Ocean City Today

Books hold ‘intrinsic and inherent value,’ writer says

Surf Report
By Dave Dalkiewicz | May 03, 2018

(May 4, 2018) I’ve been reading a few books lately. Both of them are about surfing and each comes from a different direction.

“Wingnut’s Complete Surfing” is a how-to book, co-authored by Robert “Wingnut” Weaver and Scott Bannerot.

Wingnut is the long experienced, wizened surfer having starred in the movie, “Endless Summer II.”

“Endless Summer II” is the follow-up to the original “Endless Summer” which came out in the mid-1960’s and influenced many a surfer.

“Endless Summer II” emerged in the mid-1990’s and is more contemporary in scope. Both are produced by Bruce Brown and both are classics in their own right.

Bannerot is more the gifted writer and as a team, he and Wingnut indeed do a complete job. Every aspect is covered; getting started, reading waves, equipment, traveling and general ocean knowledge.

It’s all in there and valuable as a reference to even the experienced surfer as well as the rote beginner. It was published in 2009 and its advice and recommendations are timeless. Pictures and illustrations are also used to aid the written text.

The second book referred to is a collection of short stories titled, “Surf Lessons-Stories of an Eastern Surfer” by Earl Shores.

Shores is a local, mid-Atlantic guy. His writing is enjoyable and easy to identify with. Much of his experience is in and around the Ocean City area peppered with trips to Hatteras. Not a how-to book as the before mentioned Weaver-Bannerot effort it’s a time honored “talk story” gathering of tales good and not-so-good.

Once again, it’s all there. Road trips, girlfriends, injuries, small successes, summer jobs, early mornings, big swells and offshore winds.

All of the above and more is presented with an “eastern” flair, once again so identifiable to anyone who has pursued the dream and some would say “the curse” of surfing for any amount of time.

These days the computer in general and more specifically the internet has become the dominant source of information. Even what was and still is contained in the hallowed book form can be found on the internet.

Books still hold an intrinsic and inherent value. This special device, the computer, isn’t necessary to access the internet.

Electricity isn’t needed, except for a light to read at night. There’s no on or off switch. It’s quite akin to this newspaper that you now hold in your hand or have laid out on a table.

It’s more tangible, more real. It’s not coming from some cloud or from “I-don’t-know-where,” buried deep in some mountain range out there. Somewhere.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter where the information comes from, as long as it comes.

I can recall watching ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” back in the day. Having heard of a little surfing coverage I was glued to the hour-long show just to get a glimpse of a brief segment of a contest in Hawaii.

The higher ups of ABC, in their infinite wisdom, had enlisted the help of the much awarded Olympic swimmer, Mark Spitz, to do commentary.

They figured that Spitz the swimmer would have knowledge of surfing which wasn’t the case at all. Still, it was a big deal to view surfing on a national television show even if my level of frustration was high with the brief coverage.

No matter its source any mention or coverage of surfing is welcomed. To watch it or read about it can all be satisfying. Better yet, is to just go out and do it. That way, the observer can become the source, which is probably the desired position in the first place.

— Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City.

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