Surf Europe Vs. Surfer Magazine: Best Surf Mag Out There?

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As I was chuckling over the Surf Europe article while extending my legs closer to the fireplace in a cozy Portuguese house, belly full and surfed out I decided that I needed to subscribe to this magazine. This is not the first mag I get in the mail. Surfer mag has been coming regularly to my mailbox for quite some time now. I admit I don’t have nearly enough time to read it from cover to cover (as I used to) and some articles that don’t really draw my attention even go unread. So why the hell would I want two surf magazines if I don’t have enough time to read one?

Hm…good question…(confused). But this is where I’m at – the first Surf Europe issue just landed on my doorstep and the latest Surfer mag is sitting on the coffee table for a while now and here is my take on which surf magazine is better. The Surf Europe or Surfer Magazine battle.

Surf Europe vs. Surfer Magazine

As judging photos and articles printed on paper can be a bit subjective I made list of important elements of every surf magazine. Like better ass photo etc…

Here we go…

Number of pages

This is the most obvious one…if I am buying a magazine, how many pages do I get. I want as many dead trees as possible!

Last peice of content in Surfer Mag

Surf Europe: 164 pages

Surfer Magazine: 148 pages

Winner: SE

Number of ads

What good are 200 pages if they are all ads? I mean… I know the ads keep the subscription costs down and we all like to be told what to wear to be cool and every surfer should know which boardshorts are the most ridiculously stretchy, way stretchier than all the rest (actually this is what is holding back my air reverses, old boardshorts) but if in the end I am buying a shopping catalog…shouldn’t this shit be free? Pushed in my hands every time I enter a surf shop?

Pants that enhance your performance.

Here are the numbers:

Surf Europe: out of 164 pages there are 37 pages of ads

Surfer Magazine: out of 148 pages there are 86 pages of ads

Yikes Surfer, looks like SE wins again.

Winner: SE

Number of articles

If I am not interested in the “In depth interview and analysis of some pro surfer” I am glad there are other articles in the mag. More choice, more variety.

Surf Europe: 20 articles

Surfer Magazine: 12 articles

Winner: SE

Pages until first boobs

Now we are getting somewhere. As I embarked on this en endeavor I kind of suspected that the more open and less politically correct mag from the old continent will score here. That was BEFORE I opened the mag. Joke is not on me, I was right. And for all those “this paragraph is useless without pics” trolls – here is proof:

Surf Europe, page 38, boobs, no bikini :)

To be fair we have a little contest inside a contest, first boobs covered or not:

Surfer, page 11, side boob with bikini :)

Score: SE 1.5 SM 0.5

Pages until first penis

To be fair to the better sex here is another unplanned contest. I wasn’t very hopeful here but upon opening SE, there it was, hanging from page 16. And yes, another pair of boobs which I’ve missed the first time (adding another 0.5 above):

Surf Europe, page 16, boobs, no bikini :)

Winner: SE

Pages until first ass

Since we are so deep in surf porn lets finish it off with asses. I guess the real contest here is which mag runs a Reef ad first. And yeah, we have seen it already. Surfer, page 11.

Winner: SM

Pages until first laugh

I want the articles to be smart, deep, witty, sarcastic, funny, intellectually challenging… I don’t want to be bored while reading. I must say that both magazines have writers that have something to say, not just space between ads filler. But the style of writing is definitely different. My vote here goes to SE. First laugh page 25 (a small one) first real chuckle page 26 – 7 surf trips you will never go on. I like when they are keeping it real for us ordinary surfers. With SM I did not laugh while reading an article since the brilliant Everybody surfs series. Why on Earth did they cancel that?

Funny shit actually starts at pg.16

Winner: SE

Surf Shots

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Which mag has better photos? I’ve seen truckloads of nice surfing shots and after all those photos I like to see something original. Another place, another angle… Anyway…hard to rule here. SE photos seem a bit more rough, more real, more everyday. SM photos seem a bit more polished, more dreamy, more exotic. Am…

Surfer Mag

Winner: SM

Girls Ripping

Women surfers. Not that many of them out there but I guess a lot more than in the past. Where are their surf shots? Some guys in Surfer do have really long hair…especially in the Italy article (what a coincidence) but that’s not it. When the closest you get to a girl surfer blowing a tail is this…

Girls ripping in Surf E.

…then you know there is something missing.

Winner: none

Price or Bang For Buck

How much does printed surfing cost?

31$ for 8 SE issues per year

12$ for 12 SM issues per year

if you want

SE to be sent to USA you will have to pay 60$

SM to be sent to Europe you will have to pay 36$

Now lets crunch some numbers:

Surfer will give you 1776 pages in a year, 1032 of them will try to sell you something, which is 58% of all pages. You will get 744 pages of actual articles and photos.

Surf Europe will give you 1312 pages in a year, 296 of them will be ads, that represents 23% of all pages. You will get 1016 pages of British humor.

This means that by subscribing to SE you will eventually pay 3 cents per page of more or less worthy content and by subscribing to SM you will pay 50% less – 1,6 cents. So even…or because of the huge pile of commercial pages SM content is cheaper.

Winner: SM

Useful info

SM website

SE website

Final Score

Surf Europe vs Surfer : 6.5 vs 3.5


If I had to sum this up in one sentence: “Surfer has just to many ad pages and Surf Europe is much more enjoyable to read.” I like magazines that make me laugh. It seems that surfing in USA is more serious and grown up. In Europe it’s still a little punk and alternative. And I really hope it stays that way.

Which is your favorite surf mag?


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