Craig Sims - Morrison Media
When and where did you learn to surf?
I started surfing in grade 8 in Durban South Africa, but only begun surfing regularly in grade 10 when I was old enough to qualify for a motor bike licence, and I could make the 20 minute journey to the beach.
What do you love about surfing?
Throughout my life it's been different things. When I was a kid it was just stoke - the pure joy and excitement of riding waves and taking it all in.
In my twenties it was the pursuit of competitive goals – challenging myself and learning the art of winning and losing.
Then in my thirties it was discovering and challenging my fear threshold in bigger waves (which for me wasn't very big).
Now its just the enjoyment of the lifestyle the pleasure of still being out there riding waves, as I have for most of my life.
Do you have a session that stands out as your most memorable?
Many sessions stand out. I still remember my first wave ever, my biggest wave ever, my longest wave ever etc. but my best recent session was surfing perfect Restaurants on Tavarua last year with some colleagues and clients, all of whom I regard as good mates.
What is your go-to board at the moment?
6'2" x 181/4 x 2/14 JS Monsta model.
What kind of education have you had?
Formally I graduated with a degree from University of natal, Durban South Africa where I majored in Economics and Industrial Sociology but the University of Life has taught me most of what I use in my day to day and that includes 25 years as a Publisher, 20 of which were as a business owner, and 35 years of being completely immersed in surf culture.
What was your first job?
I've only ever had two jobs. The first I was self employed in my own publishing company in South Africa, the second was 6 years ago when I moved to Australia and joined Morrison Media
Tell us a bit about what you do at Morrison Media?
I am the publisher of five magazines and the General Manager of the company. Ultimately I am responsible for all aspects of all the magazines in my portfolio (currently Surfing Life, White Horses, Riptide, Freerider and Slow) as well as the overall general management of the company. It's a pretty broad role and I rely heavily on the talented and committed people who work with me.
How did you get to the position you are in today?
I consider myself lucky to have achieved success in my own publishing business in South Africa. It was a 20 year slog and I loved every minute of it. But when I sold it and relocated with my family to Australia, I decided it was time for a career change. I arrived here, surfed for 4 months and went straight back into the very business I wanted to break away from! So clearly this is what I was meant to do. I started at Morrison Media as the Editorial Manager but after a couple of months took over as Publisher and then a few years later General Manager.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the challenge, and it is a challenge. I love the creativity and working with people who are more creative than I, and I thrive on the passion and total commitment that is required to achieve any level of success in publishing. It's not often you get a moment to take stock of all the plates spinning around you but when you do, you're both amazed and surprised that it all hasn't come crashing down around you and with that comes a brief sense of accomplishment and pride. The brands I have been entrusted with are amazing icons of Australian surf and action sport culture and it's a real honour to be in this position.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'm not sure. I've been wondering about that lately. I did a bit of part time lecturing at Southern Cross University for a few years and really enjoyed that, but on the opposite end of the spectrum I sometimes wonder if I might have the potential to succeed beyond publishing. But most of the time I conclude that this is where I belong and where I'll probably be in 10 years. I am certain that what comprises Publishing in 10 years time will be something completely different to what it is now. So there's no shortage of challenges and discovery ahead, and a lot to look forward to.
Where can we find you online?
Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on October 25, 2013
Shannon Hughes - WSL & ISA Commentator
Craig Sims - White Horses & Surfing Life Publisher
Luke Kennedy - Editor of Tracks Magazine
Simon ‘Swilly’ Williams - Surf Photographer
Jarra Campbell - the Bondi Alchemist
Greg Gordon - Owner of CR Surf
Shayne Nienaber - Surf Photographer
Alexa Hohenberg - Owner of Still Stoked
Christine Deveney - TapaReef Owner & Creator
Russell Ord - Surf Photographer