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How Arianna Sparked Journalist to a ‘HuffPost for Surfers’

If you’re a surfer, you’re most likely already familiar with The Inertia, a super-slick website covering all things big-wave. What you may not know is the critical role played in the genesis of the site by the long reach of NYC.

TheInertiaSlide

The site is the brainchild of Zach Weisberg who, back in 2010 as editor-at-large of Surfer magazine, wrote a controversial blog post about racism in the sport. After refusing internal pressure to take it down, the post was nonetheless taken down by his publisher, leading Weisberg to quit and paddle out in search of his next venture.

Per a great little article by Honolulu-based Huffington Post fellow James Cave, Weisberg’s process at that time included a “soul-searching” trip to New York:

Weisberg happened upon a seminar given by Arianna Huffington, and was so inspired by her presentation that he was able to apply her vision for new media into the world he inhabited. “I listened to her talk and her vision at the moment; I felt that it could work perfectly in the world of surf and action sports. I decided to give it a shot, to try and build that.”

On the same New York trip, Weisberg met with an editor-mentor from the New York Times. “I told him I was thinking about going back to journalism school, but he said he’s trying to get out of it! He said I might investigate an M.B.A. program, that I might learn a set of skills that would serve me well in the future… I was like, alright, I’m going to leverage the learning and connections that I had while at Surfer and try to build a version of that platform, the original inspiration, go back to business school and see how this project goes.”

Four years later, the project is going gangbusters. Weisberg runs it all from Venice, CA, a hop, skip and jump from Manhattan Beach and other leading SoCal surfing beaches. Read the rest of the HuffPo article here.

[Slide image via: theinertia.com]

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