Rasta & Lauren Edit The Entire April Surfing World Magazine

3 Mar 2016 3 Share

Rasta & Lauren reveal their masterpiece, Surfing World Magazine 372

Rasta & Lauren reveal their masterpiece, Surfing World Magazine 372

SURFING WORLD MAGAZINE | Interview

The latest Surfing World Magazine issue 372, (on sale nationally today or available in our online store here) is guest edited by free surfing dynamos and environmental activists Dave Rastovich and Lauren L. Hill. 

Looking at the cover you can tell that these two did a whole lot more than swing by the office and drop captions on a few photos. “They were committed to the idea of crafting the magazine from the moment we pitched the idea to them, even down to exploring what sort of paper and inks they could they use,” says SW’s regular editor Vaughan Blakey. “They even wanted to change the shape of the mag from a rectangle to a circle. It was amazing to see them approach the whole process with no limitations and the results are incredibly fun and original.”

While the circular mag never eventuated the content within the issue is far removed from your usual monthly surf mag entertainment and features articles on raising boys, women surfers in Iran and the relationship between surfing and giving birth. CW got in contact with Lauren and Dave to discuss what it was they were hoping to achieve when they took the reigns of Australia’s longest running surf mag.



CW: OK, before we get started… A crowd destroying, GoPro covered, drone buzzing SUP rider drawn like a stain glass window on the cover of SW! What the heck is that about?

The cover is a piss take of our increasingly self-image obsessed, narcissistic culture at large. It’s making fun of negligent SUP riders, the intrusive whirr of drones in the sanctuary of surf, and the excessive drive to capture every paddle stroke we take. We are sincere about surfing, but try not to be too serious. And we wanted any cover we chose to reflect that. Plus, Nanda’s clever artistry of this “unholy trinity” means that the more you look at the cover, the funnier and more meaningful it gets.

It’s clear this isn’t going to be your regular issue of SW. When and where did the idea for you guys to edit the issue first pop up?

About a year ago the SW team asked if we might be interested in taking the mag off their hands for a month so they could get more cuddle and surfing time in. And maybe because they thought we could bring a flavor to the mag that is a little different.

When it became clear it was going to happen, what sort of ideas sprang to mind and how free were you to pursue those ideas?

We had total freedom with the issue, except for our scratch and sniff idea, that never happened, and a reclaiming “The C Word” page we wanted to put in, but really, it was probably for the best they were dropped. We reached out to a lot of people to ask what they’d love to see in a surf mag, and that influenced our choices to a degree. Ultimately, the SW team just wanted us to put in whatever content stokes us out the most. We focused on untold stories that fill our culture, yet are rarely shared in mainstream surf media. Beyond the pro surfing bubble there are a million engaging/inspiring/wild stories to learn from. The hardest choice was what to leave out, because we belong to a very rich culture filled with incredible characters. And there are so many important issues that we should be discussing and working on collectively.

Tell us a little bit about what you included in your edition of SW and why?

We wanted to include every generation of surfer, different ethnicities and genders. So we ran with stories about women travelling solo and surfing around the world back in the 60’s, a surfing doctor who helps us grow out of living in a destructive boy brain culture, surfing and birthing, surfboard design, surfers’ gardening tips, photo features with two generations of Crawfords all shot on film, surfing in Iran… and much more.

We feel stoked that there is such diversity in the mag, too often we see white dudes commentating white surfers, sponsored by old white dude companies, riding white surfboards…blah blah blah. Nothing against whiteness, it’s just that our culture is way more diverse and colorful than the most common stories we see in our media.

Rasta's classic style is reflected in issue 372, Photo by Woody Gooch

Rasta's classic style is reflected in issue 372, Photo by Woody Gooch

At any stage were you worried about how some of this content, even the cover, would be perceived?

Gloria Steinem says “the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”. We’re not saying that we’re spouting truths here, but there are honest stories worthy of conversation. If someone doesn’t like the content that’s okay, we like the idea of people feeling something about the issue rather than nothing at all. Surely drone enthusiasts, sup’ers and point of view camera folk will get defensive about the cover, but we have seen friends get punctured lungs by SUP users, and surf sessions be destroyed by ignorant droners and self-obsessed camera junkies, so we are not too fazed if they have a sook. Really, we just wanted to pose questions about where our culture is headed if left unchecked and unquestioned.

The staff at SW said you two were incredibly committed to the craft of making the magazine. What surprised you about the process?

We were surprised by how fun office time can be, that ‘lord of the rings’ game was all time! Office banter and a bit of a late night session with access to rad images, great words and the creative skills of the SW team was so rad, was easy to see why the crew have been at it for so long and keep putting out such cool shit. It was surprising how many little decisions you need to make, even after you think the thing is done, captions, wing dings, paper stock, shuffling ad’s around, flick tests, plastic wrapping and where to put all the invisible subliminal messaging…

We heard tales of George Greenough and Ozzie and Ellis and all sorts of crew dropping by but what was the highlight moment of the production for you?

For me ( Lauren) it was so really fun to watch the SW crew in their element and to get to participate in conjuring creativity as the deadline was upon us. I love those breaking points where it seems like things just aren’t coming together, and then by force or by magic, things just click into place and in front of you is this thing that you’ve made to share.

And I (Dave) just freaked out when I found that Peter Crawford shot the tube image from the seventies that made it onto the poster, that image shaped my childhood surfing motivations… to run it was something sentimental for me. I spent my entire grommethood imagining myself in that tube.

So reckon you could work in the SW office full time?

Ha! Well as we were saying earlier, it was really rad to see the SW team in ground zero, and to see they are just fully pumped on surfing, not just one type of surfing though, every piece of it! They really get how blessed we all are to even have the health, peace, time, and ecology around us to go surfing. The magazine is based on that gratitude and that’s probably why it is the coolest surf mag in the world, and that’s no puff up, everyone we know throughout the global surfing clan appreciates SW the most.

When you finally got your hands on it what did you think?

It reinforced the love of analogue art, that there is magic in the things we create that can be passed on from hand-to-hand, it has texture and tangibility. It’s nice to be part of things that don’t just wash away with the tide of web clips and click bait.

What do you hope people get out of this issue?

I hope that it ignites at least one good conversation for each reader. I (Dave) really hope the Making Men piece helps us fellas get through a time in life that is turbulent, we aren’t equipped with many emotional tools in our culture, and if this piece helps just one person navigate life in a way that is healthy then the magazine has done something special.

Lauren L. Hill dances over the surface of the water, Photo by Ming Nom Chong

Lauren L. Hill dances over the surface of the water, Photo by Ming Nom Chong

Tags: rasta , lauren , hill , surfing , world , magazine (create Alert from these tags)

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