OK, I'll admit it. When I heard a new surfing mag aimed at women was hitting the news stands, I was skeptical. Maybe even a teensy bit hostile. I still miss the late great Wahine, the first monthly put out by women and for women. The publisher was a lifelong surfer. The editor was a former LA Times writer. Wahine was a great magazine and its readership was devoted. (Full disclosure - I wrote for them sometimes.) Something went wrong, however, some kind of spat with advertisers that spun out of control and the next thing you knew it was aloha, Wahine.
A mishmash of wannabes with "surf" or "surfing" or "surfer" hitched to the word "girl" came and went. Some were stand-alones, actual titles for sale. Others got bundled into the boy mags. They weren't awful. They were OK. They were allright, really. What's not to like about getting women who surf out into the public eye? But they weren't fulfilling.
And now we've got Wet. It's a large-format quarterly put out by Nothing is Written Publishing with an address on PCH. Publisher/editor - Ben Marcus. The vibe is a little Surfer's Journal, a little Longboard, a little bit Elle. It doesn't leer. It doesn't talk down. The writing...well, the writing is fine and it's bound to get better. It's got a lot of good photos and a few really great ones. Fun pieces, like Rochelle Ballard's wry rundown of her scars and breaks and bruises. All in all, a very good debut. Can they keep it up? That's the question we all face, isn't it? Wet is smart and stylish and its heart is in the right place. We'll see if that's enough.