The thought of surfing the beautiful, deep blue waves off of a beach can bring an immense number of different emotions to a surfer. There can be some powerful excitement that drives a surfer to run straight for the white crash of the wave. However, there can also be some all-encompassing fear of being swallowed by the water and losing the board.
Luckily, there are many resources here to help surfers of all levels of competence. Some of the best resources that are available to surfers are books about surfing! Here is a list of eighteen books that are crammed full of information a surfer needs to know to successfully cruise the waves or just enjoy surfer culture.
For Beginning Surfers
1. Surfer’s Start-Up: A Beginner’s Guide to Surfing by Doug Werner
This book is recommended by the United States Surfing Federation due to this short novel being full of valuable information pertinent to beginning surfers. It is written from the perspective of someone who has had to learn how to surf. (Source)
This perspective allows a beginner surfer to connect with the text in productive ways that promote getting onto waves safely and quickly. The novel covers deeply a variety of topics such as gear, etiquette, learning frustrations, and techniques.
2. Everything a Beginner Surfer Needs to Know: A 15 Minute Practical Guide
This informational short book is only 34 pages of straight knowledge from Steve Lau. Steve Lau is someone who has gone to several different surfing schools, had a variety of teachers in multiple instructing styles, and thoroughly enjoys the sport.
The one thing that frustrated him was the lack of ability to connect with a beginner. His positive and negative experiences with learning how to surf motivated him to create this book with all the information he wished he had when he first started surfing. This easy read is sure to benefit a beginner surfer. (Source)
3. Surf Survival: The Surfer’s Health Handbook
In a twist from the normal how-to surf books, three health professionals came together to create a book about surfing safety. Surfing safety is massively important because there are a lot of ways you can get injured, especially as a beginner. This book is empowering because it gives beginner surfers the knowledge they need to treat various injuries that often occur when surfing.
Injuries and difficulties that the authors covered in the book include surfer’s ear, jellyfish stings, shoulder dislocations, and more! Many feel that it is a resource everyone should have. It costs 2 dollars for an online copy and up to 20 dollars for a physical copy. (Source)
4. Surf Science: an Introduction to Waves for Surfing
When learning a new skill, it is vital to develop knowledge about the skill and about all of the surrounding factors. For surfers, this means learning about waves. The authors delve into what causes waves and how to tell what waves are good for surfing and which ones are not.
Beginner surfers need to know about waves because waves are necessary to have a good surfing experience. You cannot get better at surfing if you keep trying to ride waves that don’t peak or crash too early. By reading this novel, there is a higher likelihood that the surfer can apply the knowledge to improve their surfing experiences. It costs around 20 dollars online and 40 dollars for a physical copy. (Source)
For the Intermediate Surfer
5. Fit to Surf: The Surfer’s Guide to Strength and Conditioning by Rocky Snyder
Fit to Surf is a remarkable addition to a library of surfers of any surfing experience level, but it is especially helpful for those who are already invested in surfing. It is written by Rocky Snyder, a surfer who has been surfing for 20 years and is certified in strength and conditioning.
He has crafted an easily understood fitness program specified to surfers’ needs. This book is valuable to an intermediate surfer because the exercises and experiences offered in this book will build upon a surfer’s foundation. (Source)
6. Secrets to Progressive Surfing by Didier Piter and Bernard Testamale
This book is similar to some of the previous how-to surf novels, but it delves into the technicalities of surfing. In comparison to a beginner’s how-to book, this book analyzes moves used by professionals and creates step-by-step models of how to accomplish them.
Some of the surfing-style moves they break down include modern aerials and take-offs. The authors collaborated with Kelly Slater, an 11-time world champion, to create stunning visuals to pair with the written steps. Secrets to Progressive Surfing is an empowering text that changes the surfing game for surfers who are decent at the sport but want to be better. (Source)
7. Surf Flex: Flexibility, Yoga, and Conditioning Exercises for Surfers
Surf Flex: Flexibility, Yoga, and Conditioning Exercises for Surfers is another book that is endorsed by the United States Surfing Federation. It contains complete workouts and a fitness plan made by Paul Frediani.
Paul Frediani is a man that is well known for his training and fitness work with the United States Surf Team. This collection of exercises that you can do at home or in the ocean is crafted to help you get stronger so you can surf better. It costs anywhere from 12-22 dollars. (Source)
8. Learn to Surf: Intermediate Level by Academy of Surfing Instructors
Learn to Surf: Intermediate Level is a text that is crafted specifically for those people who are right in the middle of proficiency. Intriguingly, the authors came together to create a list of methods and terms they feel are needed for a surfer that is looking to become better. Some of the terms that they explain in the text are top turn, bottom turn, re-entry, and cut back.
Beyond just listing slang and lingo, they also explain in-depth how to do the different, increasingly difficult surf movements. This book would be a great gift for a surfer who is wanting to become advanced in their skills. It costs 10 dollars. (Source)
For the Advanced Surfer
9. Surf: 100 Greatest Waves
Advanced surfers have a foundation of skills and experience that can be supplemented by surfing skill books, but there are some new avenues that are exciting to explore. Some of the new avenues advanced surfers like to explore is destination surfing.
