Surfing books and magazines are the salvation for surfers when there is no swell, which can be often. We have read a lot of books over the years and have put together what we feel is the list of the best 25 surfing books. We update this page often and try to keep it up to date as possible. Kick back and enjoy the top 25 surfing books.
The History of Surfing is By Far our
Biggest Seller of All Time
This is it, the definitive story of surfing, surfers and beach
culture. It's a big thick textbook like collection of information,
photos, stories and anecdotes, great for the coffee table.
Warshaw has set the bar so high with this work, A book you
will be reading and re-reading for a long time to come
Publisher Comments Matt Warshaw knows more about surfing
than any other person on the planet. After five years of research
and writing, Warshaw has crafted an unprecedented history
of the sport and the culture it has spawned. At nearly 500
pages, with 250,000 words and more than 250 rare photographs,
The History of Surfing reveals and defines this sport with
a voice that is authoritative, funny, and wholly original.
The obsessive nature of this endeavor is matched only by the
obsessive nature of surfers, who will pore through these pages
with passion and opinion. A true category killer, here is
the definitive history of surfing.
A beautiful coffee table book stuffed with
stunning images of the boards on display from the exhibition.
It's worth buying simply for the photos alone, but Surf Craft
also includes a thoughtfully-written 40-page introduction
by Kenvin that traces the evolution of surfboard design, and
also explains how meticulous handcraftmanship can inform modern
high volume commercially-made surf craft; it's a well-reasoned
take on how ramping up surfboard production in the '60s didn't
necessarily kill the beauty and art of surfboards.
Beautiful, unique, kaleidoscopic, geometrically
exquisite...perfect waves are some of Mother Nature's most
alluring and mesmerizing creations. Incredible Waves is a
stunning coffee-table book of photographs that capture the
beauty and majesty of the world's most awesome waves. This
breathtaking volume is a collection of the best recent work
by 20 top surf photographers including Clark Little, Brian
Bielmann, Chris Burkard, Russell Ord, DJ Struntz, Tungsten,
Jeff Flindt, Ray Collins and Andrew Shield.
**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for
For those of us who surf, the book will
bring special meaning covering as it does the history of surfing,
evolution of surfboard designs and transition from the long
board to the agile short board and on to tow in surfing to
enable a rider to catch a wave fifty feet high, waves that
could not be surfed before tow in technique was developed.
For the reader who has tried surfing or body surfing and felt
the power of the ocean then decided not to take up surfing,
this book will still hold much meaning as a story about the
zone where ocean meets land, where people try to co-exist
with the power of the surf and where a life style built around
surfing continues to evolve.
The Finest Line explores the world of big-wave
surfing and it’s dynamic evolution. Through images of
hallmark days from the best big-wave locations around the
world, firsthand accounts from those who dedicate their lives
to chasing and riding giant waves, and expert commentary about
the treacherous characteristics of each location, The Finest
Line offers an unprecedented glimpse into the psychology of
big-wave surfing, as well as its extreme risks and unparalleled
Following up on his autobiography, Kelly
Slater gives his readers a look into his life and thoughts
of more recent. If you like him, or surfing in general, you'll
love the book. Slater has a lot to share and there is much
to learn from him. Good contributions from people in his life
like Jack Johnson, Pam Anderson, fellow Pro Surfers and more.
The book is made of several stories
which have a lesson in both surfing and life. I loved the
fact that Gerry talked about fear and how he has been confronted
by the sea several times, i guess its the first time an iconic
surfer like him gives us a glimpse of their inner thoughts
Nice photography, interesting thoughts and
angles from a surfers perspective and two guys get to surf
the Californian coast just for fun and document the whole
Quit your job, pack your boards, and surf
your way down the California coast....
Sound like a daydream? The California Surf Project is the
fully illustrated travel diary of two surfers who took this
trip of a lifetime.
Drew Kampion was the first great
surf journalist, back in the fledgling days of Surfer Magazine.
He changed the way we thought about surfing and the things
that mattered in Hawaii. This latest work, a remarkable combination
of choice photos and intriguing illustrations (by Jeff Peterson)
serves as the essential primer for understanding waves.
Taken by Jeff Divine(Hardcover Coffee
This is an amazing book- some of the best surf pictures (in
my opinion) during one of the most visually inspiring era's
of surfing. the pages are arranged in such a way so as to
not distract you from their content, the printing is awesome
and there's not a single shot not worthy of a poster size
above your bed. this book will not harsh your mellow- it will
make you want to move to lucadia, ride only a single fin &
get a job wrapping surf wax for .25 cents per bar....
