SURFER Editor in Chief Joel Patterson Breaks Down The Latest Addition To Newsstands

On newsstands now around the known world, you'll find SURFER Magazine's June 2009 issue in all its glory. I'm particularly proud of the issue, as it's the culmination of several projects we at SURFER feel are important and worth bragging about, so here I go:

On The Cover

The cover shot of recent XXL Ride of the Year winner Greg Long, back-dooring a bomb of a bright-blue right-hander in fullsuit and booties, was the type of cover photo that almost picks itself. It's the first salvo in a piece about keeping secrets secret ("Covert Operators" p. 94), a specialty of guys like Greg and Rusty Long, Mike Parsons, Twiggy Baker, and the other maniacs who will go to any lengths to keep you from knowing where they're surfing.

Timmy Turner's Return

Alex Wilson wrote a fantastic profile of one of modern surfing's true pioneers, Timmy Turner, who spent much of his young life exploring the archipelago of Indonesia for hidden spots and doing so on limited budgets. After nearly dying from a infection in his brain, Turner is back and has taken his act to colder climes, where the infection is less likely to return.

How Do You Get Surfers To Care About The Environment?

That's the question Brad Melekian tackles this month in his feature "Green With Apathy," in which he explores the monumental task facing the Jim Moriarty of the Surfrider Foundation. Saving Trestles was a monumental task, but it may pale in comparison with the job of convincing surfers to take active parts in saving the beaches they love.

Also in our June 2009 issue, we put Kelly Slater on the "Hot Seat" for riding experimental surfboards when he arguably should be focused on winning his tenth world title, we tagged along with an ecclectic group of surfers on trip to Indonesia to film for Thomas Campbell's recent release The Present ("Life Aquatic" p. 108), and we cobbled together some amazing photos shot during an active Fall on Australia's Gold Coast.

Always love to hear feedback, so grab a copy, kick up your feet, soak it in, and let us know what you think. In the mean time, we're in the middle of building SURFER's annual "Big Issue" … 300-plus pages and a massive feature profiling the 50 Greatest Surfers EVER! Wish us luck.

Back to work,


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Long Brothers Covert Operations

Conspiracy Theories
How To Keep Secret Spots Secret*

*Some aspects of this document have been censored for security purposes

So you found a new wave—a discovery. A heaving slab? A perfect point? A flawless reef-pass? A thumping beachbreak? The next question may loom larger if you actually scored: What comes after? What happens following the well-calculated mission of a lifetime? Do you blab? Do you publish? Do you Facebook? What if you alone uncovered it? And what if searching out those waves is your gig, the weird transaction that pays the rent and makes the payments on the jacked-up 4×4 and the Boston Whaler? A handful of surfers negotiate these questions, and some are willing to accept, maybe, that there will eventually be an "outing" of that special place, and probably, in some cases, on their watch. Until then, however, mum's the word—the clandestine word. Here, a crew of covert operators tells us how to keep it that way:

Timmy Turner Profile

The SURFER Profile: Timmy Turner

By Alex Wilson

Before the infection, and the coma, and the surgeries, and the rehab, and the freezing, wind-blown places he now scours for surf, Timmy Turner had Indonesia. And that life—his first one—was good.

"We were so lucky," he says. It's winter in Huntington Beach, and Turner is slouched under a tree behind the house his grandfather built here in 1951. Sunlight slants through the branches, casting bright lines on the ancient patio furniture that creaks under his weight. He pauses mid-thought, and then continues to unravel the events that became Second Thoughts—the feral-surf-film-slash-drift-into-madness he shot in the early 2000s while encamped on an uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean.

"I don't know how we didn't die," he says. "Me, Brett, and Travis—surfing those waves, in those conditions, out there by ourselves."
It's only been five years since the film was released—just a half-decade since it won Movie of the Year at the 2004 SURFER Poll and Video Awards and put Timmy on the map as a guy willing to fall off its edges. But in his mind, Second Thoughts took place during an era lost to time. "It'll never be like that again," he says.

Life Aquatic With Thomas Campbell

The Life Aquatic
By Chris Del Moro
Photos: Dane Peterson

Mid-flight between San Francisco to Hong Kong I dreamt a tiger was attacking me. To protect myself, I swung my arms toward the roof of the plane, which projected my full glass of water into the space above. I awoke to cold water rushing down my chest. A soaked old Chinese dude harangued me.

Most people would be bummed to sit in a damp pair of jeans for another eight hours. But when you're about to embark on a maiden voyage to the infamous Mentawai Islands, nothing can dampen your enthusiasm—especially when you're traveling with an eclectic group of fun-loving wave gypsies, working alongside renowned artist/film maker Thomas Campbell. Our collective goal was to surf perfect waves on a plethora of surf crafts, all the while thoroughly enjoying the life aquatic.

Jim Moriarity and Green With Apathy

Hot, Flat, and Crowded
Why Surfers Need to Have a Particular Interest in the Environmental Movement

By Brad Melekian

Jim Moriarty has a problem. Here he is, 45 years old, graying, in a T-shirt and jeans, sitting on a rock. He wears Vans and fashionably oversized sunglasses. He is the head of the Surfrider Foundation. Nominally, in the professional-good-news department, he is fresh off of a victory in the Save Trestles campaign—wherein, you might note, he and his foundation Saved Trestles (of course, there are those who believe that Trestles was never threatened, but more on them later)—and has recently returned from a week in Washington, D.C., where he sat in a room with policy wonks contributing to newly-elected President of the United States Barack Obama's ocean environmental policies, and he is riding a proverbial wave of interest in all things green, which itself is very fashionable, yet he's still faced with the same problem that he's had since taking over the Surfrider Foundation in 2005. That problem is not a simple one, and it is not all unique to the Surfrider Foundation or Jim Moriarty, but we should try to frame it anyway.