ACID Magazine: Issue 1, Surf History

ACID is a new surf mag out of Barcelona. The crew came to surfing by way of skateboarding and hanging out around the Mediterranean, but they are offering a unique perspective with an intellectual bent that they hope will make you want to surf, wherever you are. It’s full of photos and laid out with the utmost attention to design, so while you can get the content on the interwebs, it’s not the same as holding the 128-page, half-size book in your hands. 

As we’ve done with WAX Magazine and Paper Sea Quarterly, the good folks at ACID have agreed to share a select article from their issues. To start us off, we have a brief history of key events that defined contemporary surfing. Check out the timeline below, take a look at the video showing magazine excerpts, and purchase your copy of ACID’s first issue.

The Off-Board History of Surfing

A selection of historical facts that defined contemporary surfing

By Tetsuhiko Endo

February 15, 1898:

An explosion on the USS Maine sinks the ship while it floats in Havana harbor, protecting American interests during the Cuban Revolution. Two hundred sixty-six men lose their lives, and the resulting media frenzy makes war with Spain in the Philippines an almost foregone conclusion. A result of the ensuing Spanish-American War is the desire for a naval base in the Pacific – a desire conveniently filled by a tiny, coral reef fringed island atoll in the middle of the Pacific called Hawai’i.


American Railroad magnate Henry Huntington consolidates a raft of smaller railroads into the Pacific Electric Railway. Six years later, Huntington opens a line to Redondo Beach and suddenly finds himself in dire need of a way to promote the new destination to tourists. He finds his answer in a young Irish-Hawaiian named George Freeth who is uncommonly good at riding waves.

July 2, 1925:

In a two-month flurry of writing, a young expatriate named Ernest Hemingway pens The Sun Also Rises. A later film adaptation will take the screenwriter Peter Viertel to Biarritz, where he will import Europe’s first surfboard.

April 17, 1930:

A team of scientists at Dupont unveil their new, artificially synthesized rubber. They call it Duprene. At 20 times the cost of natural rubber, it is not an automatic success, but its durability and resistance to the elements eventually guarantee its application to a variety of products. The name is also changed to neoprene.


While trying to weld together two blocks of glass, a researcher at Corning Glass accidentally blasts a stream of molten glass with compressed air. The resulting material becomes the first type of fiberglass that is manufactured on a large scale.



MIT graduate, naval architect, and occasional rum runner, Lindsay Lord, publishes Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls. An eccentric surfer named Bob Simmons is seen in possession of the book not long after.


The BIT Information and Help Service, based in London, produces its first travel guide to help youngsters who have set out on the various hippy trails that wind from Europe to Asia and beyond. The booklets with pink covers become a bible of sorts for the first generation of American and Aussie road trippers as they push deep into the untraveled coastlines of Southeast Asia and Indonesia.


After years of being plagued by a shallow sandbar that threatened to shut off the entrance to the valuable shipping lane that is the Tweed River in Northern New South Wales/Southern Queensland, the two state governments decide to put in a permanent sand-pumping system. Their chosen sand-dumping spot? A heretofore rarely surfed area South of Kirra called Snapper Rocks.

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