Staying ahead of the curl in a G olden Age of surf ing.
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.
Window to a new dawn on King Island.