After a disappointing season in 2012, Jordy Smith discusses finding his form in 2013
I felt like I needed something to snap me out of it, so I went on a surf trip to Mozambique with my fiancé, Lyndall, and my buddy, Chad Du Toit. Lyndall was actually the one who suggested we take a trip to that wave, because she’s been there camping with her family a few times. It was just firing and I was kind of gobsmacked. I was freaking out and couldn’t get the boards off the car fast enough. I probably scored some of the best waves of my life.
The 2013 Teahupoo champion breaks down his magic quad
"If you can find a magic board you feel comfortable on, you don’t even think of it as a board anymore but as an extension of your body and you can just do whatever you want. I’ll be hanging onto that one from Teahupoo, and if the conditions are right I will pull it out again." —Ace Buchan
Filmmaker Chris McClean talks us through the first ever Instagram surf movie
Social media has given us all a mild case of ADD. Tweets have replaced web stories, Vine replaced YouTube, and Instagram replaced Facebook in a race to make information easier to consume. One person who is embracing this impatient era is UK-based filmmaker Chris McClean. McClean takes the term "short film" to new extremes with his project, Urchin Howl, which has been edited into a series of 15-second clips to be released on Instagram.
Everything you need to know about going really fast on a surfboard
“You can minimize drag but you can’t escape it. Think of a skydiver in free fall: at a certain point, the air resistance is going to cause them to reach terminal velocity, and further acceleration is not possible. In sailing, or surfing, when you calculate the drag of any surfaces above the water, plus any surfaces below the water, that dictates your maximum speed. You can try to reduce the dragging components above and below the water to push that threshold higher by getting rid of the leash, changing the fins, manipulating the bottom surface of the board, but there will always be some drag working against you.”
A look at Craig Anderson’s long-awaited signature film, as directed by Dane Reynolds
The hype storm hovering over Slow Dance was undoubtedly fueled by the talent of the film’s star, Craig Anderson, who has more or less become the world’s favorite freesurfer over the last two years. But the anticipation was also in no small part due to the directorial efforts of Dane Reynolds—the man behind the most watched web clips in the world via Marine Layer Productions. For Slow Dance, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I assumed it would fall into a similarly indulgent realm. I was wrong.
Tyler Hatzikian on the art of building and riding traditional longboards
"Back when I was first making these boards, I just tried to separate myself from the conventions of the ‘80s and early ‘90s," says Tyler. "I wanted to build a board that could advance my traditional surfing and advance my ability to design and shape. To make something different from the typical thrusters or longboards of the time, which were basically 9-foot short boards. I put a heavy focus on making the opposite kind of board, and it felt new and exciting and it still does. Because no matter how much you work at it, the quest for the perfect shape is still pretty hard to achieve."
Rentable shaping bays are enabling long-time surfers to become first-time shapers
Started less than two years ago by Bay Area transplant Chris Clark, the idea was that Shaper Studios would provide the shaping bays, the templates, and the tools in exchange for a membership fee—like a gym for foam and fiberglass buffs.
Todd Glaser on getting run over by Craig Anderson for our July cover
SURFER Staff Photographer Todd Glaser is used to being in precarious situations. Call it “Occupational Hazard,” but when you put yourself under the lip at a heavy slab, with a bulky water housing in tow and a fiberglass plank flying towards you, accidents are bound to happen. When Glaser trained his lens at Craig Anderson on the wave of the day in Tahiti a few months back, he ended up getting a little more than he bargained for, including the cover shot for our July issue.
A spot-specific look at Greg Long's big-wave quiver
According to Chris Christenson, shaper to the big-wave elite, there is no greater influence on modern gun design than the waves themselves. “With each spot, you’ve got a new set of factors that the equipment needs to compensate for,” says Christenson. “You have to take everything into account, because at the end of the day you’re basically building parachutes—they just have to work.”
Shane Dorian and Shawn Dollar dominate the biggest night in big-wave surfing
Last night the most audacious wave riders and scantily-clad surf fans arrived at the Grove in Anaheim for the 2013 Billabong XXL Awards. What followed was an emotional look back at one of the most eventful years in the history of big-wave surfing. The massive swells ridden at Jaws, Cloudbreak, and Cortes Bank provided not only a glimpse into the future of big-wave surfing, and what these surfers are truly capable of achieving, but also a much more sobering look at the importance of water safety in this era of broken limits.