| Mixed Plate|
Quickie Book Reviews 3
Eddie Would Go: The Story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian Hero, Stuart
It must be hard to do a posthumous biography, especially on someone
so soft-spoken. This book on Eddie Aikau is a case in point. A majority
of the dialog is more about the exploits of the interviewed friends
and family and the circumstances around him rather than about the
man himself. Still, it had a lot of insight into the lifeguard, the
surfer, the Hawaiian who was lost at sea while trying to save his
friends on the foundering Hokulea voyaging canoe.
The book delved not only on his heroics, but his fragilities too.
This type of honesty lends much more credence to the book. There were
also some key events that I've heard about but never knew the details
of (hunting for Rabbit, Black Butch's demise, prelude to the Hokulea
An unexpected surprise was that I found several of Eddie's friends
who are acquaintances of mine. Another was that the author called
the cancelled contest of 1/28/98 the "Almost Eddie" (the
title of my article on the same contest!).
And don't forget the surfing. Vivid accounts of special rides and
special riders. In the end, I guess all the people and events surrounding
Eddie actually really did define him. Truly a Hawaiian hero. [Link]
When the Shark Bites, Rodney Morales
I knew when I got the book that surfing would only be on the periphery,
but I didn't realize it would be only a couple of chapters. Despite
that, When the Shark Bites was a great book, focusing on Hawaiian
activism and finding your place in society.
Author Rodney Morales has only a few publishing credits, but is well
regarded in local literary circles. And for good reason. The book
challenges the reader by bouncing around between character point-of-views
It starts (sort of) with the famous squatting activism on Kahoolawe,
and eventually (and somewhat strangely) ends with a clash with local
syndicate types. In between, there are a few passages with surfing,
including one character that is a pro surfer type. There also are
lots of interesting vignettes of local history, both past and present.
It may not be perfectly accurate, but is close enough to give readers
(both kama'aina and malihini) a rich perspective of the culture of
Hawaii. If you are interested in opinions on some of the underlying
reasons for current Hawaiian (cultural and geographical) mindsets,
you should read this book." [link]
The Perfect Day: 40 years of Surfer magazine, Edited by
In celebration of 40 years as the self-proclaimed "Bible of the Sport,"
Surfer magazine published a book with passages and photos that defined
the magazine and the art/sport in general. They have logically divided
up the beautiful hardbound book by decades, which captures at least
some of the essence of surfers, along with (mostly) American socio-political
and cultural mores of each period. My favorite shot is the cover of
Cory Lopez in that absolutely terrifying Teahupoo tube. My favorite
passage is by Tom Morey. [link]
Stormrider Guide: the World, Edited by Bruce Sutherland
In celebration of 40 years of publication as the self-proclaimed "Bible
of the Sport," Surfer magazine published a book with passages and
photos that defined the magazine and the art/sport in general. They
have logically divided up the beautiful hardbound book by decades,
which captures at least some of the essence of surfers, along with
(mostly) American socio-political and cultural mores of each period.
My favorite shot is the cover of Cory Lopez in that absolutely terrifying
Teahupoo tube. My favorite passage is by Tom Morey. [link]
Pipe Dreams: A Surfer's Journey, By Kelly Slater and Jason
Kelly Slater is human. That's what I got out of the book. His surfing
is phenomenal, arguably the best ever, and has garnered him six world
championships (and counting?). However, the road to success was a
bumpy one indeed. He came from modest upbringings, and his father
was somewhat of an alcoholic. And fame has brought its own challenges
(Pam Anderson, Baywatch, one of the sexiest people in the U.S., etc).
The book was a very easy read, and went fast. I'd recommend it. [link]
Surfing Huge Waves with Ease, Fred Van Dyke
Although the title smacks of the popular "...for Dummies"
subject books, this book delves into a subject matter that cannot
just be read--it has to be experienced through years of experience
and conditioning. Republished in 2001, this is a very concise book
by veteran big-wave rider Fred Van Dyke. I was a bit put off by the
many spelling errors, but the overall content is, in my humble opinion,
fairly spot-on. I'm not ready to tackle big waves now, but I do understand
how to approach improving myself. Mostly common-sense. I enjoyed the