RIP Surf Guide Magazine: Satirical Fables and Surfing Babies

DailyStoke Team

This baby first caught my eye because he is totally rad. This is a sweet magazine cover. Sure, somebody getting shacked somewhere I’ll probably never go is awesome, too. But a baby in diapers with a surfboard–that makes me laugh and gets me pumped. Not to mention the retro love you feel from those golden locks and paunch. Don’t deny it; you feel it too.

After pulling my eyes away from the picture, I began reading about the life and death of Surf Guide Magazine. A surf magazine published first in 1963, it slowly built a loyal following that started to compete with the big boys.

But in true surfer fashion, they decided to have some fun at another person’s expense. That person in this case was John Severson, publisher of the first surf magazine, Surfer.

After some small back and forth between the two magazines, Surf Guide Magazine published a satirical fable titled The Saga of Robin Hoad in which John Severson is referred to as “Prince John the Stingy”. It ends with a little dig at John and his rumored stinginess: “Prince John the Stingy was last seen leaping from Dinah Point with his surfboard, clutching his box of gold. And rumor has it that he met his just reward: he was swallowed up by The Angry Sea.” This seems lighthearted enough. Just some good ‘ole satirical fun, right?

But, another line about the head lifeguard in Huntington Beach not being able to swim a stroke added the Huntington Beach City Council to the million dollar lawsuit slapped against Surf Guide Magazine.

Eventually the lawsuit was settled out of court, but Surf Guide Magazine discontinued publishing shortly after. A severe loss to the surfing industry for the mere fact that they had a sweet baby in diapers geared up to go surfing on their cover.

The article was first published January 25, 2009

Related Posts