If you go beyond the misconception that surfing is just another sport, you will find that reading and riding waves have very much in common. There are tales, autobiographies, documented history, and classic novels crafted around the art of catching waves and the surf lifestyle.
It can be quite frustrating when the waves are not that good for riding, but with the right book in your hands, time sure flies. Luckily, there is a substantial collection of surf literature to enjoy, allowing you to discover new secrets and be inspired to push harder with every story that you read. A good book will not only show you stunning surfing destinations and riding techniques, it will also teach you something about life.
From the great surf books that have been published so far, we’re here to show you five that must not escape your attention:
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
Covering all sorts of political crises was not all that William Finnegan had been chasing in the years that he was an active journalist. He also chased waves in pretty much every corner of the world.
In Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, the quality of the writing exceeds every expectation. The combination of writing and surfing skills has to be mastered to perfection in order to accomplish such a masterpiece, and William’s personal and unique style won his place among the classics of surfing literature. The exposed evocative prose about a sport that becomes much more than that in his display will surely make any uninitiated wonder about his or her life choices and begin to discover all the thrills that surfing can make you experience.
Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn
Kem Nunn's 'Tapping the Source' is the first out of three novels, considered "surf noir" books. This first novel has an intricate action that is simply breathtaking. The book is centered around flawed and badly dangerous characters and their life choices that, with every step, bring them much closer to infinite regret. Few novelists succeeded to capture this sordid side of California’s beach culture, unveiling a wrong lifestyle set up against the beauty of wave riding.
Saltwater Buddha: A Surfers Quest to Find Zen on the Sea by Jaimal Yogis
This Paulo Coehlo of surfing, Jaimal Yogis was pretty much fond of human pleasures and addictions in his early years. Then, he ventured into an around-the-globe search for the essence and meaning of life. The result is partially a guide to self-discovery and partially an epic surfing story that brings to the reader a sense of enlightenment. The book is sprinkled with true facts and stories, and has a contemplative approach to all life aspects, both in and out of the water, that should be properly considered.
Sweetness & Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results by Michael Scott Moore
The book reveals how the ancient Hawaii practice became a globally practiced sport, traveling across oceans and continents, to California and all the way to Australia. It is a brilliantly created travel and adventure writing that journalist and surfer Michael Scott Moore is offering to avid surfers and all nature lovers. He has visited off-the-beaten-path surfing destinations like Israel and The Gaza Strip, Indonesia, Japan, and West Africa, went surfing in Europe, Cuba, and Morocco, looking to discover how this amazing practice become a worldwide passion.
Surfing and Health by Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz
Just saying that this book is written by a Russian Jew after having graduated from Stanford University and becoming a doctor just to give it all up to start chasing waves should grab your attention. Wait, there’s more! Dorian Paskowitz did not only introduce surfing to the people of Israel and to the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, but he also traveled all along the coast of America together with his nine children in a 21-foot van.
His most precious and inspiring philosophy is that wisdom really comes from experience and not from formal education. This collection of surfing memoirs and motivational stories is more of a manual for life than just a book about wave riding.
Grab your favorite book and join a wave surfing camp that will teach you valuable life lessons to apply both on and off the waves.