Of all the surf books I've reviewed,
this is, by far, the best to date. Kampion does it right with
just the right amount of detail, written words and appropriate
photos. He has encapsulated the history of the sport in a
beautiful coffee-table sized book and it is the one book that
outstokes all the rest. The title says it all with each page
bringing out the "stoke" of the moment reported.
Kampion knows how to capture the feeling without even getting
Have you ever wondered where waves come
from? What makes every one different, why some peel nicely
and others just close out? Why, some days, waves come in sets
of six and others in sets of three, and what factors affect
the behavior of a surfing break? If you have, this book is
for you. Now in its second edition, Surf Science is the first
book to talk in depth about the science of waves from a surfer's
point of view. It fills the gap between surfing books and
waves textbooks and will help you learn how to predict surf.
You don't need a scientific background to read it--just curiosity
and a fascination for waves. "One of the most sophisticated
surfing books ever produced... a must for any surfer."
explores the planet’s premier surfing
playgrounds, from the hollow curls of Banzai Pipeline on the
North Shore to the massive breaks of Teahupoo, Tahiti. International
surfing legend Rod Sumpter reveals the world’s greatest
reef breaks, left- and right-handers, point breaks, and beach
breaks, and offers vital details about the characteristics
of the waves and how to surf them. Take the big drop into
Oahu’s Gas Chambers; fly the barrel at Hossegor, France;
or ride Super Tubes, Tubes, and The Point in one ride at Jeffrey’s
Bay, South Africa. This guide will take you to every corner
of the globe in search of the perfect wave.
"Surfing is the simple act of walking
on water," writes Drew Kampion, and the history of surfing
is "the sum total of all waves ever ridden." The
Way of the Surfer brings together the people and the act of
surfing using stories and pictures. The Way of the Surfer
is an elegant and beautifully designed portrait of the styles
and souls of surfers, a collection of words and pictures revealing
the deeper meaning of "walking on water."
Part two of the trilogy of World Stormrider
Guides resumes the epic trip around the world's surfable coastlines.
Exploring 80 entirely new surf zones across the established
9 continental and oceanic chapters, Volume 2 investigates
the waves breaking on our expanding surfing frontiers. The
Ocean Environment is studied in detail, providing an important
overview of the pollution, erosion, access and hazards that
affect surfers worldwide.
The Rise, Fall, and Mysterious Disappearance of Surfing's
Greatest Photographer (Hardcover)
In 1965, Ron Stoner was the best surf
photographer in the business. Every month, he shot the balmy
beaches, bikini-clad girls, and achingly beautiful waves of
Southern California for Surfer Magazine. Then, at the height
of his fame, Ron Stoner walked off this sunny stage and disappeared
forever. In Photo/Stoner, Stoner's strange story is recounted
by surfing historian Matt Warshaw alongside Stoner's best
photos, reproduced as never before. In these rare images,
Stoner recorded more than just a beautiful wave or a perfect
moment, he captured the effortless and innocent grace of coastal
California—pre-condominium. In word and in image, Photo/Stoner
is a poignant ode to a lost era, and a lost man.
Surfing is a pastime/activity/obsession/lifestyle (I can't bring
myself to call it a... sport) unique in its history and characters
(think renegades), and Noll is a unique character/renegade/lunatic
even amongst that lot. Kampion, aside from being a character/renegade/lunatic
his own self, is simply THE historian/chronicler/storyteller
of the pastime/activity/obsession/lifestyle.
To put it another way: If you're over 40
and surf this book is mandatory.
If you're under 40 and surf: "mandatory"
means you should read it.
Hesson has been surfing the northern California waters since
1963 and was among the elite group of surfers who first began
riding the colossal waves at Mavericks in the 1980s. He has
trained hundreds of young people in the art of surfing. Among
his students was Jay Moriarty, a soul surfer, a true champion,
and one of the greatest ambassadors to the sport and lifestyle
of surfing. Frosty continues to surf and follow his quest
to help people achieve and accomplish their goals.
Kelly Slater is a world-champion surfer
who came out of semi-retirement in 2002. When he has time
he sings with his band, The Surfers. He owns the Kelly Slater
Boardrider's Club, a clothing and surf shop in Los Angeles,
where he lives.
This book is an easy read, entertaining and
well worth the price of admission, even to non-surfers. Heller,
as a self described kook (or beginner), takes us slowly into
surfing culture and lingo at a pace where we can easily understand
certain aspects of surfing without actually being a surfer.
There is a good feel for the complexity and commitment that
it takes to become proficient at surfing and I thought the
author was able to get the emotions and spirituality of the
surfing experience across to a wider audience. As a surfing
lifestyle book, I think it is a success.
Anyone can surf. Most people don't,
mainly because they believe that riding waves is difficult
and dangerous. It's not. Learning to surf can be the most
enjoyable and memorable experience of your life.
