Surfing Books: Twelve We Like

Surfing Books: Twelve We Like

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Breath
Tim Winton

“I finished it in a day and a half, itching to find out what happens on the next page…. Set in a small Western Australian logging village during the ’70s, life isn’t much for the two main characters, teenagers Bruce (Pikelet) and Lonnie—that is until they get taken under the tutelage of mysto surf guru Sando. From that moment, their surfing exploits become magnified infinitely as they are thrust into Waimea-like monster waves and need it more and more just to live.”

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Surfari
Tim Baker

“Aussie surf journalist Tim Baker is in a class by himself when it comes to people who surf and write…. Surfari is the story of Baker packing up his family in a SUV, hitching a trailer to it, and doing a big ol’ circle around Australia. His trip was meant to be one of surf discovery and family bonding. Well, the family sure bonded, but the surf discovery aspect of it was my personal highlight—he’d usually end up looking for a buddy to surf with at sharky, isolated beaches throughout Oz. After finishing the book, I really wanted to drop everything and spend a year camping throughout Australia. To me, that means it was a great read.”

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Surfer Chick
Henry Cole

“If you have a little one in your life (I prefer to borrow my brother’s kids) this illustrated book of awesomeness is a must. And we all know that you really want your kid to surf, but don’t want to push them too hard for fear they’ll hate it. So it seems to me that if you read this book to a little rug rat as they fell asleep he or she would dream of surfing, and therefore get into it without having to be prodded. Just a bit of parenting advice from a guy with no kids…”

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The Stormrider Surf Guide: Indonesia And The…
Bruce Sutherland

“Is there a more surfer-friendly playground in the world than the Indian Ocean? Indonesia is surely the focus, and the numerous chains of islands surrounded by world-class reefs play a strong supporting cast. The Stormrider Surf Guides continue to be the pinnacle of surf travel guide books, and this latest edition is no different. It explores tons of places you’ve heard of, and lots you haven’t.”

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Wave Hunters: The Incredible Story of Treasure…
Chris Lacy

“Read this out loud with a pirate’s accent: ‘If you’re looking for a tale of surf adventure, look no further. This hear is a tale of a young man whose run-in with an eye-patched sea dog leads him to the treasure of a lifetime, the real Treasure Island, where perfect waves and epic adventure await all ye who dare to find it.’ This book is a good, fun read, and all the proceeds from its sales go to Surf Aid International.”

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Chasing Dean: Surfing America’s Hurricane States
Tom Anderson

“I liked this book about surf discovery in a foreign land. ‘Foreign’ as in the author is from Wales and he and a buddy did a trip chasing hurricane swell up and down the East Coast of America. You can tell the author actually surfs. The best parts aren’t so much about the surf itself but the Americana they encountered while traveling—sometimes it takes a foreign lens to catch that kind of stuff. While it’s not going to change you as a person (have you read Shantaram?), Chasing Dean is worth the space it takes up on your carry on or toilet.”

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Surf Survival
Andrew Nathanson & Clayton Everline & Mark Renneker

“Surf Survival, the work of three expert surfers/sports-medicine docs, rounds up all you need to know to prevent and treat surfing injuries and ailments. From reef cuts to jellyfish stings, dehydration to surfer’s ear, this book has it all. If you’re planning a surfing trip, whatever your skill level, Surf Survival is one item you don’t want to be without. Bonus: it comes with a waterproof cover.”

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Surfing’s Greatest Misadventures
Tyler McMahon & Paul Diamond

“Surfers always have great stories, and in this book, you get to hear some of the greatest stories about big waves, sharks, wipeouts, disasters, near-deaths, and much more from the people who lived it. The book is made up of 30 stories from surf journalists, magazine editors, real watermen, filmmakers, and everyday bros…. With 30 stories by 30 different writers, you know there’s something in here for everyone.”

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Caught Inside: A Surfer’s Year on the California…
Daniel Duane

“Duane quit his unfulfulling job in retail and moved from Berkeley to Santa Cruz, determined to surf all he could, meet the locals, max out on the beauty of the coastline, and figure stuff out in his life, especially how to balance the practical aspects of life with things that really speak to the soul. His portraits of Santa Cruz and people are vivid, the writing great, and he works in all kinds of surfing material, from board design to surfing history to wave dynamics to top surfers present and past.”

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Zero Break: An Illustrated Collection of Surf…
Matt Warshaw

“One of the very best surfing writers on the planet, Matt Warshaw, author of the awesome Encyclopedia of Surfing, here gathers some of the finest writing about surfing ever set down – a superbly eclectic yield of stuff that’s interesting, witty, odd, powerful, surprising. Ranging far and wide, and well back into time, Zero Break includes work by Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Susan Orlean, Daniel Duane, and Tom Wolfe, among others. Complementing the great writing are kickass photos and artwork, both classic and contemporary.”

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Stoked: A History of Surf Culture
Drew Kampton

“Tasty stuff from start to finish. Written by a surfer and surfing journalist, the book takes readers on a fabulous ride from surfing’s start in the waves off Polynesia through southern California’s groovy 60s surf culture right on up to today’s pro circuits and big-wave contests. You get the whole picture — and speaking of pictures, the photographs are amazing. Spectacular full-color beauts — classic and new. Kampion is a photographer himself, and brings all of his visual skills to bear in the way this book looks and works.”

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Kook
Peter Heller

“Heller plunges into southern California surfing after a friend persuades him to relocate from Denver and grab a board. He gets ragged as a beginner (a ‘Kook’), blows some points of surfing etiquette, gets obsessed. His girlfriend joins him and the passion for surfing spreads to her as well. The couple surfs a bunch of spots in SoCal and Mexico, and Heller has both the prose chops and human insight to capture the surf action, the power of surfing for the soul, and the way it can both challenge and deepen a love relationship.”

This article originally appeared on Zola Books.

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