Big Waves? Check. Chicks in Bikinis? Duh!

Transworld Surf Finally Gets Around to Its First Swimsuit Issue

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NEW YORK (Adage.com) -- The covers of enthusiast magazines tend to tread the same ground from month to month, sticking to shots of big boats, mountain bikes or whatever their focus may be (see: every cover ever of Power & Motoryacht magazine).
Surfer dudes, say hi to Megan.
Surfer dudes, say hi to Megan.

Other interests?
But Transworld Surf has decided that even their enthusiast readers might have at least one other passion -- like, maybe, women in bikinis. So the title is expanding an annual swimsuit editorial feature to its first full-fledged Swimsuit Issue and, for the first time, going to newsstand with a cover that doesn't show a wave, surfer or surfboard. It shows Megan, a model, leaning toward the camera and nearly out of her top.

Has Sports Illustrated's success opened the door for everyone to do swimsuit issues now?

"Obviously beautiful women in bikinis on the beach are integral to the surf culture," said Scott Dickey, president, TransWorld Media, part of Bonnier Corp.

Not obvious at first
It just wasn't obvious that readers wanted the magazine to stray from the subject of surfing. "Our core audience is dominantly young male teens, and while you'd think it'd be intuitive, we believed that the core surfing community would be hesitant at first," Mr. Dickey said. "The reason we believe it makes sense to get more aggressive now is that, having tested it inside the magazine, we know the audience for TransWorld Surf received it very well."

The title's two larger competitors, Primedia's Surfer and Surfing magazines, have delivered a split decision on the question. Surfer does not have a swimsuit issue; Surfing does.

TransWorld Surf is still moving carefully, however, to minimize any risk of upsetting surf purists. The June issue will show a swimsuit model on the cover at newsstands -- you can imagine why -- but deliver a standard surfing cover shot for home-delivery subscribers.
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