SURFER Magazine Offers Rare Glimpse Into Early Days of the Sport

In 1960 John Severson revealed the 1st situation of “The Surfer.” Its 36 pages ended up a compilation of shots he took although filming “Surf Fever,” his have illustrations, some editorial, and a few ads. Flyers announcing “The Surfer is coming!” ended up pasted the windows of surf retailers. Previous SURFER Journal Publisher Steve Pezman informed the Los Angeles Times “I instantly stole the flyer off the wall of the surf shop, which was how hungry we[surfers] ended up for printed validation.” Surfers lined up to obtain copies.

Many surfers’ earliest recollections of SURFER is being a grom and thumbing through it with good friends. Anyone would bring the latest situation to university, and test to pull it out of their backpack without the need of it receiving ripped to shreds by a pack of fellow frothers. Huddled all around the magazine, pages would convert, guesses of wherever the spots in the shots ended up shouted out, scenarios pleaded as to why they ended up correct or improper. Analyzing, absorbing and critiquing each factor of the magazine in advance of chopping out primary stoke-inducing shots to be scotch-taped to a bedroom wall surf collage—a SURFER Journal reader custom that would seem to transcend the a long time.

As we grew more mature, we’d thumb through a magazine seeking for our preferred writers, storytellers, and photographers. We searched for shots and tales of exotic waves to spark our have journey missions. We hunted for shots of our most cherished surfers. We sought connection in the text of thoughtful essayists. It’s challenging to bear in mind now in our digital age, but we even flipped through the pages seeking for chopping-edge surf information.

Over the many years, the stories, shots, art way and the ads in SURFER became minor time capsules for our surfing life. To celebrate those people moments, and to seize a bit of nostalgia, we’re revisiting our video sequence referred to as “The SURFER Archives” — whereby we thumbed through the earliest concerns from the canon that is SURFER’s archive and manufactured corresponding movies. As of October, SURFER has due to the fact ceased publication, but that doesn’t imply frothers far and large have to cease flipping through its lots of iconic pages. Just take a stroll down nostalgia lane with us and enjoy.

[Ed’s Observe: The previously mentioned intro was originally penned by Ben Waldron, revealed in 2018, and tailored to replicate SURFER’s recent modifications.]

SURFER Quantity 2, Problem one

Soon after the good results of John Severson’s 1st situation of “The Surfer” in 1960, which sold above five,000 copies, he decided to go quarterly the adhering to calendar year. Which brings us to the second situation of SURFER: Spring, 1961.

SURFER’s second situation was nevertheless typically a 1 gentleman display of Severson’s shots, composing and artwork. It’s easy to romanticize surfing as a total in a long time previous, but in this situation Severson laments about overcrowded lineups and the homogenization of surf culture even in the early 60s. Ironically, much of this issue’s information is spot-oriented with a hand drawn map of Santa Cruz’s surf spots and image attributes on Rincon and Swami’s.

Embedded between Severson’s mixed-media information was a comedian strip by a “Guest Cartoonist.” That was sixteen-calendar year-previous Rick Griffin. The normally talented artist’s design would later create into 1 of the most acknowledged of 60s psychedelia. Griffin went on to style the unique Rolling Stone magazine logo, a Grateful Useless album include and much more. His comedian strip in this situation, “The Gremies,” pokes fun at surfers’ enthusiasm for large Hawaiian surf and then rapidly retreating from it when observing it in man or woman.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 2, Problem one from Ben Waldron, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 2

The third situation of The Surfer (SURFERMagazine’s unique title) was revealed in the summer months of 1961. Founder John Severson shot the include impression of Reynolds Yater, stating that he snapped “the-tricky-to-get beneath shot” just in advance of Yater ran above him.

Soon after only two revealed concerns, Severson already knew his audience liked deconstructing his magazine for the shots. Severson presents a large two-site distribute in this situation sarcastically framed as “suitable for tearing out and glassing on your board, wall, or you.”

Throughout the situation, Severson doesn’t maintain again in offering an truthful evaluation of modern day surf culture. At the time, beach locations ended up being shut-down and/or deemed for closure due to disrespectful habits by, who Severson refers to as, “gremlins” and “ho-daddies”-the equal to kooks and barneys. He provides a satirical checklist of terrible behaviors for these “surfers” lacking in genuine talent to get hold of “their potent require of recognition.” Combined between the recommendations to “destroy” and “undress in public” was “flip bottle caps and make lewd remarks at surfing motion pictures.” The latter was especially frustrating to Severson due to the fact the growing destructive popularity of surfers as a total was building it tricky for him to obtain venues keen to allow him monitor his surf movies.

In a characteristic about Peru, Severson gives great insight on how he identified exotic waves to journey to. Although surfers right now are equipped to glance for potential swell magnets applying Google Maps, Severson made use of a more analog technique to surf discovery. He reviews shelling out several hours in his school library flipping through encyclopedias seeking for shots of waves captured by photographers on incident. “Usually I had to settle for distant shots of surf traces guiding some peasant tending flocks on the coast of somewhere,” he writes on site a few.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 2 from Ben Waldron, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 3

The Slide of 1961 situation of The Surfer (SURFER magazine’s unique title) attributes protection of the summer’s south swells as nicely as a preview of the Hawaiian wintertime. Severson hints at his anticipation for the Island’s heat h2o and weighty waves with his include shot of Ricky Grigg at Waimea Bay through “the most significant surf of the calendar year.”

