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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Praise for Wild Sea

One of the best things about writing Wild Sea, was having the opportunity to get some great feedback from writers who I really respect. And luckily not only did Dick Russell, Homero Aridjis, Kem Nunn and especilaly Drew Kampion and Ben Marcus provide some good suggestions and support, but they were kind enough to provide some blurbs for my book:

Serge Dedina writes with both passion and clarity about a subject he  knows like the back of his hand.  For anyone with an interest in the
issues that define life on the U.S./Mexican border, Serge’s book is  indispensable.  For anyone with an interest in Southern California
Surf lore, with its attendant iron men and holy goofs, Serge’s book is a pleasure to read.” -Kem Nunn, author of Tijuana Straits

“In Wild Sea, Serge Dedina tells the true story of a wondrous world that’s become his life’s work. Dedina’s eloquent narrative leads us on a harrowing journey through the complex and evolving realities of a threatened and forgotten land.” —Drew Kampion, author of The Way of the Surfer: Living It 1935 to Tomorrow

“From San Juanico Bight to the HBO series John from Cincinnati, Serge Dedina details the trials and tribulations of a desert coast under assault by man and nature, from land and sea.” —Benjamin Marcus, former editor for Surfer magazine and author of Surfing USA! An Illustrated History of the Coolest Sport of All Time

“Serge Dedina has dedicated his life to preserving the coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife of the Californias, researching, writing, fighting battles, and working with local residents to conserve their precious natural heritage. . . . You must read this inspiring book by one of the country’s most articulate and courageous defenders of the environment to find out what’s happening now in Baja California and on the southern California coast, and what we can do about it.” —Homero Aridjis, Founder and President, The Group of 100; Former Mexican Ambassador to UNESCO

“In an era when our last pristine places are being threatened by rampant development, Serge Dedina’s account of his ongoing battle to preserve the Baja Peninsula should inspire environmentalists everywhere. With a surfer’s passion and ingenuity, he takes on the corporate powers – and, along the way, gives us a fascinating history of others who ride the waves.” —Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale

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