Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Fitness | Magazine Review

Wading Through the Water-Sports Mags

A Dozen of the Best Reads for Those Wanting to Bone Up on Swimming, Surfing, Skiing or Boarding

November 09, 1998|LESLIE KNOWLTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

When it comes to water sports, California's the place to be. And whether you want to ski and surf over the waves or swim and dive below them, there are dozens of specialty magazines to help you get that butt off the beach blanket and into action.

Excluding nonexercise boating magazines, here's an even dozen good water-sport bets, four of which are California-based.

Swim Magazine

Number of issues a year: six

Established: 1984

Circulation: 42,275

Cover price: $2.95

Subscriptions: (800) 345-7946

The official magazine of U.S. Masters Swimming, this publication, founded to promote the adult water sport, is strong on event coverage but also includes plenty of practical advice for everyday swimmers. Its publisher also puts out Swimming World, a magazine for young (through college age) competitive swimmers.

Recent Features: "Water Works Wonders" (relaxation through swimming and other techniques) and "Sports Bars: Portable Energy" (do they really improve performance, or are they just glorified candy bars?).

*

Fitness Swimmer

Number of issues a year: six

Established: 1991

Circulation: 60,000

Cover price: $3.50

Subscriptions: (800) 846-0086

This visually pleasing book was bought in 1994 by Rodale from a man who published it twice a year out of his apartment. Bumped up to the big time and relaunched in 1995, the health- and how-to-oriented publication also includes Olympic and other event coverage.

Recent Features: "Paddle Like a Pro" (how to use those cool hand paddles) and "The Beat Goes On" (meet late bloomer Bill Pilczuk, who beat Alexander Popov to become the world's fastest swimmer).

*

Surfing

Number of issues a year: 12

Established: 1964

Circulation: 121,000

Cover price: $3.99

Subscriptions: (800) 879-0484

Originally called International Surfing, this hip San Clemente publication was started by a couple of California surfing characters named Pete Peterson and Leroy Grannis. Since last year, its publisher is the Surfing Group, a division of McMullen Argus. Targeted toward the high-performance crowd of younger surfers and jam-packed with surfer interviews, the writing has a definite edge and is accompanied by lots of photos, including surfing posters.

Recent Features: "Tahitian Voodoo" (a lavishly photographed report about a handful of international surfers who made Tahitian surfing history on Mother's Day) and "Sunny" (an interview in Japan with Sunny Garcia, who definitely wants to win the world title before he retires).

*

Surfer

Number of issues a year: 12

Established: 1960

Circulation: 110,000

Cover price: $3.99

Subscriptions: (800) 289-0636

Started by San Clemente surfer and surfing filmmaker John Severson, this 38-year-old magazine--the nation's oldest surfing publication and one of its first specialty sporting magazines--is based in San Juan Capistrano. Striving to be the one surf magazine for all surfers with a focus on modern progressive surfing, it also includes fiction, an environmental column and an annual surfer poll.

Recent Features: "The Sinking Islands" (an ugly battle between surf charter companies in Indonesia) and "Andaman Islands" (a surfer takes a crew to never-before-been-surfed waters in the Bay of Bengal).

*

Bodyboarding

Number of issues a year: seven

Established: 1985

Circulation: 45,175

Cover price: $3.95

Subscriptions: (800) 879-0484

Started in San Clemente by Surfing magazine back when bodyboarding was a fledgling sport and not taken very seriously, this publication--the first in its category--has developed along with the activity it covers. Like surfing magazines, it gets interesting mail and includes a poster.

Recent Features: "Worlds Apart" (Chile: bodyboarding's promised land?); 'On the Down Low" (Fred Booth is quietly trying to save bodyboarding's soul).

*

WaterSki

Number of issues a year: nine

Established: 1978

Circulation: 110,000

Cover price: $3.95

Subscriptions: (800) 879-0495

Billed as the "world's leading water skiing magazine," this lively, attractive and informative publication from World Publications was started on a shoestring by Terry Snow, a University of Florida collegiate skier. Originally called Water World Ski, it purchased Spray magazine in 1984, and the two books merged to become WaterSki. The lifestyle publication for both avid Type-A skiers and families has broadened over the years to incorporate new disciplines, including wake boarding, barefooting, kneeboarding, shell skiing and speed skiing.

Recent Features: "Last Man Standing" (what do figure eights have to do with water skiing, and why are so many people talking about them?) and "The Parker (Air) Strip" (times are higher than ever on this small stretch of the Colorado River).

*

Wake Boarding

Number of issues a year: eight

Established: 1993

Circulation: 80,000

Cover price: $3.95

Subscriptions: (800) 879-0486

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|