2004 saw the near-completion of the Second Revolution, wherein surfing had such a huge influx of new enthusiasts that as far as "surfing culture" goes almost everybody who was around before the year 2000 has become pretty much irrelevent to "the norm".

Read it and weep, if that bothers you. There is a huge percentage of current surfers who began with the new century, and they are the ones spending the most money. It isn't just on boards and wetsuits and surfwear, either. The good economic times in western countries has made what once might have been seens as luxury travel an affordable norm, and sadly in surfing these days travel to premiere destinations means quicker progress on a personal as well as general surfing quality level.

So much for that. I've sweated for hours about how to spray those notions. Surfing isn't the only thing that changed significantly in 2004. The internet did as well. Spam was reduced to a minor annoyance while spyware and adware became a monsterous buzzkill. I knew something was up when a couple of IT people I know admitted they just go along using a couple of well known programs until so much gets on which they either can't remove or would take them too much time to root out, and then they just wipe the hard drives or install new ones - more cost effective. And that's crazy...

vagabondsurf.com is crawling up on the 4th anniversary this coming March. It feels more like 5 to me. There has been one long road getting here, littered with casualties, and I've left a good chunk of myself in scrapes and bits and pieces along that road. I've met some great people, had some high points, and a lot of fun.

Quite frankly the internet forums have supplanted the type of website vagabondsurf.com was created to be. Rather than write or photograph something and send it in editorial style, virtually anybody can do those same things almost instantly to a forum of like minded individuals and get instant feedback. I haven't always helped matters by crawling into various mutation cocoons and backburnering some submissions. For those who have sent things but haven't yet seen them, I will try to get them up and run them at least until March 2005. I do appreciate your efforts.

2004 is ending up as the year of the Blog. Traditional news media are taking it in the teeth these days, their own credibility under extreme fire. For a U.S. presidental election they were horrified to find out many younger people looked to comedians and the mock news of "The Daily Show" on the Comedy Central cable channel for their information. It makes perfect sense to me. At least they wink when they play fast and loose; Dan Rather never did. By the time the U.S. media entered their election post-mortems they seemed to hysterically be pointing their fingers at blogs while also calling for a relaxation of journalistic standards to compete. Another revolution is happening there too, folks.

Change is in the air everywhere, even in surfing. It certainly doesn't look like it on the surface, but there is no doubt. There is change in the air around here, too. As 2005 unfolds a new path will hopefully become clear. vagabondsurf.com may stay or may fade away, or may mutate into a much more personal bloggish effort from yours truly. As always I wish the best for everyone.

                                                                       Nels Norene
                                                                       Publisher and Editor
Copyright (C) 2005.  All rights reserved.