Surf Books by Local Surfer Scribes

From my Imperial Beach and Coronado Patch Southwest Surf Column of December 22, 2010.

Looking for some last minute gift ideas to brighten up the cheer of the surfer on your holiday list? Luckily we have a collection of local authors who have published excellent books that are near and dear to our waves and beach.

Tijuana Straits by Kem Nunn

Nunn’s masterpiece is arguably the best novel ever written about surfing. The well regarded novelist and author of books such as Tapping the Source, Dogs of Winter and Pomona Queen, Nunn, a San Clemente resident spent a lot of time hanging around Imperial Beach, Tijuana and the Tijuana River Valley to get the details in his story about Magdalena, an environmental activist from Tijuana who is rescued by Fahey, a former surfer and ex-con, near Border Field. The character of surfing pioneer Hoddy Younger is based on Dempsey Holder.

Every local surfer should own this book. I guarantee you that once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down.

Surf Food: The Ultimate Surfers Cookbook by Nava Young

Nava Young is part of Australia’s first family of surfing. The daughter of surfing legend Nat Young, Nava is an incredible surfer and musician in her own right and now an author. She is also the significant other of Taylor Jensen and can be found surfing Coronado and Oceanside where the young couple recently purchased a home.

Surf Food is a collection of tasty and easy to make recipes from some of the world’s best surfers including Kelly Slater’s Avocado Smoothie, Dane Reynolds’ Tortilla Soup, Julian Wilson’s Tango Mango Chicken and much more.

“I wrote Surf Food because I thought it was an interesting idea that had not been done before. I had a great time writing it and really learned a lot about my heroes in the surfing world,” Young said.

“I am so grateful to all the incredible surfers that agreed to participate. Without them there would be no book.”

According to my son Israel who is a fan of Surf Food, “Kelly’s Avocado Smoothie is delicious. And Ian Cairn’s Garlic and Rosemary Lamb reminds me of our trip to Australia.”

Lifeguards of San Diego County by Michael “Mike” Martino

As a former Imperial Beach and State of California lifeguard, I know that the history of surfing and ocean lifeguarding in San Diego County are intertwined.

Michael Martino, a lifeguard supervisor at Silver Strand State Beach and Imperial Beach resident, wrote and organized an amazing photographic history of lifeguarding in our region including chapters on Border Field, Imperial Beach, Silver Strand and Coronado.

I love reviewing the images of local lifeguards like Dempsey Holder, Jim Voit, Russ Elwell, Richard Abrams, Chuck Chase, Greg Abbott, Chuck Quinn, Larry Cartwright, Mike Neil, Rob Rand and Jim Cahill.

“I wrote the book because I saw Arthur Verge’s book on the LA County Lifeguards and I said, ‘I can do that,'” Martino said.

“I went to all the lifeguard services up and down San Diego’s coast. Their historical records were usually a bunch of newspaper articles and photos in a cardboard box. I organized a lot of lifeguard history.”

Surfing in San Diego by John Elwell and Jane Schmauss

Coronado native and longtime surfer John Elwell is one of the deans of surfing history. He helped focus new attention on the role of Bob Simmons in surfing and surfboard design. His link with Richard Kenvin and his Hydrodynamica project has opened the door to the Mini-Simmons design.

In Surfing in San Diego, John and Jane do an excellent job of providing a comprehensive look at the history of surfing in our region. Local surfers who appear include Chuck Quinn, Dempsey Holder, Tom Carlin, Jim Barber, Mike “Duck” Richardson, Jim Renfro, David Chalmers and his surfing dog Max, Dennis Downs as a grom and boat builder Dennis Choate.

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