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It was established in October 1970 by Alby Falzon, John Witzig and David Elfick, starting as a kind of counter-culture tabloid, printed on newsprint and produced on Sydney's northern beaches. Since then it has grown to be a major surfing publication. Over the years its editors have included:
- Alby Falzon 1970-1975
- John Witzig 1970-1972
- David Elfick 1970
- Phil Jarratt 1975-1977
- Paul Holmes 1978-1981
- Kirk Wilcox 1981-1984
- Nick Carroll 1984-1986
- Jon Ellis 1986-1988
- Tim Baker 1989-1991
- Gary Dunne 1991-1994
- Neil Ridgeway 1994-1997
- Wayne Dart 1997-2000
- Sean Doherty 2000-2008
- Luke Kennedy 2008-
Tracks published a cartoon series,"Captain Goodvibes", by Australian cartoonist Tony Edwards. The Goodvibes cartoons were first published in May 1973 and appeared regularly until July 1981. Goodvibes became an icon of Australian surfing culture.
"Lash Clone" by Australian Author D.C Greening appeared in the pages of Tracks during the 1980s, and his later works "Cosmic Surf Wars" appearing more recently.
In July 1988 the masthead was updated from tracks to tRACKS.
In March 2000 the magazine changed format from the original newsprint size down to a tabloid size.
In 2014, 13-year-old reader and surfer Olive Bowers wrote an open letter to the magazine pointing out sexism in the print and digital editions of the magazine. She referenced the absence of female surfers covered by the magazine while instead they showed scantily-clad women not involved in surfing.
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