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Volume 10 Issue 149 synopsis: 10 years ago this November, Kelly Slater won his incredible 1oth World Title in Puerto Rico ensuring GOAT status. But, as Editor nick Mc Gregor headlined in his “In This Issue” column, “The first week of November will go down the most exciting and the most tragic, in modern surfing history” as KS’s ultimate foil had withdrawn from the event and died alone of a drug overdose in a Miami hotel room on while the event was running. One of the truly gifted, unheralded surf scribes of his generation, Nick succinctly summed up the dark, shocking, unbelievable news describing our feelings for us perfectly by concluding, “… it was almost too much too handle … the bottom dropped out of every single persons heart on November 2nd”. It was and it did.
#149 is one of my more memorable issues – along with the 9-11 we actually had on running on press as the towers fell – as it ran the total gamut of human emotions possible from unbridled joy to as all the pieces were falling into place beautifully with Slaters tenth title to a deep, despairing sadness of how and why we last Irons. We had worked super hard on that mag like every mag. Dugan shot one of the sickest action covers of the Champ ever published – a surfer who had been shooting since he was ten to give the number 10-10-10 some cool, serendipitous symmetry – we had an insane hurricane wrap-up feature for the East Coast 2010 tropical season and, for the pièce de résistance, our DNA Energy Drink sponsored ESM Girl, Dominique gave us the winning combination to another stellar edition of you favorite “hometown surfing newspaper”, Eastern Surf Magazine.
Putting this one to bed just… felt … joyless at the time. I would never say that about a single issue of the 200 plus we published with, of course, the exception of the aforementioned September 9-11 issue being the type “do you remember where you were when you heard the tragic news” type ( sitting at my desk in the ESM photo department ). Ten full years have passed since #149 but, viewing this one all over again, clearly brings back the sadness of Andys death but also a still tamped down joy for Kelly’s 2010 title. In the final analysis it also re-enforces the notion that time may heal the soul for most but the memory never let’s you forget. That and to never, ever take for granted the joy of riding a wave – and how lucky you are to be able to do it – so make good choices and keep surfing. – Mez –