Love is an Island: 400 Issues of Surfing World

The very best of every issue ever made.

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The cover of a magazine is the most important, and it’s a little-known secret that it’s usually the last thing you lock in.

Sure, you have the idea kicking around for ages; you’re chasing photogs and surfers and fighting the publisher about what it should be. But when you’re finally wrapping up the magazine, it’s the cover you work on last and the cover you sign off as the final piece of the puzzle.

This magazine is our 400th. We went through every single issue we’ve ever produced to compile it. Hand selected the shots, the stories and the covers that made up decades of surfing.

We argued over which stories should feature from what eras. We know we’ve left things out and the door wasn’t even closed before we were already stressing about how much more we wish we could have done. It’s another 100 issues until we get a shot at doing this again and that’s a long way down the track.

But the cover was never in doubt.

A magazine of nothing but reprinted stories and photos from 56 years could only have a cover produced in the same vein. We needed an absolute classic. Something that time has done nothing to wear down its energy. Something instantly recognisable as a Surfing World cover. Something that didn’t honour one single surfer, or one single era, or one style of surfing above any other – it had to be one that represented the artful, esoteric culture that runs to the roots of the magazine in 62, through every decade to today in 2018.

There were a couple of candidates, but, really, it was never a contest. Love Is An Island – Volume 13, Issue 03, from February 1970 – was the first picked, and never wavered. Love Is An Island was always the one. It represents all of the above. It represents every issue of Surfing World, and none of them at the same time. It’s perfect.

It stoked us out to relive this cover, and to relive all the stories we jammed in behind it. And we hope it stokes you out too, for a second time.

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Surfing World