Zigzag surfing magazine to relaunch as part of Rebel Media Group

Zigzag surfing magazine to relaunch as part of Rebel Media Group
Zigzag surfing magazine to relaunch as part of Rebel Media Group

The devastating news that Zigzag’s print edition would end in December 2023 was short-lived as this iconic South African surfing magazine will be back on shelves in July 2024! Rebel Media Group, a European media and marketing conglomerate and dedicated youth culture specialist, recently acquired the magazine which has been in print since 1976.

 

Christian Herles from Rebel Media Group says Zigzag has been the flagship voice of South African surf culture for 48 years, and now is the time to embrace more of the African continental surf movement.

 

“The plan is to produce content across our various touchpoints that will bring this knowledge to the European surf tribes… and vice versa. Through Zigzag, the European and African surf cultures will get to know each other better, allowing for a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the amazing people, locations, and experiences we can all have in each other’s turfs.”

 

Herles said, in addition, the support of Rebel Media’s other publishing assets such as Prime’s skiing, surfing, MTB, snowboarding, and WavePoolMag will enable Zigzag to tap into the different core audiences who ‘share these values’.

 

Zigzag is the third longest-running surf print magazine in the world and its acquisition by Rebel Media Group will ensure it continues to publish across print, digital, and social media platforms. This iconic surfing magazine has established itself as the mouthpiece of the South African surfing community and the global authority on surfing in Africa.

 

Rebel Media Group has specialised in niche board and youth sports productions, and is no stranger to the South African surfing scene, as the creator of the Rebel Sessions big wave events held at Dungeons in Cape Town.

 

Under Rebel Media, Zigzag will publish two bumper, premium print editions per year, Winter and Summer, starting this July. The aim is to increase the value through more pages, better quality paper and print production, with the same original and excellent long-form surf content readers have come to know and love for almost 50 years.

 

Until then, Zigzag’s online and social media operations will generate fresh content and projects, with several new Zigzag initiatives planned for the second half of the year. Aside from Rebel Media’s input, there is a hugely experienced local team poised to take Zigzag into the future.

 

Greg Ewing returns as managing editor and archivist. After more than two decades in the fold, his intimate knowledge of the brand and high-quality visuals will prove invaluable in sourcing A-grade surfing content while supporting Zigzag’s loyal visual contributors and nurturing the next generation of African surf content creators. He is also responsible for preserving and digitising Zigzag’s extensive archive, documenting South African and African surfing culture and expression.

 

Commenting on this new journey, Ewing said: “After working on The Last Zag and seeing the reaction and feedback, it really hit home how strong the brand Zigzag is and how it has a place in so many people’s lives, far beyond surfing. I’m really happy that it lives on and excited to be involved in the next chapter.”

 

Jazz Kuschke has climbed aboard and will take charge of Zigzag editorial across all the magazine’s channels: print, digital, and live. He is a heavyweight editor, journalist, and content marketing specialist, as well as a longtime contributor to Zigzag. His extensive experience includes contributions towards Red Bull, The Mission flyfishing magazine, and niche titles and brands such as Men’s Health and Bicycling, among others.

 

“The surf industry and media landscape have both evolved significantly over the past decade and with this new incarnation, Zigzag is perfectly positioned,” said Kuschke. “Zigzag is the pinnacle of surf journalism in Africa and I can’t be prouder to bear the torch — it feels like everything I’ve done in my career has built up to this.”

 

Creating continuity, Zigzag’s former owner and publisher Andy Davis will act as an editorial consultant. Davis says this marks a new chapter in Zigzag’s long and proud history.

 

“I was told, when we bought the magazine in 2013, that no one really ‘owns’ Zigzag and that we are all just custodians. We hold the line for the community in service of the glory that is surfing in Africa! It has been an honour,” says Davis, adding he is proud to hand over the custodianship of this iconic surfing brand to Rebel Media.

 

The team is hard at work on the first issue – stay tuned!