Good Read

ptaus's picture
ptaus started the topic in Thursday, 1 Jul 2010 at 5:38am

I just finished reading Blue Yonder by James McMillan. It was a good read with plenty of interesting tales and surfing identities featured. Well worth the read. Does anyone have any suggestions for some further reading?

alva's picture
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alva commented Thursday, 1 Jul 2010 at 10:43am

might give it a go.. i suggest read occy man, awesome.. makes you really respect the legend for who he is.

dandandan's picture
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dandandan commented Thursday, 1 Jul 2010 at 9:22pm

Blue Yonder is great. I'm a bit of a literary Nazi and find a lot of surfing reads terrible but Jimmy McMillan writes with an honesty which all surfers can relate to. Great photography too which has allowed me to plenty of mindsurfing whilst on the shitter. I found Occy to be hilarious. Well written it is not, but I spent the whole time reading picturing Occy telling these stories which had me laughing out loud on the bus a couple of times. Surf Is Where You Find It is a similar read. I've seen Lopez surf G-Land and ever since I've had so much respect for him. He is the epitome of style. Caught Inside by Daniel Duane is well worth a read over too. Another interesting and honest book about everything to do with surfing and how it more or less takes over your life. Based in North Cal, so if you are a cold-water/empty coastline surfer you will relate to much of it. Switch Foot has some great photography and interesting interviews as well.

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pete_79 commented Thursday, 1 Jul 2010 at 11:26pm

I was given "Nat's Nat and that's that" glad I didn't pay for it. Might be worth a read for someone who wants to know how fucking fantastic Nat is and how shit Midget is. He even tries to explain that it was a skiing accident that turned him into the surfing world's biggest prick…

“Some day”, one of the books about Fanning was not bad. There a few Fanning books getting around these days, this one mainly followed his championship year on the world tour. Was written by a fellow surfer and had some pretty good and insightful points of what is like being on the world tour. Talking to Occy before the comp in France was interesting, the way the writer describes how shit trestles is and his commentary of the comp and surfers there that year is classic.

Dan, I like a good book too (not quite a Nazi), I have 2 daughters that I’m hoping will love the surf as much as I do and would be interested in knowing there are any good books for guiding or inspiring young female surfers. Simular to the one they have reviewed on this site called “notes for a young surfer” which seams directed at young boys.

alva's picture
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alva commented Friday, 2 Jul 2010 at 12:25am

yeah, its a fuckin funny book..so natural. i met him a year or so after i read it and he had me laughing within 5 minuets. theres this book a mate once gave me called "the ultimate aphrodesiac" about a bloke who goes to an island paradise, surfs perfect waves and so on. one of my favorite books. been getting into a few biographis too, "scar tissue" by anthony kiedis. never not an interesting word in that the bloke lived a very heavy life.

ptaus's picture
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ptaus commented Friday, 2 Jul 2010 at 8:13am

Thanks for the suggestion guys. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Fanning or professional surfing in general so I might stay away from some of those but I will check the others out. It's a shame that the majority of surf books are not well written. The sheer enjoyment that a surfer is given by the ocean is deserving of better literature.

Also, I haven't purchased a surf mag for years. Has anyone came out with a publication worth reading? I find all the big mags are written poorly? Surfing and surfers deserve better.

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dandandan commented Saturday, 3 Jul 2010 at 1:26am

You might also like Saltwater Buddha: A Surfers Quest to Find Zen on the Sea by Jaimal Yodis. I've heard that Allan Weisbecker has some decent fiction out there too which is more or less surfing related, Can't You Get Along With Anyone? being the most recommended. I haven't read it myself though.

Surf Mag wise everyone knows they are all shit. Most of them are just the same garbage regurgitated in a slightly different format. The ones that claim they are different are just a different sort of garbage. That being said, I fucking love them haha. I subscribe to Surfer because it works out to be about $4 a mag. I used to buy Surfers Path but eventually that shit gets stale, the same with the Surfers Journal. I find Tracks and Waves to be the worst for repeating stories and profiling uninteresting dudes. I remember reading a 3 page 'in-depth' article about Mick Campbell. Mick Campbell? Who the fuck cares! He didn't say anything besides 'I love surfing and being an Aussie! I'm going to come out hard and win it this year!'. I know I am just jumping on the PostSurf bandwagon when I say this, but I am sure there must be a lot of 'bro-deals' that go down in the surfing world to guarantee press to the right people. Probably the wors I remember though was when Waves or Tracks did a story about Gnaraloo two years in a row and used the 'Tales from The Desert' stories word for word both times. Lazy in the extreme. I hate paying for that shit!

