Best Surf Books: Top Reads For Wave Enthusiasts

Surfing is a sport that harmonizes the thrill of riding waves with an intimate connection to the ocean. It’s a pursuit that melds athleticism, patience, and respect for the tremendous power of nature. Equally important to the sport are the stories, techniques, and culture that surfers share, often passed down in written form. For enthusiasts looking to deepen their understanding of surfing’s history, improve their skills, or simply enjoy tales of epic swells and the surfers who ride them, surf books offer a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment.

Choosing the best surf book depends on what readers are seeking. Novices may look for instructional content to help refine their techniques, whereas seasoned surfers might hunger for biographies of surfing legends or anthologies of surf journalism. Books with high-quality photographs can also serve as excellent coffee table additions or gifts, providing visual inspiration for wave riders. The critical things to consider when selecting a surf book include the credibility of the author, the depth of information, and the quality of imagery for photo-centric volumes.

We have immersed ourselves in the surf literature, evaluating a range of books to bring forth the ones that truly capture the essence of surfing. From instructional guides to compelling narratives, our aim is to help you select the right pages that resonate with your love for the waves.

Top Surfing Literature

In the world of surfing, literature plays a vital role in inspiring and informing enthusiasts. Whether you’re just getting your feet wet or you’re a seasoned pro, the right book can enhance your understanding and love for the sport. Our comprehensive selection includes guides that not only detail the technical aspects of surfing but also embody the spirit of the waves through personal narratives and stunning visuals. We’ve scoured the surf literary landscape to bring you the best of the best, ensuring that each recommendation will cater to diverse interests and levels of surfing expertise.

1. Love the World Stormrider

The World Stormrider Surf Guide

We find this authoritative guide to be an invaluable resource for any surfing enthusiast looking for comprehensive information on global surf spots.


  • Offers detailed insights into various surf regions
  • Enriched with high-quality, breathtaking photographs
  • Comprehensive with 446 pages of content


  • Size may be cumbersome for travel
  • Limited coverage of certain areas, like Italy
  • A few reports of shipping damage, though these seem isolated

The World Stormrider Surf Guide is as compelling to read as it is practical to use. The hardcover not only looks impressive on a coffee table, but it’s also incredibly sturdy, which we appreciate given its travels with us from the bookshelf to the beach house and beyond. The complete aggregation of data across the world’s surf spots has been indispensable for our planning sessions, especially when considering the seasonal aspects of surfing destinations.

Flipping through the pages, it’s hard not to be in awe of the striking photography that captures the very essence of surf culture and the beauty of the spots. We still recall getting lost in the vivid imagery before even setting foot on our boards, sparking an excitement that’s a prelude to the real adventure. While the sheer number of photos is remarkable, it also complements the wealth of practical information—from maps to wave dynamics.

On the functional side, the dimensions, while apt for a detailed read, may be a tad unwieldy if you’re tight on packing space for a surf trip. While we’ve managed, others might prefer a more compact version. Moreover, a friend of ours mentioned the relative scarcity of Italian surf spot descriptions, and while this hardly diminishes the global scope of the guide, it might be a detail to consider if your surf cravings are Mediterranean-focused. Lastly, a note on condition: all our copies have arrived in perfect shape, though we’ve noticed online that a few folks had different experiences; but from what we gathered, this is not the norm.

FeatureOur Experience
Geographic CoverageExtensive, though could be more comprehensive for some regions
Photography and Visual AppealAbsolutely stunning; a visual treat that deepens our appreciation
Practical InformationIncredibly useful and well-organized for surf exploration planning


2. World’s Top Surf Breaks

World's Top Surf Breaks

We believe this surf guide is essential for those seeking to chart their next wave-riding adventure with insights on prime surf spots.


