SPIN THE GLOBE
Have you traveled this northern shore? Common roadside attractions include wild rice stands, “Smoked Whitefish” signage, and so much deer roadkill that one simply tires of swerving and instead tests the rental car traction control on the still-warm sweetbreads of a two-point yearling.
There are many parallels between the carving that seabirds do through the air and the lines that surfers draw across the water. Seabirds see and read different pockets of wind like we read different waves and different sections of a wave.
ESSAY: BAD BIRDS
If aviary flight patterns mirror surf styles, is surfing just an act of nature?
INTERVIEW: JAMIE MITCHELL
Reasons to keep paddling.
Maybe the mammalian dive reflex subconsciously resonates when we see a photograph taken underwater. Maybe that’s why we pause on a barrel shot snapped from the octopus’ garden a little longer than one long-lensed from land.
Todd Glaser’s underwater dreamscapes.
In Western Australia, wilderness is just past the car park.
None of these horror stories have done anything to slow surf tourism in danger zones. You could even argue the opposite is true, that surfers are drawn to the risks. Maybe we like hearing gnarly travel tales because, in the era of luxe surf camps and mechanical wave pools, it reminds us of our collective roots, or surfing before it was pre-chewed and safe.
BACK FROM HELL
Unpacking our hard-wired fascination with surf trip disasters.
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDED
The 1970 World Contest wasn’t just a reflection of the sport—it was a mirror of surf culture itself.
Design was privileged over the sacredness of the planer, aesthetics paid less attention to traditions and rather to Edwards’ taste. He drafted up gliders, winged quads, and mini Simmons—things just not found in the surf here.
SOUTH OF THE SPEEDWAY
At home with Daytona shaper-artist Trey Edwards.
An offshore-fanned beachbreak, with a skilled crew in attendance, provides a test track for homegrown designs.
If bodies of water are like wine, this one—the Pacific—has a strange hue, a different nose. Decay comes to mind, fishiness infused with something darker that emanates from a depth more ancient than that to which I’m accustomed.
MEMORY AND THE FIRST COAST
Coming to terms with bi-coastal identification.
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Nole Cossart’s journey into the arduous and the arcane.
At night, fireworks explode on the bow and anything not bolted down gets thrown overboard. The charter company sends us a bill when we get back to shore: deck chairs, a vacuum cleaner, and a glass dish set head up a list of items sunk in the Indian Ocean.
THE GREENER GRASSES OF INDONESIA
Six weeks spent scouting the archipelago’s outer reaches.
The issue’s departments section opens with a bird’s eye view of the return of the Basque Country’s finest sand-bottom point.
The taste and smell of saltwater has been replaced with oil and mud. My wax turns slick, the liquefies in the heat. But my new board is baptized.
FIELD REPORT: DUNG BEACH
Vodka for breakfast. River rat for lunch. Ear infection for dinner. Surfing in Louisiana requires an adjusted diet.
Bite-size chunks of written and visual points of interest, finds, and recommendations—ranging from chrome robot surf art to Taj Burrow’s recollection of his favorite and most impactful Andy Irons performance.
Becoming intimate with the wave phenomenon—by repeatedly playing within its sphere of habits and aberrations—creates a relationship with its natural energy. None of this is on a surfer’s mind when in the act but, as the years pass, it can increasingly underlie his or her persona.
SURFING AROUND: SETTING A NATURAL COURSE
The values of choosing a life in pursuit of waves.