The Best Wavelength Printing Features of 2021 – Wavelength Surf Magazine


This year Wavelength is celebrating its 40th anniversary on paper and while a lot has happened since those early days, we remain more determined than ever to create quality surf culture collections that you can hold in your hands.

Our 2021 volumes contained over 280 pages of long-running stories and beautiful imagery, from local eccentrics and underground chargers to innovators and global icons, as always we have strived to seek out timeless, entertaining and engaging tales. from the full spectrum of the wave world.

To end the year, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite features from Flight. 260 and Flight. 261 to summarize you here. Think of it as an annual “biggest hit” – or a winter playlist if you prefer. You can still pick up both editions in the Wavelength Shop, along with many other back issues from our archives. Or better yet, you can subscribe now, receive our latest volume immediately, and make sure all future editions end up on your doormat as soon as they land. To welcome new subscribers on board, we currently have a variety of free gift options, from free Tony’s Chocolonely to free Stance socks. Browse them all here. Now it’s time for the show.

Photos: Garry McCall and Richard Murphy

Surf and trouble

In Flight. 261, Editor-in-Chief Luke Gartside met Richie Fitzgerald – a decorated big wave pioneer and avid part-time historian – for a discussion about surfing during the period of intense violence that rocked Northern Ireland and its late borders. from the 60s until the end of the century.

Although the island’s cultural surfing epicenter shared the same geographic boundaries as the conflict – and the community was made up of surfers on both sides of the divide – the dominant narrative has always been that the two were entirely separate.

In the interview, Richie dives deep below the surface of the issue, drawing on a wealth of ideas and anecdotes to build an illuminating picture of the cultural fabric of Irish surfing and shed light on how the community has been successful. to prevent any sectarian conflict from seeping into the align.

Illustrations: Josh Vyvyan

Head above the water

In Flight. 260, Lily Plume explores the transformative power of surfing through the story of Hannah Green, a Scarborough woman who became homeless and suffered from severe PTSD following multiple cases of sexual abuse during her childhood and adolescence.

The feature film traces her journey, from living in temporary accommodation to seeking solace in the arms of the North Sea, to finally getting back on her feet with a place of her own and a thriving career as a journalist and activist.

Drawing on analysis from Josh Dickson, EMDR consultant and director of Resurface Retreats, Lily combines Hannah’s personal experiences with the broader research into the therapeutic effects of wave surfing, telling the myriad of ways that immersion in a life of surfing can help deal with trauma.

Photos: Federico Vanno & Laurent Masurel from the book Align

Lines of inquiry

In Lines Of Inquiry, Billy Wilson contemplates the complex, transient, and impenetrable nature of surfing’s playground. “At the top of the sand dune,” he wrote, “I generally feel less like Bruce Brown or rugged Cortez and more like the annoyed detective, once again arriving too late at the crime scene. However, Billy’s stated lack of wave research is quickly eclipsed by his array of esoteric surfing, historical, geographic, and philosophical knowledge, which he generously draws on to trace a thread through the room.

In fact, we would risk that there are few other articles (in this post or any other post) where you will find an account of the outdoor ablutions posted on a mushroom trip alongside Marx’s Ruminations. , Budha and ancient Hebrew scholars. But such is the extent of the references necessary to trace a course through this most complex subject. He’s nerd at his best and witty until the end.

Photos: Al Mackinnon and Malcolm Anderson

Do not stop

The enigmatic Mark ‘Scratch’ Cameron was our profile star in Flight. 260. Seven-time Scottish surfing champion, longtime teapot collector and storyteller and most recently the first man to swim across the Pentland Firth – a venture inspired by a strange and tragic event in his personal life. Comprised of all kinds of colorful tangents, the piece serves as a living portrait of one of Britain’s finest surf eccentrics and the Scottish hinterland community he inhabits, masterfully crafted by the best writer in surfing nation of the North, Jamie Currie.

Photos: Yoshi Tanaka

Home at last

Nique Miller spent his early years running on track in Texas and tackling the challenges of biracial growth in the Americas. Then, in her early twenties, she moved to Hawaii, discovered surfing, and her life was forever changed. In Flight. 260, Sophie Everard catches up with Nique – now a world-renowned longboarder with a major sponsor, numerous magazine covers and 230,000 subscribers to her name – to dig past the smile insta persona for a candid conversation about talent, tenacity, prejudice and the awakening of the surf industry launched by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photos via wannasurf.com

The origins of Wannasurf

In Flight. 260 Luke Gartside sets out to uncover the origins of the internet’s oldest, weirdest, and most comprehensive surf guide to find out what inspired its creation and why it seems to be stuck in a time lag of around 2007.

The investigation led to many unexpected places, from an oil rig off the coast of war-torn Angola, via Tahiti and finally to the unlikely creator of the site, who shared the intriguing tale of what happened during his dream of democratizing our collective knowledge of spots. collided with early parish surf culture.

Photos: Ron Perrott and Jeff Divine

Turning the tide on apartheid

This essay, taken from the excellent Empire in waves by Scott Laderman and published in Flight. 261, presents a forensic exploration of the surfing world‘s reaction to apartheid. From a chronicle of the furious backlash faced by surf editors who dared to bring the subject to the fore in the 1960s and 1970s to the much-publicized boycott undertaken by three of the world’s most famous surfers in the late 1980s , it is meticulously researched and infinitely enlightening, with take-out meals that far transcend the subject.

Photos: Suzi Allen and John Conway

Wide wooden web

In Flight. 261‘s Wood Wide Web, Paul Evans examines the heyday of an impromptu surf town, forged in a French pine forest in the early 90s. Inhabited by a group of surfing legends, travelers, disbelievers and misfits, the story traces the creation, rise and ultimate demise of the place through the first-hand accounts of those who lived it.

Photos courtesy of the author

The stowaway

In The Stowaway, we tell the story stranger than fiction of a father and son sailing trip across the Atlantic going awry. It’s a wild tale featuring a dead end on the high seas, a bullmastiff in a homemade harness and a shipwreck in West Africa that will likely leave you contemplating the delicate relationship between perception and reality and certainly leave you tired. to implement those plans for a windsurfing trip across the ocean anytime soon.

Photos: Sarah Witt

Heavy metal hunter

For Flight. 260Paul Evans escaped the Hossegor bogs in the dead of winter and headed for the bright lights of Biarritz, where a local surfer and underwater hunter embarked on a mission to rid the sea of ​​contamination by metals, one sinker at a time.

Tom Flambeaux’s Plombkemon Challenge is a call to action for underwater fishermen in France and around the world to help clean up our ocean playgrounds. While plastic pollution on the sea surface and on our beaches rightly remains in the media spotlight, Tom hoped to do something about the silent and hidden threat of lead, a highly toxic heavy metal, which he found. in almost every rock pool near his home. in the Basque resort.

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Cover photo: Federico Vanno


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