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March 2014 Issue

Angel Wind // Devil’s Breath

Wind can be our friend or our enemy. We hate "devil wind," but offshores can hold a closeout open just long enough for us to sneak through a barrel. Onshores help us do airs. We swoon over sheet glass conditions but keep a close eye on ferocious storms because we love them too, so long as they stay way out in the middle of the ocean.

But when those storms don't cooperate, when they have a few drinks, get behind the wheel and veer toward us, they bring more than just waves. They leave people homeless and splatter death tolls on the evening news. Still, there are waves, so we surf. It's a guilty pleasure. During Hurricane Katrina, guys were surfing overhead teepees from Alabama to the Panhandle. Before Hurricane Sandy wrecked the Northeast, people were getting blown out of barrels while roofs were getting blown off of houses. But following Sandy and the destruction that hit so close to home, it seems the surf community began to recognize the impact these storms have on the places we love and surf. The New York and New Jersey communities banded together and helped clean up the aftermath, and the situation put the reality of these storms on a much more personal level.

We went to the Philippines twice for this issue. The first time, Dylan Graves and Koa Smith enjoyed the fruits of Typhoon Lekima, a storm that kindly kept its distance and allowed the boys to trade barrels and smiles with the locals. They left having enjoyed a small slice of paradise. Not two weeks later, super Typhoon Haiyan was not so kind. It sacked the Philippines coastline with 200 mph winds, left almost 2 million people homeless and killed more than 5,000. This would have been easy for the Western surf world to ignore. Instead, Jon Rose, SURFING photographer DJ Struntz and Christian Drake, who helped with the relief efforts after Sandy in New York and New Jersey, went to the Philippines to lend a hand. Through Jon's Waves for Water, an organization that was born from surfing, they gave more than 300,000 people clean water and set up a plan with local communities to deliver much more. Read about both trips on Pg. 76.

It's the new year. We get a new calendar and a new canvas on which we can paint whatever we want. It's a time of optimism and possibilities. We look toward the future and resolve to improve ourselves, our actions and our relationships with others. I want to draw inspiration from people like Jon, DJ and Christian, and be more aware and more giving in 2014. And judging from the outpouring on social media from surfers, professional and otherwise, in the wake of Haiyan, I'm not the only one. We're on the verge of an exciting, socially aware time in surfing's growth, and that's something we can all be proud of. Wind for waves. Winds of destruction. Winds of change. —Taylor Paul

Inside this Issue

Old World New

Pg. 64 Old World New

Old World, new faces, new energy, new explorers. Griffin Colapinto, Parker Coffin and Nic Von Rupp storm the emerald peaks and slabs off the ancient Portuguese coast. Met along the way by John John Florence and Brendon Gibbens, the crew finds fresh barrels, vibrant culture and irrepressible laughter in the Old World. Story by Beau Flemister.

A Tale of Two Typhoons

Pg. 76 A Tale of Two Typhoons

At the end of last fall, two typhoons spun toward the Philippines. The nicer one, Lekima, led Dylan Graves, Koa Smith and photographer Duncan Macfarlane on an idyllic strike mission to the fabled Cloud 9. Two weeks later Typhoon Haiyan devastated the country and inspired an entirely different strike mission, leading Jon Rose of Waves for Water and photographer DJ Struntz to lend a hand to a broken nation. And both missions were a success.

Starting Today

Pg. 88 Starting Today

No, not tomorrow, starting today you will surf at least four times a week. You'll feel better if you do. And while you're at it, try that air you've always wanted to pull, and surf the wave that kinda scares the shit out of you. Six surf-specific resolutions guaranteed to make your New Year better.