Surf: 100 Greatest Waves is a hands-on book containing photos, advice, and travel tips for different locations worldwide that have great waves. Some of the locations are known by many for good waves, such as Mexico and Fiji. Other locations are much less known, such as Iceland and Wales. This book makes the perfect addition for the advanced surfer on the hunt for some new surfing grounds. (Source)
10. Surfing the World by Chris Nelson and Demi Taylor
Surfing the World by Chris Nelson and Demi Taylor is another novel that follows the same concept of finding the best waves. While Surf: 100 Greatest Waves focuses on the visual aspect, this novel has stories and anecdotes from well-known surf legends such as Terry Fitzgerald and Zach Wormhoudt.
It also delves into the history of the waves in each location and the types of people that enjoy the specific wave types in each area. Overall, this book is a good read for the advanced surfer who likes to understand the history behind surfing as well. It costs 8 dollars. (Source)
11. The Art of Surfing: A Training Manual for the Developing And Competitive Surfer
The Art of Surfing: A Training Manual for the Developing and Competitive Surfer is a how-to book that has some edge that can benefit even the most senior surfer. It discusses aspects of surfing such as the psychology behind surfing, biomechanics, competition, and training for those competitions.
This knowledge can be immensely helpful because it helps the surfer develop their surfing skills. This text also helps the surfer understand some of the basics of the board and a variety of methods and exercises of various difficulties and styles. It costs about 16 for an online copy and 20 for a physical copy. (Source)
12. Extreme Surf by Ben Marcus
This novel dives straight into some of the most intense surf experiences that have and can be attempted. It focuses on a variety of locations worldwide that can intrigue an advanced surfer to explore more in-depth. The pages also include information about waves that are extremely dangerous, long-lasting, and thrilling.
Some highlights of the book include a discussion of 70-foot waves, waves that can last an hour, and hazards in the water like refrigerators. (Source)
This novel is certainly a good read for a thrill-seeking surfer. For a hardcover version, it costs about 20 dollars. (Source)
Other Books That Might Interest Surfers
13. The Surfer and the Sage: A Guide to Survive and Ride Life’s Waves
This novel written by Noah BenShea and Shaun Tomson combines Shaun Tomson’s life and surfing experiences with Noah BenShea’s poetic and comforting commentary to create a feel-good read for surfers everywhere.
It focuses on Shaun Tomson’s journey with the loss of his son from heartbreak to finding himself and happiness again with surfing analogies. This novel also tackles other difficult topics relevant to life, making it an inspirational read for any surfer. (Source)
14. Surf Like a Girl by Carolina Amell
Surf Like a Girl is a departure from the typical style of surfing books. This is a novel that includes interviews with thirty women that are renowned for being remarkable surfers. Each of these women delves into their own personal lives and what has shaped them as people and surfers.
Some other aspects of these women that are highlighted are the fact they live life to the fullest! Some of the women are older, some have children, and others are successful in other fields outside of surfing. This can be a treat for a surfer who wants to see more into the lives of famous surfers. (Source)
15. Surf Food: The Ultimate Surfer’s Cookbook by Nava Young
Surfing a good wave can definitely make you hungry! So, Nava Young interviewed 25 world surfing champions about their favorite foods and overall nutrition. It also features biographies of each professional. This style of surfing book is one that is sure to satisfy a surfer’s need for satisfaction in the water and at the dinner table. (Source)
16. The Dog’s Guide to Surfing
Many surfers have dogs that have a piece of their hearts. This book opens doors for surfers who want to spend more time with their dogs. It even delves into training your dog for competitive dog surfing, which is a real sport. (Source)
From describing the gear you would need to surf with your dog to lessons and stories about dogs that enjoy swimming and surfing like their owners, this novel is a cute read! This novel is definitely made for the dog lover who also loves the waves. (Source)
17. The Surfboard: Art, Style, Stoke by Ben Marcus
The Surfboard: Art, Style, Stoke by Ben Marcus delves deeply into the history of surfboards and how they came to be what they are today. It also features some art of the first surfboards made by Hawaiians using redwood planks and photography of some modern boards.
Ben Marcus uses the history of the surfboard to illustrate the differences over time in the purpose and styles of surfboards. Surfers who have an interest in history will be thrilled by this novel! (Source)
18. Salts and Suits by Phil Jarratt
Salts and Suits by Phil Jarratt is a book that is based on real-life events. It paints the picture of young, surf-loving boys who become business giants despite challenges and adversity coming from anywhere and everywhere. This story relies heavily on interviews with many professionals in the business. Using the variety of perspectives from each of these individuals, the story portrays exciting stories of the surfing industry. (Source)
With this library of oceanic advice, surfers will be empowered when they have the knowledge needed to feel confident, perform well, and find fulfillment in the summer tides.