Friday, July 17, 2009

Surf Fridays!

"Drift is going to be about “off the beaten path” things in surfing..." Joe Conway

Yesterday marked the launch of the new, North American version of Drift Magazine. She is a beauty, there for all of us to enjoy and provide many a daydream. PineappleLuv caught up with a very busy Joe Conway, Drift's editor.

Joe, as the Editor and no doubt pouring your heart and soul into it, what does Drift Magazine mean to you?

What does Drift mean to me? Over the past few years it became increasingly apparent to me that something amazing is happening in surfing. People are doing incredible, creative, inspiring things in a really unique, independent way—all revolving around surfing. I think the thing with this “movement,” if you want to call it that, is that people are finding ways to do what they want in life, creating community and finding fulfillment, which all some how relates to what we experience out in the water on a daily basis.

Whether that means making art, taking photos, putting on events, starting a small business, shaping your own boards, taking up a cause you feel strongly about, writing, making a film, playing music—anything, really—I think it’s all tremendously positive.

What do you want it to mean for the surfing community?

With Drift, I want to create a venue for people to share what they’re doing or what they’re into, because from what I’ve seen there are people who feel the same way all over the world. Connecting those people and spreading inspiration and stoke (why does this always sound so funny when I write it?) is the ultimate goal.

How did the North American version come to be?

Right now Drift is exclusively online. Howard Swanwick, the publisher in the UK, started Drift as an online publication and moved it into print for six issues last year. With the economy going south, it’s just become so difficult to do print—we’re also keeping an eye on the environmental component and print is never the most ecological option in that respect—and it was either a matter of letting the magazine go or simplifying things and taking it back online. For now, we’re stoked to just be doing it, creating something totally different from what’s out there in media.

How often will Drift be published?

We’re going to release “Feature” articles in our online reader as fast as we can put them together — we were fortunate enough to work with Joe Curren and Dane and Belinda for the first two, an incredible way to start. The idea with the reader that we created is to give photographers and artists the best possible format to display their work online.

It’s not print—we realize that, but we think we’ve managed to put together something that’s a solid alternative. The plan is to put out at least one print issue each year, hopefully a fully curated book of some sort, and if the opportunity to go into print presents itself... Ahh, we’ll figure it out.

What is your favorite place to surf in Maine?

My favorite place to surf in Maine? Good question, and I’d like to use it as an opportunity to address the issue of where we’re located. Yes. We’re based in Maine. Unusual, I know, but fitting if you ask me. Drift is going to be about “off the beaten path” things in surfing, so I guess it makes sense that we’re off the beaten path.

My partners and I—Jim and Justen—have all lived and surfed all over the place, the fact that we came into this magazine while living in Maine is basically a coincidence. It’s cheap, low key and the surf is good, empty and cold. All of these things are good when you’re trying to start something like this in a down economy with no corporate financial backing.

The good news is also that, in this day and age, we’re not really anchored in one place or another because we have contributors in California, Oregon, Washington, Mexico, BC, Lake Superior (now THAT’S hardcore), up and down the East Coast, Hawaii, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and Australia. Notice how I skillfully avoided divulging my favorite spot?

What tunes or albums were most frequented in your playlist while finishing the first edition?

Favorite albums throughout the launch process? Great question. I’ve been relying on some old favorites and a little new stuff. One album that never gets any rest is Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows this is Nowhere,” the title track can open my eyes no matter how little sleep I’ve been getting. Rolling Stones “Beggar’s Banquet” is another one.

Jenny and I saw Vetiver recently and their label-mate Papercuts opened. We’ve been pretty into them ever since, it’s great 60’s style psych-pop, with some updates.

When I need to relax a little I have these two albums, “Jazz Samba”-- Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, and “More of that Guitar Country” by Chet Atkins. Two random dollar bin finds, but they’re so good after along day. The key is to listen to stuff on vinyl while you’re working because then you have to get up every 15-30 minutes to flip the record over. It lessens the office atrophy.

Joe rockin' the 5 mil in Maine
photo by Bryan Thomas

Ahh, good advice indeed. Thank you very much for your time and thoughtful answers, Joe, and for the quality and hard work you will be putting into this publication. I know there is an entire community ready to dive into Drift.

Joe is truly the best. If you want to check out more of his creative endeavors, you'll find him at Wool, Wood and Whiskey and at The Pine Haven Collective. And don't forget, Joe is the talented one who did this amazing piece.


You can also follow @DriftSurfing on Twitter.


Last but not least, check out this nicely written piece on the Mattson Benefit in the first edition.

Happy weekend everyone!!!


stevey said...

Ooo — that photo — one of ours spots we love in Maine. Lovely place to surf. fun fun

lawless said...

Very cool. I didn't even know they are doing a NA version. I was a big fan of their first digital-only format and they had some really good content, but I fell off once they went to print.

Here's an old interview with Howard Swanwick the UK Drift editor:

Jamie Watson said...

Hey that's cool, Stevey!

Lawless, thank you. I went ahead and linked Howard's name with the link you provided. I thought that was super interesting that you fell off once they went to print. Modern times.

lawless said...

Yeah, it was a UK mag and I'm in the US so Int'l shipping was cost prohibitive. They set up a US distributor, but it was still pricey. Their content was really dialed in to what would benefit/interest the average surfer, not the pro wanna-be. Hopefully the US version keeps this direction as it's much need in surf publications, whether online or in print.

BTW, digging the new banner.