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The concrete was baking as I rode my bike to the beach. The wind was calm. The waves were small. It was my friend's birthday and I had a backpack with a wetsuit top, a towel, six beers, wax and sunscreen. It was noon.
At the beach I found a dozen friends sprawled out in the sand. Some under umbrellas, some in the sun, all smiling. I set my bike on the pile of bikes and my beers in the cooler and joined them, eyes on the ocean. It was uncrowded and slightly bigger than forecasted. I threw some sunscreen on my face and in an instant, it smelled like every summer I've had since I was 5 years old.
I surfed three times that day. A half-hour here, an hour there. Sitting on the sand and watching the ocean, I timed my sessions according to the conditions. I waited for the greediest surfers to get out of the water. I kept an eye on the wind. I watched the tide drop and paddled out once it turned around. And between sessions I'd stay in my wet trunks and chat with friends. There was nowhere to go. No rushing. My phone was buried somewhere deep in my backpack. I stayed until dark and rode my bike home with sandy, bare feet. The concrete was cool.
Summer is a sandy affair for surfers. It's the one time of year where the beach is more than just the thing we walk across to get to the ocean. It becomes a living room, a heater, a bed and an impressive medium with which we build castles. But mostly, it just slows down time.
In this issue, as summer fades to fall, we want to celebrate the small things that represent summer. Things like sand and wax and wet T-shirts [see: That Sunny Infinity Between Spring and Fall, Pg. 70]. Because while the peak moments are the ones you'll tell stories about -- the trip to Mexico, the barrel you got spit out of, the summer fling -- it's the little things that will trigger nostalgia when the days shrink and the water cools.
When I got home from the beach I tracked sand into the house. Into my room. Into the shower. I was tired, sun-crisped and content. Later that night as I climbed into bed, I swept a pile of sand from my sheets -- but very reluctantly.--Taylor Paul
Inside this Issue
070 THAT SUNNY INFINITY BETWEEN SPRING AND FALL
Summer is more than just a warm, feel-good string of days. It's a palpable thing. A thing that you can smell and taste and touch and remember it by. Summer is a wet T-shirt. Summer is an overused beach towel. Summer is...six giant action photos.
082 LA PLAYA
A drink, a whisper and a little bit of faith. It's these three things that Sterling Spencer and Dillon Perillo lean on during a quest to find the perfect right near a sleepy Mexican town. Were they right? Did they find it? Of course. Or else we wouldn't be running it in the magazine.
By Chas Smith.
088 CREED ON PURPOSE
You know his clothes. You know his hair. You've seen him drink. Now, watch him surf. Creed McTaggart collects a profile-ready feature on a single trip to Indonesia, and managing editor Beau Flemister learns that while those clothes and that hair are all a part of Creed, that ain't all. And it certainly isn't by accident.