A True Story of Violence, Corruption, and the Soul of Surfing
Author: Chas Smith
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Sports & Recreation
A finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Nonfiction Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, is surfer and former war reporter Chas Smith’s wild and unflinching look at the high-stakes world of surfing on Oahu’s North Shore—a riveting, often humorous, account of beauty, greed, danger, and crime. For two months every winter, when Pacific storms make landfall, swarms of mainlanders, Brazilians, Australians, and Europeans flock to Oahu’s paradisiacal North Shore in pursuit of some of the greatest waves on earth for surfing’s Triple Crown competition. Chas Smith reveals how this influx transforms a sleepy, laid-back strip of coast into a lawless, violent, drug-addled, and adrenaline-soaked mecca. Smith captures this exciting and dangerous place where locals, outsiders, the surf industry, and criminal elements clash in a fascinating look at class, race, power, money, and crime, set within one of the most beautiful places on earth. The result is a breathtaking blend of crime and adventure that captures the allure and wickedness of this idyllic golden world.
A Sordid History of Surfing's Greatest Love Affair
Author: Chas Smith
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Category: Social Science
From the author of Welcome to Paradise, Now Go To Hell, a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Nonfiction One of Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament's Top 10 of 2018 It's no surprise that surfers like to party. The 1960-70s image, bolstered by Tom Wolfe and Big Wednesday, was one of mild outlaws--tanned boys refusing to grow up, spending their days drinking beer and smoking joints on the beach in between mindless hours in the water. But in the 1980s, as surf brands morphed into multibillion-dollar companies, the derelict portrait began to harm business. The external surf image became Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton, beacons of health, vitality, bravery, and clean-living. Internally, though, surfing had moved on from booze and weed to its heart's true home, its soul's twin flame: cocaine. The rise of cocaine in American popular culture as the choice of rich, white elites was matched, then quadrupled, within surf culture. The parties got wilder, the nights stretched longer, the stories became more ridiculously unbelievable. And there has been no stopping, no dip in passion. It is a forbidden love, and few, if any, outside the surf world know about this particular rhapsody. Drug use is kept very well-hidden, even from insiders, but evidence of its psychosis rears its head from time to time in the form of overdoses, bar fights, surf contests, murders, and cover-ups. Cocaine + Surfing draws back the curtain on a hopped-up, sometimes-sexy, sometimes-deadly relationship and uses cocaine as the vehicle to expose and explain the utterly absurd surf industry to outsiders.
For readers of SCAR TISSUE by Anthony Kiedis, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET by Jordan Belfort, MP: THE LIFE OF MICHAEL PETERSON by Sean Doherty and OCCY: THE RISE AND FALL OF MARK OCCHILUPO by Tim Baker There is an allure about surfers - they look like clean, bronzed athletes who love nature and tread lightly on the earth. But there has always been a darker side to surf culture. Chas Smith, ex-war correspondent and surf enthusiast, tells the no-holds-barred love affair of cocaine and surfing, and it makes for one hell of a story. Surf trade shows in the 1980s were flooded in cocaine. The surf tour of the 1990s had virtually every competitor racking rails with the judges and the media before paddling out for heats. And in the new 21st century it has become completely untethered. There have been overdoses, bar fights, murders and cover-ups fuelled almost purely by cocaine. Cocaine's place in surfing's past is mythic. Its place in surfing's present is undeniable. Its place in surfing's future is certain. There is something all too similar in riding a wave and smashing a bump. The rush is intense and beautiful and all too short. Altogether, it is a great untold story and Smith has interviewed everyone who matters, dug into the vibrant history to create a rip-roaring ride through surf culture that is enthralling, hilarious and utterly fascinating.
Greg Fleet's hilarious, heartbreaking account of the life-or-death battle for his soul For 30 years Greg Fleet has been one of Australia's most widely known and best loved comedians. For the same period, he's had a drug habit that has delivered him comedy and tragedy in equal parts. On the high road: a genius wit and prodigious work ethic take him from NIDA and Neighbours, to Shakespeare and award-winning theatre, and on to acclaim and adoration on stand-up stages all over the world. On the low road: a yearning for true love mutates into a downward spiral of addiction - a maelstrom of faked and near deaths, shared houses and needles, twisted trysts with cocaine and ice on the road to rock bottom... and, just maybe, redemption. From first gentle kiss to hate-fuelled wrecking ball, Greg Fleet has written the most mesmeric of memoirs - part guilty pleasure, part sweet poison. These things happen ... PRAISE FOR THESE THINGS HAPPEN "for all its deadpan style this is a cautionary tale ... about drug addiction, being rocked by life and salvaging the things you love." The Saturday Age "These Things Happen strikes a rare balance, tackling a difficult subject with redemptive humour but never hiding from the gravity of it." Irvine Welsh
Knowledge, Innovation, and American Counterculture
Author: David Kaiser
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Groovy Science paints a decidedly different picture of the sixties counterculture by uncovering an unabashed embrace of certain kinds of science and technology. While many rejected science and technology that struck them as hulking, depersonalized, or militarized, theirs was a rejection of Cold War-era missiles and mainframes, not science and technology per se. We see in these pages the long-running annual workshops on quantum physics at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California; aerospace engineers turning their knowledge of high-tech materials to the short board revolution in surfing; Timothy Leary s championing of space colonization as the ultimate high; and midwives redirecting their medical knowledge to launch a home-birth movement. Groovy Science gathers intriguing examples like these from across the physical, biological, and social sciences and charts commonalities across these many domains, highlighting shared trends and themes during one of the most colorful periods of recent American history. The result reveals a much more diverse picture of how Americans sought and found alternative forms of science that resonated with their social and political goals."
