The Path Manifesto
We thought it would be easy coming out of covid, we managed to survive that but spiraling energy costs equals spiralling print and distribution costs so we’ve had to look at our whole proposal again. The first thing is we have solved the print and distribution issue, and whilst you’ll notice the magazine change and get thicker to be as efficient as possible, the content and what we do there won’t change at all, despite the delays and setbacks the base magazine will remain and continue as it is.
What we have had to do is sit down and look at is what exactly our purpose is now. The world has changed, and we can’t roll on in the same way both commercially and morally. So all the stakeholders of The Path got together, and by stakeholders I mean the five of us who write design and come up with ideas, none of us hold a stake in The Path nor do any of us take a wage either. We spoke to business advisers, people who wanted to invest in the magazine and they kept coming up with the same three plans –
- Launch a shop off the back of The Path, we’ll help you set up the commercial aspect and do all the fulfilling, you just have to sit there and watch the money role in… Well we didn’t want to ad to the world’s surf shop population, there are plenty of brilliant ones out there already
- Build an apparel brand off the back of the The Path, be just like ‘Patagonia’ we’ve got the guys who want to invest etc. etc. no thanks we don’t need more brands
- License your name, we have companies who are into wellbeing and life improvement who would want to be associated with the brand and we’ll give you a small percentage of any profit a project ….
You can see how we have been pulled from pillar to post, carrots dangled, told we knew nothing about business and we need to sell out to succeed, but we did know a lot about what our readers wanted to read and what the three pillars of The Surfer’s Path are – Surf travel/adventure, Surf Culture and The ocean environment. So we sat down and figured no one needs more of the above three, there are great companies that do all of that, and we don’t want to spend our lives doing that stuff. What we did want to do was to use our skills in words, images and design to start to make a positive impact on our rapidly degrading surfing environment, which also happens to be an important part of our whole planets life support system. But how?
WE ARE NOT...
Firstly we’re not going to turn TSP into a radical environmental journal, we all read it for the surf travel, adventure and culture, and whilst a smattering of the environment is ok, we don’t want to overload it, and this is based on what you’ve fed back to us. But the thing is we can’t surf without a healthy environment to surf in, so we have to do something about it, and we have to use our skills to do something that is going to make a real difference.
We are not going to start campaigns, ask for signatures or anything a charity does. There are plenty of pressure groups and charities out there working towards campaign goals successfully and we sure do not need another.
What we are going to do is be a voice for our surfing environment, especially in northern Europe but also globally. We are all journalists in some form, and what we do best is ask tough honest questions about everything, and then we’ll give you honest features in return for free online. Nothing is off the table, anything that affects us surfing is on the table and we’re going to find out the truth. We’ve already sat down with the nuclear industry, we are being fobbed off by the water industry, and are asking some serious questions about coastal development which is already impacting surf spots in the UK, Ireland, Iceland and France. We’ve found out some really harsh truths about what is going on in our surfing environment and how it affects a lot more than just us.
So our future is this, continue with the journal, with no more hitches. To have part of our website that is dedicated to our ocean environment and produce weekly environmental features, films and reproduce all of our environmental archive for free. If you want to read and be part of a movement for change, it will be here, if you’re in it for the adventure and travel and culture you can take that as well, but remember without a healthy environment surf just doesn’t work…
Thanks for your support as always, been the roughest three years keeping The Path alive, but we’re still paddling.