  • Offers a broad selection of surf locations
  • Easy to digest layout and descriptions
  • Inspires exploration and trip planning


  • Some information may be outdated
  • Geographical inaccuracies have been noted
  • Limited coverage of specific regions

As devoted surf aficionados, we’ve encountered countless guides, but “World’s Top Surf Breaks” stands out with its focus on premier surfing locations around the globe. Each time we thumb through its pages, we’re reminded of the sport’s boundless nature and the allure of exploring unfamiliar breaks. In a world where the pursuit of the perfect wave can lead to any shore, we’ve found this book to be a serviceable starting point, arming us with knowledge and stirring the excitement for future quests.

In practice, the book has proven its worth. While planning our recent trip, we utilized its vivid descriptions and tips. The straightforward information helped us decide on a thrilling itinerary through some revered surfing meccas. It was akin to having an experienced surfer highlighting the must-visit spots, which we found incredibly helpful.

We do acknowledge some critiques regarding the book’s current relevancy, as the surfing world constantly evolves. We stumbled upon a few inaccuracies concerning the locations of breaks. They were minor, yet for the meticulous surfer who demands precision, these details could mar the guide’s otherwise impressive curation.

To better illustrate our points, we’ve crafted a comparison table highlighting some notable aspects:

Scope of CoverageExtensive, though stronger in some regions than others
User-FriendlinessHigh; the guide is well-structured with clear, concise descriptions
Currency of InformationVaries; offers a solid basis, but updates would enhance the book’s value

In sum, “World’s Top Surf Breaks” is a book that can ignite the imaginations of surfers eager to chart new territories. Where it slightly falters in precision, it compensates with inspiration. We regard it as an essential companion for the thrill-seeker crafting their surf odyssey.


3. Surf Fishing Essentials

Surf Fishing Essentials

Grab this guide and DVD combo for a comprehensive introduction to surf fishing that caters especially well to beginners.


  • Bundled with a helpful DVD for a more engaging learning experience
  • Easy to understand for those newly introduced to surf fishing
  • Includes vivid photography that enriches the instructional content


  • Lacks depth for seasoned surf fishers looking for advanced techniques
  • Some topics may be too basic for experienced anglers
  • A review mentioned the book did not provide new insights for veterans

After spending some time digesting the contents of “Surf Fishing Essentials,” we appreciate its straightforward approach. The inclusion of a DVD makes for an interactive learning experience, complementing the book exceptionally well. The images inside not only bring the text to life but also aid in cementing the techniques discussed. It’s clear that beginners will find this resource particularly beneficial as it guides them through the basics of surf fishing with ease.

We noticed that while the book is an excellent starting point, it might not satisfy the appetite of expert fishermen who already have years of waves and catches behind them. It’s primarily a foundational tool, and as we perused the pages, the simplicity shone through—a double-edged sword depending on the reader’s level of expertise.

Our collective time flipping through the pages and viewing the accompanying DVD of “Surf Fishing Essentials” confirmed that this book and DVD combo lays a solid groundwork for anyone looking to start surf fishing. However, for us seasoned veterans in the sport, it doesn’t expand into the advanced strategies we might have been searching for. It’s a worthwhile pick-up for the right audience—those new to the surf with rods in hand, ready to learn.


4. Surf Guitar Essentials

Surf Guitar Book

Harness the classic vibe of surf music with this detailed guide, perfect for both budding and seasoned guitarists.


  • Accurate note-for-note transcriptions
  • Covers a variety of classic surf songs
  • Tailored for various skill levels


  • Limited number of songs
  • May overlap with other tutorial material
  • Not suited for absolute beginners

We can confidently say that “Surf Guitar Essentials” offers a comprehensive look into the iconic world of surf guitar music. Flipping through the pages, we found meticulous transcriptions of iconic tracks which allowed us to delve right into the melodies that defined an era. There’s a palpable sense of nostalgia strumming through the songs that have been captured with precision—a quality that both intermediate and experienced guitarists will appreciate.

The instructional quality of this book stood out. It provided us with clear guidance on the fingering and strumming techniques necessary to achieve that classic surf sound. We noted that whether we were playing ‘Mr. Moto’ or ‘Surfin Safari’, the instructions held up, providing a robust learning experience.

