This is a tricky one. I’m not convinced that this book is necessary. How many surfers in or nearing the ‘advanced’ category of ability, are likely to use a ‘how-to’ book to polish their skills? This one covers everything, from oceanography to training to how to duckdive, do a floater, pull airs, tube-ride both ways, avoid a shark attack and go pro.
I know what you’re thinking. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? Surfers learn on the job and that’s that. But here’s the thing: it’s done extremely well. Written by former Surfer editor, Jim Kempton, there’s a sense of authority and thoughtfulness to it that makes this more than just the publishing equivalent of a pop-out. There’s plenty in here that’s intriguing, interesting and entertaining. Chapters like “Know your Cutbacks: Five Cutbacks to Keep in Mind Next Time”, “Connecting the Dots: A Look at the Importance of Linking your Moves” showed me that maybe it can be useful to think about these kind of moves from other angles. Jeez, I’ve always just gone on instinct and never really spent much time thinking my ‘moves’. Maybe a little thought can help. In fact, where I at first thought the concept of this book completely ridiculous, I found it a compelling browse, mainly to unearth other nuggets that I might actually find useful. My main criticism is that the image reproduction in this edition suffers from some serious maladjustment blues. Otherwise, stuff this down your trunks next time you paddle out at big Pipe because it may help, ya never know. ADR