Vintage Surf meet 2018 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2018 coming soon !
Free to take part
We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Monday, 4 June 2012

British Surfer mag no. 1

Here's a real rarity, a copy of British Surfer magazine no1 from march 1969, widely assumed to be the UK's first surf mag. This isnt the case though as Surfing UK pipped it to the post by a few months to be the official first nationwide mag. Still, to find a copy of BS no1 is very rare, and there are probably less than 20 still existing if that. Just think of how many hundreds and thousands of UK surf mag issues have been spawned from these few pioneering magazines.
The NEW (north east west )surf club procuced a ` local ` club magazine, as did a lot of other areas, but not the first nation-wide one.

''The first national mag. was ` Surfing UK ` published by Lindsay Morgan in Porthcawl in Jan 1969. It ran for 3 issues before fading away.
Within 2 months - ie March `69, Swansea surfers produced ` British Surfer`, the first being All-Welsh news as they had no English contributors. For the 2nd issue Rod Sumpter took over as Editor and it covered the whole country, but only survived a few more issues.'' Tony Cope

Tony has lent me his copy, and on reading it I was surprised to see that it is almost completely aboout Welsh surfers and surf spots. The magazine only really became nationwide by issue 2 when reps of other surf clubs started to write in too, and the mag became more rooted in south west surfing with the influence of Rod Sumpter. Issue 1 is slightly smaller than A4 and has 25 pages.

Dave Friar, Bilbo rep in Wales was the star of the first iconic cover. What was nice about these early covers was the lack of wording and features , leaving the cover stylish and simple with imaginative colour printing - basically artworks in themselves. There was no need to beat the competition because there basically wasnt any (bar US Surfer) so the mag would have had success if the market was right.

Chris Hinds, of Surfers against Sewage fame when he was a promising grom (later note - this statement is of course wrong silly me ,Chris Hines was 9 in 1969 !)

Classic covers issues 1 - 4


  1. I have mint copies of No's 1, 2 and 4,

  2. Hi Al, no I'm hanging on to them, i had them from new when I was a kid. They're currently on loan to the Wight Surf History exhibition that's on here on the Isle of Wight.
    regards Chris.

  3. that will be 21 of the first editions still out there!

  4. if anyone finds a box of 100 let us know !

  5. hi Dave, any british surfers are of interest, Al