|Title||Surf Odyssey||Posted in||Book||Editor||Andrew Groves, Gestalten|
|Publisher||Gestalten Verlag||Format||24 x 30 cm||Details|
Full color, hardcover, 320 pages
|ISBN||978-3-89955-653-7||Price||€39.90 / $55.00 / £35.00||E-shop||http://shop.gestalten.com/surf-odyssey.html|
Surfing has come a long way since ancient Polynesians began riding the waves of the Pacific Ocean and small surf communities started sprouting up in California in the early 20th century to go on to become a global phenomenon with a distinct way of life. “Surf Odyssey – The culture of wave riding”, the new book from Gestalten, seeks to capture this vibrant subculture and the creative forces behind it. Edited by Andrew Groves, a passionate surfer himself, the book encompasses all aspects of the cult of surfing, from the movers and shakers the community looks up to and the products they admire, to the places they travel to and the stories they tell one another, as well as its role as a catalyst for environmental and social change.
As expected, “Surf Odyssey” has an abundance of photographs featuring stunning surfing locations around the globe, from the stretching shores below Table Mountain in Cape Town, the swelling sea under the daunting cliffs of Moher in Ireland and the gigantic waves of Nazaré in Portugal, to cold-water surfing paradises such as the rugged coasts of Tasmania, the Norwegian fjords and the snow-covered beaches of Canada, all the way to the most unexpected places, like the Amazon River, where surfers ride the tidal waves that travel upstream. Breath-taking shots of surfers are also showcased as seen in the likes of world-renowned, award-winning photographer Brian Bielmann, Dylan Gordon’s images of surfers silhouetted against majestic landscapes and Sarah Lee’s mesmerizing, balletic images of surfers and swimmers above and below the water.
Complementing the photos are stories from adventurers like Gary Conley, who on a surf expedition across the west coast of Africa on his motorbike navigated his way through Kalashnikov-wielding bandits, hostile border patrols and truck-sized puddles, and Freddie Meadows who spends the few hours of daylight during autumn in his native Sweden braving the freezing weather searching for the finest waves in the Baltic Sea.
The book also showcases graphic works from the best surf-themed illustrators, designers and artists around the world alongside a hand-picked selection of world-class products such as eco-friendly, hand-crafted surfboards, biodegradable wetsuits and skateboards made from recycled fishing nets, all echoing surfing’s emerging environmental sense of conscience for causes such as stopping coastal and oceanic pollution, recovering biodiversity and creating surfing preserves. For at the end of the day, what surfing comes down to is having empathy with nature, or, as Thomas Berry says, the human need to identify with the non-human, something this book both admirably and beautifully illustrates.