Current Issue:

29.4

On the cover: Mikey February reminds us that good style is predicated on not thinking about style. Inside the new issue, we hit check-points from Alaska to the Azores, take a close visual study of Tom Servais’ last decade of high-profile surf shooting, and pay our culture collection fee to the modern skimboard scene. Profiles of surfing satirist Sterling Spencer and shortboard-revolution performance pusher Sharron Weber lend human interest touches, while Nate Tyler’s hand-built home in Central California and surfboards recycled as signage on the North Shore are explorations in atypical craftsmanship.

Features
Essay: Rights of Passage Illustration by Pieter Van Eenoge

Sure, a well-paved road and parking lot—maybe even a public shower—would’ve made my mission less toilsome, but also less significant. So, does the inaccessibility of a break make it a more fulfilling ride? Absolutely.

Page 12
ESSAY: RIGHTS OF PASSAGE

When it comes to beach access, let’s just agree to disagree with ourselves.

Interview: Evan Mock Photo by Arto Saari

Page 16
PRETTY IN PINK

An interview with Evan Mock.

Something About Alaska Photo by Chris Burkard

The runway on the next island sits on the side of a mountain. The weather is foul and we’re in a small prop plane. The pilot says he might not be able to land, in which case we’d have to return to Anchorage and the trip would be over. But he decides to loop around one last time. Then he instructs us to buckle up and hold on to whatever we can.

Page 22
SOMETHING ABOUT ALASKA

Why hire a catalog shooter when you have a cold-water surf sleuth on speed dial?

A Center of Gravity Photo by Corban Campbell

Page 36
A CENTER OF GRAVITY

At home with Nate Tyler.

Support independent surf journalism. Become a member.

Subscribe
Skim City Photo by Larry Beard

The ripple hits the rocks, rebounds, and jumps in size. Blair Conklin connects with the side wonk just as it convulses the main wave into an overhead peak. He applies a scalpel-like backside hook, wraps back toward the beach, ducks into a quick barrel, and skids back onto the sand almost without touching the water at all.

Page 46
SKIM CITY

After a half century of underdog obscurity, surfing’s sandy stepchild is finally finding its sea legs.

Photo by Kanoa Zimmerman

Page 60
AREA CODING

Only in the 808 does the ignoble usage of surfboards as roadway signage make a haunting sort of sense.

Photo by Art Brewer

“She was a big part of this very special period in surfing where surfing was finding a new identity,” says Gerry Lopez. “This high-performance, shortboard, radical surfing thing, that was the beginning of it. She was one of the avant-garde.”

Page 64
SECRET SURFER

Tracking the life of forgotten two-time world champion Sharron Weber.

The Surfer’s Journal is the perfect gift for every surfer.

Give a Gift
Portfolio: Tom Servais Photo by Tom Servais

Page 72
PORTFOLIO: TOM SERVAIS

Twenty pages showcasing the fruits of sharpshooting arcade ducks for nearly four decades and counting.

Down in a Southern State Photo by Bryan Soderlind

By then, Jeremy Flores wasn’t the only person after Sterling Spencer. Sonny Miller and Laird Hamilton tried to eat him in a supermarket. Kelly Slater hunted him down after Spencer advertised his phone number on a mock webcast. It wore on him. “Making fun of people is dangerous,” says Spencer. “And we were making fun of legends.”

Page 92
DOWN IN A SOUTHERN STATE

Sterling Spencer’s turn from professional surfer to surfing’s satirist.

Light in the Atlantic Photo by Al Mackinnon

Page 106
LIGHT IN THE ATLANTIC

Illuminating the Azores with Hugo Vau.

Jeff Divine Photo by Jeff Divine

Page 118
UNDERCURRENTS

We start this issue’s departments section with a trip down iconic lane: Eddie Aikau is rightly remembered for lifeguarding and maritime heroism. As a surfer, he was Saint-Exupéry’s maxim personified. No arm waving, no extraneous turns, no cord. Coming in fast and deep, his defiantly bandy-legged, coiled stance delivered him to each wave’s end game with a breakneck dignity.

Purist surf energy from Page One to close-of-book. Delivered direct to your door.

Subscribe
Blank Expression: Going Above Ground Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

Page 120
BLANK EXPRESSION: GOING ABOVE GROUND

Surfboard shaper Johnny Cabianca takes an old-school approach to the cutting edge of surfing.

JP Van Swae Photo by JP Van Swae

Page 121
REGRETS ONLY: CLOWN SHOW CRACKS

Dealing with the at-home repercussions of a surf trip gone bad.

Fred Pompermayer Photo by Fred Pompermayer

Page 122
MISCELLANY

Fun-sized samplings pulled both from inside surfing and from its very outer orbit, including Albee Layer’s recollection of Shane Dorian breaking ground at Jaws, fine artist Duane Hanson’s surfer sculpture work, the best motorized surf accessory money can buy, and early examples of surfsploitation.

Mal Sutherland Photo by Mal Sutherland

Cooper was a Mormon who somehow remained true to his faith while still maintaining a surfer’s off-center life amid the variety of rare aesthetics that defined that sparse clan who chased waves above all else. As such, his distinctive body language on a wave, his life habits, and his curiosities all reflected a one-of-a-kind human.

Page 124
SURFING AROUND: THE COLLECTED COOPER

Memories of an eccentric pioneer.