Sports | October 7, 2020 11:18 am

“Surfer” Magazine’s Ride Appears to Have Come to an End

The magazine furloughed staff on Friday and ceased further print and online content offerings

The must-read surf magazine has reportedly ceased publication.
The must-read surf magazine has reportedly ceased publication.
Retrofile/Wholly Owned via Getty

Founded in 1960, Surfer magazine furloughed staff on Friday and ceased further print and online content offerings after printing its final edition, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“We were told that we were being technically furloughed, but it was pretty clear there was no intention to bring the jobs back at any point, that essentially our duties had ended,” Todd Prodanovich, Surfer’s editor in chief since 2015, told The New York Times. “No one thought that we were doing great, as far as business was going, especially since COVID hit. We had a lot of advertisers pulling back or pulling out completely.”

American Media, the owner of The National Enquirer and other supermarket tabloids, acquired Surfer’s previous publisher 18 months ago.

View this post on Instagram

This is the last issue of @surfer_magazine. The whole staff got let go yesterday (no, nothing to do with the heat from the Biden endorsement 😂, just the Covid economy), but I feel like we’re ending on a high note with this one. The cover shot was taken by @donaldmiralle during the Encinitas paddle out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Inside has some of my all-time favorite features from my all-time favorite surf writers— @smashtyn_douglas , @hzahorseman and @seano888 —and a piece by me about the LGBTQ+ surf community that was the honor of my career to work on, and I’m so grateful to the subjects for trusting me with their stories. Funny how you can work a job like this for 10 years and each issue is a completely new and different journey. I’ll really miss that part, and the mag in general, which ends on this issue after 60 years of publication. Hope you all enjoy the issue and thanks for reading over the years. Lots of love to everyone I had the privilege of working with to make this thing what it was while we could: @grantellis1 @petertaras @smashtyn_douglas @quest_haven @alexkilauano @brendon_thomas @jannairons @bryce_lowe_white @donnystevens @zandermorton @benik__ @codyandchelsea @junkmail_ @thomasbpearson @leisurelabor @newittjim @joshtsaunders @jeremyschluntz @theslipperysaltwaterchronicles @tonyapolloperez @stevehawk6211 @adam_jara @theraybergman @kstravs @seano888 @hzahorseman @alexwebbwilson @aaron_carrera @toddglaser @chachfiles @encyclopedia_of_surfing @micah_abrams and so many more ❤️

A post shared by Todd Prodanovich (@todprod) on

Surfer was one of the first niche sports magazines of any kind to be successful, similar to Hotrod and Field & Stream, and paved the way for magazines like Surfer’s Journal in the U.S. and Surfing World in Australia.

“I have watched many great publications go out of business over the past few years, but this one hit me really hard,” Steve Hawk, who edited the magazine for eight years in the 1990s, told the LA Times. “It was so much more than just a magazine for a lot of surfers of a certain generation. It was a cultural touchstone and groundbreaking in a lot of ways.”