Great Surfing Books

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

  1. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    damn! i thought that was the title of eddie's bio, but i talked myself out of it!

    all of these are fantastic reads & i highly recommend them. i would also add nat young's "surf rage" to the list.
    i enjoyed kelly's first bio, "pipe dreams" & his second, "for the love" was interesting as well, but more photo-oriented.
    drew kampion's "the lost coast" is a neat collection of short stoies & worth the read as well.

    i would suggest just cruising down to your local free public library & typing "surfing" into one of the catalog computers. i'm sure there are dozens of books not listed here that are worth the time, & you'll prob. find a bunch of the ones listed there as well.
  2. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    I agree that Weisbecker can tell a good story - 2 of 3 were interesting. However, I'd never buy another book of his on grounds completely separate from his storytelling ability.

    Waves and Beaches is a classic. This is not an "easy reading" or picture story book. The book contains its fair share of mathematical formulas and grids but there is also plenty of information written in layman's language to understand the formation, transit and breaking of waves.

    Torrens, H. (2003). Paraffin chronicles. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford. Memoir of a waverider from Newport Beach, CA, that also spent a fair amount of time in Hawaii, during the innovative 60s/70s. Read the bottom of page 7, the manifesto of surfing is respect,
    "Respect is a part of the culture that comes with the territory. It's as much a part of surfing as it was a part of the caveman culture. Territory, respect, pecking order, all of which are only established by action. In my case, the action could be a 40-pound board slicing over my head. The "kick out" was not just a way to pull out of a wave, it was a surfing lesson. There are unwritten rules in surfing. The best waves are ridden by those who put themselves in a position to catch the swell at its peak. Those that elect to try and ride a safer part of the wave can get in the flight path of those swooping down from the more powerful section. That's a violation."​

  3. SeaDaddy

    SeaDaddy Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    The Water's End by Christopher Hawkins: A blue-collar kid from coastal New Jersey that has nothing to loose and drops everything to make the long trek to Mainland Mexico in search of wave and adventure that he has been dreaming about his whole life.
    Before I read this book I had watched the movie Siestas & Olas A Surfing Journey Through Mexico over and over and had the same dream. I few days after I graduated I packed up my Jeep and me and my buddy started the long drive from Wilmington, NC to Mazatlan then south into the unknown.
    Surfing Long Beach Island by Caroline Unger: The evolution of surfing on the island from the 1930s to the 21st Century.
    The Cruise Of The Snark by Jack London: (Just a good adventure read.) Jack London goes on a sailing adventure into the South Seas. From San Francisco to the first stop in Oahu where he saw the royal sport of kings.
    I don't know for sure but he might of been one of the first mainlanders to wittiness surfing since this took place in circa 1906.?
  4. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    Jack London did some good stuff there. Before him is Mark Twain, who experienced a little surf lather. Check Roughing It, Part 8, Chapter LXXIII, at
  5. DaMook

    DaMook Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    haaaa, this wasnt a bad movie, but dont expect great surfing or perfect waves.Just regular Joes from Austria who surf, ya you heard me Austria, not Australia, meanwhile it sounds like Anthony Bourdain is narrator.

    If you want to understand how big a set of Balls you need to surf BIG Hawaii, read The North Shore Chronicles, by Matt Warshaw. Darrick Doerner talks about angel dust and surfing Waimea Bay, and gives a nice chapter towards Mark FOo, before he died.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  6. DaMook

    DaMook Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    whoaaa buddy don't be tame. what was the end of that story?
  7. live aloha

    live aloha Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Eddie Would Go!

    I'm sure there are other good books about Eddie, but this is the only one I've read.

    If it doesn't make you cry like a little wuss, you don't have a soul.
  8. johhnyutah

    johhnyutah Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2009
    "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?[/QUOTE]

    John Long has a great way for telling some epic stories. another of his collection of short stories is called "Gorilla Monsoon" out of print, but if you see it it is highly entertaining.

    One of my favorites is called "The Dogs of Winter" by Kem Nunn. Not strictly a surfing book but a dark, well-written novel about some crazy dark characters looking for some mysto- waves in northern cali. It's an amazing read that deals with interactions with native tribes and life's ups and downs... Check it out
  9. live aloha

    live aloha Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    The Big Drop

    Yes, those Waimea stories in The Big Drop were just horrifying, gives me the creeps just thinking about it!

    MATT JOHNSON Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    Reading All for a Few Perfect Waves By David Rensin now and i have to say it the best book I have ever had the privledge to read.

    i blasted threw 125 pages in a cpl of hours and laughed my ass off.

