Go Time

Should a surf magazine try its hardest to please its advertisers, or should the readers come first? Is promoting surfing in a positive light more important, or should the surf media be reporting on surfing like a newspaper follows a presidential campaign? Does a surf magazine have an obligation to get actively involved in pushing the sport to new levels, or is that considered meddling in the natural progression of things? Should photo editors run every great surf photo they get, or should there be restrictions regarding which surfers can grace a magazine’s pages? And if so, who makes those rules?Although we don’t know the specific answers to these questions, strangely enough, that never stops people from asking them … over and over. Because we’ve chosen to take the road less traveled in the forest of surf-mag makery, and seeing how we often fail to think hyper-politically, we regularly find ourselves in the bad graces of advertisers, marketing directors, and pro surfers who feel slighted by us. They think we’re in bed with their competition, or that we have an agenda that excludes their own. But the truth of the matter is, our readership is our priority, and our ultimate goal is to present modern surfing to real surfers, to entertain them, to introduce them to the surf world’s up-and-comers and seasoned vets, and to do it all with as little bias as humanly possible.With that in mind, this month we trekked down to Mexico to test ten fullsuits, and published our findings, so our readers might have a heads up on what to buy as winter comes on and the water cools off. Unlike our competition, whose wetsuit buyer’s guides are little more than advertorial tools designed to sell more ads, we decided to actually have an opinion. Does that make ours a good surf magazine? We aren’t sure. Is that the formula to create more pissed-off advertisers? It might be. Will we take grief for it? Almost certainly.Are our readers worth it? Without a doubt.¿Joel