/John Severson, Surfer Who Illustrated Allure of Waves, Dies at 83

John Severson, Surfer Who Illustrated Allure of Waves, Dies at 83

“Their role models were Hollywood stereotypes, and the sport quickly picked up a bad name. Wannabes came into the sport as rebels, pranksters, vandals, and thieves, wearing Nazi imagery — helmets and iron crosses. Surfers hated those Hollywood surf films, and I could see that Surfer could create a truer image of the sport.”

Drew Kampion, the editor of Surfer magazine from 1968 to 1972, said in an interview Saturday that he viewed Mr. Severson, who preceded him as its editor, as “the first to treat surfing as a worthy subject matter for fine art.”

The surf journalist Sam George wrote in 1999, “Before John Severson, there was no ‘surf media,’ no ‘surf industry’ and no ‘surf culture’ — at least not in the way we understand it today.”

Mr. Severson (pronounced SEA-ver-son) likened the surfing experience to “a beautiful sensation of dance with the added dimension of being in nature.”

“There’s this whole force of moving water, and as you ride, you harness this water,” he told the contemporary culture magazine 032c in a 2014 interview. “Then, as your abilities…

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