Book Report: Surf Odyssey: The Culture of Wave Riding
Gestalten's latest hardcover taps into the creative core of surfing, covering each corner of the globe
As we’ve reported before, and will likely do again soon, Berlin-based publisher Gestalten gets it. Hell, they get us. To the point where it’s kind of concerning… but anyways you’re reading this because they’ve released another deep dive into the creative culture of another one of our favorite things with Surf Odyssey.
Like The Outsiders, this hardcover offers a little taste of each corner of the community—and the globe. Co-edited by talented illustrator, Miscellaneous Adventures founder, and our pal, Andrew Groves, the sizable book features over 300+ pages of essays, images, bios and general insights into a hyper niche-lead world many think starts and stops with California and Hawaii.
There’s more to Surf Odyssey than just glossy images of perfect barrels in Indo and perfect feet-dangling-over-cliff Chris Burkard photos, it dives into cultures and individuals equally influential in their own right, yet largely unknown to the insular world outside the niche-divided sport. There’s teenage girls surfing in Bangladesh, snow-covered waves in South Korea, Northern Ireland, Norway, and on the Great Lakes, muddy swells on the Amazon River, and of course some seriously heavy waves in Tahiti and Malibu.
And if the onslaught of surfporn wasn’t enough to get you going, the jam-packed book taps into surfing’s on-land creative side with brief but poignant looks at illustrators, designers, photographers, and makers, both known and emerging. Surf Odyssey offers much knowledge and insight into one of the more insular “sports” in the world. So read up, and learn something, you kook.