Time for a fresh start

Letter From The Publisher - APRIL 2018

Hi Rippies community,

Dave Heavyside here, owner and publisher of Riptide. Some of you may know me, but most of you won’t, as I’m much happier behind the scenes than in the spotlight. In fact, the spotlight makes me extremely uncomfortable, which is why it’s taken me over four years to address our wonderful bodyboarding community publicly like this.

I was fortunate enough to be the graphic designer for Riptide from issue #173 onwards, starting in late 2009. Working alongside Riptide editors in Nick Lawrence, Tim Leeson and Jake Dean was an amazing experience, and we made some great magazines. However, as the rise of digital media cut swathes through the print media landscape, Riptide wasn’t spared the sword. It was put on the chopping block by Morrison Media towards the end 2013, with Issue #196 set to be the final goodbye.

Desperate to continue to work in bodyboarding and on the magazine I love, and with issue #200 just around the corner, I was offered the opportunity to take over Riptide; the only caveat being I would quit my job, get a crash course in running a business and be thrown headlong into a publishing industry that was, and still is, facing an extremely uncertain future.

We did some good things and I found it extremely rewarding; Publishing issue #200, working with former Ed. Michael Saunders (Sorry we never got to make a print issue mate!), launching Riptide TV, working with the ABA, doing the first Riptide Live Webcast and working with plenty of awesome people – advertisers, riders and contributors – not to forget getting all the feedback from you, our loyal readers along the way has been amazing.

However, over the years I also made plenty of mistakes. My inexperience in business meant some of my decision making was poor, I zigged where I should have zagged, started things I couldn’t finish and found out I was a terrible salesman. The slowdown in the industry hurt too, and it all culminated with having to make the call to stop printing the magazine after 26 years and 204 Issues. I felt personally responsible.

That all took its toll. I was pretty burnt out and at more than one point had considered chucking the whole thing in. I began to hate bodyboarding and my conversations with those in the industry were starting to become negative and bitter and that scared the shit out of me. That wasn’t the person that I remembered frothing out so hard almost a decade ago when I packed my bags to head to the Gold Coast for my dream job.

I stepped right back and just posted here and there on the socials to keep a small presence. My partner and I also started a family, and I got a job as a designer for a local web agency. With all that, over the past 18 months I haven’t had too much time to even think about bodyboarding or Riptide.

Turns out that was a good thing.

You may have noticed that recently I have been posting a bit more, and have revamped the website and started to get a bit more content going. The motivation has come from a few places. Damien and the team at VBC have definitely ignited a spark in the older crew that has been super positive, and the Movement guys are still keeping things ticking for their loyal audience around the world which is great. Alex Leon and the APB are working tirelessly on the World Tour, and the guys from the ABA are now into their fifth year and going from strength to strength. The industry seems to have settled a touch and while things are still very tough out there for our small sport, overall I think the vibe is pretty positive.

So with all that, I think Riptide still has a part to play. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like yet, but we will start slow and see what happens. So far it’s been good to see the positive response to our YOUTH articles, and I already have another four submissions waiting in my inbox!

For those who just want to know if we are bringing back a print magazine, I don’t have any immediate plans to do so. It requires an enormous amount of resources and is extremely expensive. Having said that, the Magazine is very close to my heart, and it is something we will explore if the support is there and it makes sense to do.

But what we are doing is keeping the website ticking over, supporting the ABA with coverage of every event this year, starting a monthly email newsletter and a few other small projects we have on the way. I am excited to see where it goes, and to do that I would love your help.

To keep the website maintained, content flowing, socials updated and articles posted does take a whole lot of time, effort and cash – you know – like real money to pay hosting fees, email servers and so on. So, if you want to support Riptide, you can do so by grabbing one of our Long Sleeve Tee’s in time for winter. We are hoping to have some more gear soon too so keep an eye out!

I want be transparent about advertising too. We currently have NO advertising partners. At this stage Riptide is totally supported by tee sales and super strong cups of coffee. Having said that, I am happy to chat with anyone about partnering with us to do some cool stuff. I think we can do better than the old model of just paying for space. We still have a hungry audience out there and I’ve got some cool ideas. If you want join forces, drop me a line.

I’m looking forward to sharing the stoke with you all.

Thanks, Dave.