In a world where plastic bags are found in the deepest place in the ocean and where ocean levels are rising unchecked, it is good to know that there is only one difference between surfing and statistical environmental science. In the science of it the universe is in control. In surfing, you are. Because Science may provide an understanding of the universal experience, but it is our surfing that provides a universal understanding of our personal experience. Which is why, after 20 stoked years of publishing this magazine, we are even more stoked to tell you that all our environmental efforts are beginning to take hold. Because of surfing. And you. And the fact that we are in control of our oceans. From no straws at restos to no plastic bags at the quickie marts to upriver education and cleaner beaches, the revolution has begun.

And the good news is that the next generation is going to run it into the end zone. So our foremost message is one of thanks and a word of encouragement to keep it up. We will win. Here is a new thought on an old question. Is surfing an art form? Consider this. A surfing discovery is a very irrational act. It is an intuition that turns out to be a reality. So is there a difference between a surfer making a marvelous discovery and an artist creating a marvelous painting? Just ask Dede Suryana, Pete Frieden, Mikala Jones and crew after there triumph in North Java.

Our opening story for this big issue that features Indonesian surfing at its absolute wildest and hairiest. We know you will agree that the images are pure art…so is the wave riding of the surfers themselves, which inspires this art…are they participating in an art form? Let us know what you think. Our doors have open to your opinions for 20 years. And will be for 20 more. This special issue holds so much at 120 oversized pages. We have exclusive behind the scenes coverage of the Corona Bali Protected WSL event.

We have an astonishing look at Kelly Slater, photo portfolios from Josh Symon and Trevor Murphy and a feature on Tasmania’s Marti Paradisis who, despite a mental illness that runs in his family, still finds the courage to charge one of the gnarliest waves in the southern hemisphere. But even at 120 pages this magazine is never enough. Because as surfers we cannot get enough. In our sport, like no other, there is a place that a surfer sees from shore. And it calls him. A moving place. With hollows and walls and crashing water and most of all a secret belonging. A belonging so powerful that nothing can stop us from getting there.

From putting ourselves in that moving place. It is a sports goal like no other. That our sport is not so much an act as it is a place. A place embedded in our hearts and minds forever. And for twenty years of those forever years we have been putting you there. Because we know that the the ocean can either melt you, or forge you. So either way, rest assured. Because we will always be there to stoke the fire.

- Editor -


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