A massive week for surfing in general, not all of it good.
Surfer Mag Is Gone
It went with a whimper. There is was a little bit of a bang when former editor Todd Prodanovich posted a politically-motivated photo on Instagram, but it wasn't really enough. The mag was owned by kooks, they didn't give a shit about our history or our culture, and they shut it down. Sixty years. When Steve Hawk was the editor, and Carson was designing it, the magazine was gold. If you have any of those copies, hold onto them. They’re going to be worth something someday.
Funny thing is, this morning I received my good old email from Surfer Magazine the header of the mail was Explore Nature: Win a National Park Tour for 2.
It was like getting an email from someone who had died.
Curious, I opened the mail, where it carried on, Enjoy some of America's most incredible National Parks. Grand Prize: 2 passes to Yosemite, Olympic, and Zion National Parks plus $1,000 towards travel expenses!
Then I noticed it was signed off by Men's Journal, New York Plaza. It seems the Surfer mag subscriber database was absorbed by the Men's Journal database pretty quickly and definitely unashamedly. Poor effort, in my opinion, Men's Journal.
Michael Tomson Is Gone
There has been a lot written about the man on his recent passing. To quickly reiterate, he was a South African who charged Pipeline, cousin to Shaun, and the man who redefined surf fashion and the surf industry with Gotcha and then with More Core Division. He believed, unfalteringly, that a good surf brand was based around a good surf team. It was the most critical element, and when he meant a good team, not some contest machine type surfers doing twirlys, but seriously core surfers. Martin Potter was the figurehead for many years, and Derek Ho was their second world champion after Pottz. Much talk always points out his success in the MCD More Core Division. Still, let's not forget Tomson introduced The Rhythm Division before that, an ethnic/reggae story, to great success.
Many people laud his association with drugs, particularly cocaine. As a 58-year old man, he rear-ended a parked car and was found to be under the influence of alcohol with cocaine in the vehicle. This was followed by another incident two years later. In this situation, he got caught, aged 60 with a lot of powder in his car, and was arrested.
Matt Wilko was Nearly Gone
It was a close call for the former world number one, who got sniffed out by what appears to be a healthy-sized great white shark near Ballina a few days ago. The video footage went pretty viral and was picked up by news stations and channels the world over. Wilko was pretty shocked but lived to tell the tale of how a shark once swam quite near him.
It really forces one to think about how often this sort of thing must happen all the time, and how many times it might have happened to a lot of us.
Eddie Van Halen is Gone
The inimitable Eddie Van Halen passed away a few days ago after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. His band, Van Halen, was one of the greatest rock bands of our time, selling more than 75 million albums. Van Halen was also prone to a good time. While Van Halen's music didn't really feature on many surf movies, he had a massive global fan base and was a rock legend. To see just how his music fitted the surf scene, check out The Girls Of Surfing, with a soundtrack by Van Halen.