'Riding the Magic Carpet' by Tom Anderson is published by Summersdale Publishing.
This book tells the story of a guy from South Wales who dreams of riding the right hand point break at Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. The journey takes him from the beach breaks of France to the cold water of the Orkneys and Scotland's famous right hander at Thurso East. Further afield, he earns his spurs on waves ranging from Sri Lanka to Uluwatu in Indonesia.

There are many stories of obsession down the ages. Examples include Ahab's search for Moby Dick or Marlow's journey up the Congo insearch of the charismatic Kurz in Heart of Darkness. However, this book doesn't contain the depth of horror often seen in such works and those inspired by them like Apocalypse Now or more recently The Beach.

Instead, this book is more akin to the epic adventure stories. In these, the traditional hero hears the call to adventure and in answering it embarks upon a journey which ultimately rewards him with enlightenment. These range from the travels of Odysseus to those described in The Alchemist and The Little Prince. The two most interesting parts of the book come when the writer is facing one of his greatest fears: inability to surf. So, in Mundaka, it takes him a number of trips to even see a single wave and when it finally does happen, he smashes his board. This was all the more so when the writer broke his leg and ended up supporting his girlfriend on a surf trip which included Pavones in Costa Rica. It was here that the real enlightenment came and for me, the best bit of the book, when he described how he came to understand the value of the gifts his father's generation had given him through the hours they had spent teaching him about surf lore and wisdom. Above all, he realised their generosity and unselfishness in teaching him, foregoing in particular, time in the sea. In this respect, it is similar to that which makes Fever Pitch such a great football story in that it highlights the fact that it is in the down times that the real character of the surfer or the football fan is able to take form.

The stories are thoughtfully told with a light humour that makes them interesting both for surfers and non-surfers alike. It was a real pleasure to read and a welcome addition to an area with very few well written books.

Review by Tim Kevan

 

Derek Ho at Pipeline

SURF SCIENCE Introduction To Waves For Surfing

At last there is a book to satisfy the needs of the ever more discerning surfer:-

Designed with degree students in mind, the clear layout, and illustrations does not limit this to a reference only book and is valuable reading for all surfers needing to predict surf and plan trips away.

The lack of surf this summer must have driven every one of us to the Weather maps and WAM charts on more than one occasion. Most of us have pawed over an atlas or two looking for deep water coastlines with a good fetch of swell. The book Surf Science clearly outlines how to interpret such information and determine when and where the surf will strike. It is written by Paul Russell and Tony Butt (both well known and well qualified surfers) and the majority of the photos are from the Phil Holden Photo-library. Surf Science is priced at £18.95 and published by Alison Hodge. ISBN No: 0906720 31 1.

 

 

"The Ultimate Guide to Surfing" by Jay Moriarity and Chris Gallagher - Review by Phil Holden

As an inspiration to anyone new to the sport or as an insight into the lives of two of the sport's top surfers, this hardback has a lot to offer. Packed with early morning photos; many from the relatively unpublished North California coast, they are a pleasant relief from Hawaii, France, etc. The quotes are well chosen and although cliched-"the best surfer is the one having the most fun", etc., the supporting text and editing is generally good. Many surfers will also want to read this book as an epitah to the life of Jay Moriarity who died while free-diving in the Maldives.

A copy of The Ultimate Guide to Surfing has been won by Ted Witten who correctly answered the question ......"What do the surfers in the Chilli Video film Chocolate Barrells charge into?". The Answer of course was "the future".