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TSJ eBooks
  • The Power and the Place - Puerto Escondido

    In the ’30s, Puerto Escondido was nothing more than an obscure shipping port with no permanent settlement. The bay was intermittently used to export coffee but otherwise it was a small and simple place left off most maps. It wasn’t until the ’60s, when the “Mexican Pipeline” was discovered by some crazy gringos that things changed. It must have taken guts to work their way through what was then the “wild west.” But getting to Playa Zicatela would prove to be reward enough. There, in the middle of coastal Mexico, they’d found a perfect wave, warm water, and a complete swell magnet.

  • After the Discovery - The Evolution of West African Surf Culture

    In 1822 freed American slaves were sailed back across the Atlantic and resettled along Africa’s west coast. They formed what is present day Liberia. The first surfers are rumored to have appeared in country in the ’70s, a good 150 years later, although I have not been able to confirm those accounts. I first touched down in 2009, four short years after a bloody, 14-year civil war came to a close.

  • From West of Oz - Russell Ord's unique brand of heavy-water surf photography

    Russell Ord  is the friend you have that you don’t hear from very often, but when you do, for whatever reason, you’re kind of surprised he’s still alive.

    An email will read, “Just drove 1,500 kilometers to the middle of nowhere. Complete hell trip. We scored.”

  • Valley Isle Reveal—Maui’s latest crop of surfers are talented and dead set on shaking things up

    After doing in his knee last winter, Ian Walsh, the 29-year-old from Haiku, Maui, has stationed himself in L.A. for the summer. He’s rehabbing at Red Bull’s athlete training facility in Santa Monica. The eccentric energy drink company even got him a hyperbaric chamber to speed the healing process along. “We’re ahead of schedule,” he proudly points out.

  • Tracking Shots: Surf Films-from Silver Screen to Cell Phone

    "A challenge? I love a challenge!" So spits Gordo the Great in Jack McCoy's 1997 film Psychedelic Desert Groove. Gordo, who's given name is John Gordon, is a gun for hire, a master of the long lens who lives on private's wages. His story is indicative of the hand-to-mouth existence of so many involved in surf filmmaking. Besides the memorable one-liner delivered to Occy, Gordo's resume of projects worked is too long to list. You may have seen his handiwork featured on an ASP webcast. He's the guy in the tower or the boat shooting for 12 hours a day.

  • C.R. Stecyk III: The Tall Dog Files

    If Whitman was multitudes, Los Angeles, California’s Craig Roberto Stecyk is a Chinese phonebook. Mat surfer, artist, photographer, writer, filmmaker, propagandist, Caddie collector, historian, magaziner, archaeologist, commercial creative, and godfather to a notoriously fucked-up troop of skaters, surfers, and art hounds, CR has dropped so much inventiveness, styling, and verve on the surf world that it’s almost a joke.

  • The Tradesman: Grid-Skipping with surf photographer Jason Kenworthy

    Often charged with documenting some of the world’s best surfers for their anchor sponsors, Kenworthy finds himself on a constant hunt for the "A-lister."  Chasing surfers who "move the needle”—Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson, Dusty Payne, Kolohe Andino, or Bruce Irons—is no easy feat.  Schedules must be determined well in advance, strategies put in place, and flakey personalities contended with. Jason has to be on the boat in Indo, finger on the trigger, and ready to work when a select cast finally decides to get onboard.

  • Big Wednesday Redux

    By the middle of the 1970s, most of us felt like lucky survivors of the late ’60s. American surfing was in a funk. Australia had kidnapped our slang expressions and Aussie-ized them, taken our “surf trunks” and renamed them “board shorts,” added an “ie” to the end of everyone’s first name and to maneuvers like the cutback (cuttie), changed the term for “longboard” to “mal,” and corrupted just about everything else we held dear. We even allowed Ian Cairns and Peter Townend to take charge of teaching our youth how to snake and block to win heats. Bitchin!

  • The Cusp of the North: The Photography of Yassine “Yazzy” Ouhilal

    Over its 22 years, The Journal has gained a reputation for wide-ranging, high impact photography. Always presented “from a purist’s point of view,” we’ve endeavored to showcase elements of the surfing life that speak to seasoned, thoughtful surfers—with little quarter given to the likes of the new participant or the dabbler. That stance might seem elitist but, frankly, there are endless repositories out there for the flash-bang, gee whiz school.

  • Impact Zones: Surf During Wartime

    At first blush, this book almost seems like a bad idea, the sort of pot-addled nonsense dream that can come to a surfer after watching Robert Duvall in “Apocalypse Now” too many times and finding more meaning in the phrase “Charlie Don’t Surf!” then is probably really there. Stories about war and killer swells both have that epic, aching-to-be-told-over-the-campfire quality to them that makes this old Marine suspicious at the outset.