THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE: I am conducting a research paper for class and I need to know when the first issue of Surfing was released, has it been monthly ever since, and for how many years?

Joseph Varga

BLACKSHORTS RESPONDS: Dar! Tis funny you ask, Joe, since this flagship of surf journalism be celebratin’ her 40th birthday this very year. That’s right, the first of many SURFING Magazines set sail back in December of 1964, flying a picture of Australia’s Nat Young perched on the bow of a longboard. Oddly enough, she was originally christened International Surfing, a title she kept for a full 10 years until the ”international” went missing on her April/May cover of 1974. Of course, anybody with one working eye can tell you she’s stayed true to her mission to cover all seven seas while turning her sights on increasingly shorter craft. In fact, the mag was so brimming with high-performance shots from across the world that she went monthly in 1979, a course that –with the exception of a few photo annuals and oddly inserted ”Winter” or ”Fall” issue — she’s kept to this day, moving full speed ahead for another four decades.