on 8 August 2013
This book cannot make its mind up about being a book about big wave surfing, or a book about the cortes bank. I really wish the author had focused on the surfing element more because that was fascinating stuff. The storied tale of Cortes, to me at least, was less so. A slight shift in emphasis would have produced for a me a more enjoyable read.
That said, once it gets into the big wave surfing tale it's enthralling. There are some enjoyable side swipes at 'The Wave' by casey, which I enjoyed (both the book and the swipes) and a slightly more nuanced presentation of the big wave riding than one would noramlly see. As the author points out, big wave srufing is (by the standards of 'extreme' sports) quite safe. To my mind this makes his description of the surfers and their work all the more compelling. I cannot view them as modern day dragon slayers, but when they are presented as extraordinarily committed athletes, pushing the edge of their abilities, they are far more compelling.
I'd recommend the book, but skip the first quarter!