These days I just keep an eye out on the covers for whatever place, surfers or whatever interests me and buy them then. There has got to be such little money in surf mags that it is hard to imagine that they will ever lift their game. Just buy them for the photos and mind surf away!

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logger commented Tuesday, 6 Jul 2010 at 4:52am

Good fiction:
Allac C Weisbecker - The search for Captain Zero - great tale of Allan travelling down the coast of S. America, surfing his way along, interspered with some rants about hollywood (he was a script writer for Miami Vice dont you know)! and some digressions about his past (mis)adventures of the narcotic variety
Daniel Duance - Caught Inside - History and chronicle of discovering self and waves, amazing read, well written and well research, my favorite
Kem Numm - he's written a few about the noble art, Dogs of Winter, Tapping the Source - not th greatest of litrature but good, sitting in the back of the van kinda stuff.
He also wrote Tijana Staights - a dark novel about man falling apart, good read in my opinion.
Non Fiction
I enjoyed Rabbits book, whatever it was called, didnt make that much of an impression obviously, also liked Kelly Slaters Pipedreams.

Surf where you Find it - By Gerry Lopez and put out by Patagonia, is a collection of short stories, and i really liked this, great insight into a great waterman.

Ive got a few more on the bookshelf, North Shore Chronicles, again a collection of surf stories from the Big Island, good read, Nats that, not such a good read.

One more that i really enjoyed was the Lost Boys by an australian columnist, Sam De ????brito???? maybe, good read.
And you cant go past Breathe by Tim Winton.

im a book nazi.

as for mags, surfers journal and surfers path i subscribe to, but the only reason i keep these up is that i always ahve, and its become habit. They are good to look about through 5-6 years down the line and look at the names, breaks and boards that have come and gone attitutes etc.

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stunet commented Tuesday, 6 Jul 2010 at 5:25am

I really enjoyed Nat's That and That's That. Hey, he's up himself, we all know that, but the big fella can spin a yarn. The California Wind Test is a great one, think he devotes a whole chapter to it.

Bustin' Down The Door is the name of Rabbit's bio and it's written by Tim Baker. It's another book full of killer tales: taking 'shrooms wih Mike Boyum, early Kira swells, bouts with MP. Great stortytelling aside I liked it when Rabbit gets introspective and sentimental. There is a very exciting passage about taking off at massive Pipeline and in a moment of crazy spontaneity going right into Backdoor. Backdoor only really holds till eight foot and this is about twice that size. The ride probably only lasts for a couple of seconds but it's a page long passage and utterly riveting.

After getting ridiculously barrelled, then horribly flogged and finally washed up the beach Rab ends with: "And that, in all honesty, is the last great thing I ever did"

Tim Winton's Breath is a good read, though I'm sure everyone knows that, however, if you want to explore more of Winton then The Turning is a good place to, well, turn. It's set in a small coastal town and there is one whole chapter set in the surf.

Robert Drewe also writes great fiction, though his connection to surfing is a bit more oblique. Check The Bodysurfers or The Rip.

I really enjoyed Salts and Suits by Phil Jarratt. Working in the surf industry I read so many agency-penned press releases I get nauseous. To read such a frank expose about the industry was immensely refreshing. It says much about the current state of play that I was shocked by what he was exposing. Shocked and hugely entertained.

All the mags are shit but I get them anyway cause: 1) I'm a magazine junkie, and 2) I need something to whinge about.

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thermalben commented Tuesday, 6 Jul 2010 at 9:03am

Is this discussion exclusive to surf books? I just finished Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire". Incredible stuff. Looking forward to the third book in the Millennium trilogy.

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pepe commented Tuesday, 6 Jul 2010 at 1:52pm

MP, the life of Michael Peterson by Sean Doherty. I enjoyed this book and thought Doherty had a talent with words and connecting with his audience.

Pepe

thelostclimber's picture
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thelostclimber commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 2:08am

There is a book "Surfing on the Inside" by Mick Lawrence mostly about the early days of Tasmanian surfing. Plenty of good pioneering surf stories. I wasn't there at the time to dispute it, but he claims to have discovered Shipsterns, Pedra Branca, Boneyards, Rubbish tips (twice), and roaring beach all whilst using old footy jumpers for a wetsuit.

