Pandemic wipes out iconic Surfer Magazine

Border Report

October cover of Surfer Magazine, it’s last during its 60-year run. (Courtesy: A360 Media)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Known for its surfing images, stories of far away surfing spots and the Southern California surfing culture, Surfer Magazine has published its last edition laying off staff and suspending operations.

Surfer Magazine was founded in 1960 in Orange County and up until recent years has been published out of its offices in Carlsbad, California in San Diego County.

Editor in Chief Todd Prodanovich made the announcement on Instagram.

“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,” he said. “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.”

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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

Some people, like Steve Hawk who worked for the magazine for eight years, told the San Diego Union-Tribune the magazine was a cultural icon.

“I have watched many great publications go out of business over the past few years, but this one hit me really hard,” Hawk said. “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.”

After a series of ownership changes, as reported by the Tribune, Surfer was acquired in 2019 American Media Inc., which owned The National Enquirer.

AMI has since merged with another company and has been renamed A360 Media.

A spokesperson for A360 Media wrote: “due to pandemic’s economic impact on the industry and the cancellation of live events, staff furloughs and the suspension of operations for some brands are necessary for the time being.”

One avid reader, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, also spoke with the Tribune. He said the magazine was a big part of his life.

“Surfer was the bible when I started surfing in 1977 in Imperial Beach at the age of 13,” Dedina said. “Every page was scrutinized repeatedly. I subscribed in 1978. I still have all my issues.

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