The fact that we can forecast, communicate, analyze, announce and annoy ourselves 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world, leaves me feeling rather despondent.
Would you agree our lives on land are getting a little ridiculous? My Sunday morning is now just as stressful as my Monday afternoon, and the more I know about a swell, the less I want to surf it. The fact that we can forecast, communicate, analyze, announce and annoy ourselves 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world, leaves me feeling rather despondent and my hair way too dry. And while packing up shop and moving "somewhere up north" sounds like a potential cure, I know it's not an option you or I could really pull off, say, tonight. That's why we assembled this issue. We wanted to experiment with a few basic ways in which we think we could better ourselves, and we tried to do it without getting all owner's manual.
The first thing we did internally at the mag was simple. Every morning before diving into our daily duties, we got together to watch a different segment from Taylor Steele's Campaign. Go replay what this month's cover dude, Andy Irons, does on his backhand in that film, and you'll see why this was such effective medicine. Immediately we became more amped and enthused — and possibly better — surfers (not to mention workers).
We then sent roving writer Nathan Myers off on a motorcycle journey without proper identification — just a surfboard — and told him we didn't want to hear from him for a few days (he lives in Bali, so we figured he could actually pull this off). We said to go surf, leave everything else behind (kid, wife, phone, dog, computer, etc.) and we promised he'd still have a job if/when he made it back (see: "Go Without," pg. 92). He returned in one piece, and we're pretty sure the resulting story will teach us all a little bit about just how important that Facebook status is to our well-being.
We then decided to break some rules — just to see if that did anything. One afternoon, we opened the backdoor of our office to our friends Ford Archbold, Andrew Doheny, Spencer Regan and their buddy Big Cat to let the foursome's new band, Party Theft — then only six days old — shake the walls of our recently acquired, still rather corpo building. Dust fell from the ceilings and we officially staked a claim on our new home, while praying we weren't arrested or kicked out of the office. Their spontaneous rock-and-roll show was all the inspiration we needed to assemble SURFING's guide to bettering yourself (see: "Absolutely Killing It," pg. 78).
But we didn't stop there; a lot can happen when you focus on what's important. We met a centaur. A Kennedy. Saw Kelly cry during a tribute to Al Merrick at the Waterman's Ball. We said yes, all the time. We tried to enjoy moments more than tweets. We promised to live more spontaneously. We woke up earlier. Checked the waves in person rather than online. Paddled out for the hell of it, even when it wasn't good and we didn't have time. We watched more surf vids (amazing what this alone can do for one's stoke level). And somewhere along the way, we think we learned something about what makes life as a surfer worth living.
All that and, oh, we beat the other magazines in a surf contest at Lowers. You could kind of say we absolutely killed it this month. Did you? —Travis Ferré