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The Perfect Day: 40 Years of "Surfer Magazine": 40 Years of "Surfer Magazine" Paperback – 25 Jul 2003
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About the Author
Sam George currently editor of Surfer magazine, has been a professional surfer, world traveler, television host, and magazine writer. When not out searching for surf, he lives on a bluff overlooking the sea in Dana Point, California.
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However keeping me buying the occasional surf mag (beyond the obvious: a format which can be read anywhere, spectacular photos and the occasional attached free surf DVD) is the possibility of getting to read some great, mindblowing surf article on something intriguing such as the home of Doc Renneker; Ocean Beach, surf tripping from inland Manchester (where I use to live and do the same thing) or a Miki Dora story, the kind of article which you rarely find on the internet. So when I spotted The Perfect Day: 40 years of surfing magazine, a book featuring only excerpts from the finest articles and photographs printed in Surfer magazine over its 40+ year history, I (and I'm sure the publishers) knew that there was no way it could disappoint.
Set in chronological order, this book is dived into 4 sections; articles and photos from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, each with their own editors introduction by Sam George, which serves to contextualise and link an otherwise hugely diverse collection of article excerpts and photographs, whose variation in tone, style and subject matter is constantly entertaining and perfectly reflective of the hugely diverse range of
situation's that the life of a surfer offers and the equally different ways that surfers experience those situations and makes sense of them, from the volatile yet always thoughtful and amusing actions and prophesising of Miki Dora in the 60s, the laid-back-style-admist-the-storm of Gerry Lopez and the surf travel redefining pieces by Kevin Naughton and Craig Petersons in the 70s, the pro bloom and excess of the 80s and the rise and rise of Kelly Slater in 90s. Needless to say THE LEVEL OF WRITING AND PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGHOUT IS CONSISTENTLY STRATOSPHERIC, making this easily one of the best books on surfing yet published.- Now if only Wavelength, carve and all the British surf mag's could team up and produce something of a similar format!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The foreword by undisputed big word writer Matt Warshaw (you sometimes just about need a tow in to get ya head around the way MW occasionally turns a phrase), lets it be known that he is currently writing a 500 000 word Encyclopedia of Surfing - due in about 18 months - put me down for two! MW sets up the tone of the book by stating that banal text can be found throughout Surfer, but next to such garbage one can find gems - and that's what SG has done here. This is no easy job - it's a bit like naming the Top Ten surfers of all time - you are gonna get arguments about why such and such is cool and fantastic while the other is boring as bat poo.
I suppose this walk down the memory lane did it for me nostalgia wise. Surfing has got a history (or lots of histories), and along with Kampion's Stoked and Warshaw's Surfriders, the book is a must buy for those who want to see where surfing has come from without having to flick thru the mags themselves (those of them you can still get your hands on anyway).
Surfer wasn't afraid to criticise the sport, its officials, its exploiters, its takers, nor was it shy to go in hard on environmental rapists and stupid government and fatheaded bureaucracy. And this collection reflects that.
I suppose my only criticism is that it doesn't contextualise the articles and why they were chosen in a manner that thematically exposes the areas of concern for the anthologist. But then again, SG would probably argue that it didnt set out to do that - read the articles and draw your own conclusion pal. I know that, but I would have really liked the book to tie the articles together with themes rather than chronologically -you know, the different attitudes over the past four decades to women, localism, travel, Hawaii etc.
Oh yea, one more thing - the book was published in April 2001 - at about the same time Lopez had won the second round of the ASP world tour, which was at Teahupoo. Yet the cover of the book is of Lopez at Teahupoo . Spooky? Karma? Foresight? Lucky?
Text Highlights : Phil Edwards : What is Good page 10 , John Witzig : We're Tops Now page 24, George Greenough page 27, Bob McTavish pages 32-33, Craig Stecyk : Curse of the Cumash pages 68-69.