Surf media and mainstream media have traditionally had very little to do with each other. With notable exceptions like William Finnegan, Matt Warshaw, Jamie Brisick, and Fred Pawle, (apologies to those left out) the term “surf writer” can rarely, if ever, be used outside of quotation marks. As Stuart Cornuelle said in Surfing Magazine: “We aren’t journalists.”
Well, the recalcitrant hacks at The Inertia beg to differ. This site is about taking a sledgehammer to the quotation marks that surround writing about surfing and replacing them with interesting themes, critical examination, plenty of fun, and some serious bona fides.
To my knowledge, no one is currently pushing this struggle harder than the captain of our pirate ship, Zach Weisberg. Today, on the front page of the New York Times – next to news about war in the Middle East, nuclear meltdowns, and economic woes – is a story he wrote about surfing. More specifically, it details three-time World Champion Cori Schumacher‘s struggle to tackle larger issues like misogyny, homophobia, and politics in surf culture. Read it, think about it, praise, criticize, debate…just don’t be indifferent. If we aren’t moving ideas, we aren’t doing our jobs, and even the best writers are nothing without their audience.