Severson delegates some editorial to Ron Perrot for a characteristic on Australia and to Gini Kinz for a tale about a girl finding out to surf.

Letters to the editor from all above the planet start off to surface, sharing their enthusiasm for surfing and admiration for Severson’s publication. Severson prints a rejection letter from an auditorium unwilling to monitor his motion pictures that specifics the habits of those people who he obviously defines in this issue’s introduction as “gremlins” and “ho-daddys.”

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 3 from Ben Waldron, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 4

In the fifth situation of SURFER Journal, founder and editor John Severson carries on his campaign to “elevate the activity.” In his Editor’s Observe, Severson warns that surfing may be outlawed throughout the point out of California if ailments surrounding it do not change. He pushes his viewers to be part of the United States Browsing Affiliation and pitches it as an insurance policy policy that will protect surfing.

In 1 of the attributes, San Onofre surfers are asked to outline their break. Some seasoned locals argue it had improved waves in the ’30s, although other folks claim the surf has usually been the same. Centered on the shots in the characteristic, it appears San O hasn’t adjusted much due to the fact ’61 both

Letters to the editor poured in from all above the planet, which includes landlocked destinations. “It is a enjoyment to read a publication so literate about a activity so elemental, it augers nicely for the long term regard in which surfing may be held,” writes Kenneth Deardorf from St. Lois, Missouri.

Combined between the duplicate, and the growing selection of surfboard and shop ads, is an announcement for SURFER’s Cartoon Contest, the matter being “The Surf Automobile.” With judging dependent on originality and cleverness, it’s easy to visualize Severson and SURFER staff cartoonist Rick Griffin pouring above all the India Inked, surfboard clad, rat rods mailed into the business office (winners to be revealed in the adhering to situation.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 2, Problem 4 from Ben Waldron, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 3, Problem one

“Full of figures, fads and fantasies, surfing is maybe the most colourful activity to arise due to the fact the Greek bare-handed bullfights,” John Severson writes in the editor’s observe that opens up SURFER Magazine’s sixth situation. Speaking of colourful, this is the 1st situation to characteristic a shade image Ricky Grigg rolling into a Pipeline stunner on the include.

Even in 1962, the Disneyfication of surfing is prophesied through wavepools. On the matter of surfing starting to be a viral craze, Severson writes: “Help is on the way. Synthetic wave machines are in the process of being built…as are run surfboards. Up coming-somewhere among Anaheim and Buena Park-SURFYLAND! ALL YOU CAN Ride FOR $one, ALL Sizes AND Shapes! GET ‘EM Although They are Sizzling!”

There is a Pipeline characteristic in which Mike Hynson and a slew of other courageous surfers charge the world’s deadliest wave on the one fin logs of the day. Most are outrunning the tube or wiping out. Shots of the latter are captioned by Severson’s signature tongue-in-cheek voice “He was only successful in almost killing himself,” and, “Mike was building fantastic development till the total Pacific Ocean caved in on him.”

SURFER’s international scope started out to improve also, with attributes on Australia and France, exotic places at the time.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 3, Problem one from Ben Waldron, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 3, Problem 2

When SURFER Journal (then, The Surfer) released the second situation of its third quantity in the summer months of ’62, it was greeted by a growing, surf-obsessed audience, but 1 nevertheless yet unfamiliar with the much with huge expanse of rideable waves out there in the planet-at-huge.

The Letters to the Editor portion contains typically fawning missives from waveriders praising the expanded editorial information (twelve new pages in the prior situation!), and a handful of notes lamenting the character of the burgeoning crowds that would—save for the dated vernacular (“Gremmies” and “Ho-dads”), read like a grievance about our present point out of surfdom.

As there was much terrain, yet to include (regarded and mysterious), Vol. 3 Problem 2 attributes a specific illustrated map of South Bay surf spots, a short primer on North Steyne, and a characteristic on Maui, describing its uncrowded lineups, diverse setups, which includes a premier “Malibu-like” (huh?) issue, referred to as Honolua Bay.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 3, Problem 2 from Matt Shaw, right here.]

SURFER Quantity 3, Problem 3

Here’s a bit of trivia: Which popular surf-star landed the include of 1962’s Aug-Sept situation of The Surfer? Was it Australia’s Midget Farrely? Miklos “Da Cat” Dora ? The really photogenic Mike Hynson?

In reality, all the serious-everyday living surfers of the early 60s boom time period ended up slighted in favor of a then-18-calendar year previous Employees Cartoonist’s fictional (although really well known) surf-star, Murphy, who landed the coveted include, hand-stalling on his way to a dry hair exit from a Crayola eco-friendly tube.

Quantity 3, Problem 3 of The Surfer is a fantastic indicator of the burgeoning cultural phenomenon that was Murphy, as a honest amount of ink is focused to Murphy and his creator Rick Griffin, who, in a portrait next to a short profile of the artist, appears somewhat buttoned-up when compared to the shaggy, bearded Hippy icon who’d quickly be regarded to the planet at huge.

[Browse more about SURFER Quantity 3, Problem 3 from Matt Shaw, right here.]

For accessibility to unique equipment movies, superstar interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!