In this winter period, there's nothing better than leaving the cold and the city behind, slipping under the covers with a good book and dedicating some time to yourself . For us lovers of wave sports there are many publications dedicated to the art of surfing or to narratives that have the beach, the waves and lots of fun as their central theme. Here are some of our reading suggestions for wave-riders!
A brief history of surfing by Matt Warshaw
For those who want to find out more about the discipline of surfing, they certainly cannot stop reading this manual. Enriched with more than 250 unpublished photographs , the book is an excellent guide on the birth and development of surfing: from its origins on the Hawaiian coast to the birth of sporting competitions. For anyone who loves waves and sand, this manual is a must-have in your library.
"Tapping the Source" by Kem Nunn
For those who want to combine surfing with the thriller genre , "Tapping the source" lends itself to being a real masterpiece. Written by Kem Nunn, born and raised on the board in Northern California, author of numerous best sellers (many of which focus on the theme of surfing), the book soon becomes his opus magna, as it is accessible both to lovers of the discipline and to who simply like to travel with the mind towards worlds that in everyday life it would not travel.
The protagonist, Ike Tucker, goes to Huntington Beach in search of his missing sister and the three people accused of her murder: investigating among the Californian beaches, Ike will discover unexpected news about his past and will meet characters who surf undisturbed on the waves and the evening they become dangerous criminals.
An effective novel full of twists and turns, which due to its influence on modern literature is dubbed by critics as the first successful "surf noir" book.
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
For lovers of travel and exotic places, this book cannot be missing from the collection. Finnegan is a renowned committed author, who has previously written major investigative reports on apartheid in South Africa and poverty in the United States. With this book however, he lets his most innocent spirit touch the readers, leaving them a memoir of his life on the table .
Going from childhood lived on the beaches of Oahu, to experiences among the locals of small towns in the South Pacific, up to Asia and Africa, Finnegan recounts firsthand the growth in popularity of wave sports, describing in detail all types of surfers met along the way. A path of knowledge and personal growth that ends with the definitive move to the Californian East Coast.
The intensity of the writing and the immersiveness of the story earned the author the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 in the autobiographies category.
“Women on Waves: A Cultural History of Surfing: From Ancient Goddesses and Hawaiian Queens to Malibu Movie Stars and Millennial Champions” by Jim Kempton
This 456-page manual is the result of meticulous research into women's participation in surfing and the cultural understanding of women on the board. The book does not simply stop at the historical account of the testimonies found (very few and difficult to find), but also tries to reconstruct the socio-cultural aspects of female participation in the practice of surfing both in ancient maritime civilizations and in modern technological societies. The author's goal was to mention all the names of women he could find, without leaving out one, by completing a six-page index at the end of the book, including professionals, innovators of the discipline, princesses and stars of the cinema.
The book is celebrated for its ability to inspire readers, men and women, and honestly tell the sacrifices and goals of female surfers, which, as in many other aspects of life, are successfully achieved with determination and commitment.
“The Tribes of Palos Verdes” by Joy Nicholson
If you are interested in more introspective and sensitive reading, "The tribes of Palos Verdes" is definitely the book for you. The novel tells the story of a sister and a brother, Medina and Jim, and their different methods of overcoming the family crises that involve them. If Jim finds a destructive solution in alcohol and drugs, Medina lets herself be lulled by the waves of the ocean and discovers new emotions thanks to the surfboard . Constructed as a path of professional growth and discovery, the book is also a story about man's fragility and the difficulties that every person has to fight alone.
Recently "The tribes of Palos Verdes" was also made into a film, directed by the Malloy brothers.
In recent years, "Surf noir" has become a real reading trend, involving more and more readers. The more books you read about it, the more you discover and fall in love with exciting stories in the waves. This Christmas, a book can be the perfect gift for friends or relatives, but also for yourself, to give yourself a moment of tranquility and relaxation: the same one we seek among the waves of the sea in summer.