WELL THAT WAS FUNWhat was it, like four straight months of incessant swell, slack winds and good times in the Golden State? We lost count after Christmas. With purple permanently planted in the North Pacific, even the Queen of the Coast had a tough time maintaining crowd capacity on all the magic days.
We may have finally found it in our hearts to forgive last year's West Coast lake show. We're not even mad, at all. And sure, there were quite a few days of rain, but the sandbars! So if we look tired/happy/sunburned/stoked, it's because we are. We've been swimming through the chorus of a Passion Pit song all winter, and we're beat. The hangover is setting in. Hell, we're lucky we got this issue out to you on time. Deadlines aren't as pressing when it's six-foot and sunny outside the office window. What are normally our quick splashes and a few floaters at lunch kept turning into marathon sessions replete with tube time (just don't repeat that to anyone at corporate).
As we slowly trickled back into the office — hair still wet — images of a winter worth remembering started to pour onto our hard drives. What we saw were photos of places we'd never expect to see, others that we hadn't seen in a while, and some we'd actually never seen before. This season's surf bounty was spread far and wide, and always there to greet the perfection were California surfers. Throngs of them. All kinds, too, as you'll see in Steve Sherman's photo essay, "County Lines" (pg. 86).
We also cut California up a bit in "CA: A State Cut in Slices" (pg. 72) to show it no longer matters how extremely different our lives may be on land; we're all still searching for the same thing: a surf to get us through the day. To demonstrate, we take you into the wild, where the only thing that outnumbers lonely, empty waves are the monsters lurking beneath the kelp. You'll then romp through the nightlife of L.A. and see why alarm clocks are useless there. And you'll see why the classic surf towns still rule the coast, and why we all live and surf in them, happy as clams.
And then — because we know no better way to show our gratitude for a winter of corduroy threaded to the horizon, goofy grins and meetings missed — we made you a mixtape, California (pg. 92). And we think you might like it. —Travis Ferré