The Art of Logo Design

By Swell Lines Art Director, Skye Walker

Our original logo served us well for Volumes 1&2, but it was time for something new.
Our original logo served us well for Volumes 1&2, but it was time for something new.

Creating the original Swell Lines logo took some time. I came at it with a very literal sense of the name, corduroy rolling over the ocean, marching it’s way to the shores of our coast lines to give us the gift of riding waves. And after many revisions, the first logo was born… and it’s served it’s purpose. But it always didn’t feel 100% to me. So I said, let’s change it.

It needs to be circular. It needs to have a sense of the ocean, a horizon and of course a wave.

The team suggested adding a bodysurfer into the image. Would it work? Would it be too small? Would it be cliche? We’re a bodysurf magazine. So I re-worked it. Tweaked it. We reviewed it. Then bam…it hit the sweet spot. Circular, clean, simple.  It was complete.unnamed (2)

My love of bodysurfing and the ocean was a real inspiration for both the old and new design and I wanted this new logo to really project those feelings of admiration for, what some may call a sport, but what we call a lifestyle.

There were a few iterations of the new logo that, while they were close and did touch on the vibe we wanted, just weren’t quite there. But that is the design process. Design, review, fix, review, fix and hone it until it’s just right.

The new Swell Lines logo isn’t meant to re-invent graphic design, but it is meant to give you a fuzzy feeling about swimming out and getting some tubes at your favorite break… then come home and read a fun story from some passionate and crusty guys who start frothing whenever the ocean starts making some noise.

Our new logo.
Our new logo.


The Art of Doing Your Own Thing

By Skye Walker

One could argue the point of what is cool and what is not cool in this world. I know I have certainly passed judgement on others because what they were doing didn’t appear to be cool to me. But in the same respect, I know that same judgement has been passed on me too. Shame on me for ever doing that. Because whatever activity thatperson was doing, that I didn’t think was ‘cool’, was making them happy and isn’t that the point of life? No matter what we do, we can’t escape the subtle or harsh criticisms of the world.

It’s inevitable. But don’t let that deter you from your path of happiness.
signsBeing cool has nothing to do with being happy because being cool is a figment of our imagination and a projection of our pop culture soaked society. Being happy means you don’t care about cool one bit.

So you want to go rollerblading with just a speedo on? Do it. You want to do paintings of pink elephants in Cadillacs? Have at it. You want to be a uni-cycle mountain biker? Go send it. You want to eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Get after it. You want to boogie board? Okey dokey. The point is, if it’s making you happy (and not hurting anyone) who cares what others think about it? It’s your life… do what you like, right? Yes. Go do it now.

I love surfing. Of course, it’s cool. One could argue that it is one of the coolest things you can do in this world! To ride on a wave, maneuver down the line and pull into barrels and feel the energy of the earth and ocean under your feet… damn that’s cool. Nothing compares. It’s so cool that a lot of people like to do it. It’s open season in the seas now. Everyone has their favorite shred sticks and it’s game on at your favorite breaks. The weekdays don’t even accommodate “Gentleman’s Hour” anymore. It’s a war out there… Everyone is doing their own thing… with 100 of their “best” friends.
Thier thing (1)This influx of people rushing to the seas to enjoy the splendor of the waves hasn’t scared me away from surfing… but it did shift me in a different direction to experience the joys of the sea. I received a pair of Viper V5 Flex fins for my 30th birthday from some good friends six years ago… but they sat in my house for about a year and half before I ever used them.

I was a surfer, not a bodysurfer. I needed to get my wave count on my board because I loved it! But man, my wave count was down with the amount of pros, locals, barneys and kooks crowding the line-up. I didn’t dislike surfing, but the frustration of paddle battling was getting to me… but I didn’t know how much it was bugging me.

