R.I.P SURFER Magazine - The True Culture of Cool

As a budding teenage waterman exploring the North East Coast, the idea of surf culture was always a very distant fantasy to me. Trying to conceptualize and embrace both the history of surfing and the grungy-coolness of the sport, were hard concepts for a lanky longboarder living in the middle of Connecticut. Easy access to artistic surf films on YouTube, epic clips of airs on Instagram, and streaming WSL events weren’t a thing at that time. Back then, there was SURFER magazine.

This morning, SURFER magazine’s editor in chief, Todd Prodanovich announced that volume 61 would be the last issue of the magazine by saying:

“This is the last issue of @surfer_magazine. “The whole staff got let go yesterday (no, nothing to do with the heat from the Biden endorsement 😂, just the Covid economy), but I feel like we’re ending on a high note with this one. The cover shot was taken by @donaldmiralle during the Encinitas paddle out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Inside has some of my all-time favorite features from my all-time favorite surf writers— @smashtyn_douglas , @hzahorseman and @seano888 —and a piece by me about the LGBTQ+ surf community that was the honor of my career to work on, and I’m so grateful to the subjects for trusting me with their stories. Funny how you can work a job like this for 10 years and each issue is a completely new and different journey. I’ll really miss that part, and the mag in general, which ends on this issue after 60 years of publication. Hope you all enjoy the issue and thanks for reading over the years. Lots of love to everyone I had the privilege of working with to make this thing what it was while we could”

Sadly, while this epic run of over 60 years is coming to a close, SURFER Magazine still holds epic memories for athletes, artists, and waterman alike. I remember discovering my first ever copy of SURFER Magazine while having a Del’s lemonade at the local surf shop 7ply, in Westerly, Rhode Island (shout out to the epic local surf shop where my dad bought me my first ever board). SURFER magazine was eye-catching from cover to cover. It was a mixture of beautiful pictures of waves that I didn’t even know existed as well as an introduction into professional surfing, which I never knew I needed. It produced epic epic issues like “Death and Glory”, speaking about the end of Andy Irons and Kelly Slater‘s rivalry with the passing of Andy. It introduced me to Chris Burkard and Todd Glaser‘s photography as well as the ever-epic beanie look and the “Culture of Cool” issue with Craig Anderson.

SURFER Magazine will be sorely missed as it was a staple in our industry. This is just another reminder to support artists, shop small, and to recognize the time and effort that creatives put into honing their craft. Thank you for stoking out my surfing fantasies SURFER magazine – you had an epic run.