How to Surf - A Tracks Publication

Stu Nettle
The Rearview Mirror

Long before surf schools entered the line-up and soft boards cushioned the kooks fall, and well before Nick Carroll penned his Guide to Surfing Your Bestthere was How To Surf. Written in 1983 by the ever-helpful Nick Carroll.

How To Surf was published by Tracks and featured Mark Richards on the front cover and Cheyne Horan on the back. Although shot by different photographers the images are almost identical: both surfers are at Cave Rock, both in frontside tube crouch, and both sporting ghastly red/yellow colour schemes. The art director must've been thrilled.

For a cover price of $4.95 the inquisitive early 80's grom got 98 pages worth of advice beginning with board choice (single fins? flyers? channels?), what to expect on the first paddle out, and how to throw down the first moves.

Further in Carroll devotes a chapter to style ('All great surfers have great style'), gives a nod to the burgeoning surf forecasting field by explaining weather maps, and gets the kids amped on the latest hot manouvres, such as Martin Potter's through-the-lip re-entry ('which often results in a complete aerial turn back on to the wave face').

A chapter on the world's best waves lists the evergreens - Pipeline, Jeffreys Bay - the hasbeens - Uluwatu - and the extinct - Kirra. The big discoveries of Indonesia and the South Pacific, and the big wave discoveries of California and Hawaii were still to come. Or if they'd been 'discovered' they were not yet exposed to the masses.

The last page of How To Surf has a picture of a very young Tom Curren strumming a guitar while wearing an NSSA team jacket. The caption below reads: 'Tom Curren of Califormia. Could he be the USA's first world champ?'

For a 'how to' manual How To Surf makes for a great historical snapshot.


surfhaven's picture
surfhaven's picture
surfhaven commented Wednesday, 19 Jan 2011 at 1:28am

great mag How to surf I have one.

hirsute's picture
hirsute's picture
hirsute commented Wednesday, 19 Jan 2011 at 6:01am

I knew a guy who read the mag cover to cover at least a hundred times and when he paddled out he still could'nt surf ! Ripped off.


girlygirl's picture
girlygirl's picture
girlygirl commented Saturday, 22 Jan 2011 at 9:43pm

Vintage flouro classic. I finally got the hang of duckdiving after reading that mag. Thanks for explaining it so well Nick.