Ac­cel­er­ated Evo­lu­tion

Stay­ing ahead of the curl in a G olden Age of surf ing.

Tracks - - Intro - By Luke Kennedy

Evo­lu­tion has al­ways been an in­te­gral part of surf­ing – from boards to pho­tog­ra­phy and fashion; to style, mu­sic, per­for­mance lev­els and per­son­al­i­ties, the sub-cul­ture is in a state of per­ma­nent flux.

While classifying the rapid and oc­ca­sion­ally schiz­o­phrenic evo­lu­tion of surf­ing can be an im­pre­cise en­deavor, it’s ar­guable that in many re­spects we are liv­ing in a Golden Era for wave rid­ers.

Advances in de­sign tech­nol­ogy, com­bined with the ride-ev­ery­thing move­ment have opened up a myr­iad of surf­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties. Board stores and shap­ing bays are like lolly shops these days. You can walk in and have any flavour of fiber­glass you like or go for the full mixed bag. If surf­ing is the ultimate an­ti­dote to bore­dom then the di­ver­sity of boards at our dis­posal means we should be hav­ing more fun than ever.

Like­wise, surf travel has never of­fered such an en­riched and unique range of ex­pe­ri­ences. While In­done­sia still oc­cu­pies the hal­lowed sta­tus of a surf­ing promised land, other fron­tiers have be­come in­creas­ingly ap­peal­ing. From China to Chile there are read­ily ac­ces­si­ble coast­lines to plunder. The less my­opic we are about where to travel, the more the global surf­ing crowd spreads out. We can’t cap surf­ing’s growth, but we can choose to ex­plore new re­gions rather than clus­ter like crabs un­der a sin­gle rock.

Putting our own surf­ing in­ter­ests aside for a mo­ment, you can’t deny that the cur­rent in­car­na­tion of pro surf­ing is riv­et­ing. Sure we all like to voice our opin­ions about the WSL, but the

dis­sem­i­na­tion of con­struc­tive crit­i­cism is the sign of a sport that is be­com­ing more so­phis­ti­cated. On the whole an­tic­i­pa­tion lev­els for con­tests are higher than a John John al­ley-oop. The per­for­mances are dizzy­ing and the per­son­al­i­ties in­trigu­ing, and we are also blessed to be liv­ing in an era when we get to watch the great­est, Kelly Slater, com­pete against a cur­rent world cham­pion who is redefining the sport.

In re­sponse to a flam­boy­ant and intrepid era in surf­ing we’re re­shap­ing Tracks in a way that em­pow­ers us to de­liver an en­ter­tain­ing and au­thor­i­ta­tive take on the dy­namic sub­cul­ture we love. You’ll no­tice the aes­thetic changes to this is­sue. The new, wider for­mat cre­ates a broader, more ap­peal­ing land­scape for lay­outs, giving images greater im­pact and copy more space to breathe. The cover also of­fers a thicker, more tac­tile clutch and the pages have a dis­tinctly silky feel.

In ad­di­tion to a crisper ver­sion of the un­mis­tak­able Tracks mast­head, as­tute ob­servers will pick up on the fact the fonts have been cu­rated to shake up the en­tire sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence.

Look in­side and you’ll also find a se­lec­tion of new reg­u­lars and a re­work­ing of some of our more tra­di­tional edi­to­rial sta­ples.

In this the first, new-look re­lease we’ve fo­cused on the is­lands, which sit just be­yond the perime­ters of our great south­ern con­ti­nent. Fre­quently overlooked by surfers, these de­tached land­masses are at once part of the broader Aus­tralian con­scious­ness while also boast­ing geo­graphic anom­alies and cul­tural prac­tices, which are very much unique unto them­selves. Each of the is­lands is home to blue-rib­bon waves, in­trigu­ing char­ac­ters and colour­ful his­to­ries. Who knows maybe they will in­spire you to take your next trip a lit­tle closer to home.

Note: This is­sue also marks a change in the fre­quency of Tracks. We’ ll now be on stands seven times a year. The new tem­po­ral bound­aries give us a lit­tle ex­tra time to cur a tea qual­ity prod­uct with a time­less feel. Mean­while our ba­sic aim re­mains the same– to pro­duce a mag that hon­ours our loyal reader ship while si­mul­ta­ne­ously bring­ing the stoke to a new gen­er­a­tion of Tracks read­ers.

Photo: Re­spon­dek.

Win­dow to a new dawn on King Is­land.

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