It's about life - not "lifestyle"
I know, I know...I'm not reviewing this issue until it almost is off the racks. But so what? It isn't like you are missing anything.

It kills me to write things like that, but if the shoe fits, wear it. There is nothing wrong at all with the production values of the magazine, and the photos are all good, and I believe the people who put it out are decent folks. I hope they can realize that I'm not reviewing the quality of their efforts so much as the quality of the editorial vision.


As the major outlet for bodyboarding in the U.S., BODYBOARDING Magazine could have an enormous influence on the sport. Yet issue after issue it lumbers on, continually giving the proverbial starving dogs rubber bones.

Chief culprit continues to be the narrow demographic focus on teen boys. If that is the way BODYBOARDING is planning to continue, then they better get some photos of Brittany Spears. Couple this with their hidebound vision of presenting every issue as new and cutting edge, and ignoring bodyboarding history other than to make fun of fashions which came earlier, and what you have is stale white bread in the finest French bakery.

The choice of Manny Vargas, former pro and celebrated bon vivant of 90's bodyboarding, should have been an excellent injection of humor and energy. To date this hasn't been seen, and I can only speculate that it isn't his fault. The standup surfing culture must surely dominate the publishing suites (sister publication is SURFING, and now their corporate owner also owns SURFER). There is no secret about how most standup surfers feel about bodyboarding, even if they used to do it.

Best thing is this issue was a comment by Ross McBride in their Reader's Poll section. I'll have to recreate it here, and it certainly won't be a direct quote. This one paragraph didn't warrant paying full retail price for the magazine.

When asked where he saw the sport going, he said something to the effect that it seemed to be following snowboarding - as in the next level is risking and/or experiencing serious injury. It didn't sound like it was about riding waves so much as the
extreme aspect. He didn't sound too stoked. What's the point, one might ask? BODYBOARDING Magazine should be able to tell us, in detail, and with flair. If they can't, won't, or aren't allowed to...well, make your own decisions about what that means.

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