We introduced Andréa, our French intern, in part 1. Having arrived from Annecy with little knowledge about surfing, but a keen understanding of the snowboarding scene back home, we set her loose on our archives to learn a little bit more about surfing culture and history.
Below are some of the articles that caught Andréa’s attention as she paged through the second decade of Zigzag mags.
THE DIARY (Zigzag Issue 11.5 – 1987)
Pictures… Because surfing, like snowboarding, is such a visually appealing ‘sport’, photos always catch your attention. The layout and images in this photo feature just grabbed me.
WILD BASH (Zigzag Issue 11.6 – 1987)
This short article was part of a series. It reminded me of some webseries that we have back home about skiing, such as Salomon Freeski TV or Bon Appétit, both of which I watch all the time. There’s something great about trying to discover new spots and learning new experiences along the way.
BEGINNERS TIPS (Zigzag Issue 12.3 – 1988)
This article I appreciated a lot, because in a simple way it explains how to choose a board depending on your physique. It is the same in ski and snowboard, where you will enjoy the ride even more if you choose the right equipment. Of course it not only depends on your level, but also from the type of riding you are looking to perform – freestyle or freeride. With that in mind you will choose your skis depending on length, weight, width and double curved or not for example; and different flexibility or bindings amongst other specifications for snowboard. By reading this article it helps me further understand that surfing shares many similarities with snowboarding and skiing.
LETTER OF THE MAG (Zigzag Issue 16.4 – 1992)
As we practice sports that are performed on natural playing fields, it is our duty to keep them that way. To educate the public about the environmental issues, associations have been created. By organising waste collection they try to lower the impact of litter on nature, but more importantly they set up campaigns and conventions to teach people how to look after their environment. While chatting with the guys at Zigzag they told me about some South African associations that lead by example, and these are a few of them:
In France we also have some like that, both for water-sport and snow-sport:
After checking Mountain Riders’ activities account, I’ve learned that 48% of waste comes from tourist activities and 52% by professional activities. 46% of them have been recycled. And between 2012/2013, the association has made 54 conventions and trainings; 173 activities in school for awareness; 60 waste collections and 43 000 people have been made aware. This letter published in 1992 shows that associations like this have been around for some time, and it’s nice to see that groups of people still care greatly about keeping our mountains and beaches clean.
SKIN CANCER (Zigzag Issue 17.6 – 1993)
Nature often reminds us that she is not to be messed with, and because of that we have to protect ourselves against all the damages weather conditions can cause. Skin cancer has become a national issue in Australia, and from my first experience in humid Durban it appears like it has much the same climate. This makes it important to be conscious of the effects of exposure and to protect ourselves against UV. But skin cancer or skin damages are not the only injuries you can get from the sun: pterygium conjunctiva is common among water-sport athletes. It is said to be caused from the reflection of the UV and a high exposure to them; so snow-sport athletes can get it too, but as we almost always wear ski goggles (or sometimes sunglasses) we are protected. We also have to protect ourselves from the sun, as the effects of the sun reflections on the snow are the same as on the water; and for sure against frostbite. This article was not only a visual reminder of the effects, but also full of frightening facts.
MYTHS – SEXISM: WOMEN IN SURFING (Zigzag Issue 19.5 – 1995)
As is the case with many sports, in snowboarding and skiing the Men’s division is a lot more popular than the Women’s because they receive a lot of broadcasting. And even though things have evolved since this article was written, sexism still exists both in society and sport. Women, however, are increasingly proving that they are as capable as men and can be great athletes too, and each year the Women’s division becomes more popular thanks to great performances by the athletes.
Along the way, great performers have made massive steps towards earning women athletes the respect they deserve; such as Sarah Burke (1982-2012) a Canadian freestyle skier who specialised in super-pipe. As a pioneer of the discipline, Sarah was one of the only woman to compete against men in official contests. Thanks to her performances the Winter X Games have created a female division and super-pipe skiing has been added to Sochi Winter Olympics.
But the playing field is still not equal. As recently as 2012, American female skier Lindsey Vonn, a four times World Champion, asked to compete in a downhill event in the Men’s division. This was widely broadcasted and attracted a lot of reaction; some saying that it was just a publicity stunt. The ISF didn’t give her the authorisation, using the fact that the rules clearly explain that one sex athlete can’t compete in the other sex category. She explained that she just wanted to compare her level with great male athletes.
There was also a lot of debate last year after the Roxy Pro France teaser clip showed little surfing action and instead highlighted the sexier side of women’s surfing. In this regard, skiing and snowboarding is a bit different, because when competing you cannot actually tell who is under all those ski jackets, beanies and masks. To finish, what about if we just swap the role?