The Life + Legacy of SURFING Mag | Cause of death: Internet? Industry?


It was a sad – but not unexpected – day when we lost SURFING Mag after decades of bringing us the entertaining world of surf. No doubt they won’t be the last print mag we are going to lose before this whole blood bath is over. The talented Nick Carroll went on record with The Surfers Journal to discuss the life and legacy of SURFING and dive into what caused its demise, the massive beef with SURFER back in the day, and much more. Like every TSJ article it is extremely in-depth and well written. Enjoy.



“What will the doctor scrawl on the death certificate? People have diagnosed it according to lay convention, or “the Internet,” or “the industry’s dying,” or whatever. But those are proximate causes. Nay, this was not the Death of Print, but the drip-drip-drip of demographics. During Surfing magazine’s lifespan, 154 surf magazine titles were spawned in the U.S., and hundreds more elsewhere. Some are still going strong. But in 1964, when Surfing was first published, around 30 percent of the USA’s coastal population (and Australia’s, by the way) was under 21 years of age. Today, pretty much the same percentage is over 55. The youthful energy that launched and drove surfing’s modern incarnation is done, and kids are now just a fraction of surfing’s global cohort.

Thus the particular style of print mag publishing pioneered by Surfing—the “hot,” “young,” “progressive” surf magazine—finds itself hugely diminished. Few members of the species currently exist, and they tend to be web-centered.”



Click to THE SURFERS JOURNAL for the investigation into the legacy + death of SURFING Mag print by Nick Carroll





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