Vote For Your Favourite Surfing World Cover

5 Apr 2016 0 Share

SURFING WORLD MAGAZINE | Best Ever Covers Competition 

Vaughan Blakey On: Were Surf Mags Better Back In The Day?

Surfing World is over 50 years old and has published over 400 issues (including Annuals). As you can imagine the magazine has been through many different incarnations during its monumental lifespan. But which era was the best era? And were mags really better back in the day? “I think every era has the potential to be a magic one for surf magazines be it 60 years ago or an issue that comes out today,” says SW editor Vaughan Blakey. “I don’t think it’s the case that surf mags were better back in the day at all, it’s just that our best memories of surf mags tend to come from a time when surfing was all that mattered. If I think back to the mags I owned when I was a kid, of course they spoke to me in a more powerful way but in those days I would go to bed in my steamer so I didn’t have to waste time getting changed for the early when I woke up in the morning. I was surf crazy so every page was cherished.”

Right now, Surfing World have posted every single cover since 1962 on their website and are running a competition to find out which out which page one is the most memorable. You can get on and vote for your favourites right here.

Vaughan filled us in on the cover he rates as his all time favourite as well as giving us his take on other memorable page ones as well.



North - Ralph Pullinger by Aitionn

Vaughan Blakey: This is my all-time favourite Surfing World and SW cover. I was 13 when this issue arrived in my letterbox courtesy of a birthday subscription from my Grandma and Grandpa. When I opened the mag and found out the wave on the cover was only an hour drive from my front door my little brain nearly exploded. It was the most impressionable and surf stoked period of my life and this was the surfing magazine that set my imagination on fire


SW Vol 13. No. 6 - Conversations with Cooper

Vaughan Blakey: Bob Cooper is a Morman California ex-pat who immigrated to Coffs Harbour in the late 60s. Bob was known to me through the pages of Dad’s old surf mag collection as one of the original free sprits of surfing, really colourful and positive and also slightly eccentric. I also knew he owned Coopers surf shop which stoked me out cause I loved the smell of new wetties. This is a photo of Bob up a tree shot by Bruce Channon rinsed with some acid wash. It’s one of my all time favourite covers because it delivers what it promises. Conversations with Cooper… up a tree.


SW Vol 1. No.4 - Santa goes shopping

Vaughan Blakey: This is the cover of the fourth issue of SW. It’s all the advertisers products spread out over the beach and Santa leading a lucky lady through the loot as if all her dreams have come true. As well as this cover Bob Evans featured boats, cars and other random plugs on page one all of which (allegedly) resulted in solid advertising deals or heaps of new stuff in his garage. These are the covers I think of whenever anybody tells me surf mags were way better in the old days.


SW 184 - Simon Anderson Drinking beer

Vaughan Blakey: 81' was the year Simon Anderson’s Thruster took off. He won Bells, the Coke and the Pipe Masters in the same season and changed high-performance surfing forever. What better way to capture all that magic than by running a shot of the big man looking not unlike Chevy Chase’s gold pro in Caddyshack while enjoying a schooner of beer?


SW 326 - MP Farewell

Vaughan Blakey: One of the best parts of this job is picking the cover but it can also be extremely challenging, particularly when a moment in time demands something special. When MP passed we knew we wanted something unseen on the cover, something mysterious that captured his enigmatic personality. When Jack McCoy dropped in this one-off 16mm film frame we knew we had our moment and when we showed it to Rabbit he said “That is MP right there. That’s him. The board. The body. The look on his face. Exit stage left. Farewell old mate.” It makes this cover all the more special.

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