This edition is dedicated to the unseen and the unsung; tales of events and individuals that bubble just beneath the surface of surf culture.
Have you ever looked around the lineup and wondered about the complex lives of all the strangers bobbing silently beside you? For many, it’s a common thread of thought on the train or in the street, but in the sea, where the usual signifiers and clues are stripped away, the dark silhouettes of your fellow surfers tend to reveal very little about the lives they lead on land. Perhaps that’s why such ponderings are likely to last only a minute before the horizon pulls your attention back towards it.
In assembling this edition, we used that fleeting thought as a catalyst to explore the intriguing and unseen stories of those otherwise anonymous figures. We’ll begin with a copper, fresh off the night shift, grabbing a quick wave in the Scottish dawn. Then, a QS up and comer, with a background a world away from his contemporaries, a Canarian waterman with an extraordinary untold life story and an underground Australian shaper, who handcrafts twin fins for some of their most talented proponents.
Beyond the personal, we’ll explore overlooked episodes that left imprints on the surfing world. Some, like Derek Hynd’s long-forgotten Hebridean Surf Fest appeared to fade quickly while others proved more indelible. Like the boom in shell necklaces that determined the destiny of a Costa Rican wilderness or the series of events that transformed Uluwatu from a few rural shacks to the centre of the surfing world in just a matter of years. Elsewhere, we’ll explore some of women’s forgotten contributions to the evolution of the sport and the many battles fought between Sunny Garcia and his own personal demons. We’ll glimpse a dystopian future on an isolated spit, visit a deserted surfing idyll in Siberia (that turns out not to be as far from prying eyes as first thought) and learn about the way Pacific Islanders read the oceans to plot a course through their vastness in a beautiful illustration of how sometimes, what is unseen might in fact just be what is not yet understood.