Skateboarding Heritage Foundation

Magazine Archive

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WAVE RIDER, 1975-1982

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Compiled by Craig B. Snyder

Wave Rider was a quarterly surfing publication from Florida that launched in 1975. Based in Cocoa Beach and founded by Gunnar Griffin and John Griffin, two brothers from the Space Coast, the publication had a successful run for nearly seven years until the early 1980s. Staff photographers included Rob Battipaglia, Joaquin Garcia and Larry Marshall. Wave Rider not only covered the international surfing scene but offered more inclusive coverage of the East Coast of the United States. In 1976 they became a heavy hitter when they co-sponsored the Florida Pro, a spring competition at Sebastian Inlet that was achieving international fame. From the start, they also gave skateboarding some needed recognition. In 1976 their regular skateboarding feature, "Skateboarding Traffic," was turned into its own dedicated publication. Known as Skate Rider, it was literally published back-to-back with Wave Rider, sharing the same spine. This was a smart move in ways, as they were able to save some printing costs and distribute this new magazine quickly using the same channels already established by its surfing publication. By the 1980s there was trouble on the horizon. A declining audience and decreased revenue from ads made it difficult to keep their doors open any longer. Skate Rider was the first to disappear, followed by Wave Rider after the 1981-1982 recession achieved full swing.

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Stacks Image 104
Vol. (#)
Winter 1976

On the cover: Gary Branham, Bullet Beach, Puerto Rico.
Stacks Image 98
Vol. (#)
Spring 1976

On the cover: Joe "Cuppy" at Jungle Road, West Palm Beach, Florida.
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Vol. 5
Winter 1977

On the cover: Peter Hodgson at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.
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Vol. 6
Fall 1977

On the cover: Sebastian Inlet action and Eastern Professional Surfers.

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Vol. 7
Spring 1978

On the cover: Tom Sutherland.
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Vol. 8
Summer 1978

Airbrush Issue, part 1; Pro Surf Contests Circuit; Bahamas; Puerto Rico.
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Vol. 9
Fall 1978

On the cover: Dane Kealoha, Backdoor, Hawaii.
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Vol. 10
Winter 1979

On the cover: Bobby Owens at Off The Wall, Hawaii.

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Vol. 11
Summer 1979

On the cover: Sam George, Caribbean.
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Vol. 12
Fall 1979

On the cover: Rory Russell, Pipeline, Hawaii.
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Vol. 13
Winter 1980

On the cover: Edwin Santos, Puerto Rico.
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Vol. 15
Oct-Nov 1980

On the cover: Matt Kechele, Space Coast.

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Vol. 17
Summer 1981

On the cover: Pat Mulhern at "Japans," Bahamas.
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Vol. 18
Dec. 1981/Jan. 1982

Stubbies East; Matt Kechele pulls off aerials to win.