Surf Magazines: A Gallery of Iconic Covers

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The Unfortunate Decline of Surf Magazines

For decades, printed surf magazines were the primary media platform for surfing. The modern digital era is undoubtedly a fantastic time for surfing. High quality written and image based online content make for excellent viewing. It is sad, however, to have witnessed the decline of printed surf magazines. Most notably the closure of Surfer magazine in print form.

Over the years I begged, borrowed (there is such a thing as permanent loan isn’t there?), inherited and purchased a pretty extensive collection of vintage surf magazines. My cache includes publications from each decade spanning the 1960’s to recent times.

Countless hours were enjoyed reading mesmerising tales of surf exploration, surfboard design, and the riding of perfect waves. Although I fondly recall the articles I read, it is more often than not the images that stick in my mind.

Hundreds of classic surf photos are logged in my memory banks. But it’s the cover shots that I cherish most fondly.

Contributors to the Surf Magazines Gallery

I thought I would dig through my collection and present a gallery of truly iconic surf magazine covers. I asked a few of my good friends for their input. They took time out of their busy schedules, listing the covers that had the most impact on them over the years.

Simon Tucker: Ex Professional Surfer in the 1980s and 90s, Simon is an avid collector of vintage surfboards and paraphernalia.

Rick Dabrow: Surf Historian extraordinaire, Rick is one of the finest story tellers out there.

Paul Gill: Legendary European surf photographer and surf explorer.

Cai Waggett: Curator of “The Cruel and Curious” and Editor of Foiling Magazine.

Reader Contributions

As I mentioned, these covers are selected by myself and the people mentioned above. We only had access to surf magazines from my personal collection. If you guys can think of covers that you think should be included in this gallery please let me know in the comments. Tell me which magazine cover, and what it means to you. I will update the page regularly. Let’s work together and build the most comprehensive gallery of iconic surf magazine covers.

Iconic Surf Magazine Covers: The Gallery