I love the intricacies of niche cultures such as cycle couriers, rockabillies, hobos and surfers. Surfers obviously the most main stream of that bunch but surf culture is still very rich and has obviously enriched the cultural world we inhabit. Despite this, very few books seem to have been able to cover the bases from films, talent, art, fashion and lifestyle the way that The Book Of Surfing, A Killer Guide does.
This book is almost like a surf culture bible, incorporating not only great shots from the aforementioned snappers but also great infographics on understanding the differences between waves and how to approach them.
You can also learn how to do the hula dance for ocean or love or find out why Gerry Lopez (below) is so important to the sport.
If you're into it for the history you can see how the board has changed over the years, or even the fin.
There are sections on famous surf films such as Big Wednesday and Morning Of The Earth as well as all important articles on the likes of John Severson, the early surf film pioneer. It's a great book, instructional, well designed and unlike most surf books it has great 1980s style illustrations on how to do the moves. I've missed those, the illustrations that is, I never really had the moves.
My favourite quote in the book is from Buzzy Trent "Truly big waves aren't measured in increments of feet, they are measured in incriments of fear". Being the big wave star of the late fifties, he should know really.