Surfing’s Greatest Misadventures Dropping in on the unexpected

The true stories in this one-of-a-kind collection cross the spectrum from terrifying to comical to downright bizarre. Prepare yourself for the most gripping and unbelievable stories about big waves, shark attacks, tsunamis, boating disasters, devastating wipeouts, pranks, and bad judgment calls. These thirty tales, by surf journalists, filmmakers, magazine editors, watermen, and everyday surfers, illuminate the less enchanting aspects of a life committed to surf.

With stories about Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll, Ken Bradshaw, Tubesteak, Miki Dora, Buzzy Kerbox, Brad Gerlach and many other big name surfers.

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Book Details

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Casagrande Press (March 1, 2006)
Language: English
Size: 6” x 9” (inches)
ISBN: 0-9769516-0-6
Price: $15.95 (USD)
Illustrations: 54 b/w photos and 7 Maps included
Availability: bookstores, and surf shops

Distributed by:
Wilderness Press (to book stores)
Toll Free: 800-443-7227
Phone: 510-558-1666
Fax: 510-558-1696


Larry Block Enterprises (to surf shops)
PO Box 3483
Chatsworth, CA 91313
Phone: 805-583-0057
Fax: 805-526-3680

Special Pricing on Bulk Purchases contact:
Casagrande Press
Tel: 858-405-6765

Book Reviews

Diamond and McMahon have done well to focus on misadventures. There’s something special about stories in which people find themselves in over their heads. It’s a feeling familiar to any surfer, a reminder to be humble in the face of the awesome power of the ocean.

And in this collection, there’s plenty of humility to go around. Terry Gibson loses a fellow surf traveler to a shark in South Africa’s Transkei. Regular-guy surfer Joe Doggett finds himself in trouble while surfing Oahu’s North Shore with friend and big-wave charger Ken Bradshaw. Shawn Alladio, one of the world’s most experienced personal-watercraft drivers, rescues surfer Ian Armstrong after a massive wipeout at Dungeons in South Africa.

A surprising number of these stories go beyond a thrills-and-spills approach, penetrating deeper into the culture. Matt George’s “Three Portraits of Sumatra” celebrates the surfing prowess of a new generation while also questioning whether today’s traveling surfer exploits more than he explores. Ben Marcus’ account of Miki Dora’s antics and Steve Pezman’s memories of sparring with Marines from Camp Pendleton at Trestles beach (now part of San Onofre State Beach) summon nostalgia for the old days of surfing, when the sport was the domain of beach bums and ne’er-do-wells.

Surfing’s Greatest Misadventures makes for gripping reading — as one would expect from a book with sections labeled “Sharks” and “Big Water, Big Trouble.” But in the end, what’s remarkable is how moving the stories can be. They stick in the memory. Just the other day, while walking back to my house after a surf session, I caught myself repeating one of the stories to a friend as if it were something I’d heard from another surfer. “By the people, for the people” indeed.
— LA Times Book Review, Antoine Wilson

The writing is really good – factual, even Spartan – and would pull anyone in, such is the drama…—BBC Book Review

A good run of stories. The Surfer’s Journal

Required reading right here, a future staple of Surf Culture 101 collegiate classes. Much of surfing’s enduring culture is passed along the chain of wave-riders and ocean folk through tall tales and reports from around the world. Surfing has its own historical mythology, and the intense bonding of sharing stories after a session, or during a flat spell, or while on a long slog of travel, adds to it. Surfers, some of the world’s most colorful characters, consistently find themselves in activities beyond the average worldly experience. But the best voices, stories and storytellers are more likely to be found out in the field, out on the journey, along the trail of the tropics, and if you’re not there, then you’re not tapping the source.

Paul Diamond and Tyler McMahon did the legwork of corralling a remarkable collection of those stories and storytellers to produce Surfing’s Greatest Misadventures: Dropping In on the Unexpected. The stories are so good this book achieves mass appeal; drama, humor, loss and gain, wisdom, failure, humility… serious literature, bro, go ahead and lose yourself. This collection features professional writers and editors mixed in with industry types, active participants and interested bystanders, and there’s not a bad tale in the lot. Ben Marcus with Greg Noll on Miki Dora, Steve Pezman on Trestles then and now, a few selections of Matt George’s incomparable style, Buzzy Kerbox, Shawn Alladio, Fernando Aguerre, Terry Gibson’s heavy-duty tour of the Transkei; shark attacks, birds exploding jet engines, navigating storm-tossed seas for 12 hours with nothing but an AM radio signal, a surf contest for homeless guys…there is a lot here, and it’s all good. Do yourself a favor and get this book, enjoy the heck out of it, and pass it on.
— Owen Michael, Surfer Magazine

“With 30 short stories, this new release is a quick, intense read as each story draws you in and just as quickly spits you out. 
Good Times Weekly (Santa Cruz) Reviewer: Katie Matyus

“Misadventures. You know you love ’em. Big wave hold-downs. Shark attacks. Tsunamis. Boat wrecks. Pranks gone wrong. Just plain dumb. From the comfort of your living room, it’s jolly good fun. And this collection is choc-a-block, just pouring over the brim with bad gone worse.” — Surfing Magazine

“You’ll love it. But some stories are not for the weak of heart, especially if you’re 50-plus and still surfing.” — Terry “Tubesteak” Tracy

“The stories are concise, exceptionally well written, and captivating in a riveting sort of way. I was glued to this thing from start to finish. As a whole it is a respectful contribution to the sport.” — Reviewer

“Great collection of well-written stories (including some by surfing notables). Doesn’t matter if you surf or not, the narratives will draw you in.” — Reviewer

“A perfect book for a surf trip or just a trip to the restroom.”
— Transworld Surf Magazine

“A fun, exhilarating read that will make you cringe, make you smile, and surely make you glad that you are a surfer… Reading Surfing’s Greatest Misadventures was a blast. Most of the stories are quick reads set in exotic locales with real-life lessons learned by really flawed surf-stoked maniacs, so there is something for all of us.” — Jay DiMartino,

“If you have to read a book about surfing, I suggest this one is it.” 
— 600 mm Magazine

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