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Is Surfing Afflicted?

In between sessions of highly contested ping-pong battles at the 5ones office last night, I decided to take advantage of the break in action and flip open the April 2008 edition of Surfing Magazine. Particularly stoked on finding the ‘North Shore In Black and White’ section, I found myself thumbing through the pages and making my way to my intended destination. No sooner than my mag-browsing sixth sense alerts me that I’m only pages away from said section do I end up face to face with an advertisement for Affliction Clothing.

Did I miss the boat on this one? Is there something that I just am not seeing when it comes to Affliction and surfing? To be clear, my issue isn’t at all with Affliction. Clearly they are doing something right when it comes to marketing and their bottom line. It’s everywhere and continues to spread like wildfire. It was just surprising to find myself toe-to-toe with an ad for skull-patch laden black leather boots while trying to lose myself in the North Shore ‘07/’08 season recap.

Where is this connection between surfing and Affliction coming from? I’m fully aware of the crossover made by many wave-riders into the blossoming sport of Mixed Martial-Arts and have all of the respect in the world equally for those who have been passionate about the sport for years as those who have just recently taken up training. However, this is different than the connection between RVCA and BJ Penn. It’s nearly impossible for me to see anything positive whatsoever brought to the surfing community/industry by the infiltration of a brand like Affliction that thrives on the ‘tough-guy’ image into our sport.

I realize Affliction is just doing it’s job by seeking to capitalize on the growth and expansion of MMA into other markets. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I guess I never expected the decision-makers at Surfing to open their publication to a brand that in my opinion doesn’t have any business, other than business, being there. Hopefully Surfing Magazine realizes that surfing is about setting trends, not following them.

surfing magazine
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Posted by Cameron on Thursday, February 28th, 2008 in Brands, Surfing.


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