Waterman is the first comprehensive biography of Duke Kahanamoku (1890–1968): swimmer, surfer, Olympic gold medalist, Hawaiian icon, waterman. Long before Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz made their splashes in the pool, Kahanamoku emerged from the backwaters of Waikiki to become America’s first superstar Olympic swimmer. The original “human fish” set dozens of world records and topped the world rankings for more than a decade; his rivalry with Johnny Weissmuller transformed competitive swimming from an insignificant sideshow into a headliner event. Kahanamoku used his Olympic renown to introduce the sport of “surf-riding,” an activity unknown beyond the Hawaiian Islands, to the world. Standing proudly on his traditional wooden longboard, he spread surfing from Australia to the Hollywood crowd in California to New Jersey. No American athlete has influenced two sports as profoundly as Kahanamoku did, and yet he remains an enigmatic and underappreciated figure: a dark-skinned Pacific Islander who encountered and overcame racism and ignorance long before the likes of Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and Jackie Robinson. Kahanamoku’s connection to his homeland was equally important. He was born when Hawaii was an independent kingdom; he served as the sheriff of Honolulu during Pearl Harbor and World War II and as a globetrotting “Ambassador of Aloha” afterward; he died not long after Hawaii attained statehood. As one sportswriter put it, Duke was “Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey combined down here.” In Waterman, award-winning journalist David Davis examines the remarkable life of Duke Kahanamoku, in and out of the water.
“Dave Zirin is the best young sportswriter in America.”—Robert Lipsyte This much-anticipated sequel to What’s My Name, Fool? by acclaimed commentator Dave Zirin breaks new ground in sports writing, looking at the controversies and trends now shaping sports in the United States—and abroad. Features chapters such as “Barry Bonds is Gonna Git Your Mama: The Last Word on Steroids,” “Pro Basketball and the Two Souls of Hip-Hop,” “An Icon’s Redemption: The Great Roberto Clemente,” and “Beisbol: How the Major Leagues Eat Their Young.” Zirin’s commentary is always insightful, never predictable. Dave Zirin is the author of the widely acclaimed book What’s My Name, Fool? (Haymarket Books) and writes the weekly column “Edge of Sports” (edgeofsports.com). He writes a regular column for The Nation and Slam magazine and has appeared as a sports commentator on ESPN TV and radio, CBNC, WNBC, Democracy Now!, Air America, Radio Nation, and Pacifica. Chuck D redefined rap music and hip-hop culture as leader and co-founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy. Spike Lee calls him “one of the most politically and socially conscious artists of any generation.” He co-hosts a weekly radio show on Air America.
Before he became a private investigator, before he served in the Detroit police, and long before he retreated to the wintry reaches of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Alex McKnight played ball in the minor leagues. He doesn't spend much time thinking about those days, at least not until a former teammate comes looking for him. . . . The man's here to ask a favor. He wants Alex to help him find the woman with whom he had a brief, passionate affair three decades ago. Who is Alex to deny his friend a chance to ward off a classic midlife chill by rekindling an old flame? But as the search deepens, McKnight begins to suspect that he hasn't been told the full story. And there might just be a reason why this mysterious woman is so hard to find. The Hunting Wind continues Steve Hamilton's award-winning and New York Times-bestselling Alex McKnight series.
'That summer, it was all about secrets... I already had one bullet inside me. I knew I didn't have room for another.' A superb Alex McKnight novel from award-winning Steve Hamilton Alex McKnight rarely ventures out from his home these days, even to spend time at his friend Jackie's Glasgow Inn. Even as he lets Jackie force him out one night for a poker game at a stranger's house, Alex is certain it's a bad idea. And when the genial atmosphere rapidly deteriorates, he starts to think maybe he was right. Then three masked, armed robbers burst through the door, and things get a whole lot worse. Soon Alex's three closest friends are implicated in the robbery, and Alex finds himself the object of hostile attention from the victim. As events spin out of control, it becomes clear that somebody is not telling the truth, and has put them all in terrible danger...