If you’re reading this right now, there’s a good chance you bought or perused surfing-related print magazines at one point or another in your lifetime.

For me, the arrival of a magazine in the mail each month (or less frequently in the case of my favorite publication, The Surfer’s Journal), means an escape from whatever reality I’m facing. Bad day at work? Staring at photos of far-flung perfection and reading about the adventures for a few hours can at least dull the frustration.

Despite the persistent, onward push of online media, I still receive most of the remaining surfing publications at home in the mail. Yes, the physical copies. There’s only a few left at this point, the ends of Surfing Magazine and Transworld Surf (to name a few) well documented over the last few years.

I guess you could say I’m a diehard lover of printed surfing magazines. There’s something so satisfying about putting on headphones and listening to music while thumbing through the latest editions. The smell of the ink, the feel of the paper’s surface and the gloss of the well-lit photos. Everything about the experience is sensory to me. Like surfing itself.

Surfer Magazine seems to be half the size page-wise that it once was, but the content is still solid and tends to whet my appetite for the main course: The Journal. I’ve been a subscriber of that reader-supported publication off and on for as many years as I can count. And it never disappoints.

The combination of long-form journalism and short pieces on surfing’s more colorful characters hits just the right notes. It takes me a few weeks to make it through each issue, saving the stories and images for small points in time when I can fully savor the delicacies.

Given their recent demise, I figure the days of print magazine publications are numbered. So, I’m relishing every last morsel of this goodness for as long as I can.

How many of my surfing brethren still purchase printed surfing publications? I’m guessing the number is pretty low.


John John Florence, two-time world surfing champion and the current ratings leader, absolutely decimated the field at the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia last week, besting fellow American Kolohe Andino in the final.

Florence has won two of the first four events and has a commanding points lead as the tour heads to Brazil. The next event is planned for June 20-28 at Saquarema near Rio. Catch all the action at www.worldsurfleague.com.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you have an idea for this column, email him at stephendhadley@gmail.com.

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