Kids These Days! There are so many 14, 15, 16-year-old guys and girls choosing nine-foot-plus as their primary surfboard these days, and being young, loose and hungry, of course they're doing some mind-snapping things on them. And thankfully they all seem to get it that style counts.
This 16-page article started as a long list of names of hot kids from all around Australia, and it wasn't easy narrowing it down to seven, although the "best-photo-wins factor" helped. With some cracking images onboard from half a dozen top shooters, fine writer and single-fin stylist Aaron Chapman tackled it head-on, wrote an insightful intro and chased the magnificent seven for their takes on life and logs - with all proving to be not only entertaining in the water but sharp of wit as well.
You got to think that longboarding is heading to some astounding places, and it's in a bit of a hurry.
Big Boys Toys Once were groms but now standing 6'3" and 6'5", Josh Constable and Taylor Jensen are two longboarders who've been pushing performances like men possessed for half a lifetime – and they're now keener and looser than ever. Ace Sunny Coast photographer/writer Pat O'Leary – a classy long and shortboarder himself – rounded up the Big Boys for a trip around the 'country soul' areas of the Mid North Coast and they scored. Knee-high, double overhead, tiny shortboards, 10-foot logs, and some absolute cutting edge surfing . . . here's why they're both world champs.
Fire & Rain - the Crescent Classic The worldwide interweb sees the results of competitions trumpeted around the globe within five minutes of the final hooter, rendering blow-by-blow coverage months later in print rather redundant. But there's a LOT more going on at these great grass-roots gatherings of longboarders young and old than who-beat-who in the Whatever Division. And none come greater than the Crescent Head Classic, and it's been a few years since we covered it in the pages of PLB. Enter local Danny McGaw, a wonderfully entertaining writer who brings his fresh aspect to the 2015 Classic that had everything but the kitchen sink. Who won what? Yeah that's maybe even in there somewhere.
Longboarding is Not a Crime "Hipster, alternate, grunge hipster, or bogans with beards?" Jye Byrnes poses some big questions while having a brave crack at the answers. Absorbed in board building since childhood, Jye starred in Chris Bystrom's Longboarding is Not A Crime movie back in 1996, and it's a theme he revisits here, prompted by a shaping stint at the Deus Temple and a visit to the 9'-Foot and Single. A big fan of the alternate "ride-everything" movement, Jye is a hell surfer who can speak of such things with real authority – all illustrated by some brilliant photos from the original grunge hipster Simon Williams.
Lens Flair In these days of digital access to endless content we still reckon nothing beats a fabulous double page photo spread in a magazine you can hold in your hands, so we've been putting the best of the best up front in this section. This issue's spreads will have you reaching for the credit card to start or renew your subscription. Yes you will!
Page Three Girl Malibu's super styler Francesca "Frankie" Seely.
The Buzz In this age of instant communication and an over-analysis of unimportant issues, we've moved towards more reflective pieces and quirky bits to exercise and then calm the mind before your first surf of the day, e.g. Ray Moran's sparkling recollections of he and his Manly mates pioneering surf adventures at Cape St Fancis and J-Bay 50 years ago, a pictorial of ankle-snapping Malibu in 2015, and City v Country at a headland up a dusty road in Northern NSW.
Grey Guru The true history of Brookvale, the board-building mafia, foam blank blowing, Little Pattie . . . scurrilous . . .
Cutting Edge Camo does an extended review of Taylor "Birdman" Larison's rule-breaking new surf movie Something to Ponder – filmed mostly in SoCal with a cast of the coolest, this is indeed something to ponder.
Price $11.99 Yes, we've gone up two bucks at the newsagent – our first ever price rise in 18 years of publishing PLB.
BUT, subscriptions remain the same – 5 issues for $45, 10 issues for $85 (plus postage for overseas).