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Clearing out an old bookcase the other day, I came across ‘Caught Inside’ by Daniel Duane and was reminded quite how important a book it was to me at the start of my surfing obsession.

I came to surfing pretty late, after a mispent youth obsessed with skateboarding and snowboarding. Surfing had always appealed to me, but living over two hours from the ocean and not being a strong swimmer it always seemed an unobtainable pursuit. Fast-forward to the early nineties, around the time that ‘Caught Inside’ was published, I found myself with a job, a car and time to make it to the beach. Funny to think how those first few forays into the whitewater came to define my life thereafter so much.
The book itself chronicles Duane’s year after moving from Berekely to Santa Cruz to learn to surf. Once there he immerses himself in surfing, its history, and begins to meet some new friends – real surfers, not those chasing sponsorsip. Much about the book appealed to me, the descriptions of isolated NorCal beaches somehow sounding similar to our rugged coast, the agony and ecstasy of the learning curve, the way that surfing finds its way into your soul and the sense of community found between everyday surfers sharing waves.
I loved every page and have read it several times since. For me it described something I wanted to be part of, ultimately something I’ve since felt I had been searching for all along and it definately influenced me into prioritising moving to the coast.
I guess many of you will have read it already as it’s 10 years old, but if you haven’t, treat yourself to a cheap purchase from amazon and feel inspired.

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