Good books about surfing? (not how-to books)
June 22, 2015 4:47 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine is interested in books on surfing - like memoirs of surfers, or fiction that involves surfing. He's interested in "a good read," not a how-to manual. Can you name any good books about - or involving - surfing that would make a good read?
posted by mark7570 to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Daniel Duane's Caught Inside is really good. He's a good writer (I have no idea how good his surfing is).
posted by suelac at 5:10 PM on June 22, 2015

Barbarian Days hasn't been released yet, but based on the short bit of the author's writing on his surf adventures in Hawaii that The New Yorker just published, it promises to be pretty wonderful.
posted by saladin at 5:17 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Tim Winton's Breath isn't just about surfing, but it's a pretty big part of it. I'm not the biggest Winton fan but had no problem reading it, and it made surfing actually seem pretty cool, if beyond my abilities. It's won lots of prizes and is pretty well thought-of (in Australia anyway).
posted by Athanassiel at 5:45 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Two books I can recommend are Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave by Peter Heller. He takes up surfing in his 40's and spends close to a year traveling through Mexico to see how good he can get, as a late-starting beginner. One of my all time favorite books.

Another memoir but completely different is In Search of Captain Zero: A Surfer's Road Trip Beyond the End of the Road by Allan Weisbecker. It's about his search through Mexico and Central America for his former best friend and surfing partner who took off and didn't want to be found. Lots of stories about their years of surfing. Two guys who just kept surfing and never settled down as they got older.
posted by daikon at 5:47 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

All for a few Perfect Waves about Miki Dora.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:05 PM on June 22, 2015

It's a surfing noir/mystery/coming of age story (and not everyone's cup of tea) but I can't recommend Kem Nunn's Tapping the Source highly enough. It's definitely a love letter to surfing, along with the mystery and the noir, by an author who is a surfer. Nunn has actually written several books with a surfing theme. You can read more about him and the books here.
posted by gudrun at 6:13 PM on June 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Tribes of Palos Verdes is about an area I'm very familiar with. I haven't read it -- but I've heard positive things. It's a coming-of-age story (in which the topic of surfing plays a supporting role at best), but might be worth adding to your list.
posted by doctordrey at 6:54 PM on June 22, 2015

This was a great book:

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

Not only about surfing, but surfers/surfing plays a huge part in the book.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:57 PM on June 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn. It inspired the classic film Point Break!
posted by Allez at 7:08 PM on June 22, 2015

Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell gives the inside scoop on what goes down on the North Shore of Oahu each Winter.
posted by gimli at 8:14 PM on June 22, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, all! Very helpful.
posted by mark7570 at 3:39 AM on June 23, 2015

Just Add Water: A Surfing Savants Journey with Asperger's. I didn't read it, but I do have one here - if you'd like it, memail me.
posted by lyssabee at 6:40 AM on June 23, 2015

The memoirs of William Flanagan, writer for The New Yorkers is very good; has much of interest on Hawaiian surfing from his teens.
posted by billl at 11:11 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Definitely Kem Nunn. Also check out Don Winslow, in particular: Dawn Patrol and Gentlemen's Hour--a related pair of crime novels set in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego.
posted by shakobe at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older as-you-go-along refrigerator pickles?   |   Applied for job but declined interview, can I... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.