Issue No. 04 Winter 2023–24

This issue is dedicated to the spirit of exploration in each of us.  As a water lover, surfer, stand up paddler, or whatever floats your boat, we can all appreciate the fresh perspective that being out on the water and looking back at land affords us. It removes us from our everyday tasks and thinking, and puts a full stop on our ‘to-do’ list for an hour, a day, or even several weeks.  Traveling and exploring new places are part and parcel of a water lover's lifestyle.  Finding unridden waves, signing up for a new downwind run and/or showing up in the local lineup and giving someone new a nod of acknowledgement or even recognition, happily acknowledges the shared experience of being out on the water together.

In this Winter23 issue of Session Magazine, we celebrate that spirit of exploration through our varied stories and voices.  We invite you to drop into regular contributor Dylan Stott’s descriptive narrative on his open-minded perspective shift regarding women in the lineup and in the larger surfing world. Dylan’s humility and self-effacing humor makes an uncomfortable conversation accessible as he shakes loose his own preconceived notions about female surfers. 

Then buckle up for the adrenaline rush of environmentalist and waterwoman Rachael Miller as she challenges her limits by signing on to paddle one of the most famed (and extreme) downwind runs on the planet: South Africa’s 12km Millers Run at the cross section of two colliding oceans. 

Next, revel in the remembrance of hurricane season here in the northeast with “Journals from the Road”, a collection of voices from New England on surfing the swell brought from Hurricane Lee that rolled through Rhode Island in September 2023. From a local’s perspective to witnessing the day through the eyes of Maui photographer Brian Bielmann, we get to hear and experience the excitement of watching one’s home break light up in the post-summer season

The spirit of exploration lives in Korey Nolan of Hydrophile Surfcraft, an innovator and creator of surf fins, whose commitment to sustainability shines through his performance based products and his integral artistry. Korey, another dedicated New England surfer, has built his career on pursuing his passion and has carved out a niche for himself in an otherwise competitive surfing culture. We salute all small business owners like Korey who have a tale to tell, a product to sell, and a commitment to excellence - and our planet - that allows a true passion for watersports to shine through. 

There is so much more, including travelogs to Tahiti with Klaas Voget, Olivia Jenkins, Clement Rosaryo and Finn Spencer to capture the best waves and wind in an epic episode of resilience, laughter and friendship. We also dive into the current controversy surrounding the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drill into the reef at Teahupo’o in order to construct a judge’s booth that includes air conditioning and toilets for the 3-day surfing event in French Polynesia in 2024. How do we find balance between the rising professional sport of surfing and every surfer’s natural commitment and responsibility to protecting every reef break and wave garden?  If we don’t act as stewards for these treasured playgrounds, then we run the risk of development gaining access to our most sacred resource, the ocean.

Enjoy the ride here in Winter23!  We hope you find these pages informative and invigorating. As always, they allow you to reflect on your relationship with water and remind you of the perspective of being out in the waves, lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans, never forgetting who you are when not attached to land. See you out there. Aloha.

~ Evelyn

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