Who are you guys? Where are you from? What is your background?
We’re 3 guys who met through skateboarding essentially. One with a background in skateboard photography – Bertrand, one in editorial design – Jad and one in publishing – myself, Olivier, all from France. Bertrand and I started the mag in Barcelona, where we learned surfing and Jad, the designer and publisher, lives in Paris. Nowadays I live in a mountain village in the Alps so everything pretty much happens over Skype, Dropbox and Email.
How did you first come up with the idea for Acid?
Well, the fact of taking up surfing quite late, on the shores of the mediterranean sea, in a large city and coming from a skateboarding background made us feel a bit estranged to conventional surf representations. That’s definitely the key factor that pushed us, feeling like there’s nothing out there that’s remotely close to the way we experienced surfing: a bit more grown up, less commercial, more humble and subtle. And more stimulating on the ideas and images front for people with a decently rich contemporary culture. Since we believed had a pretty clear vision of how we wanted to represent surfing and the things that revolve around it for us, we slid into the project quite naturally. We had done several other print projects before so we were pretty confident we could have a good time doing one about surfing.
What have been your biggest challenges so far getting the magazine going?
The hardest is definitely sales and distribution, getting the mag out there for people to discover and hopefully buy it. It’s all super small steps and you have to keep pushing all the time to make things happen, so it definitely takes its toll. Putting together the mag is also tedious but as far as I’m concerned it’s very exciting so you get over hurdles quite easily. Then financially speaking making a niche magazine that’s viable is quite a challenge too, but I think it’s feasible, we’ll see in the coming months. You can’t figure that unless you try.
Now in your second issue, what have you found to be the most fascinating story you’ve covered so far?
I can’t really single out any to be honest. Looking back at both issues it’s more the juxtaposition of stories that really fascinating, that’s really the most exciting part of making a magazine, using very varied building blocks to create rhythm and tension throughout the publication. Especially when the said building blocks cover a very broad range of topics, from frivolous to serious, sensual to thought-provoking, art to science, intimacy to opinion. That’s really the best part, and definitely the most stimulating.
European surfing, cold water surfing, and finding surf in unexpected (less tropical) places overall seems to be a new “thing” in surfing that is becoming less niche and more mainstream in the surf world. What’s your take?
I’m not sure. It certainly feels like surfing is kind of cut in half between the “sports” approach, which is very performance-driven and very conventional to that extent; and the more “outdoors” approach which is more like, let’s say hiking. The outdoors, exploratory part of the practice has always existed but it is definitely more marketed than before, although I don’t think it’s specific to surfing at all. All outdoor sports to seem have developed that way in the past 20 years, most likely because there’s a cultural longing for the outdoors.
What would you like to see more of in modern surf culture / surfing in general?
More skateboard-like creativity and fun. As an example we came up with this ratio that you see at least a couple of really inspiring/fun/surprising skateboarding clips every month, while you see a really refreshing/fun surfing clip every 3rd/4th month or so. No idea why that is, but in case someone wants to fix this we’d love to help.
The magazine has a great visual aesthetic and a unique, charming voice overall. Where do you draw creative inspiration from?
Hmm, how about trying to be contemporary and designing an enjoyable moment for readers, creating something we would like to find in magazines… Then as far as recent moments in real life go: Martin Creed, Dane Reynolds’ latest video, Recent issues of Colors magazine, the list could be long…
What are your future goals for Acid?
Publish 2 issues this year with the same quality levels in content, try to make a bit of money for contributors and ourselves and we’ll see after that.
Any other thoughts?
Yes, next issue we have a story about the Slovenian surf champ, really looking forward to interview him. And on a more solemn note, a big thank you to all contributors making this magazine happen with us!
Be sure to check out Acid here: