In the fifth issue of SURFER Magazine, founder and editor John Severson continues his campaign to "elevate the sport." In his Editor’s Note, Severson warns that surfing may be outlawed across the state of California if conditions surrounding it don't change. He pushes his readers to join the United States Surfing Association and pitches it as an insurance policy that will preserve surfing.
In one of the features, San Onofre surfers are asked to define their break. Some seasoned locals argue it had better waves in the ’30s, while others claim the surf has always been the same. Based on the photos in the feature, it looks San O hasn’t changed much since ’61 either
Letters to the editor poured in from all over the world, including landlocked locations. "It is a pleasure to read a publication so literate about a sport so elemental, it augers well for the future respect in which surfing may be held," writes Kenneth Deardorf from St. Lois, Missouri.
Mixed among the copy, and the growing number of surfboard and shop ads, is an announcement for SURFER's Cartoon Contest, the subject being "The Surf Car." With judging based on originality and cleverness, it’s easy to imagine Severson and SURFER staff cartoonist Rick Griffin pouring over all the India Inked, surfboard clad, rat rods mailed into the office (winners to be published in the following issue).
The feature titled “Yokahama Blasters” is a photo gallery from the film “Big Wednesday.” The blue, sepia-toned photos depict the calamity of backwash, boards and bodies that surfers who attempt the wave must evade.
Other random highlights include a photo of the long-destroyed Killer Dana right point peeling into the bay and polyurethane surfboards advertised for $69.95. Simpler times.
To see more flips through SURFER’s archives, click here.