulfillment | by Kirk Owers

Wish Fulfillment

The linocuts of Australian artist Stan Squire are inextricably rooted to his native New South Wales—both in content and production. When the fickle surf in his zone goes flat, he retreats to his studio and hunkers down to work, creating Arcadias of perfect surf that are half fantasy and half memory. And when the conditions shift, he heads back out to restock the mental banks. “It’s inconsistent down here,” he says, “so you’re constantly dreaming about perfect setups. Whereas if you grew up in Bali, there’d be no need.”

Page 88
Vah Beach | by Stewart Ferebee

Vah Beach

As a surf destination, Virginia Beach is primarily known as a pit stop on certain surf comp circuits, a party detour for Outer-Banks-bound road trips, and a generally underfed collection of sandbanks, jetties, and piers. For locals, however, it’s a wavescape that has captured and held their attention for more than 100 years, with generational dynasties shaped by every ounce of energy they can wring from the Atlantic. Photographer, writer, and Vah Beach native Stewart Ferebee explores a century of history in this East Coast stronghold.

Page 98
You Crazy Diamonds | by Brian Chidester

You Crazy Diamonds

The line between rock star and surf star was significantly thinner in the 1960s and 70s, made even more so by common positioning in underground culture, subversive lifestyling, and psychedelia. For George Greenough and Pink Floyd, these crossover pools of interest ultimately ended in a creative collaboration, a film known as Echoes. Here’s the backstory of how Greenough’s disembodied portraits from deep inside the tube came to be paired with the band’s instrumentals.

Page 104
Path of the Jimmicane | by Taylor Paul

Path of the Jimmicane

The technical chops, high-action focus, and outsized personality of category-five photographer Jimmy Wilson. “Jimmy is rare in the sense that he doesn’t think about photography as a super creative outlet,” says Surfing magazine’s photo editor Pete Taras. “That’s not to say he isn’t creative, because he makes some amazing stuff. But I think that when most people shoot photographs it comes from a very emotional place, where they’re looking for some sort of self-fulfillment. They want to evoke a presence or spirit of themselves in what they are shooting, whereas Jimmy just wants everything to be technically perfect.”