Read: A Political History of Surfing ‘Empire in Waves’

Ever get the feeling surfing lives in an alternative reality? Like surf magazines and films are relentlessly feeding you one massive artificial construct and you’re bored shitless of it? Well, pick up a copy of the newly-released Empire In Waves.

Retracing the history of modern wave riding since Hawaii’s annexation, Laderman examines those darker moments surfing media largely chose to write out of its pages.

Covering contentious political events such as Indonesia and East Timor massacres, the Vietnam war, South Africa apartheid and much more, Scott Laderman contemplates the moral implications behind the apolitical stance surfing often chose to adopt for convenience sake/in the name of waves.

And mostly, things haven’t changed much. Everywhere you look everyone tells you surfing is all about fun, fun, fun. Warm sunshine, sandy beaches, girls in bikinis and glorious wave riding. But dig a little deeper and, as Laderman’s in-depth research reveals, the rich cultural history of surfing and the natural global phenomenon it’s turned into has so much more to offer.

For when it’s flat, pick up a copy on Amazon here: Empire in Waves.


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