As for mags I have only recently discovered The surfers path. It has more interesting content than anything I have read in the Australian surf mags and the only mention you will get of prosurfers is in the advertising.

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stunet commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 2:20am

^^^ How do you discover something twice Lost Climber? Forget about it and come back again?

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heals commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 2:42am

I had a goldfish like that once.

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brendo commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 3:58am

Is this discussion exclusive to surf books? I just finished Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire". Incredible stuff. Looking forward to the third book in the Millennium trilogy.

By: "thermalben"

My wife LOVES them too, she's trying to get me started on them... hardly have time to these days but will see if I can make a start to one in summer.

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gothe commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 8:34am

good one is breath by tim winton. awesome surfing, excellent story. it got my missus to understand what i love about surfing and the lifestyle blah blah blah. heaps good read by one of australias best authors

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jaffa1949 commented Wednesday, 7 Jul 2010 at 9:37am

As for mags I have only recently discovered The surfers path. It has more interesting content than anything I have read in the Australian surf mags and the only mention you will get of prosurfers is in the advertising.

By: "thelostclimber"

It's an interesting read as is Surfers' Journal There was a version published in Australia by it went away.
I've sort of grown out of Tracks, ASL, Waves and I'm definitely not a fan of Stab.
I mainly ride longer boards and I do not fit the demographic of a surfer and the longboard magazine are a copy of ASL format and run to a formula each month.
So The Surfers' Path is a good one to follow

I have opinions and sometimes i'm right

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longinus commented Monday, 12 Jul 2010 at 7:52pm

Its hard for the magazines at present. Everyone wants the cool tag of 'anti brand establishment' - its sooo hot right now but unless you can fund the publication on subscriptions and sales alone, you are probably going to pull up $200K short every month.

The solution is to involve Richard Branson or Bill Gates in surfing, charge them $200K for a full page ad of some crappy Virgin credit card or some shitty Windows patch and make that the only ad in the magazine - then you are free to rip the piss out of the high school marketting geniuses high fiving themselves in Torquay and Burleigh Heads that are the Australian Surfing Industry. Subscription and readership will increase as a result...simple really.

Jaffa, the longboard soul is comin back to Tracks big guy...its comin back.

Note: I do not read stab

We will miss this planet - www.surfingatlas.com

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antifroth commented Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010 at 8:57am

Petersons book was awesome and Occy's was great too, but Kelly Slaters first book was so bad I havn't bothered with his others.

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pablo commented Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010 at 9:22am

MP was an enlightning read. How many poeple know that his stepfather Donald Watt also wrote a book called "Stoker" Both stories have profound ramification,s on what we all take for granted .

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1963-malibu commented Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010 at 9:26am

'Surfing The Ultimate Pleasure' is a good read.

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angrybrigade commented Thursday, 15 Jul 2010 at 5:52am

I'd recommend PACIFIC PASSAGES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF SURF WRITINGS, edited by Patrick Moser. It contains pieces from literary types like Herman Melville, Mark Twain (hilarious!), Jack London, Tom Wolfe etc as well as historical pieces, classic surf mag excerpts, and more contemporary work from the likes of Allan Weisbecker & Thomas Farber. US-centric perhaps but good stuff nonetheless. Representing Australia, I would have a (re)read of PUBERTY BLUES! I shit you not! A great slice of social realism! The work of Englishman Andy Martin is interesting too. I could go on but I think I'll stop there (I'm a librarian)

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rushy commented Friday, 16 Jul 2010 at 12:04am

I recently read a couple of books on the poor unfortunates that suffered on the Burma railway prison camps - Weary Dunlop's War Diary and One Twelfth of an Elephant by Adam Peak. Hard not to be moved by the courage and endurance these stories paint of young men caught up in something so vile. Read these and you'll wonder why some blokes still whinge about lack of waves, dropping in,boogers vs stand ups etc. We really have little to complain about.

If it's free, it's for me!

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patty commented Friday, 1 Oct 2010 at 12:50am

more exciting than the blog she ran in the fairfax papers I hope? layne on diet, layne on winning, layne on being the best you can be, layne on diet, layne on winning, layne on being the best you can be, etcetera etcetera et-fucking-cetera

only deviation was layne on sportsmanship where she neatly avoided mentioning the little episode with kendoll in the j-bay bushes with a walkie-talkie.