July Issue 2009 Surfing Magazine

I've never been much of a collector. Just about all of my childhood memorabilia has been lost along the way. Trophies and other symbols of achievement are proudly displayed in some landfill. Even most of my kids' artwork -- presented to me almost daily -- eventually sneaks its way into the recycle bin. (Shhh, please don't tell my girls.) It's not that I don't appreciate these things; it's just that clutter makes me nervous and I try to avoid living in the past.But there is one item I meticulously save every single month: the newest edition of SURFING Magazine. I've been doing it since 2001, from my first issue with Mark Healey on the cover to my last -- the one you're reading now. I'm looking at all 95 of these issues as I write this: mint condition, black plastic holders, taking up three and a half feet of space on my bookshelf. Without hesitation I can tell you some of my favorites (The Return of Paddle, Danger, California Underground, our latest Green Issue) and also some of our failures (yep, blame me for the cartoons and balloons). But these magazines aren't just my version of a stuffed rhino's head or an autographed photo of Hannah {{{Montana}}}; they're living, breathing representations of why I started surfing in the first place.What other pastime is such a perfect blend of sport and art? Has interacted with more cultures on this planet, is more in step with nature's heartbeat or created so many wild, nomadic characters? What other pastime can keep you giddy till you're a geezer, keep you guessing every day and can relieve a world of tension with one, proper set wave? It's these things that drew me away from graduate school and toward making surf magazines 12 years ago, and it's these things that have kept me on the monthly deadline treadmill for so long. If anything came across during my tenure here at SURFING, hopefully it's a love for the lifestyle that has given us so much.Fortunately, I'm far from alone. Everyone I work with here in our tight-knit family that is SURFING, from the talented art dudes to the driven photo department to our razor-sharp wordsmiths to our soon-to-be Editor in Chief, Travis Ferr, shares an equal desire to pass that love on to you. This crew has been instrumental in getting the magazine to where it is today, and they will undoubtedly take it to new heights in the future.As for me, I'm as much of a teary-goodbye guy as I am a collector. So right now, I can only express my gratitude to you, the readers, for riding with us for all these years. I'm looking forward to joining you. -- Evan Slater