The Death Of Surfing
SURFER and Surfing mag to become one.
These are troublesome times for ink and high-gloss. As Google and Facebook continue their reign as the premiere ad platforms, and with more eyes online than ever, there’s less and less money going into surf magazines. And this poses a problem for print, which is a beautiful thing and something we’re quite fond of. Due to some of the above, we went quarterly with an additional, yet glorious big book a ways back. (So buy a subscription here, and the big book here!).
Via Stab’s carrier pigeons associated with The Enthusiast Network–the company that has SURFER, Surfing, GrindTV, Transworld Skateboarding, Snowboarder and Transworld Snowboarding, and more under their umbrella–word has been confirmed of the biggest cut to “action sports” media (god we hate that term) to date. And don’t get us wrong, we are not gloating over this. If we’re being honest media is a patched-up ship barely floating above the brine. Advertisers are the fibreglass and resin, digital presence is crucial and print–as lovely and tangible a thing it is-is slowly dying with the evolution of time.
So, here’s what we know: Effective February 1, 2017, the consolidation of SURFER and Surfing will take place. The hope is to merge the two into the largest surf media brand. And because SURFER, established in 1960 has long been considered the “Bible of the sport” it will white whale Surfing, swallowing it whole, staff and all.
In addition to the Surfing/SURFER merger, print at Snowboarder mag will also be eliminated and their subscribers will shift over to TransWorld Snowboarding–the world’s largest Snowboarding brand. Also, Kayak and Canoe is culling their zine and going all digital, aligning with GrindTV’s Paddlesports Channel. RideBMX as well is going all digital while Transworld Skateboarding is continuing its focus on digital/video/events/social, investing their print product into a more premium experience and changing its frequency to six times a year.
In desperate times, this is a significant move for SURFER, as they’ve recently reworked their website and have increased their frequency of posts, the move towards the digital realm is amongst us. Rumours of Surfing and SURFER cutting down their subscriptions to a regularity of six-to-eights times a year were commonplace in 2016, but the merger of the two is fresh news. And, when two of the biggest names in surfing are forced to become one, it can’t be a good thing. #surfmagsmatter
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