Chris Burkard


One of surfing’s foundational premises, one of its principal allures, is its simplicity. Consider the fact that among the most famous words ever written about the sport is a sentence that comes from the first issue of this magazine. It’s a caption to a photo of a faceless surfer, back to the camera, knee-paddling in utter solitude toward a perfect, right-breaking wave at Hammond’s Reef in Santa Barbara. “In this crowded world,” SURFER founder John Severson wrote in that 1960 issue, “the surfer can still seek and find the perfect day, the perfect wave, and be alone with the surf and his thoughts.”

Writer Brad Melekian discusses the fallacy of enjoying a simple surf life, and discovers that it’s usually not that simple. 


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