A friend of mine once wrote a very keen observation. He wrote that in most sports such as Golf or Tennis, that when you read their media you can observe that the idea is for people to improve. Golf magazines are loaded with equipment reviews and tips from the pros to help the lack luster soar to being well…barely average. Golf is a sport that one has to master and some never do it. Surfing is the same way. Yet, for the surfers, an odd mental problem occurs. We never believe that we were once going over the falls, missing waves, and riding with all of the style of a convulsing cockroach. Somehow we picked up our board off the racks and then a few hours later found ourselves flying down the line like Taj Burrow so being helpful to someone who is a beginner in the water is completely out of the question.
This carries over into our media. We read stories about beaches told to us in a way that say, “You will enjoy this slab because if you are reading this story…well, you truly have to be great!” The media also focuses on where the subscriber must be from. For instance, you can enjoy some wonderful right coast magazines that tell you how great the guys are on the east coast, how great the contests are, and how great our up and coming kids are as well. It is nice but maybe there are a few surfers out there that just want to learn something about equipment, surf spots, or locals, and just have it given in an unbiased way.
Well, thankfully I came across Smorgasboarder Magazine from Australia. Not Australia! For a seppo, it seems like opening this magazine would be about as wise as going to a football match and sitting in the opposing teams’ section with a jersey on from your team. Upon opening this magazine, I was very surprised at how wrong I was. It is loaded with tips, interviews, and equipment reviews and thankfully it is done in a way that does not seems to be favoring any group at all. Shortboards, longboards, stand up paddlers…all are represented. They interview different surfers but it is completely random who they focus on. It could be a shortboarding kid, a surfing housewife, a surf photographer, an artist who surfs – they are all covered.
I also really like how in-depth they focus on different areas. They show the breaks, interview a few locals, talk about most of the local shapers, show the good restaurants, tell how to get there and even where to stay. It is very complete!
So if you have a chance, seek out this magazine and give it a shot! I came across a lot of good stuff!