This entire issue, from the cover to the very last page, was created on location in Indonesia, where, for an entire month, we used the Internet and Instagram to bring you what happened, as it happened. If you're reading this it's safe to assume you're a surfing fan, and if you're a surfing fan chances are you followed along as we unveiled the first ever SURFING Factory in all of its high performance glory a few months back.
Going on a trip with some of our favorite surfers to score amazing waves, photos and video isn't anything new. But The Factory concept — pumping all of that content out daily from the road — is. For so many moons we've hoarded the fruits of our editorial trips on hard drives in a safe corner of Photo Editor Peter Taras' office where we'd allow them to ripen for months before eventually picking them for the pages of print. What didn't make the mag was left to rot. How wasteful we were!
That thinking is, like, so 10 years ago. The Internet is no longer an afterthought. Media is changing, and The Factory is the latest (and greatest) example of how we're changing, too. It's dessert before dinner, cookies for every meal! It's surfing Ritalin for your ADHD. No more saving clips for a TBD movie project. No more holding onto photos for print. You heard Eric Geiselman landed a f–ked up flip? It's on Instagram. Yadin Nicol surfed Keramas to perfection? Check out our latest edit. Corey Wilson got lost in Kuta with a pack of Australian models? OK, maybe we'll save a few things for ourselves.
We didn't reinvent the wheel. But we did alter course. In our magazine's 50-year history this is the first time we've ever produced and released content on our website and social channels in advance of the printed magazine. It's the first time we've ever posted a photo on Instagram and then proudly reused it on our cover (yes, you read that correctly).
Because, we decided: F–k it, we're doing it live. If you're like most, you spend a generous amount of time everyday looking at your friends' Snapchat story, scrolling through Insta and reloading Facebook. In fact, a recent study shows Millenials spend upwards of 9 hours each day doing those things exactly. Which means: If it happened 5 minutes ago, whatever "it" may be, it's old news right now. And thus, The Factory was born — a SURFING event, the first of its kind. But definitely not the last.
The Factory was an experiment and we're happy with the results. Before we left we had a lot of unanswered questions. Would the surfers embrace us releasing their clips every evening? Would we be able to gather enough images in one trip to make a good cohesive magazine? The answer, we found, was yes. Take it from Chippa Wilson:
"I love the idea. Watching the edits before I got here…I was like, finally, you guys are showing that freesurfers can do it. They can get clips and pull shit in one session just like the guys on tour. It's just that nobody ever puts our stuff out as it happens and that's what you get when you watch a CT. That's what I love about this trip."
While we've already sprinkled our digital channels with a ton of tasty morsels, now it's time for the main course — the meat and potatoes from an epic month with our seven Factory surfers. What you hold is exactly that: A curation of the best of the best from Bali, all color corrected and art designed in a nice, neat package. It's the insight you couldn't glean on an iPhone screen. It's the stories that were too long to tell. It's a four-course meal, if you will. So pull up a seat at the table and get comfortable — hopefully you saved some room after all those cookies. —Zander Morton