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A reader-supported surf publication founded in 1992, The Surfer’s Journal is vivid, authoritative, and independent. The goal of each 132-page bimonthly edition? A completely resolved composition. Balance. Color. Story. And purist surf energy from Page One to close-of-book.

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No surf contest in the history of the sport has threatened life and limb quite like the 2011 Billabong Pro Tahiti. We saw big waves at the ’74 Smirnoff. The Eddie has had its moments. But the results of the contest at beyond-maxed-out Teahupoo forever defined reputations, made careers, graced magazine covers around the world, and served up millions of downloads. Steve Shearer takes us behind that fateful week at the end of the road.