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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top surf writing.
I had the slightly surreal experience of reading this deep in an African jungle while on a surf trip with 'Ed', one of the characters in the book. Very peculiar sensation to read a book describing, accurately, the chap sitting next to you.

Surf travel is one of the few ways left where you can be a genuine explorer in this connected world, looking for places and...
Published on 24 Nov 2006 by Arheddis Varkenjaab

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I Expected
I bought this item for a holiday after reading all the great reviews it received and I don't really understand how they were all so positive. It is the first surf book I have read and the beginning seemed to just drag on about, well, nothing. A mundane storyline only lit up by a few interesting culture stories, such as the funeral in Sri Lanka. Overall I would say that...
Published on 14 Sep 2010 by jweldon


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4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody even remotely interested in surf travel!, 17 Jan 2009
This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
Many travellers can say they've seen the Taj Mahal, been on Safari in Kenya or done some of the Inca Trail. Few of them however can truthfully say that whilst on they're travels, they've done something difficult, something only achievable through years of training and planning. Something like climbing Everest, or traversing Antartica or
successfully navigating a set wave from Supertubes-to-Impossibles during a solid swell in J-Bay, one of the worlds premier surf breaks. This is one of the many delights experienced by the seasoned surf traveller and one of the many reasons why you should read this book.

Riding the Magic Carpet is a largely chronological account by 20 year old Porthcawl local Tom Anderson of his 10+ year odyssey to follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol- Tom Curren- and ride a solid swell at J-Bay. And it is an odyssey, albeit one where Odysseus's enchanted islands are replaced with Anderson's exotic A-grade surf breaks (Mundaka, Padang Padang, Thurso East...) and the mythical monsters and temptresses are rather the more-mundane concerns of money, health, alchohol and the weather. There are also many other amusing and thoughtful moments included in this book. For example; Anderson's attempt to express the experience and skills involved in riding a set wave at Thurso East, J-Bay and other world class breaks are brilliant. There's a hilarious encoounter with a mad Narrabeen local and bunch of Israeli surfers led by a robo-cop esque figure who temporarily `localise' a popular Sri-Lankan break. And there's also his own musings on localism, the impacts of surf tourism, having a girlfriend who surfs and many other timeless surfing issues (though no mention of air-travels contribution to global warming).

On a less positive note, whilst Anderson shows no hesitation in using other sources to place his experiences and achievements into context, the book is primarily a first-person account and suffers somewhat from Anderson's opinions not being as well reasoned and grounded as say the opinions voiced by Barrack Obama in his excellent Dreams from my Father. Then again he's still in his twenties. Also disappointingly, Anderson doesn't go into very much detail about finally successfully riding Mundaka, which is inexplicable given how important he states it was in his grand plan. Another minor drawback is the presence of a few mistakes. For instance, Tom Curren's legendary first ride at J-Bay in May 1992 was actually his second and J-Bay was not first found and ridden when `a couple of Durban travellers took a wrong turn on the way to Cape St. Francis' (page 177) but rather by Capetonians Robin Solomon, Andy Spengler and Mike Taylor in early 1964.

However whilst this reviewer would have loved a bit more detail and structured thought here and there, Riding The Magic Carpet was definetly a page turner and deserves its place as one of the best pieces of surf literature produced in the last 10 years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good, unpretentious surfing read, 22 April 2009
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This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
This is a great little surfing themed book, no question. The author comes across as an immensely likeable everyday guy though he was clearly an above average surfer right from the get go. If you're not an expert surfer, like me, but you like reading surf tales that aren't too remote in tone then this is a good place to start. Tom's style is really down to earth, humble even, and his apparent lack of ego makes for an even better read. It's just a really straight forward and enjoyable tale, very well told.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read, 100% recommended, 14 May 2007
This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
This book is killer! It's been said already in most reviews here, but it really does make you want to pack your boards and go an experience something new. It makes you want to surf some new waves, meet some new people and eat some new food. Well travelled surfers will probably learn a thing or two about the countries they have been to, I know I did, and new surfers can dream about experiences yet to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 1 Jan 2014
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Bought it through a recommendation by a friend. Its very well written and packed with useful hints and ideas. Few giggles along the way, but I couldn't help but feel I was with him on the journey.
By far one of the best reads ive come across in many years. I would recommend this to anyone, not just surfers, but anyone.
I must warn you, its more than likely going to make any surfer get the travelling bug!

Tom Anderson is a brilliant writer!

10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So jealous...... by a morro, 26 Dec 2013
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What a awesome adventure from start to finish. Makes u wanna get up and travel with your board. Not only j bay but the rest of the awesome places mentioned..........living the dream......................
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best surf travel book I have read...this bloke can write., 5 Aug 2010
This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
The 1st surf book that I have read twice! and still couldn't put it down. Intelligent and very articulate, Tom Anderson has wisdom beyond his years.

The story starts with a dream.

At the age of 12, Tom vowed to surf one of the planet's most exciting and famous waves - Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. The difference being that this kid had the awareness and maturity to realise that to appreciate it's true majesty, he would have to work hard to become an accomplished surfer. This is how the quest was born; to travel the world and surf the waves that would yield the knowledge Tom needed to fully appreciate the Holy Grail that is J-Bay.

I've heard it said that it's not about the final destination, but how you get there that counts. In the case of this book, it's both!

A great read for surfer and non-surfer alike, this book has soul and a sense of humour...a real joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 4 April 2010
This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
This book is for anyone who has ever felt the surfer lifestyle (actually it is equally for those who havent) It explains the lifestyle and passion for most surfers around the worls extremely well. Growing up as a Welsh surfer myself the book is inspirational. Very well written well done Tom Anderson.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 18 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
I had never heard of tom anderson and was pleasantly surprised that this book kept my attention. It is definitely one I would recommend
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5.0 out of 5 stars follow your dreams rather than follow the masses, 23 May 2010
This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
Makes you want to take a break and find a wave. I read it and now I feel like I am missing out on so many things. Things change constantly, making that perspective you once had completely invalid once you are confronted with it in the end. Sometimes it is better to follow your dreams rather than follow the masses.

By buying the book I am glad I was able to contribute Tom's search for yet another perfect wave...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A surfers dream, 16 Oct 2009
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Ms. Julie A. Owen (wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave (Paperback)
An epic tale of every surfers dream riding the perfect wave made even better as the author is welsh!! A brilliantly written voyage from start to finish. I bought this book to read on my 5 week holiday in the summer. i'd read it in 3 days i just couldn't put it down A good insight into some epic surf spots around the world and a must for anyone planning a surf trip.
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