Current Issue:

29.3

Between the flaps, TSJ 29.3 spins its compass from dodging landmines in the Falklands, to an unassisted paddle journey from Alaska to Cabo, and to the river-wave surf scene springing up in Boise, Idaho. Shaper Donald Brink’s experimentations in surfboard sonics and Martin Machado’s oceanic etchings provide doses of written and visual portraiture, while the portfolio of Sarah Lee, Derek Dunfee’s intimate look at the modern big-wave stage, and Brad Barrett’s 1960s retrospective offer photographic page studies.

Features
Essay: A Wave Trying To Find An OceanIllustration by Alex Jenkins

We’re all going to die. Buddhism suggests that our life’s work is to prepare for death, but for most of us it is the homework we put off until the last minute. A cancer diagnosis is a wake-up call to do that homework.

Page 12
ESSAY: A WAVE TRYING TO FIND AN OCEAN

Faced with a terminal condition, what solace can surfing really offer?

Interview: Mark OcchilupoIllustration by Kristian Hammerstad

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INTERVIEW: MARK OCCHILUPO

The unbreakable icon.

Portfolio: Sarah LeePhoto by Sarah Lee

Underwater, her fins flutter against the current. She is dancing. Over the course of the day, her fingers shrivel and cheeks blaze. Hundreds of frames. Hours of work. And hopefully, at the end, something special.

Page 22
PORTFOLIO: SARAH LEE

A quiet power.

Through the PortholeArtwork by Martin Machado

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THROUGH THE PORTHOLE

San Francisco-based artist and seafarer Martin Machado’s salty creations.

Dirt, Scratches, Fingerprints, & GrainPhoto by Brad Barrett

The first inkling I had that there was this surfing thing was looking out my living room window on Law Street in Pacific Beach and seeing a woodie full of surfboards stalled in the intersection. All these scruffy-looking guys jumped out and were running around trying to get it push started, like the Keystone Kops interbred with the Katzenjammer Kids.

Page 46
DIRT, SCRATCHES, FINGERPRINTS, & GRAIN.

Analog surf pics & portraits, 1962-1970.

By HandPhoto by Colin Nearman

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BY HAND

How Casey and Ryan Higginbotham paddled from Ketchikan to Cabo.

White Caps Of The MindPhoto by Shawn Parkin

I would often see Brink as I migrated between Terry Martin’s shaping bay and Robin Kegel’s Quonset hut salon. Brink showed me strange and experimental designs, speaking of them with a kind of eloquent fury. He spoke of oxygen molecules, compound curves, Martin Luther, and swing weight.

Page 64
WHITE CAPS OF THE MIND

Shaper Donald Brink wonders if “magic” equals “frequency.”

The Surf Gods Of IdahoPhoto Courtesy of Boise Parks and Recreation

Page 74
THE SURF GODS OF IDAHO

Are backward waves the future of surfing in Middle America?

MultiplesPhoto by Russell Spencer

Magic boards can’t be recreated. Every blank hosts a unique matrix of inner cells. Resins cure at the whims of humidity and heat. Glassers get stoned. The ideal of surfboard symmetry is at best a tolerable guesstimation. Failed perfection as functional art.

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MULTIPLES

Abstractions in symmetry.

Chasing The WindPhoto by Gauchos del Mar

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CHASING THE WIND

Julian and Joaquin Azulay battle the elements in the Falkland Islands.

The Eye Of The HunterPhoto by Derek Dunfee

The wave’s lip cracks down on Dunfee’s head. Everything goes black. He’s pulled to the surface by his safety vest and vomits as he comes to consciousness. His trunks have been ripped off his body and are knotted around his leash. He vomits again. Too dizzy and nauseous to get on his board, Dunfee lies on his back and stares up at the sky.

Page 98
THE EYE OF THE HUNTER

Derek Dunfee’s evolution from big-wave surfing to big-wave photography.

UndercurrentsIllustration by Earl Norem/Courtesy of Robert Deis

Page 118
UNDERCURRENTS

This lurid little Male magazine number from 1967, which opens our back of the book departments, was written by Walter Kaylin under the nom de plume, “Roland Empey.” In their day, titles like Male, True, and Argosy were found in barbershops and barracks, ribald, pre-woke, and too fun to be forgotten.

Field Report: Pase UstedPhoto by Mark Kronemeyer

By dark, crooked characters come out to scare the hell out of newcomers. Some of them are the bare remains of former surfers who once reigned in this outlaw town. Their skinny bodies and decayed faces remind us that the real enemies here are not natural challenges, but cheap drugs.

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FIELD REPORT: PASE USTED

A Mexicana writer observes a beach where it’s always warm—with a chance of sketch.

Screening Room: In Harm’s WayPhoto by Beth O’Rourke

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SCREENING ROOM: IN HARM'S WAY

Timeless Areas, Beth O’Rourke’s biopic of Elissa Steamer, is a transcendent portrait of skating, surfing, and sobriety.

MiscellanyPhoto by Tom Hawkins

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MISCELLANY

Odds and ends made for rapid-fire digestion, featuring artifact’s from LA’s heaviest surf club, a public backhanding for a litany of lineup etiquette offenses, and a leaked government memo regarding “lewd acts” occurring at San Onofre State Beach.

Surfing Around: Head (High) TripsPhoto by Don James/Courtesy of SHACC

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SURFING AROUND: HEAD (HIGH) TRIPS

Ego checks and naval models inform our “How big is it?” calls.