Picks and Pans Review: Surfing: the Ultimate Pleasure

UPDATED 06/11/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/11/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Leonard Lueras

Cowabunga. We're stoked. Summer approacheth, and what better way to gear up for it than this dandy, large-format, 236-page tribute to the sport that begat a subculture. Lueras' illustrated paean traces the history of surfing from centuries-old Hawaiian rock carvings through Annette Funicello to the "slash and burn" stylings of current hot pro surfers Tommy Curren and Michael Ho. Along the way, Lueras touches on surfboard decor—a high-tech folk art—winter surfing in Maine, surf musicology, bikinis and a spectacular wipeout by Mark Twain on a Hawaiian beach, described in Roughing It in 1866. (Jack London, more fortunate, once described wave riding as "ecstatic bliss.") Lueras is a Hawaii-based free-lancer and surfer, but it's hard to imagine too many hard-core surfers reading this book, if only because it's hard to imagine hardcore surfers reading. For anyone else, Surfing is the next best thing to a tubular reef break. (Workman, $12.95)

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