The Surfer Archives: Volume 3, Issue 1—First Color Photo!

SURFER got color, went international, and Severson alluded to the Disneyfication of surfing in 1962

“Full of characters, fads and fantasies, surfing is perhaps the most colorful sport to emerge since the Greek bare-handed bullfights,” John Severson writes in the editor’s note that opens up SURFER Magazine’s 6th issue. Speaking of colorful, this is the first issue to feature a color photo; Ricky Grigg rolling into a Pipeline stunner on the cover.

Even in 1962, the Disneyfication of surfing is prophesied through wavepools. On the topic of surfing becoming a viral trend, Severson writes: “Help is on the way. Artificial wave machines are in the process of being built…as are powered surfboards. Next-somewhere between Anaheim and Buena Park-SURFYLAND! ALL YOU CAN RIDE FOR $1, ALL SIZES AND SHAPES! GET ‘EM WHILE THEY’RE HOT!”

There’s a Pipeline feature in which Mike Hynson and a slew of other brave surfers charge the world’s deadliest wave on the single fin logs of the day. Most are outrunning the tube or wiping out. Photos of the latter are captioned by Severson’s signature tongue-in-cheek voice; “He was only successful in nearly killing himself,” and, “Mike was making good progress until the whole Pacific Ocean caved in on him.”

SURFER’s international scope started to grow too, with features on Australia and France, exotic destinations at the time.

There are still plenty of cartoons sprinkled throughout the issue from Severson and Rick Griffin. Guest cartoonist Mike Salisbury is featured and cartoon icon “Murphy” joins the Marines.

To see more flips through the SURFER archives, click here.