Surf Life For Women

Surf Life for Women is not a terrible surfing magazine, but it's young and reads like a zine. The magazine captures the spirit of girl surf culture, but it's in need of some serious lessons on the basics of editing.

The editor-in-chief is a California surfer girl named Sunshine Makarow and she clearly has a true hippie spirit, which is reflected in articles about environmentally correct surf gear and wear, and whimsical interviews. My favorite is called "10 Totally Random Questions," which an editor poses to a random surfer girl. For instance: "Who are you jealous of?" and "Do you think that the all allelopathic chemical released by certain plants have the power to stimulate or inhibit the growth of other plants, or do you think such an occurrence is bull roar?"

Most of the articles, however, aren't off the wall enough and read like a high school newspaper. The writing should be more vivid and scene focused, although the topics are right on. There are reviews of women's surf guides, an explanation of why you can't surf a tsunami, reviews of beauty care products for the beach, yoga moves for surfers, an interview with surfing legend Lisa Benson (she won the 1959 International Championship), profiles of up-and-coming pros like Australia's Claire Bevilacqua ("Do you think you could teach me to be as bad as you?" "No mate, we need tree-hugging hippies like you to promote world peace. We all have our jobs in life.")

There is also a great "How To" section that teaches you how to read LOLA, the new high tech wave reader, how to fix a ding, and how to travel like a surf diva. "Don't forget to pack cute board shorts and bring a hair dryer.") The surf photography isn't first rate, but there are some hot shots of pro ladies.

Another feature introduces surf moms as the new soccer moms. The article about the new school of women who ride big waves, like Jamilah Star -- the first girl to ride a 50-foot wave in Hawaii -- was outstanding. These girls aren't surfing because they watched "Blue Crush" and got the trend bug. And, clearly the editors are authentically tuned into the soul of the ocean. The only problem is that they need to get better at editing - try out some punchier headlines, crisper decks, and more visual leads -- in order for this magazine's little wave to rise higher.

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