These mid 70s ads from Bez Newton's Surf magazine are a world away from the professional layouts and super sharp photography of todays surf mags. In some ways they are terribly basic - hand drawn, hand written and some with stencils which resemble a school project rather than a grown up surf mag. The printing is poor quality too, just photocopied sheets , and in some surfing photos its almost impossible to see the surfer !
But there was a reason for this - British surf mags up to the mid 70s had a very short life spans. Surfing UK lasted 3 issues, British Surfer lasted 6, and Surf Insight lasted 4 . These were high quality mags, two in newspaper format, and British surfer a well laid out and stylish small magazine/ booklet . But these cost money - especially printing and distribution, and to a growing but still relatively small surfing population. Plus there were strong surf clubs - who would buy one copy and pass it round all the members !
Surf by Bez Newton lasted for many years through the 70s, and is a priceless look at what was happening in UK surfing especially between the demise of Surf Insight in '73 and the start of Atlantic Surfer in '78. During these five years Surf was our main mag ; it may not be the best quality (although it improved a lot in '77) but it was produced on a shoestring and kept going when few others could - good on em.
Here are a few classic ads from Surf - so bad they're good !