Last month this remarkable book was released by German publisher Taschen. Initiated, researched and written by Jim Heiman, executive editor of TASCHEN America, the hefty book is the most comprehensive visual history of surfing to date, marking a major cultural event as much as a publication. Following three and a half years of meticulous research, it brings together more than 900 images to chart the evolution of surfing as a sport, a lifestyle, and a philosophy. The book is arranged into five chronological chapters, tracing surfing culture from the first recorded European contact in 1778 by Captain James Cook to the global and multi-platform phenomenon of today. Utilizing institutions, collections, and photographic archives from around the world, and with accompanying essays by the world’s top surf journalists, it celebrates the sport on and off the water, as a community of 20 million practitioners and countless more devotees, and as a leading influence on fashion, film, art, and music. Such an incredible, well designed insightful gem!
Author Jim Heiman in a conversation with Liquid Salt on the challenges on creating the ambitious book:
I wanted to tell a narrative that wove the many aspects of surfing in the last two hundred-plus years and though it seemed simple at first, the enormity of the world of surfing overwhelmed me. I soon realized there was no way I could tell the complete story and cover all the bases in one volume. In reality this should be about ten volumes to do the subject justice. I was very aware of all of the personalities and historical figures that were involved and was very conscious to try and represent all of them.
An unrivaled tribute to the breadth, complexity, and richness of surfing, this book is a must-have for any serious player on the surfing scene and anybody who aspires to the surfing lifestyle. As one surfing scribe has declared, “There has never been a book like this, and there will never be another one again.”