Then one day I took those fins out and discovered the subtle, freeing and under-the-radar nature of body surfing. To my left was a familiar, crowded peak with an onslaught of boards going in all directions… and where I was, well, it was empty. Just me and my buddy Kyle, dropping into unridden little gems, getting blown up in mini barrels and laughing our asses off. And not fighting any crowd to do it. Having the time of our lives without a care in the world and certainly not giving a second thought to whether or not what we were doing was cool. We were having a blast, and what could be cooler than that? I’m sure it looked like two guys flopping around from the beach… It was awesome, addictive, freeing and mostly, we were doing our OWN thing. We weren’t fighting for waves to enjoy and have fun… we were having a blast on our own terms.
Your thingThe climbing community recently lost one of it’s most influential athletes. Dean Potter perished BASE jumping/wingsuit flying in Yosemite, CA. He was an absolute superhuman climber, slackliner, BASE jumper, wingsuit flier and he founded the sport of free-basing (climbing with just a chute and no ropes). People in the climbing community along with normal people who don’t climb certainly called him crazy, nuts, looney and more. His nickname was “The Dark Wizard”. But he didn’t care. He was doing what HE wanted, for himself. To feed that hunger inside of him. He didn’t give two cents about what people thought, and he broke the rules to do it. He was jumping illegally in Yosemite when he died. He went outside the rules to do his own thing and he paid the ultimate price. But he wouldn’t have wanted to go any other way because he left this world on his own terms.

This is an extreme example of someone ignoring the world to do their own thing to be happy. But it still hammers in the fact that if there is something you want to do that makes you happy, then do it. Screw the nay sayers. Do your thing and don’t look back. If your friends surf and won’t touch fins because they are “too cool” to do it, who cares? Go get pitted without them. Chances are, you’ll catch more waves and barrels than they will and all they’ll have to say is how many times there were burned on a wave.
SwimmersThere is a special place inside each of us that holds the truth of who we are and what we do… and we know that truth. You can wear this truth as a silent badge of honor and know that yes, I’m a rollerblader… I’m a mime… I re-enact the Lord of the Rings for fun… I’m a BASE jumper… I’m a bodysurfer and love it. Whether or not people know these truths about you, it doesn’t matter because you know the truth. You know it makes you happy to do your own thing… and no one can take that away from you.

The Art of Packing a Beach Kit

By Skye Walker

So you’re ready for a full day at the beach huh? No matter the season, when swell arrives… you and your buddies are stoked. It’s time to go to your favorite spot and slay some dragons. Aside from being mentally prepared to throw your body into dark, barreling caverns or slide down the face of a good sized water wall, you have to be prepared for the mission. This means bringing the essentials to the beach and I’m not talking about a People magazine and a diet soda. I’m talking about a real beach kit.

I’m not the best surfer or bodysurfer in the world, but I have mastered the art of packing my bag for epic coastal adventures. The last thing you want is to be stuck at the beach with no supplies while it’s firing. Stay and catch waves or leave to go get some essentials and by the time you get back it’s all over…who wants to risk that? Don’t be the guy who’s bumming water, food or towels off your bros because you didn’t think ahead.

If you can park your car in front of your favorite spot, by all means enjoy the easy access. But if you have to hike down trails that look like they’re from The Lord of the Rings, or slog down miles of beach to get to that secluded no-way-in-hell-anyone-will-be-here-spot…you have to be prepared. As humans, we all need similar items when posting up on a beach in the sun and exposing our fleshy bodies to the elements for hours.

So let’s break it down. The first thing you need for your kit is a solid backpack. Sure you can carry a bunch of stuff in your hands, but why do that when you can put it on your back? It can be any pack, but preferably one that has a solid material that can withstand water, dirt and sand. I’m using an ArcTeryx pack meant for backcountry snowboarding, but it turned out to be great for bodysurf missions.

Now the gear. I like gear. Here are my recommendations for the right gear for your assault…season to your liking and taste of course.



