Get a little lost in some salty-paged literature
Sometimes in this information overload age, a few things slip through, and don't get the attention they deserve. Some things get forgotten and washed away by the passing of time. Here are a few books that deserve a revisit.
Tracks Of The Tiger by Tony Garcia
“Bobby Cruz is in Bali looking for waves. The paradise island is still reeling from the after-shock of the Bali bombings…”
Coming in at a somewhat smaller print-form than your general paperback and at 274 pages, this novel is a fun and exciting read, and has all the surfing content and context correct. Originally published in 2005, the story contains the usual Bali high-jinx, as well as a mysterious death in the jungle and the G-Land camp. Garcia weaves a great story, and has in fact authored a few more, with Tracks Of The Tiger part of a surfing trilogy that includes Ollie’s Point, set in Witches’ Rock and Tamarindo, Costa Rica as well as Sword Of The Prophet which takes place in Anchor Point and Taghazoute, Morocco.
Easy reading and fun, these books are great for your next surf trip while waiting for a plane to arrive or for the tide to roll in and cover the reef at Speedies.
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West Of Jesus by Steven Kottler
This is not an easy read, but it is a book about surfing and about belief, and if you can open your mind and follow the trail of spiritual belief, the author could quite possibly change the way you think. While suffering from terrible Lyme disease for two years and losing his job and his girlfriend, Kottler found himself drawn to surfing and it seemed to change his life and the way he thought about his very existence. In order to understand the change he was going through, Kottler went on a three-year mission to find out more about surfing and the biology of belief.
As mentioned, it is not the easiest of reads, but it is an immensely satisfying read, and you’ll need to chew through the tougher parts to enjoy it to the end.
Fearlessness – The Story of Lisa Andersen By Nick Carroll
Maybe it’s just my usual foggy brain, but I somehow don't remember any hoopla or marketing spiel behind the launch of this classic book, by one of the most respected surf writers in the business.
It’s a classic story, full of energy, emotion, happiness, bleakness and redemption. Lisa’s story is an amazing one, from running away from home, to her world titles, to launching the Roxy brand and to being a mother. The romance with Dave Parmenter delivers incredible insight as to why Dave used to be so immensely critical of the Pro Tour, and how it affected Lisa, as well as insightful as to the whole world of women’s professional surfing. Why the book didn't get more attention at the time is irrelevant because it is a great read and we should all go back and have a long and attentive look at the person who inspired thousands of girls all over the world to surf.
Eddie Would Go – The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero By Stuart Holmes Coleman
‘The story of an amazing person and his tragic death’ is how this book is often referred to, but it’s a whole lot more than that. From reviews it appears that this book never gained that much traction outside of surfing circles, but Eddie’s life and the warts and all manner in which Coleman has described it, is deserving of a much wider audience. From his early days of lifeguarding, to his win at the Duke Kahanamoku Classic in 1977, through his foibles as a heavily flawed man, and all the way to his untimely and heartbreaking death, this is a great, even rollicking at times, read of a legendry surfer. If you haven’t read it you should give it a go. The deep insight to Hawaiian culture is a fascinating take on something that so many surfers know so little about and Eddie was such a legend that one of the most famous surf events of all time was named after him. The event might be over, but his memory will live on.
Christian Surfers New Testament By Chris Ahrens
These days the Christian Surfers group is always around, doing good things for surfing and for their local communities, and they are a good bunch of people. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them for many years at surfing events around the world, and they’re always cool and non-judgmental, no matter how bleary-eyed and tired I might have been at a few of these events. They’re actually the first people to organize me a coffee most days. The Surfers Bible has been around for a long time, and there are many surfers who have been a part of the Surfers Bible ideology from Glyndyn Ringrose to Tim Curran, Eric Arakawa and Tony Moniz in previous versions, to CJ and Damian Hobgood, Skip Frye, Bethany Hamilton, Karina Petroni, Aaron Chang and others in more modern versions. This is a cool, and authentic version of reading the New Testament and if you’re into Ephesians and Corinthians, this is a fine way to consume the good word.
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