It's about life - not "lifestyle"

The photo at left is one of those crew signs which accompany television, motion picture, and commercial shoots on location. This one was at Leo Carrillo State Beach during the tail end of the Hurricane Elida swell.
Well, allright now! The big summer issue of SURFER - how could it be ignored? Pound for pound it's the largest surf magazine of the year. After I read and digested it, I decided I wouldn't bother (once again) trying to get to the Action sports Retailer trade show. I've been marketed to enough for one year.

The experience starts with a fold-out cover shot featuring 10 of the 25 "most powerful people in surfing", which sounds good on the face of it. More telling about the issue, the cover story, and perhaps the current state of surfing are the credits on the contents page:

                                              "Stylist:  Dana Marasca/Celestine
                                               Hair and makeup:  Brad Bowman, for Lavett and Chin/Celestine"

Hee hee hee...

Since this issue is already off the racks as this is being written, it has already been lampooned in Photoshop by bodyboarders and disected in online forums and private emails. The issue in general has some great photos (my favorites are in the ads - check the swimmer/photographer in the Billabong ad a couple of pages in from the front cover), not one but two Deryk Hynd articles, a contents page photo of a longboarder paddling over a nice wave, and so goddang many ads I figured everybody who could place an ad in a surf mag did - I spent hours looking to see if my M.I.A. Editor-at Large placed one for (he didn't, and lives to write again, someday).

The Real Nitty Gritty

The reason this little review has taken so long in coming to light is that this feature, and the cover shot, completely mystified me. I've read the whole thing dozens of times, along with the intro by Sam George. In the end I had to re-read Sam's intro a few times - he does spell it out pretty well, but I seemed to have difficulty absorbing it. What they gave us is their snapshot look at contemporary surfing, for good or ill.

The SURFER criteria:  25 people ranked in order of power, based on
influence, impact, and authority. This list speaks volumes about surfing in 2002, and also about surf journalism too.

Surf Media
Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved.