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Surf Nation: In Search of the Fast Lefts and Hollow Rights of Britain and Ireland

Surf Nation: In Search of the Fast Lefts and Hollow Rights of Britain and Ireland [Kindle Edition]

Alex Wade
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'(A) clever counterpoint to the idea that surfing has to happen in
the sun' -- Observer

'Addictive . . . A highly readable celebration of surfing, Surf
Nation gives much-needed literary credibility to British and Irish
surfing' -- Huck

'Alex Wade has succeeded in a first - the first Brit bit of surf lit' -- Slide

'An engrossing tale - part journey of discovery, part practical guide to the best breaks, part history of British surfing' -- Independent on Sunday

'The book includes revealing and intelligent discussions of surfing issues such as the SAS campaign and the BSA . . . Totally engrossing'
-- Carve

'Wade has produced a work in the vein of Tom Wolfe's The Pump
House Gang that is passionate, informative and benign. Gripping' -- The Times

Product Description

If golf is the new football, then surfing must be the new golf. People are flocking to the sport in record numbers, often defying the unforgiving British climate to make the best of what can be some world-class waves.
But is it all just surf dudes in VW camper vans heading down for a week's hell-raising in Newquay? Or is the sport attracting a wider range of addicts, often eschewing the established beaches in pursuit of a more solitary, and sometimes more dangerous, goal?
In SURF NATION: IN SEARCH OF THE FAST LEFTS AND HOLLOW RIGHTS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND, Alex Wade takes the pulse of these islands' surfing credentials, and finds a growing army of devotees as well as some stunning locations. A witty and engaging mix of travelogue, reportage and guide to where to find the best breaks, SURF NATION reveals Britain and Ireland to be not just a growing hotbed of surfers but a surf destination of real credibility.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 452 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9A0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #363,426 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surf Nation 19 Oct 2007
Reading some of the reviews I fear some people have missed the point.
Having read Surf Nation twice I think it pretty accurately captures the good and the bad about surfing in Britain and Ireland.
It's not a story about scoring perfect waves on uncrowded beaches, it's about making the best of what's on offer.
It is well written, pretty well researched (rarely are books containing 'facts' perfect) - and it's nice to see some of the people who DON'T earn a living from surfing (where did the previous reviewer get that idea from?) have their story told.
I'm stoked to have this on my bookshelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By M Tyers
As two fellow reviewers, D. Yarrow and James Bulpett, and Alex Wade himself have pointed out, this is not a book documenting an extensive Britain and Ireland surfari by an expert surfer who goes from punting air reverses off of perfect Norfolk wedges, to charging heavy Thurso East. Rather the author is a surfer of intermediate ability who has played to his strengths as a writer and journalist in writing a book which paints a broad, comprehensive, thoughtful and vivid picture of the UK and Ireland surf scene, by bringing the personal opinions, experiences and life stories of numerous British and Irish surfers (e.g. The Gill, Robyn Davies, Iain Battrick, Chris Noble, Duncan Scott, John Adams etc), as well as his own, in order to illustrate and explore the many interesting and diverse aspects of surfing in Britain and Ireland.

Sure the standard inspiring surf mag fodder of break descriptions, surf comps and epic sessions is included and more than done justice too, thanks to Wades ability as a journalist...

`Love Hodel was impressed. `Man, when it's on that wave is pretty damn perfect,' said the 34-year-old Hawaiian, his blue eyes lost in awe. `Maybe not as powerful as Hawaiian surf but good, really good.' Thanks to the O'Neill Highland open, Hodel was undergoing his first experience of the surf at Thurso East' (p309)

...and refreshingly the accounts of surfing in the UK and Ireland are not isolated to the voices of the minority of expert surfers;

`Before I knew it a hesitant turn of the board had become a committed paddle for glorious green-blue right-hander...I felt the surge of raw oceanic power, knew I had the wave and leapt to my feet. The drop seemed unfeasibly steep but I made it, bending my knees and bottom turning to race back up the face...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Framing the British Surfer's Experience 30 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finished this book and have to say, as a novice surfer, I found it to be a great snapshot, not only of the current state of British surfing and charters on the scene, but also the history of the sport around the UK. I thought that Alex Wade gave an insightful introduction to the frustrations and potential for UK surfers - And from my (fledgling) experience I can completely relate to the relentless and addictive optimism with which surfers in the UK will watch the weather and water just for the opportunity to experience even the briefest of quality rides. Backed up by Nelson and Taylor's 'Surfing UK', I've also used this book to give myself target areas to visit, not just to tackle as my surfing improves but also for the opportunity to witness some great waves and waves riders... if I'm lucky enough to be there on the right day!
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5.0 out of 5 stars SURF NATION - ALEX WADE 9 Nov 2009
this book is awesome - couldn't put it down. i love the fact Wade focuses on all of Britain - not just stereotypical Cornwall.
He seems like a well educated character and gives us a great insight into British surfing.
well worth a read. good for non surfers too but i wouldnt really know because i do surf.
anyway worth the investment, see you in the lineup :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Surfing book for Surfers 10 April 2008
It's a great book; it definitely shows what the English coast has to offer and how the breaks play a part in shaping not only our boards but the people that ride them. Surfing can play an influential role in culture and creates some fascinating personalities its great to hear about the Kelly Slater's and Nat Young's of the British surfing scene.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop whining! 18 Dec 2007
Travelling from his home breaks of Cornwall to spots as wild as the west of Ireland and the Orkneys, as unexpected as East Anglia and as off-the-wall as South Wales, Alex Wade encounters Britain's `real' surfers and finds out what drives them to forge a life linked intimately to swell, tide and season.

"It's the most blissful the world," claims Irish big wave surfer John McCarthy - which is kind of how you'd expect a surfer to respond. But Wade gets beyond the predictable sound bite to uncover the ethos and raison d'etre behind this surf addiction, thanks to a disarming knack of getting those with whom he discusses this esoteric sport to open up and let us see the addict within.

That's not to say all is rosy in the surf lineup. Plenty of surfers express their alarm at the sellout that's such a feature of modern UK surfing. But underneath all this, time and again Wade uncovers the genuine love of wave riding that drives `real' surfers to keep answering the call of the sea.

There's a thread connecting all these people which runs throughout the book - all they want to do is ride waves, irrespective of how good, cold or remote they may be, and as a surfer it left me feeling enthused to get out into the waves again. And for non-surfers, Surf Nation is that rare beast, a book that really does give you some idea of the whys and wherefores of paddling out into British waves.

Ignore some of the whining reviews you'll see here - I've been surfing UK waves for almost 30 years and this book comes as near as anything to uncovering what a real Surf Nation the UK is.
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