Over a long two years, the mind played tricks. Without the First World luxury of surf travel on demand, confined to local postcodes and local waves, the collective surf imagination has wandered to all the places a passport could no longer get you. For Australian surfers, that was Indonesia. Now with the borders back open, surfers have disappeared… some more completely than others.
In Surfing World 418, we jump aboard the Calypte with Torren Martyn and his partner, Aiyana, as they sail through the Malacca Strait and back in time, surfing empty waves out of reach of the Mentawai charter fleet. Further south, everything was exotic again, and while the crowds were heavy, there were moments if you knew where to look. The Barrenjoey’s John McGroder writes about scoring the day of the season at the chain’s most fabled wave with just a handful of others.
Ruby Southwell posted up on Masokut and is still there, while Nick Gibbs boarded the Jetstar Kuta flight and found Bali not quite same-same. Amongst this collection of rediscovered exotica, we have what just might be the deepest dive profile – and the longest story – ever published in a surfing magazine. When the floods hit the Northern Rivers back in February, Shane Herring was amongst those who lost the lot, his caravan washing away down the Richmond River. With nowhere to go, he ended up staying with Derek Hynd for weeks. The timing was cosmic, 30 years on from Shane beating Kelly Slater to win the Coke Classic, announcing himself as Australia’s response. You know how it went from there. Kelly won the world title, while Shane went down a darker path. Shane and Derek talked. They rolled tape. Derek spoke to all the key players in Shane’s life, and what resulted was a 20,000-word deep dive into the rise and fall of Shane Herring.
Surfing World is being published independently by Jon Frank and Sean Doherty, two surf mag lifers. They have form. Frank is the Godfather of high-art surf photography. Seano is on a million-word surf story bender. They both hold a deep respect for surfing. Surfing World is a passion project for them. They’ve inherited a sense of duty. A surfing elder summed it up to them this way: “Make something beautiful that really says something.”