Stab Magazine | The Surfer's Journal's #ShotOniPhone Mikey Wright Cover Is Bonkers

The Surfer’s Journal’s #ShotOniPhone Mikey Wright Cover Is Bonkers

Someone at Apple cut Zak Noyle a check already!

Words by Stab

Today the mighty Surfer’s Journal leaked a first glimpse of their new issue, featuring one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful images anyone in the Stab staff can recall: Mikey Wright, mid-flight and suspended in a constellation of glistening offshore plumage and bright blue sky.  

“He shot it with an iPhone, man,” the Journal’s Art Director, Jim Newitt, tells Stab of the Zak Noyle image, which quickly filled up our Instagram feeds upon its release. 

After more than a decade of experience in the niche Venn diagram that is publishing, design, and surf (which included two years dragging Surfer into modernity), Newitt took the aesthetic seat at The Surfer’s Journal two years ago, and has helped usher in a new era of greatness at the San Clemente publication after the departure of longtime Photo Editor Jeff Divine, as well as Art Director Jeff Girard, who both served alongside Scott Hulet and Steve Pezman for the better part of a quarter century. 

While the last two volumes have been exceptional, the last three covers have shown The Journal‘s remarkable range: an archival black and white of Dick Brewer, Reno Abellira, and Gerry Lopez; an African lineup shot by Al McKinnon, featuring Greg Long and a desert dreamscape; and this most recent iPhone capture of Mikey Wright, by Zak Noyle. 

“You’re always looking for those universal images; that speak to everyone. Those are the best ones. Something undeniable.

“In some ways we’re lucky, because of our publishing cycle [bi-monthly, working 2 issues out], we just can’t be timely. That liberates us from having to use the latest greatest shot. We’re looking for something that deserves to live in print — that’s a different thing, especially so nowadays.

“The cover is still so important. You’re competing for people’s attention — just as it’s always been — but readers aren’t looking through a hundreds of titles at the newsstand anymore, now they’re scrolling through thousands of images on Instagram. It takes a truly great image to stand out.”

And the issue’s surprises don’t stop there. Gracing the back cover? A massive stack of sun-browned Sixties singlefins, in the back of what appears to be a moving truck. The image, taken by DJ Marshall, younger brother of Brothers Marshall’s Chad and Trace, was also shot on an iPhone, at

Barry McGee’s widely lauded solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art In Santa Barbara. 


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The Surfer’s Journal

The Surfer’s Journal is a printed bi-monthly, and is available at any respectable surf shops internationally, though we encourage you to pony up and just fucking subscribe already. 


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