Surfing the South
The Search for Waves and the People Who Ride Them
By Steve Estes
214 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 14 halftones, 1 map, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6777-5
Published: May 2022
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-6778-2
Published: February 2022
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- Paperback $23.00
- E-Book $14.99
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The cast includes a retired Mississippi riverboat captain and alligator hunter who was one of the first to surf the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, a Pensacola sheet-metal worker who ran the China Beach Surf Club while he was stationed in Vietnam, and a Daytona Beach swimsuit model who shot the curl in the 1966 World Surfing Championships before circumnavigating the globe in search of waves and adventure. From these varied and surprising stories emerge a complex, sometimes troubling, but nevertheless beautiful picture of the modern South and its people.
About the Author
Steve Estes is an avid surfer and professor of history at Sonoma State University.
For more information about Steve Estes, visit the Author Page.
"The author’s contribution to the literature of surfing history in particular is a substantial one . . . Estes’s book carves out a little cove of quiet, contemplat‐
ive ethnographic-historical examination that speaks to the myriad ways southern residents of the United States have engaged with and made
meaning of their connections with water, American empire, and surfing culture."—H-Environment
“This is an entertaining and engaging book, a print documentary of the people and places that make up this coastal chain of breaks. Estes roams in and out of homes, restaurants, surf shops, and of course beaches, catching a wave when he can. He is an observant narrator, and the book is full of diverse and revealing interviews with the folks who have sustained the southern surfing scene. As Estes fleshes out the histories of the coastal communities where surf culture endures, a collective portrait emerges that is not just about surfing but about how people work their passions into their lives and build their lives around their passions.”—Douglas Reichert Powell, author of Endless Caverns
“Part road story,part history, and part account of a middle-aged father hesitantly coming to terms with his aging daughter, Surfing the South is an insightful, hilarious, and ultimately touching book. A wonderfully written blend of southern history, surfing history, and beautiful insights into the magic of surfing in a place such as the South.”—Scott Laderman, author of Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing