Andrew Summons - Paper Sea Quarterly

Andrew Summons, surfer and lover of nature and outdoors in general. Co-founder of Paper Sea Quarterly, a magazine for surfers and adventurers.  

What do you love about surfing?

I grew up on a farm 500km from the sea. So while I didn’t learn to surf until I was about twelve, I had a strong relationship with nature from a young age. I’ve come to realise that I need surfing in my life. Surfing is a total mental reset for me. It’s not just the time spent in the water, out of the city, or riding waves that I love, spending time catching up with mates with no other distractions is beautiful. Whenever I’m in the sea, I become a hyper-energised kid again.

How has surfing shaped your career?

I cofounded Paper Sea Quarterly (PSQ) with two mates when I was ¾ through a Masters of Creative Writing. At the time we saw a gap in the market for something like PSQ and nearly 5 years later, it’s still growing, and I feel like it’s getting better with each issue.

Where is your favourite place in the world that your job has taken you?

Starting PSQ has given me so much. It has created so many opportunities, it’s let me meet and chat with incredibly inspiring people and it’s let me travel. My favourite country in the world to explore is Mexico – I have some beautiful family there and so many more adventures planned.

What was your very first job?

The first job I had was working as a dishpig at the Flinders Village Café for a couple of summers. Around the same time, I worked at a chemist delivering bills to customers; I was paid $5/hour there, which makes me sound super old, but the chemists were just super tight, but a job’s a job.

What is your current job and what does it entail?

My current job is Editor-In-Chief at Paper Sea Quarterly. We’re a start up so my role is quite all-encompassing. My role includes curating and generating content, stakeholder engagement (managing contributors and interviewees), managing advertising partnerships, editing and proof reading content for print and online publishing, and establishing new partnerships with likeminded brands.


What do you like most about your job?

I love being able to meet and find out so much about the fascinating people we feature in PSQ. Holding the new issue in my hands comes in as a close second –it’s so satisfying. Being able to share the physical manifestation of all that hard work is incredible.

Who has had the biggest influence in your career?

I’d say my partner, Jessie, and my business partners Tom and Andrew. Jessie has been a constant source of inspiration, support, guidance and advice whenever I’ve needed it. I look back at what Tom, Andrew and I set out to create with Paper Sea and I’m so proud, but it’s definitely been hard work. I have some early iterations of Paper Sea, some print samples, and it has just come so unbelievably far. I’ve learnt a lot from Paper Sea and working with Tom and Andrew and I’m enjoying continuing to learn with each issue we publish.

How do you think the surf industry is evolving/changing?

There has been a proliferation of smaller producers, which is so great. The same is being echoed in print media too - there are so many independent titles (not just Paper Sea…) making really great stuff. The old, established brands are still there doing their thing, but the most exciting progressions seem to be coming from smaller, independent labels. The rise of philanthropy is nothing but a good thing too; obviously Patagonia and Toms have lead the way but there are so many more brands seeing the benefit in incorporating philanthropy into their business model.

What do you think the future holds for the printed surf magazines/books?

In the past five years, magazines have shifted from a weekly consumable to a luxury item. People used to wander down to the newsagent and grab a stack of magazines, read them and toss them. Now, magazines are perceived as a bit of a luxury item, a treat for the moments you can slow down, switch off and enjoy losing yourself in suspended reality. Print media isn’t dead (long live print), and I don’t think it’ll even become as niche as records. As time goes on I think we’ll see more of a counter-revolution against the vacuous pull of screens and wasted hours on the Internet. Obviously print media needs to live in harmony with the Internet, but the two offer readers very different experiences.

Any exciting plans coming your way?

We have a couple of collabs in the pipeline and we’re lifting our gaze above the horizon for later in the year.

Where can we find you online?


Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on July 6, 2016
Categories: Interviews