Submitted by silveraris on Fri, 07/06/2018 - 17:37
Hey gang, I've recently gotten into surfing and I am looking to find a good book or two that will introduce me to this world a little better.
It doesn't really matter what genre it is, I'm just keen for any insight into the beautiful and often mystical world of surfing.
Surprised no one's responded to this as there should be a plethora of non-fiction surfing books - in particular, many first hand accounts of stories/experiences.
May I recommend a book written by a New Yorker Journalist, William Finnegan: Barbarian Days. You might not appreciate the stories as much as a seasoned surfer but it's a great book that evokes a particular set of emotions.
Any more out there?
Good overview of Australian surf culture in 'Blue Heaven- The Story of Australian Surfing' and also if you want to look at surf culture in Australia through its collectables and memorabilia, you should look for 'Surforama- The Treasures of Australian Surfing.'
Murphy Del Mar
As already mentioned, Barbarian Days is a fantastic read, both the quality of the writing and in Finnegan's devotion to the sport you get a matter-of-fact history lesson. He ticks off the roots of surfing, how its viewed differently from Hawaii compared to the US and Australia, the social upheaval of the Shortboard Revolution, the discovery years - including Honolua, Tavarua, and Madeira - plus a visit to Oz when surfing here was approaching its zenith, and on to surfing becoming a cosmopolitan diversion. All told by way of Finnegan actually being there.
'Nat's Nat and That's That' is a big, bolshie autobiograhy from Nat Young who loves telling a good story and speaks with candour.
Best bit: The California Wind Test.
'Busting Down The Door' is Tim Baker's bio of Rabbit, so it covers the Coolangatta push, birth of pro surfing, the rise of Aussie surfing, all Rabbit's achievements of course, plus the rudiments of the Dream Tour.
Best bit: Late-80s hook up with old comrade Shaun Tomson at Second Reef Pipe, Rab scrapes into a bomb and, just for old time's sake, he swings right, pulls into a Backdoor closeout, gets thrashed across the reef and washed up on the beach. "And that," says Rabbit, "is the last great thing I ever did."
More to come...
I've read many,and History of Surfing by Matt Warshaw has gotta b top 5. Big call? Do yourself a favour & check it out
Bob McTavish's STOKED vol 1 & STILL STOKED vol 2 affectionately evoke the golden epoch of early Australian surfing. His adventure stowing away to Hawaii and time spent hanging out with and learning from George Greenough is also fascinating. Bob was clearly a rebel- larrikin, risk-taker, key player in the short board revolution and board design legend; he is of course, still heavily engaged with his business in Byron Bay.
Surf is where you find it by Gerry Lopez is a great read. Lopez is a good writer and describes his experiences in a way that a non-surfer or beginner would understand without it being irritating for seasoned surfers to read.
Breath by Tim Winton
Life of Brine - Phil Jarratt. An unexpurgated account of the journey from Illawarra grom to acclaimed surf journo.
Reading Phils book at present, thought it be a bit boring, but really enjoying it. Wish he went into a bit more detail with the Jan Stephensan (golfer) interview.
I read a surf novel ages ago that I can't recall the name of - it followed a fella who drove across Australia, starting at Castle Cove in Vicco and ended up at Lakey Peak having a scary time on magic mushies. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
I think Salts and Suits by Jarratt is a better read than his latest effort - its about how the surfie bums became multi millionaires. From a slightly more technical perspective for your surfing improvement I always encourage people to read Nick Carrolls "Complete Guide to Surfing Your Best Volume 2." The book he wrote on his brother "TC - Tom Carroll" is a belter. Can read that one in a day - a real page turner - even when you know the outcome.
As has been previously said Finnegan's book is the pick though.
wheres the best place to get a online purchase copy of "Salts & Suits"
Looks like it's availablehttps://www.amazon.com/Salts-Suits-Phil-Jarratt/dp/1740667409