See Kelly Slater on the cover here: http://www.surfingmagazine.com/magazine/january-issue-2012-surfing-magazine/ I adopted a life chasing chaos. I need to take a second to lay some blame. I hardly recognize who I am anymore and I think I know the culprit: it’s this damn surfing’s fault. Over the past 15 years it’s put me through a complete metamorphosis. You can ask my mom; she watched it all go down. Growing up I was extremely calculated, organized, and borderline obsessive-compulsive. A real future-insurance-agent type. Looking back now, it’d be easier to just say I was a big pussy. Risks weren’t something I took. I was shy, reserved and terrified to travel. I skipped fifth grade camp to stick around and run the playground alone. I would incessantly fix my little brother’s hair and apologize to strangers for his lack of manners and hygiene. I held onto my youth; I cherished routine. I’m pretty sure my parents thought I’d never move out of their house, just age quietly in my childhood bedroom. I’d just inhabit the safe side for eternity. But then, sometime around sixth grade, I started surfing and quit the baseball team. I tanned out and my hair turned blonde. I began getting dropped off at the beach after school and adopted a life chasing chaos. Up to that point, I’d surfed with my dad sometimes on weekends and thought it was pretty cool — but I didn’t really like the sand (neat freak) and was kinda annoyed that I didn’t have a board with a pointed nose. I’d instead resort to the boogie board because it was soft and never dinged up your shins. Much safer. But that sixth grade year I made friends with a few guys who surfed, and going to the beach with my dad became the only thing we lived for. That’s when the metamorphosis began to show. I stopped caring about things I used to think were very important; my hair was no longer combed up just right, and I paid more attention to surf videos than to girls. I knew the importance of every surfer from Justin Matteson and Benji Weatherley to Tom Curren and Kelly, and knew all the songs in each of their videos. I became obsessed with the lifestyle and wanted to travel to France and Indonesia and Costa Rica and wherever else waves broke. But it was the dramatic shift in my demeanor that was most startling. I took more risks. I got tougher, more confident. I wanted to see things. I don’t think any of this would have happened had I continued with normal sports and school and whatever it is people do while we go surfing and waste our days being happy in the ocean. So I blame surfing for making me who I am today: a bit of a flight risk and at times unpredictable. For initiating my curiosity about life. For giving me all my best friends and allowing me to see more places and things before 30 than many will ever see; for making me aware of my surroundings and really good at observing weather conditions; for getting me noticed by girls; for installing a bit of “f--k it” in my system; for turning me on to music and filmmaking and writing and reading and making me a better, more well-rounded person overall. For giving me everything I have. But most of all, I want to blame surfing for forcing me to quit being a pussy and go check some shit out in life — because really, that’s all there is to this world: the people you enjoy, nature, and something good to eat and drink along the way. So surfing, just know you’re at fault for this dramatic shift, and that I’m glad I could get it off my chest. No love lost. —Travis Ferré+ More details
AIRS ARE RAD, BUT THEY ALONE ARE NOT GOOD SURFING. AND TODAY’S INNOVATORS KNOW IT. September Issue 2011 Surfing MagazineOnce a year, we troll amongst our favorite young surfers of the moment, hook a few, and throw ‘em on a trip to the test tracks of Indonesia in an attempt to evaluate the state of our art. The surfers we choose are usually ones we see as trendsetters for modern performance surfing — not World Tour pros (that’s usually a whole different thing), but rather wild animals on the plains of youth. Kids. The ones showing signs of what’s to come. We turn them into test dummies, experiments, lab rats. They flare. We watch. Annually. The results help form our answer to the enduring question, “What does good surfing look like now?” Two years ago, this trip induced the heretical “onshore=offshore” proclamations that a lot of folks thought were pure nonsense. But a lot of folks understood. The modern surfer was hunting launch ramps as often as groomed perfection, and that was the fascinating truth of the day. We claimed it, shamelessly. Then, last year, Clay Marzo and Chippa Wilson stole the show with approaches to wave-riding so creative we had a hard time defining what they were up to. We just knew it looked cool and confused angry old dudes, and again, we liked it. The Landscape Altered trip, so dubbed after the Kai Neville short films it inspired, set the year’s performance benchmark in a flurry of giant punts and one-up sessions. This year’s trip was a little different. The results were impressive (did you see that f–king cover shot?), but misgivings soon surfaced about just what we were seeing. About just what it meant. Sure, a host of new airs, faces and styles were introduced — and the photos that came back were incredible — but the recurring sentiment voiced by the crew upon return was, “Airs are all right, and it’s what we do, but we care more for good old style and power.” This from a group whose past two weeks in Indonesian perfection had been devoted to nothing but aerials. We knew this. We had photographic proof. What was happening here? In truth, we shouldn’t have been surprised. Innovation was never meant to be a matter reserved for above the lip. It isn’t just a new grab, an extra half-rotation or another foot in height, no — airs are rad, but they alone are not good surfing. And today’s innovators know it. Photos notwithstanding, they’ve got a healthy respect for the rail, matching fins-out sizzle with fins-in steak. Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds and Dusty Payne lead by example, but branching out from there is a fleet of hybrids including Dillon Perillo, Granger Larsen and Craig Anderson — guys who blend together speed, style, power and flow (the bedrocks of good surfing by any measure) with that shit-hot spontaneity that makes the crowd go wild. They’re everything we love and more. So while this year’s trip was another success in showing where good surfing is going tomorrow, it also — maybe more importantly — reminded us what good surfing always was. And no matter how many kickflips are on the Internet next week, that’ll never change. —Travis Ferré Footage: Fiji Helicopter by Riley Blakeway Dillon Perillo by Dylan Hayes Indonesia by Victor Pakpour and Blake Myers (As seen in Billabong’s new surf flick BLOW UP free download at www.billabong/blowup.com)+ More details
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