    Dora Lives i heard is another good read too
  11. NJSwell

    NJSwell Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Waves and Beaches by Willard Bascom
  12. Retzlaff44

    Retzlaff44 Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2009
    Definitely a book to savor, Matt. Rensin did an epic job putting it together. A complicated story about a complicated individual. Still not a Dora fan, but I came away thinking. About Dora and life in general. So the author did his job really well.

    It's sitting on my shelf of "all time" reads - right next to "Waves and Beaches."

    PS - There's also a short chapter in Gerry Lopez's "Surf Is Where You Find It" about a chance enounter with Dora in Bali in the early 70's. Definitely "seconds" Rensin's work. Also, Mr. Lopez is a very good writer. You can hear his voice for sure.
  13. ragdolling

    ragdolling Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    If the personal transgressions and character flaws (including being a total a-hole) of the artist or performer were relevant to my enjoyment of the craft, I would never in my life have read Hemingway, Roth, London, or a zillion other authors. And I'd probably never have listened to a zillion great bands headed by assholes or watched a single NFL, MLB or NBA game. 90 percent of the surf books I've read, including Good Things Love Water, was just so horribly written I couldn't bear it. The Search for Captain Zero was a woderfully written exception.
  14. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

    Jun 27, 2010
    I liked "Caught Inside" by Daniel Duane.
    I couldn't finish "West of Jesus", I just felt that the book was not going anywhere.
    "Surfer's Code" by Shaun Tomson is a waste

    Here's a good article from the New Yorker in the 90's.

    The writer describes surfing in San Francisco's Ocean Beach. I thought that this exerpt was very well written:

  15. cresto4

    cresto4 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  16. kgirl

    kgirl Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    This was an easy read that I couldn't put down. Here's a description...:)

    by Tim Winton

    "How strange it was to see men do something beautiful," says the young narrator of Breath. "Something pointless and elegant, as though nobody saw or cared." He is talking, surprisingly enough, about surfing, a multimillion-pound international sport that nowadays hardly anyone thinks of in terms of not being seen. But there was a time, Winton tells us in his first novel since the Booker-shortlisted Dirt Music, when surfing was the closest a man - perhaps especially an Australian man - could get to poetry.

    Twelve-year-old Bruce Pike, "Pikelet", lives in Sawyer, near Perth in Western Australia, in the early 70s. A small town of "millers and loggers and dairy farmers", Sawyer is also home to Loonie, one year older than Pikelet and a boy congenitally incapable of turning down a dare. They meet in the local river, Loonie swimming to the bottom and holding his breath for upwards of two minutes with the sole intention of scaring tourists into thinking he's drowning. The boys spur each other on to greater and greater risks, to the point of vomiting and passing out. Anything for a "rebellion against the monotony of drawing breath".
  17. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Surf Is Where You Find It by Lopez - - seems obvious, but the reader quickly realizes that this is sublime writing at a very high level

    Tapping the Source by Nunn - - still very, very good, after all the years

    In Search of Captain Zero by Weisbecker - - he has a tale to tell & he has ability, this is good stuff.......hey, I don't know the guy, and the reason I mention this is 'cause several posters here have ripped Weisbecker for some sort of encounters? but this is good story & that's what you're after...hell, most writers are nutso de facto, so WTF is the big deal about Weisbecker's parameters ....?

    ......BTW, gents, I mean, really, if you were so concerned about a writer's personal life, you'd never read Conrad (Southern cracker racist; also an anti-Semitic loon), you'd never read Hemingway, not sober anyways (Papa was an alcoholic of the finest kind & blew his brains out with a shotgun in a cabin in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961), you'd never read Poe (total maniac, drug-infused & manic depressive & much more), you'd never read Hunter Thompson (drug central, socialist, it's a long list but one of the original hellmen of all time), you'd never read Jack London (Call of the WIld an incredible book, top 3 of all time, but author Jack London? later in life a miserable, hateful prick), you'd never read Oscar Wilde nor George Bernard Shaw (look them up).

    Reading is the best ! Just read !! The Works of good / great writers. And be proud that you're tearing yourself away from the fattening-of-America-XBOX......
  18. leethestud

    leethestud Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    most of my fav's have already been mentioned but also check out the "best of Surfer magazine" its hard cover and about 300 pages. Its filled with about a dozen of their hand picked, finest feature articles. Its a great bathroom read!;)
  19. Mooseknuckle

    Mooseknuckle Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2008
    That was a sick book. The moose recommends reading this asap!!!
  20. Driftingalong

    Driftingalong Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    I get what you're saying (and, reading is great). But, this statement doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Usually you're not doing anything more when reading then you are when playing video games or watching TV. :p