it's about life - not "lifestyle"
    This probably isn't a good day for Primedia, the publishers of the venerable SURFING, BODYBOARDING, and now SURFING GUIDE: A MAN'S MAGAZINE.

     It certainly hasn't been a good day for this reviewer. It was one of those early summer days when the Pacific Ocean looks like Hawaii but the surf more closely resembles a cold windy day on the Gulf Coast. The frenzy of Sport Utes and board-bearing trucks was non-stop and they all got wilder once the drivers realized it would be a crap surf day. The clock keeps ticking...

     A ticking clock seems to be the generating force behind Peter Townend's new title, SURFING GUIDE. Subtitled "A MAN'S MAGAZINE", it targets the 24-30something male surfer. On first look this seems like a good idea - is targeted along a somewhat similar vein - but this first regular issue seems to be lacking either substance or focus.

     Articles like "Should You Tow In?" are in all probibility irrelevent to 99% of surfers over age 30. Tow in to what? Malibu? Mondos? Sebastian Inlet?

     "Core Occupations" is about professions surfers have found which allow them to maintain a surfer lifestyle. This is much needed and too long overdue - so long overdue in fact that to be serving up a bunch of Orange Curtain surf company jobs is either a weak start, misguided, or the sort of "sport cute" thing the rest of us in the surf world can do without. But we hope they keep trying on this one...

     Gerry Lopez contributed an article called "How To Stay Tubed For The Rest Of Your Life". Lopez pretty much has something worthwhile to say every time his work appears, and this is no exception, but it didn't seem to me to be quite as focused as it could have been. This reviewer would offer this obvious observation: give Lopez a regular column.

     A story about Michael and Derek Ho and their families was good, but like most pieces of surf journalisn it doesn't ever get into what they have actually had to do to make a living and survive in the beach zone after their peak years.

     Bottom of the barrel was "Sex On The Beach". A feature about some hot young women, many of whom surf, it managed to reduce them into crude carictures of whatever they may be - crude enough for comprehension by the 30something surf dudes this particular issue seems targeted to. will give SURFING GUIDE and "E" for effort. Unfortunately, only "A", "B", "C", "D", and "F" grades count. It is a great idea, though, and should be developed in its own style and voice without trying to clone, copy, or compete too much with SURFER'S JOURNAL, the obvious competition.

     That's our five bucks worth. Check it out for yourself if you are so inclined and send them your feedback.  Nobody gets any younger.

Copyright (C) 2001. All rights reserved.
Surf Media
We color 'em like we see 'em around here at We'll let this review stand since the actual magazine is still on the stands months after it came out. However, the merger between parent companies of SURFING and SURFER may well make this a moot issue as rumors abound that SURFER may well morph into the conduit for this target market. Stay tuned.