  1. Fins. MANDATORY. Do not forget these, you can have a nice fat pack of gear, but it won’t do you a bit of good if you forget your fins. It helps to have a pack with straps so you can strap your fins to the outside of the pack and leave room on the inside for your other stuff.
  2. Fin leashes. For when it’s bombing.  You certainly don’t want your fins blown into oblivion and you pop to the surface with that “uh oh” face.
  3. Wetty, boardies, bikini or speedos. Depending on the season, you’ll need your wetsuit, boardshorts, or if you’re flashy enough…speedos. And hey, if you’re killing it in the water with your floral speedos on, my hats off to you.
  4. Towel. Sit on it. Dry yourself off with it. Beach change with it. Hide from the sun under it. This is a must.
  5. Water & water bottle. The ocean and sun dehydrate you, especially when you’re doing 360s in the barrel for six hours. You need some agua. So go out and buy a water bottle and fill it up over and over again. This way you aren’t bringing plastic bottles to the beach and adding to the landfills, or to the plastic in the sea. Plus, it’s hip to carry a cool, colorful water bottle. Plastic is so 1990.
  6. Sunglasses. For peepin’ waves, sunsets and bikinis (or mankinis for the ladies). And of course, looking cool. But mainly for bikinis.
  7. Sunscreen. Lather it on. Who cares if you look like a mime… you’re crushing waves and clocking tube time. Get some organic stuff if you can, less toxic to your skin. But whatever works, since your head will be sticking out of the water for hours soaking up those rays. You certainly don’t want to go in the water looking like Hugh Jackman and come out looking like a old saddle that Wyatt Earp sat in.
  8. Change of boardshorts. Bring them. They pack down. No one wants to walk a mile or two in wet, chafing boardies or wetty. Your nether-region will thank you.
  9. Hat. Baseball, trucker, Fedora, Balinese fishing hat or a trash can lid. Anything to keep your face in the shade.
  10. Food. Ah yes, one of my favorite essentials. Bring some snacks or a full on 6 course meal if you like. You’ll need some sustenance to keep you kicking your way to barrel Nirvana. Trail mix is a must. Apples, bananas, plums- easy to pack and eat. Snickers bar, ummm, yeah, I’m burning calories, I don’t care. Chips, yes please. Everyone bring something different and share, we’re all friends here. Just don’t eat my Snickers.
  11. Beverages. Water is great, but sometimes, you want something a bit different. Maybe with electrolytes. Maybe some carbonation or caffeine. Since you’ll most likely be leaving on your mission at dawn, you’ll probably need a wake up drink. Some like coffee, others like tea. My wave hungry cronies and I aren’t above having a sugary, caffeinated can of junk. It’s ok, we’re burning calories. Sidenote: if you really want a jolt of wake up juice, the Cuba Lima delivers.
  12. Tunes. Technology has made it so simple to have a tiny, bluetooth speaker in your pack that links to your favorite jams when you’re taking a break from shredding the gnar. Zeppelin, Boyz II Men, Haul & Oats, The Ramones, Tupac, Bob Marley, Lady Gaga, Iron Maiden… whatever your taste is, rock it. Leave the country music at home.
  13. Camera. Whether it’s on your phone or whether you have a killer DSLR, GoPro, or a hip Lomography camera, bring one to capture some moments of your friends getting pitted out of their minds. Or shoot some artsy shots of the adventure to get there. One day you’ll look back and be glad you have a snapshot of a moment in time when you were young and living it up. No selfies please.
  14. Your phone. Yeah, bring it, it’s got your music, camera and it’s good to have for emergencies. Just don’t be on it the whole time you are out of the water looking on Facebook. No one is doing anything cooler than what you are doing right now. You’re at the beach getting tubed! Nothing on in the inter-web is better than that.
  15. Pocket knife. For cutting food, leashes and filleting fish you caught with your bare hands.
  16. A book. Because you need to read more. Then again… you’ll be in the barrel so much you might not get much reading done… but at least you’ll feel smart having a book in your pack.

sketch3There are many other things that you can bring to the beach. That’s the beauty of a beach kit, to each their own! Get weird with it. Load up your pack with whatever you want. Just pack accordingly, you might be having the session of your life and don’t want to leave because you don’t have food or water. This all might seem like common knowledge…but people still leave their babies on the roof of their car and drive off…not cool.
So pack your bag right and tight. Your friends will be impressed. The ladies will take notice (no they won’t) and you’ll feel confident that you’re not only going to catch the wave of your life… but you’ll be styled and dialed on the beach afterwards.IMG_9084