RIP John Severson

John Severson, the founder of Surfer Magazine, passed away in his sleep on Friday night. This humble little blog wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for Severson and his contributions to surfing culture.

There are much better ways to measure Severson’s impact than by referencing the existence of websites that have a tongue-in-cheek ‘z’ in their names, however. Severson not only established the most influential publication in surfing history, he was a talented surfer, a writer, a filmmaker, and an artist, too. Surfer has a fitting eulogy to the man on their website, which honors his legacy far better than I ever could. Instead, here’s a collection of some of my favorite Severson images. RIP, Mr. Severson, and thank you for everything.

Surfer Magazine February 1963 Cover by John Severson
February / March 1963 issue of Surfer Magazine, featuring a painting done by Severson himself. Photo via ArtNews.com
John Severson Surf Classics Poster
Poster for “Surf Classics”, a Severson movie. Image via Klat Magazine
John Severson Sunset Beach
Severson surfing Sunset Beach, North Shore of Oahu. Picture via surferart.com, which is Severson’s personal website (note that site has been updated to reflect his passing)
Greg Noll at Pipeline by John Severson
It’s only fitting that Severson took the most famous surf photo of all time. Greg Noll at Pipeline in 1964. Legendary all around! Photo via 032c.com

Picture at the top of the page by James Cook Loomis; originally posted on 032c.com

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