The Kook's Guide to Surfing demystifies walking
on water and illustrates the steps toward a simple and safe,
yet electrifying, experience. From your first wave to your
last, The Kook's Guide shows the way. Jason Borte's informative
and witty writing, and the informative illustrations can make
a non-kook out of you in no time.
north shore chronicles is a mind boggling
surfing book that will make you take a secound look at surfing
in Hawaii. With all the stories being true you will have a deep
understanding for how the true Hawaiian watermen live there
Bruce Jenkins explores the heart and soul of the North Shore;
The monster waves that ravage it and the amazing men that ride
Capturing the perfect wave: Tapping into the archives of America's
most important surf photographer of the '60s and '70s
At a time when surfing is more popular than ever, it’s
fitting to look back at the years that brought the sport into
the mainstream. Developed by Hawaiian islanders over five
centuries ago, surfing began to peak on the mainland in the
1950s—becoming not just a sport, but a way of life, admired
and exported across the globe. One of the key image-makers
from that period is LeRoy Grannis, a surfer since 1931, who
began photographing the scene in California and Hawaii in
the longboard era of the early 1960s.
Michael Allen provides the lay reader
with a greater understanding of Tao, an ancient Chinese philosophy
that emphasizes simplicity and the flowing movement within the
natural course of things. While the lessons of Tao are millennia
old, longtime surfer Michael Allen has related them in a new
and refreshing way. He uses the metaphor of the sea, and its
ebb and flow, to describe the Tao of life's cycle. And he discovers
within this unique reflection a simple, new way to comfort and
heal the Self from the trauma of death in this surf book.
Not just a surfing book but focusing
on the Big Wave surfing crew, that elite group of athletes
that live to challenge the ocean's fury. This is a collection
of short stories but it does a great job of covering the total
history of Big Wave surfing, particularly paying attention
to the heroes of the 50s and 60s the water skills necessary
to challenge large waves. With complete coverage and analysis
of all big wave sites and legends
CHECK IT OUT! is that the writing
is so excellent--all of the characters, surf breaks, technology, competitions,
movies, music, really come alive under Warshaw's unique eye. All the
facts are there in excruciating detail, but the way they are presented
makes reading the book addictive. This has got to be the new bible
for the sport.
This massive book (800 pages plus) covers
everything about this great sport. But what is most amazing,
is that the writing is so excellent--all of the characters,
surf breaks, technology, competitions, movies, music, really
come alive under Warshaw's unique eye. All the facts are there
in excruciating detail, but the way they are presented makes
reading the book addictive. This has got to be the new bible
for the sport.
This surf forecast book explains in
easy to understand terms the science behind waves, winds,
water temperatures, tidal swings, and more. The man behind
the WaveCast® surf forecasts at WetSand.com, Nathan Todd
Cool, takes surf forecasting one step further, showing how
you can make surf forecasts with simple calculations and free,
publicly available data.
A Woman's Guide to Surfing with Bliss and Courage
“SISTER SURFER is a surfing book that
does a great job of both explaining how to surf and breaking
down the barriers that prevent women from experiencing the
sport. A great read that will surely empower and motivate
surfers of every level and ability.”-- Raul Guisado, author
of The Art of Surfing
by Matt Warshaw (Author)
Everybody's going surfing. Each year,
the surf industry brings in $4.5 billion, and more than two-and-a-half
million Americans, from California to Delaware, have caught
the wave. Surfers have popped up on postage stamps, in television
commercials, and in Hollywood movies, and the sport has developed.
A beautifully woven piece of work that
shares the trials and travails of parenthood, Taylor's return
to surfing in the formidable yet inspiring waters of Byron
Bay, and a reminder of how to love even the most minute aspects
Beyond excellent, without
a doubt. Enjoy
Just got back from my first Bali trip
and this book was a fantastic help. It is a rare thing when
everything you read in a book is true - but everything was
exactly the way the book said it would be. From the surf line-ups,
breaks, crowds, tide influences, people, food recommendations,
language - everything! Plus the free beer vouchers were a
great bonus, worth far more than the book cost! Peter Neely
has done a great job
by Andrea Gabbard
The first illustrated history of women
surfers, Girl in the Curl surfing book captures an important
and overlooked part of the sport's past in gorgeous color photos.
From rising Australian star Layne Beachley to two-time world
champion Lisa Anderson, many of today's hottest surfers are
The Finest Line explores the world of big-wave surfing and it’s dynamic evolution. Through images of hallmark days from the best big-wave locations around the world, firsthand accounts from those who dedicate their lives to chasing and riding giant waves, and expert commentary about the treacherous characteristics of each location, The Finest Line offers an unprecedented glimpse into the psychology of big-wave surfing, as well as its extreme risks and unparalleled rewards.
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