Book Review: Bend To Baja - Surfer's Path

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Book Review: Bend To Baja

A Biofuel Powered Surfing and Climbing Road Trip

By Jeff Johnson

Stellar Transmedia

Nostalgic, scrapbook-style volume documenting the journey of a crew of surfers and climbers on a six-week road trip from Ventura, California to Bend, Oregon, then a U-turn and back south through California and down the full length of the Baja peninsula to Cabo San Lucas … and then back to Del Norte. The surfing-climbing nexus reflects Patagonia, Inc.’s copyright on the book.

These folks (three Malloy brothers, their cousin Tim Nuanes, Patagonia surf ambassador Crystal Thornburg, surfer/shaper Ben Lemke, and artist Elissa Pfost) are colorful and resourceful and well chronicled by the very talented photographer and writer (surfer and climber, too) Jeff Johnson. Johnson and the Malloys have covered a large swath of the Earth together, and the results are always compelling. These guys surf great and look good doing it.

Along the way, the core crew surf Mavericks, climb the Monkey, and do a lot of camping in really sweet places. They also encounter an array of hard-core characters, including climbers Ivo Ninov and Brittany Griffith, boarder Gerry Lopez, and controversial (don’t ask) surf author Dan Duane.

Keith Malloy’s big Dodge runs on veggie oil, Tim’s funky ’79 Toyota truck cum camper runs on gas, and the humans run on organic food and adrenaline.

Despite a certain self-conscious retro feel (sort of like an extended Patagonia catalog shoot), there are a bunch of cool portraits, some very nice surf shots, lots of funky oddball images, great little art pieces by former Patagonia employee Pfost, and a luscious piece of intro writing by Scott Hulet. The website is pretty sweet, too.

In short, this is a fun book about a trip that any one of us would have been stoked to experience.

Words DK


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