However, for all its strengths, we did encounter a few limitations. The book’s focus is quite narrow, featuring a select range of tunes. This specialized selection means that while those looking to immerse themselves in surf guitar will be dazzled, the variety may leave those hungering for a broader compendium wanting more. Furthermore, the book assumes a certain level of proficiency on the guitar, so absolute beginners might have to paddle a bit before riding these musical waves.

Note AccuracyDirect transcriptions from original tracks
Skill Level AdaptabilitySuitable for intermediate and advanced
Supplement to Other Learning ToolsComplements other guitar learning resources

Embarking on a musical journey with “Surf Guitar Essentials” feels like catching the perfect wave. The tunes are engaging, the guidance is clear, and the sense of accomplishment as we nailed down each song was undeniable. Despite its few shortcomings, we found it to be a valuable resource on our shelf, beckoning us to grab our guitars and play until the sun sets on a perfect surf session.


5. The Stormrider Surf Guide Europe

The Stormrider Guide

We found this guide to be an invaluable companion for any surf adventure across European coasts, providing rich details many surfers will appreciate.


  • Comprehensive coverage of surf spots in Europe
  • Insightful local knowledge and tips
  • Bilingual edition, helpful for English and French speakers


  • Lacks coverage for some areas, like the Faroe Islands
  • Initial print quality issues in rare cases
  • A tad bulkier than desired for light travel

Our recent surf trip was transformed thanks to ‘The Stormrider Surf Guide Europe.’ While we navigated through the diverse European coastline, this book was our trusty adviser. Its detailed analyses of surf spots helped us choose where to paddle out, especially at tricky points like Mundaka, where timing is crucial.

The guide doesn’t just end at descriptions; it delves into the local vibe and practical advice. The content feels like it’s penned by surfers for surfers, which is exactly what we needed. However, remember to double-check for more remote destinations, as we noticed a couple of spots like the Faroe Islands aren’t included.

Handling this book during a windswept beach day, we were thankful for its durability, although it did add a noticeable heft to our backpack. Despite this slight inconvenience, the rich content justified its weight. On a side note, a surfing buddy had an issue with missing pages, but the replacement was free from defects.

Destination CoverageExtensive, with insightful local knowledge
Practical InformationSurf tips, cultural context, travel logistics
Language AccessibilityEnglish and French bilingual edition

Our experience tells us this guide is well-suited for both seasoned and rookie surfers dreaming of European waves. Its pros undeniably outweigh its cons, and it deserves a spot in your travel bag.


Buying Guide

Choosing the Right Surf Book

When selecting a surf book, it’s essential to consider several key features to ensure it meets your needs. We’ve outlined a few critical factors to consider:

  • Content: Look for books that match your skill level and interest. For beginners, instructional content is crucial, while history or culture might be more engaging for those with a vested interest in surfing lore.
  • Authorship: Prefer authors with acknowledged expertise, whether they are professional surfers or well-regarded sports journalists.

Here’s a quick comparison to guide you:

FeatureWhy It Matters
PhotographyHigh-quality images enhance the reading experience.
Writing StyleClear, engaging writing makes the information accessible.
Depth of InformationThe more comprehensive the content, the more valuable the book.
Credibility of AuthorExperience and recognition in the surfing world adds to the book’s authority.

Analyzing Reviews and Ratings

Our advice is to always read through reviews and pay attention to both positive and critical feedback. Ratings can provide a quick snapshot of general sentiment, but the nuanced opinions found in lengthy reviews are often more revealing.

Physical vs. Digital Formats

Decide whether you prefer the tangibility of a physical book or the convenience of a digital one. The choice impacts not only your reading experience but also the portability and accessibility of the content.

Publication Date

Current publications often reflect the latest trends and modern techniques, whereas older editions might offer historical perspectives or foundational techniques. Opt for the most recent editions for up-to-date content.

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