Forgive me for not having much to say on this page this month. I blew my writing load on Page 30, channeling all my clever anecdotes, impactful quotes, and memorable metaphors into this issue’s comprehensive feature on New Hampshire surfing. Of course, with a story of this magnitude, something will inevitably be left out. Someone will find offense at not being mentioned. Someone will feel they were misrepresented. Someone will be upset that certain photos weren’t used. Someone will say, “What’s the big deal? Looks cold, waves are fickle, the people sound irritating… I’ll never go there.”
That’s OK. Competition, jealousy, and indifference are the names of the surf-media game. While the ESM staff spent weeks getting this issue right, other outlets were outperforming us in other aspects. My single-minded September focus on New Hampshire has caused me to neglect other parts of our operation. Hell, as we’re putting this issue to bed, somebody somewhere is beating us to some punch, smirking smugly about how their approach is groundbreaking and everything else is irrelevant.
But I challenge you to find a more in-depth examination of a smaller, more specific community anywhere else in surfing’s journalistic world. Thirteen and a half miles of coastline — that’s what we focused on at the expense of nearly everything else this issue. And we’re pretty damn proud of the final product, words, photographs, layout, names, stories, and all.
Luckily, while I was neck deep in the Granite State and Photo Editor Nate Adams was chasing down imagery from a handful of sources, Associate Editor Allison Arteaga was organizing the first proper Wetsuit Review in ESM’s 21-year history. From convincing eight different brands to send in ten different demo suits to planning each stage of our testing to laying out exacting review criteria to summing up the final results in an easy-to-digest format, she nailed it. Expect more of these unbiased, objective product reviews in the future.
The biggest props of the month, however, must go to Art Director Ryan Clapper and Associate Art Director Keith Soergel for visually making this issue such a pleasure to behold. Well-written words and beautiful photos mean nothing if they’re not properly packaged and adeptly delivered, and you wouldn’t be holding these pages in your hand if it weren’t for Ryan and Keith’s hard work and immense patience.
Some deadlines go smoothly, and some are near-disasters. This issue’s reminded me of just how difficult it can be to put together a cohesive magazine every six weeks. Hopefully our attention to detail and aspiration to stand apart from the crowded surf-media field comes through in the compelling stories contained within these pages.
My goals for you the reader are simple with this intro and this issue: buy yourself a new wetsuit, find out what New Hampshire is all about, and then go see for yourself. Conduct yourself with respect and modesty and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed