Great Surfing Books

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by PatSayJack, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. PatSayJack

    PatSayJack Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    In need of a good book right now......please post suggestions :D

  2. Retzlaff44

    Retzlaff44 Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    "All For a Few Perfect Waves" by David Rensin

    Biography of Miki Dora. A little different in that the writer guides you through Dora's life but doesn't really "tell" the story himself. Instead, he interviewed hundreds of people, and let their own words speak for themselves. So you have people who worshiped Dora, people who hated him, people he cheated, people he was kind to, etc.

    From all these different perspectives you get to draw you own conclusions on who Dora was and what he meant to surfing. And you get to learn a lot about surfing history and its roots at the same time.

    I'm not a Dora fan, but I though it was great book. The writer did a great job piecing the various interviews together to create the book's "story." Not an easy thing to do.
  3. PatSayJack

    PatSayJack Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
  4. erewhon

    erewhon Active Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Great Sufing Books..

    In Search of Captain Zero: Weisbecker
    On A Wave: Thad Ziolkowski
    Breath: Tim Winton
    West of Jesus: Surfing, Science & the origins of Belief: Steven Kotler
  5. johnnyd

    johnnyd Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2010
    I can definately 2nd "All for a Few Perfect Waves". Very interesting read. It's almost a history of surfing in and of itself.

    "Surf is Where You Find It" - Gerry Lopez Flows very well. Good collection of stories from his life, most told with a good amount of detail that will have you holding your breath as he tells his tales of being caught on the inside.

    DO NOT READ, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ: "Pipe Dreams" Kelly Slater's biography. Got nothing against the guy at all and I dont' want to get into any sort of Slater debate, but the book is terribly written. Imagine if the bros you handg out with after a rad session had a few beers, just enough to get a slight buzz, and told you the story of their life. I'd imagine they'd leave out a lot of detail and jump all over the place. That's what this book is. I kinda hope someone does one on him in the vein of "all for a few perfect waves". That'd be a lot more interesting.

    "under the banner of heaven" - great book on mormon fundamentalism if you're into creeping yourself out and want to get as far away from utah as possible :)
  6. El Porto

    El Porto Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    'Good Things Love Water' by Chris Ahrens is a great collections of surfng stories.
  7. erewhon

    erewhon Active Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    One more...

    Crazy for the Storm: Norman Ollestad...wild, true account of a kid growing up with his adreneline-junkie father.
  8. diewalrus

    diewalrus Active Member

    Nov 14, 2009
    "In search of captain zero" is one of my favorites. Story of an east coast surfer that travels from california to costa rica by car.

    "West of Jesus" is more scientific, it kind of tries to explain what makes surfing so much fun/addictive.

    both good but different styles.
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2008
    As mentioned above, definitely check out the Dora piece, "all for a few perfect waves."

    Both "captain zero" and allan wiesbecker's other memoir "why cant you get along with anybody" are good reads and let you into the seedier side of the expat life in costa rica as well as a tutorial on the giving, receiving, and interpreting of bullsh**. If you really dig weisbecker, try "cosmic banditos" a novel that is very weird, yet pretty charming, but not at all about surfing.

    Definitely pick up "zero break" an anthology of surf literature edited by matt warsaw, a former surfer mag editor. this will give you several jumping off points for other surf-oriented reading. "zero break" is a great go-to when you are in between books and want something to read, but don't have the time to dive into a novel.

    if you are hitting amazon, try a video called 'zen and zero.' trippy, philosophical and has a really cool soundtrack. 'zen' is the true story of a bunch of austrian expats who live in california who decide to follow allan weisbecker's captain zero path driving from the us down to pavones, cr.
  10. fupafest

    fupafest Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    DO NOT read Captain Zero, the author is a complete asshole. First the book is well written and does give a good idea of what its like to travel but jeez the man is a JERK. Captain Zero currently lives in Nica, you can even book a surf camp with him. He states that he has not seen a penny from the novel he inspired. What kind of "friend" is Wiesbecker. I clearly shows his character in the real world and I can't take his book whole heartly. The funny thing is Captain Zero doesn't even want the money but rather the recognition he deserves. He's the true spirit of that book so instead read Pipe Dreams by Kelly or I forget the title but the battles of Mark Fo and Ken Bradshaw. These are real surf books not some egotistical novel dissing us shortboarders who, "rip up the wave, rather than feeling the glide." What a joke!!!!
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2008
    Weisbecker is a genuine a-hole. A real arrogant know it all prig. If you read "why cant you get along. . ." you will see more of his a-holism and see him get a bit of comeuppance. After reading his stuff (which is entertaining) you realize that he has edited his life from the typewriter to make himself seem more in control and less of a dumb-ass. The more he criticizes other writers for being full of crap,the more you should realize that he is just as full of it, too.

    All that aside, the books are pretty good reading.
  12. erewhon

    erewhon Active Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Stealing the Wave: The epic struggle between Ken Bradshaw and Mark Foo

    Bradshaw is not shown in a very good light.
  13. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    Kelly, John M. (1965). Surf and Sea. New York: A.S. Barnes. This is a well-written book that includes two major parts, the sport and the sea. The chapter titled Surfboards includes lots of good information on board design. Well worth taking some time to read through this book.

    Klein, H. Arthur. (1965). Surfing. Philadelphia: Lippincott. Klein does a great job of covering the "world of surfing" organized in sets of waves, e.g., Set I is Preliminaries and Set II is Reviewing the Past. Set II includes 4 "waves" including Captain Cook Encounters Surfing and Dark Days Almost Wipe Out Surfing. Klein makes an interesting use of mathematics in discussing board displacements and fin (skeg) surfaces. Also of note is Klein's discussion of the Israeli hasake. All-in-all, he covers everything from bodysurfing through SUP-style waveriding.

    Severson, John Hugh. (1964). Modern Surfing Around the World. Garden City, New York: Doubleday. A concisely written book that covers a wide range of topics and does it fairly well.

    These books were published 45 or more years ago so they obviously do not cover innovations such as the leash and thruster, nonetheless they make for a good read.
  14. SJerzSrfr

    SJerzSrfr Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    Weisbecker may be a bit crazy and you may think he's an a-hole, but the guy can tell a story and Captain Zero is a must read.
    And I definitely second Ollestad's Crazy for the Storm
  15. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    i absolutely HATED west of jesus! what a friggin' waste of my time. wish i could have that day & a half back...

    that said, i would recommend these, in addition to "good things love water" & "captain zero" (i also agree that weisbecker is an ass):

    "big surf, deep dives, & the islands" by ricky grigg
    northshore chronicles" by bruce jenkins
    "joyrides" by chris aherns
    "waves & beaches" by willard boscom
    "a collection of short stories" by kimo hollinger
    "30 years riding the world's biggest waves" by fred van dyke
    i forget what it's called, but the biography of eddie aikau was really good, too
    & if you're looking for something heavier...
    "surfing & social theory" by nick ford & david brown
  16. terra-firma intolerant

    terra-firma intolerant Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2008
    "Surfing: The Manual Advanced" is a pretty interesting book because it focuses on stuff that surfers who already know the basics would want to learn. So cutbacks, floaters, airs, getting speed, as well as nutrition facts and facts about waves themselves. It'll keep you busy for a while... of course, the only way you can really get better is by surfing, I think this book gives you a "push" over the edge when learning maneuvers.

    "The Big Drop" by John Long is a pretty god read too. It's not a novel, but it's a collection of big-wave horror stories told by many of the most renowned big wave surfers, from the first paddle out at Waimea Bay, to towing in to Jaws. Who doesn't love a good, ol' fashion, fingerlicking, big-wave story?
  17. GoodVibes

    GoodVibes Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    "Walking on water" ECspongers suggestion thou.Very good read.
  18. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Here a few good ones-Enjoy!

    Nat's Nat and That's That
    Bustin Down the Door
    Surfers Code
    Force of Nature
    Eddie Would Go
    Mr. Sunset
    Da Bull
    Morning Glass
    Good Things Love Water
    Joy Rides
  19. lbsurfer

    lbsurfer Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    well i'd rather rip up the wave than feel the glide any day :D