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The History of Surfing [Hardcover]

Matt Warshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.00
Price: 28.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2010
Matt Warshaw knows more about surfing that any other person on the planet. After five years of research and writing, Warshaw has completed a totally unprecedented history of the sport and the culture it has spawned. With a voice that is definitive, funny, and wholly original, The History of Surfing delivers the ultimate book for surfers everywhere.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (1 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811856003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811856003
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Written by one of the world's leading surf historians, this the definitive book on surf history and culture." - Drift Magazine

About the Author

Matt Warshaw is the former editor of SURFER magazine. A lifelong surfer, he is the author of numerous books on surfing, including Maverick's: The Story of Big Wave Surfing. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE history of surfing 6 May 2011
I just received the book, and it's by far the best book written about surfing. First of all, it is very well-written and entertaining and it avoids the cliches about surfing. Cliches about sports are tiring and spoils every good readerexperience. It's simply the most complete book about surfing you can find. It takes you all the way from the beginning to present and on the way it passes the connection between surfing and massculture, surfing and drugs, the dark side of the sport, localism and so on. But it it also full of funny and insigthful stories and quotes from famous and not so famous people, which give a much broader perspective on the sport. Of course you will find the central characters in the history of surfing as well. The book is not only for surffreaks and insiders. It is highly informative and if you are generally interested in sports and curious, it's simply a good, wellwritten book about a sport, which has existed for a very long time.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The history of surfing 27 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting, well written and full of beautiful imagery. A great tabletop book! Recommended for surfers but also for the curious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any surfer 14 May 2013
By Tina
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gave this book to my husband and he adores it. He found it very interesting and has by his bedside, reading it over and over and over.....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT JUST FOR SURFERS 27 Aug 2010
By Mimi Kalland - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am not a surfer. But I am a history buff who was given an advance copy of this gorgeous book. I'm only on page 174, but I have to stop and share my excitement about The History of Surfing. How can you not love a book that describes the crowds at surf movies of the late 1950's like this:

"Firecrackers were lit and rolled across the floor to the next row of seats. Bottlecaps zipped through the air. High decibel beer-belches rang out. A motorcyclist might blow in through the side door, ride up one aisle and down the other, then gun back out the way he came.

"What older surfers invariably describe first when talking about early surf movies is the tearing thunderclap of cheers and whistles and stomping feet that began when the lights dimmed and the first blue-green image lip up the screen--a roaring noise signifying not just a manic willingness to be entertained, but the pure joy of an otherwise staunchly nonaligned multitude coming together briefly, powerfully, ecstatically as a group."

Now that's the way to write history. Kevin Starr, California State Historian, eat your heart out.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 21 Oct 2010
By waterman22 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
Warshaw has set the bar so high with this work, I doubt anyone will ever have the balls to approach the subject again.
I will be reading and re-reading this one for a long time to come
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing 12 Nov 2010
By Johnny - Published on
When I got this book I was a bit afraid it would take me forever to read, but as soon as I opened it up and read the first few pages I discovered just how good a writer Matt Warshaw is and how hard it would be to put it down. Matt has gotten the words right using each one with careful consideration and has somehow been able to cover all the bases with an unbiased yet engaging perspective that is different from just reading facts. Reading along and having a slight idea of what was to come made it exciting to see how the bits and pieces of surf history I knew of would be played out in the pages. It was a bit like watching a movie version of a really good book. Most cases you go in expecting a letdown because how can someone match what the book did on the screen, but every once in a while you are surprised. How could someone take the history of surfing and impress in a book? Well somehow this author has. I would recommend it to surfers and non-surfers alike. Great photos, nice job on the page titles, and above all else really great writing.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 14 Dec 2010
By Charles S. Lukens - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read some of Matt Warshaw's other work (mostly shorts and Maverick's: The Story of Big Wave Surfing)I already knew that I liked his writing style. Being an aging surfer and having read a good bit of both historic and modern surf literature, I wasn't sure if a comphrehensive HOS would be able to hold my attention. Simply put, it did, and then some. I was generally familiar with a good bit of the content from my disjointed readings of the past. There is enough new stuff and some surprises in the old stuff, more than enough, and written in a manner that makes it an enjoyable and refreshing cover to cover read.

Having a degree in history, an ex-pro surfer, having established the most extensive surf database anywhere in existence, as well as having recently completed The Encyclopedia Of Surfing, Matt is unquestionably the authority on the subject, uniquely qualified to write the history of surfing. Yes, as a reviewer noted there is some "opinion" to be found here and there, not a lot, but it is clearly such and I found it to be more insightful in nature, an "insider's" perspective, not opinion masquerading as fact.

As a surfer of course I'm obviously biased to the subject, but I do agree that non surfers with any interest what-so-ever in surf history or culture should find this to be the best, most comphrehensive and enjoyable single source read available today on surfing.

The bottom line is: if you are a grom or an old surfer you really should give this a read regardless of how you come by it. Get it from your local library, borrow it from a bro, steal it. Just kidding, don't steal- we're finally getting a little main stream respect these days. I found the Amazon price to be the best. It is pretty beefy. If you buy it and don't like it, you've still got one hell of a door stop.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I give it six stars? Eight? Ten? A hundred? 1 Dec 2010
By Steven Threndyle - Published on
Surf historians take note - Matt Warshaw has just put y'all out of business. Seriously, this book should be in the NYTimes Top 100 books because, far from being a mere surf history - it's the 'Story' of surfing - how an incredibly difficult yet photogenic sport wormed its way into mainstream culture. Warshaw's prose crackles off the page - no cliches, no hashing over old stories, just bringing a fresh eye and perspective to the 'original' action sport. Oh, to have this kind of encyclopedic knowledge of a topic and the ability to write authoritatively and entertainly as Warshaw does. Bravo!
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