Sports magazines, redefined

Five under-the-radar publications that deserve a spot on your coffee table

Who says print is dead? Today, an ever-growing number of print sports publications are changing the game and stepping up their design approach and content quality. Challenging the traditional aesthetic of mainstream sports magazines, these bold publications are concerned with presenting a strong visual and narrative product that does not sacrifice quality. The core of their success is their impeccable imagery, an arresting graphic design, and first-rate journalism. Covering everything from running to surfing, these magazines redefine the genre and are worthy of a spot on your coffee table:

This magazine is all about mixing contemporary culture with skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding. Flip through the pages, and you'll find compelling interviews and photo-essays that not only celebrate the above-mentioned sports, but also the art underground scene and its protagonists. The current issue, for example, profiles figure studies artist Bill Durgin, explores the outer islands of Indonesia and looks at the beach goth trend.

The magazine’s team of writers and photographers travels to the most spectacular locations around the world to document how different sports are adapted in different places, while experiencing local cultures. As the title implies, the new publication (it only has three issues under its belt) covers gear, but also digs deep into other subjects. The recent issue features an article about a 190-mile dog sled adventure across the Arctic Circle, as well as a new look at the movers and shakers in Los Angeles.

Produced by clothing company Tracksmith, Meter is dedicated to all things running, exploring running culture and the racing lifestyle. The cleanly-designed magazine also offers features a selection of interviews, photo-essays and short stories that reflect the intensity and passion of this sports realm.

Consider Runaway a travel magazine for runners. Each issue focuses on a single city and looks the runners that inhabit it; the first offered insights on the lives of hip New Yorkers who see running as a lifestyle. The pages include running routes and profiles on unlikely athletes, as well as neighborhood eating and drinking guides.

This Australian magazine is aimed at hardcore cyclists and leisure bikers alike. Using strong narrative and arresting imagery, the quarterly publication addresses the cultural, design, and social issues that shape the biking industry.