Surfer's Journal all the way. It is super expensive but you don't feel like you've wasted your money at the end. It's more like a book.
My only advice is don't bother if you aren't into the history or "underground" of surf culture. If you're into labels and how the pros are dressed it's not for you.
I used to own a small music magazine when I was in school, so I love looking at the surfing magazines now that I'm into it.
Advertising is a double edged sword. First, because print is so expensive to produce and ship nowadays, costs for printing magazines is way up. You keep your cost to consumer low by filling the magazine with lots of ads. Hence, the $12/year subscription. The ads are actually paying for the content. Your subscription fee might cover the postal fees, but not much of that money goes towards production of the magazine, paying staff, freelancers, printing costs, editors, etc.
On the other hand, you have a publication like Surfer's Journal. It is pricey, but you get what you pay for...a magazine that has high-quality editorial and photos. It is more like a book.
The dark side of magazine publishing is that in high volume, advertising driven publications, there is little editorial independence. Literally, advertising sometimes directly pays for good reviews. The media hype machine is very real, and it is driven by dollars. Glossy surf mags are no different.
I love magazines and I think even the most ad-heavy, glossy magazines still have redeeming features.
My Surfer's Journal subscription is worth every damn penny - and with the subscription you get access to more online content. I save em all and sock em away. A few years later they're fresh again. I literally run to the mailbox like a little kid when I know it's coming.
magazines are junk, same stuff evey month. good article once in a blue moon. but 3 words come to mind. The Surfers Journal. if you havent picked one up, you shuld. yes they are pricey but well worth it.
Right on rvb. Just got my new issue today. It blows all the other propaganda mags away. It focuses more on the art of surfing rather than the competitive view displayed in the others. Definately more of a purist view just wish they had more east coast layouts.