Entry 9, looking for a towel to dry off:
The book: “Ultimate Surfing Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences in the Waves”
The author: Alf Alderson
The vital info:strong> Wiley Nautical books, 210 pages, $39.95 (released this month):
The curl: It’s not just the spots with the biggest, gnarliest waves that make a spot on the planet perfect for surfing. Alderson, knows how to pick his spots — from Antartica (be aware of the cold, remote region, orca whales, sea lions, rocks, choppy currents and collapsing icebergs, otherwise, you’re good) to Zuma Beach, with stops in Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, Panama, Northwest Italy, Morocco, Israel, Easter island, South Korea, Iceland, Munich and Central Chile in between. Every continent is covered, and photographs galore capture the scene at each spot.
The places are also divided by tropical waters, temperate waters and cold waters, starting with the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia known as “Disneyland for surfers” — jade green water, shallow reefs and plush conditions with levels of waves to suit each surfer. Each place is given ratings for its difficulty, hazards, seasons, wetsuit needs, access, other local breaks and what else to do while you’re there.
If surfing in the mind is a game you can play, this book is much more in your travel budget than actually going. For now, read and dream.
The excerpts: Page 128: Orange County, California: “In many respects, Orange County is the home of modern surfing in the same way that nearby Hollywood is the home of movies. Neither is the birthplace of its defining activity, but each has taken it to their heart and fostered what many would agree is a bit of a bastard child. … Everyone seems to surf in Orange County and unless you’re out of bed before daybreak ther’s very little chance of getting a wave to yourself. The best way of dealing with this is to head for the less accessible spots such as Cottons, or simply grin and bear it. This being California, you’ll probably do a lot of grinning anyway, at the regular assortment of wackos of all ages and both sexes riding every form of surf craft every invented. Stick it out, though, and you’re bound to catch a few good waves for youself.”
Page 110: “If your idea of a great time is surfing long, walling right handers feathering in an offshore breeze, then the area of Central Morocco focusing on Agadir is definitley one to put on your tick list.”
Page 64, at Sao Tome: “Now here’s a unique surfing opportunity: The chance to take off on a wave in the southern hemisphere and kick out in the northern hemisphere. … the only break on Earth with saddling the Equator.”